The Reasonable Accommodation Guide in NZSL
Under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (Disability Convention), disabled people have the right to reasonable accommodation. New Zealand’s Independent Monitoring Mechanism (IMM) has just released an updated guide - Removing barriers: A guide for reasonable accommodation of Disabled people in Aotearoa.
The term ‘reasonable accommodation’ often causes confusion, but it is the United Nations’ preferred descriptor for the changes needed to support disabled people to live their lives on an equal basis with others. Reasonable accommodation is broad, and encompasses many different changes that enable disabled people to participate fully in their community, education, public, and working life.
There are many examples within the Deaf community where reasonable accommodation should be given.
- a Deaf person is attending a presentation so the organisers book a New Zealand Sign Language interpreter to attend the session.
- a Deaf person wants to participate in a public engagement process which is asking for views via an online survey. The Deaf person asks for the survey to be provided in New Zealand Sign Language.
- a Deaf student requests that pre-recorded lectures to be viewed online are captioned so they can understand what the lecturer is saying.
Employers, business owners and public organisations should view this positively. Changes needed often cost little or nothing at all. Accommodating disabled people means businesses and organisations are better placed to serve their customers and communities. This includes the Ombudsman, who has a role to play to ensure the Office is reasonably accommodating staff and people accessing our services.
To learn more, check out our NZSL quick guide of Removing barriers: a guide for reasonable accommodation of Disabled people in Aotearoa