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What is the MSD Accessibility Charter and does it apply to me?

The MSD Accessibility Charter is a commitment by government agencies to accessibility. It applies across central and local government, including core public sector agencies, Crown entities, District Health Board’s (DHBs), and local authorities.

The Accessibility Charter was launched by MSD on 15 February 2018. As at 16 September 2022, Chief Executives of 40 Government Agencies, four districts and three local government authorities have signed up to the Charter.

This probably means you.

If you work in a government agency, your organisation has likely committed to the Charter. The Charter outlines a few key things that you need to know:

  • signing agencies must develop and implement a 5-year plan to make accessibility “business as usual”
  • each agency reports their progress to MSD on a six-monthly basis.

If your organisation signed in 2018 when the charter was launched, it means this is your last year to implement that 5-year plan.

What should you do now? Again, it’s likely that your organisation has already signed. Ask around to see what has happened already.

Catalyst accessibility services

  • we perform an analysis gap to find out where you are and where you need to be
  • we can help you develop an accessibility programme of work, whether that means getting you started or helping you reach your finish line
  • get training, auditing and consulting services to support your accessibility programme of work.

Why does it matter?

  • In New Zealand, we have 1.1 million disabled people(external link), about one in four of our population.
  • Having accessible information and communications recognises the diversity of New Zealand.
  • It’s important, for the public sector to be responsive to the needs of our communities. As part of this responsiveness, all New Zealanders should have equal access to information about the government’s policies, initiatives, and programmes.

Contact us for a free accessibility consultation.