Top of page
Coronavirus Pandemic

Persons with disabilities in New Zealand urgently needs Covid plan

man in wheelchair wearing medical face mask for coronavirus protection.
Photo: Dreamstime

New Zealand’s disabled population urgently needs a Covid plan, with barriers to getting tested and vaccinated disadvantaging the community, National’s Disability Issues spokesperson Penny Simmonds says.

“Our disabled population cannot continue to be left out of the vaccination and testing programmes in this country.

“Almost one-in-four Kiwis identifies as living with a disability, yet there’s a massive gap in our vaccination and Covid-testing options.

“The disabled appear to be the forgotten New Zealanders of this pandemic.

“A lack of public transport to and from vaccination points, long periods waiting in queues and busy, over-stimulating environments just aren’t suitable for many disabled people.

“Barriers to getting our disabled population vaccinated and tested means we have a significant number of people in our communities, often with compromised health, in an incredibly vulnerable situation.

“Disability advocates have also told me that many isolation facilities are just not accessible to disabled people, and with carers not allowed in to provide people with support, I’m hearing that disabled people in the community are fearful of getting tested.

“Alternatives for vaccinations, such as priority queues to shorten wait times and the provision of quiet spaces just haven’t been implemented, despite requests from disability advocates.

“A mobile unit which can go into the homes of people who can’t physically get to vaccination centres also needs to be established and saliva testing should be made available as soon as possible.

“Our disabled population cannot continue to be left out of the vaccination and testing rollout – the risks are just too high.”

You might also like

Collage of two images, left Taj Mahal, right, a person reading braille Collage of two images, left Taj Mahal, right, a person reading braille

Archaeological Survey of India releases book on historical monuments in Braille

The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) has released ‘Agra Monuments,’…

Young Downs Syndrome Couple Sitting On Sofa Using Laptop At Home Young Downs Syndrome Couple Sitting On Sofa Using Laptop At Home

New website launched to connect Queenslanders with Disabilities

More than a million Queenslanders with disabilities and their carers…

Blind Man Crossing Road Holding white cane Blind Man Crossing Road Holding white cane

UN Disability Rights Committee issues findings on Djibouti and France

The UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) has…

Tricia and Mason at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom park Tricia and Mason at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom park

Fake parking ticket causes stress and humiliation for family visiting Disney World

A family’s recent visit to Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom…