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Intellectually disabled community hidden from government statistics

IHC New Zealand is calling on the Ministry of Health to specifically include data on the outcomes of people with intellectual disability in its reporting.

In the latest New Zealand Health Survey (NZHS), released in December 2023, disabled people (who make up a quarter of Aotearoa’s population) were all put in the same boat.

IHC Director of Advocacy Tania Thomas says it’s important to differentiate disabled people so that their different support needs are met.

“Unfortunately, people with intellectual disability have more dire health outcomes, not just compared with the general population but within the disability demographic.

“To not disaggregate the data for people with intellectual disability is just further diluting the specific support needs and outcomes for this group.

“It’s critical that the Ministry has a specific data set for intellectually disabled New Zealanders so that we can monitor progress over time and further understand what we need to understand the complexities of these individuals.”

In 2022, the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) recommended that New Zealand develop a national disability data framework to ensure appropriate, nationally consistent measures are sought, specifically, for people with intellectual disability.

 

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