According to the Human Rights Commission, almost 1 in 4 New Zealanders are currently living with a disability.
“A total of 1.1 million people (24 percent of the population) were identified as disabled. The results show that 11 percent of children and 27 percent of adults were limited in their daily activities by a range of impairments.”
This study shows just how important it is for New Zealanders to work towards a more accepting and inclusive society. For a quarter of New Zealanders to be limited in their daily activities shows the lengths we still need to go to in order to improve this situation.
While the current government is trying to kick disability access out of the equation in order to strengthen buildings for earthquakes, this is just the statistic we need to illustrate just how detrimental the effects of that would be. The study did show that the majority of the people with disabilities are over the age of 65, which also shows that limited access is an aspect of ageism as well as ableism.
It’s easy to look at this as just a number but it is important to note that for these people with disabilities, this isn’t just a statistic. These limitations are our daily reality and the frustration cuts deep.
In saying that though, I think that these statistics speak for themselves and it is an important piece of information for New Zealanders to be aware of. I do believe that the majority of us don’t want to live in a country where 1 out of 4 Kiwis have to live their lives with limitations.