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Commission in New Zealand formalises commitment to accessible information

blind person reading the braille book

New Zealand’s Health Quality & Safety Commission is the latest signatory of the government Accessibility Charter – a commitment to providing accessible information and online tools to persons with disabilities.

The charter, launched by the Ministry of Social Development in 2018, requires agencies to work towards making information accessible, so that everyone can interact with them in a way that meets their individual needs and promotes their independence and dignity.

Director of Partners in Care, the Commission’s consumer engagement programme, Dr Chris Walsh says as a quality improvement agency, the Commission is always looking at how we can work alongside clinicians, providers and consumers to improve health.

‘This is a natural extension of that work,’ she says.

‘As an organisation our focus has always has been on creating a world-class and patient-centred health and disability support system in New Zealand. Signing the charter will allow us to continue that work, and achieve our vision of ‘Hauora kounga mō te katoa, quality health for all’.’

Signing the charter indicates the Commission is committed to working progressively over the next five years towards making information intended for the public accessible to everyone, and that everyone can interact with us in a way that meets their individual needs and promotes their independence and dignity.

‘It’s simple – making information accessible is the right thing to do,’ says Dr Walsh.

The charter is a commitment to making accessibility ‘business as usual’ and the Commission will achieve this by developing a five-year plan, including publishing information in a wider variety of formats.