Release: Disabled children latest to lose access to funding

Disabled children and families nationwide have recently found out they’re no longer able to use disability support funding for programmes during school hours in another quiet update from the Government.

“It is unacceptable that this government continues to deny disabled people access to supports they need to be able to participate in society. This time it’s support for disabled children who often struggle to cope at school,” Labour disability issues spokesperson Priyanca Radhakrishnan said.

“These new changes mean cutting funding for programmes that are often tailored to the specific needs of the child and offered only during the day.

“These programmes provide safe, nurturing environments for disabled children to develop the skills that they need to be able to cope with school. They help with regulating anxiety, improving confidence, deal with physical health conditions and enable them to improve their health and wellbeing outcomes.

“Minister for Disability Issues Louise Upston confirmed these new changes in the House today and when asked, also couldn’t guarantee the Enabling Good Lives (EGL) rollout was safe from cuts or how these changes were consistent with EGL principles.

“Families are quite rightly frustrated and upset that not only has the government refused to make things right and reinstate funding flexibility, they’re also taking more away.

“This is not what New Zealanders voted for, yesterday a poll was released showing the majority of the coalition’s own voters want funding flexibility for disabled people and their carers fully reinstated.

“It’s untenable for the Government to let this continue any longer. Minister Louise Upston must apologise and fully reinstate flexible funding so that disabled people, carers and the wider disability community have better choice and control,” Priyanca Radhakrishnan said.

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