IHC turns spotlight on election candidates
IHC is hosting a public meeting with election candidates to find out how they intend to make lives better for disabled people if they are elected.
IHC’s 2023 Election Forum will be held on 20 September at Te Wharewaka o Pōneke on Wellington’s waterfront, and live streamed to allow participation nationwide.
IHC Advocacy, which is organising the event, is encouraging everyone to come along with a question for the candidates or to email them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
“People with intellectual disabilities should be able to have their say in the way the country is run,” says IHC Director of Advocacy Tania Thomas.
Tania says that the political system – from voting to understanding what each party stands for – is complicated for everyone, but including people with intellectual disabilities is crucial and something that can easily be managed with a bit of planning.
“We need to make voting facilities accessible, provide good lead-in times with easy-read information, and Q&A sessions in person and online. Political parties should provide their stance and plans for ensuring good lives for people with disabilities well ahead of time in accessible formats and try to connect with disabled persons’ organisations and family and whānau carers.”
Candidates from all the political parties have been invited to the forum. Tania says unless politicians are prepared to take an interest in the issues faced by disabled people, they will be leaving out a large section of the population.
In the lead-up to the General Election on 14 October, IHC also intends to turn the heat up on education. The political parties’ commitments to students with intellectual disabilities will come under the spotlight not only at the Election Forum but also in an IHC advertising campaign to end discrimination at schools.
Up to 120 people are expected to attend, with many more expected to join the live stream.
2023 Election Forum
Date: Wednesday 20 September 2023
Place: Te Wharewaka o Pōneke, 2Taranaki Street, Wellington waterfront
This event will have New Zealand Sign Language interpreters and be live captioned.
Get your questions ready for the candidates. Here are some starters from IHC Director of Advocacy Tania Thomas:
• What will your party do to address the lack of affordable and accessible housing for people with disabilities on low and moderate incomes and their families?
• What could your party do to increase the life expectancy of disabled Māori?
• How could your party address the high unemployment rate of New Zealanders with disabilities?
• What is your plan for ensuring that disability issues and the community are front and centre in your planning and execution of emergency management and your climate agenda?
Caption: Disabled people and supporters at the 2020 IHC election forum in Wellington. (From left) Peter Knighton, President, People First Wairarapa; Sue Hobbs, Safeguarding Adults Consultant; Emmet Dale, Vice President, People First Kāpiti; Elizabeth Bennett, People First Central Regional Coordinator.