Why is this important?
One in four Kiwis have a disability and face barriers in their day-to-day lives – many of which involve accessing buildings and public spaces, using public transport, or accessing information and services. For those of us with disabilities, and those who support us, we know first hand that these barriers prevent us from reaching our full potential in education and employment, including income.
Nearly every New Zealander will have permanent or temporary access needs some time in our lives, especially as we get older. Every day, 1.1 million New Zealanders face access barriers.
The longer-term gains for New Zealand of breaking down these barriers are significant but only part of the equation. More importantly, providing the means for equal opportunity and participation for all New Zealanders is the right thing to do.
Some good things are happening already to improve accessibility, but we need a law change to ensure everyone benefits from an accessible NZ and to improve awareness around disability.
The Access Matters Campaign is led by a coalition of disabled people, disability organisations and supporters.
We call on all political parties to commit to the introduction of accessibility legislation, including enforceable accessibility standards. Your action is required now.