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Enabling Good Lives

From 1 July this year, there will be a new Ministry for Disabled People dedicated to overseeing the national roll-out of the Enabling Good Lives (EGL) approach. The new ministry is about transforming how government works with the disability community and delivering core services currently provided by the Ministry of Health. The aim is to provide long-term transformation of how disabled people and families are supported to live everyday lives.

The EGL approach follows 8 core principles and was developed by an independent working group of disabled people, whānau, tangata whenua and service providers. The vision of the Enabling Good Lives approach is that in the future, disabled adults, children and their families will have greater choice and control over their lives, and how they are supported.

This principles-based approach will guide systems development to ensure service and supports for disabled people are tailored to reflect individual strengths, preferences and aspirations. EGL will therefore take different approaches, person by person, family by family and community by community.

Central to EGL is shifting the decision making, so disabled people and their families and whanau have the “say so” - not a government agency.

The delivery of the new EGL disability support system is based on the following eight principles:
  1. Self-determination: Disabled people are in control of their lives.
  2. Beginning early: Invest early in families and whānau to support them; to be aspirational for their disabled child; to build community and natural supports; and to support disabled children to become independent, rather than waiting for a crisis before support is available.
  3. Person-centred: Disabled people have supports that are tailored to their individual needs and goals, and that take a whole life approach rather than being split across programmes.
  4. Ordinary life outcomes: Disabled people are supported to live an everyday life in everyday places; and are regarded as citizens with opportunities for learning, employment, having a home and family, and social participation - like others at similar stages of life.
  5. Mainstream first: Disabled people are supported to access mainstream services before specialist disability services.
  6. Mana enhancing: The abilities and contributions of disabled people and their families are recognised and respected.
  7. Easy to use: Disabled people have supports that are simple to use and flexible.
  8. Relationship building: Supports build and strengthen relationships between disabled people, their whānau and community.
A male with a prosthetic leg and a lady walking through a parklike setting


 Self-Directed Funding

At the core of EGL is the enabling of greater choice and control based on self-directed funding (individualised Funding and Personal budgets are just two examples).

Individualised funding is not new and has been in place for over 20 years for some people. The concept of EGL was developed in 2011. It is about giving people choice and control through self-directed funding options and grounded in the EGL principles.

When 'system' transformation is completed all individuals and family/whānau will have access to self-directed funding options, meaning people can choose to use this funding in multiple ways. Support funding from the Ministries of Education, Health and Social Development is brought together into a personal budget.

  • People have choice and control over what you do with their funding. This includes what they want to purchase, when they want to purchase it and the people they want for support.
  • An individual’s personal budget can be used to support their dreams and goals so that they can live life their way.
  • They can choose to manage their personal budget in a number of ways, including employing support staff if they wish.

EGL has been trialed over the past 10 years in Christchurch, the Waikato and in the Central North Island - and the results speak for themselves...

The trials confirmed that the EGL approach made significant impacts on the lives of the disability community. Due to the flexibility around supports, EGL positions disabled people and whānau at the forefront where they are able to create a life of their choosing.

The following video is testimonial to the transformation EGL has had for those living with disabilities and their families. 

Look out for further blogs over the coming months offering a personal perspective on EGL and Self-Directed Funding Funding.

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