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Disability Issues Minister Nicky Wagner is encouraging New Zealanders to give feedback on the first draft of the disability strategy as the second round of public consultation begins.

“The current Disability Strategy was released in 2001. Since then there have been fundamental shifts in the way New Zealand, and the world, look at disability. That is why we’re building a new disability strategy,” Ms Wagner says.

“In April and May, the first round of consultation received more than 600 submissions. We now want to hear from disabled people, their families and the disability community to see how they feel the draft strategy reflects the initial consultation.

“Eight key outcome areas for targeted action are set out in the draft strategy. These are: education, employment, health and well-being, justice, accessibility, attitudes, choice and control, and leadership.

“One in four New Zealanders have a physical, sensory, learning, mental health or other impairment. We need to remove the barriers that prevent people from participating fully in New Zealand society.

“The new disability strategy will establish a clear direction for the government over the next ten years, providing a framework to help make informed decisions on issues that impact disabled people,” Ms Wagner says.

The consultation is open from Monday July 25 to Sunday 21 August. For information on how to take part and to see the draft disability strategy, please visit www.jointheconversation.nz.