CCS Disability Action's The state of wellbeing and equality for disabled people, their families and whānau 2021 report is now available and it paints a disheartening picture .
The report reveals that all regions in Aotearoa demonstrate unacceptably high levels of low income and formal qualification attainment for disabled people. It also highlights significant regional disparities as well.
- Nationally we have 36.2% of disabled people aged 18 to 64 earning less than $15,000 annually compared with 21.1% of their non-disabled peers.
- 20.8% of disabled people aged 65+ years are also earning less than $15,000 annually compared with 14.0% of their non-disabled peers.
- It is also evident that compared with non-disabled people, disabled people on average had much lower educational attainment (Statistics NZ, 2020).
The evidence shows that our disability support system needs a major overhaul as what we have now simply isn’t working.
We need targeted supports for disabled people, and whānau. Regions with lower incomes and high poverty rates in general should be targeted as we know that disabled people and their families and whānau are more likely to be experiencing poverty and hardship.
To see transformational change requires acknowledgement of the issues identified, targeted investment in disabled people and their whānau and the will to value their potential contribution to society, if these inequalities are erased.