INDEPENDENT NEWS

IHC Membership Deplores Restrictions To Services

Published: Mon 6 Dec 1999 03:11 PM
The membership of IHC unanimously carried a remit conveying this message at its recent Annual General Meeting.
People with an intellectual disability and their family face capped budgets, stringent access criteria and ad hoc policies when attempting to access the support they require. This includes education, residential and vocational support service.
"Restrictions gradually imposed over recent years are now really starting to bite hard", says John Forman, Chairperson of IHC's Advocacy Board. "This is causing considerable stress".
Currently there is an urgent issue regarding restricted entry into day activity services for school leavers with an intellectual disability.
Work and Income New Zealand are refusing to provide funding for day support services for most of this group. Only a small number have been funded. Work and Income New Zealand claim they have no policy or procedure, which allows them to provide the funds for the rest, despite indications from the outgoing Minister that they should do so.
"This seems to be a major blunder by Work & Income New Zealand which has failed to get itself properly organised to meet the vocational needs of people with disabilities" , Mr Forman said.
For families, this means their young adult with an intellectual disability may have to remain at home and a family member stay with them to provide the care and support required.
Some parents are faced with having to give up paid employment to provide the care required.
IHC members want this situation remedied urgently. They are urging the new Government to review the restrictive policies and practices that are creating serious stresses in the lives of people with an intellectual disability and their family.
"We are calling on the Prime Minister to intervene personally to redress this urgent and intolerable situation", says Mr Forman.
ENDS....

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