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'It's quite disheartening' – teacher frustrated by lack of opportunity in workforce for people with disabilities

A community center in Tauranga is pleading with local businesses to give its students a chance at employment as they say young people with disabilities are constantly being turned away due to the perception of being a safety risk. 

A teacher who helps at Tauranga Special School three days a week says many students are being disadvantaged because of their disabilities. 

"It's quite disheartening because you know they're going to hold the WorkSafe card up in your face," Sue Padgett told 1 NEWS. 

"It would be great if they could give them a chance at some simple jobs, where we're happy to volunteer to start with."

WorkSafe New Zealand says there's nothing in the act that refers specifically to workers with disabilities and businesses are required to endure all workers are safe. 

A recent report by IHC found three quarters of respondents felt those with a disability don't get the right support to enter the workforce and many with a disability wanted to work but felt hopeless and helpless by the lack of options. 

The director of advocacy at IHC, Tish Grant said, "Inclusive education around employment are key ways that we can lift the quality of life for disabled people. 

"It is a human right to have an adequate standard of living," she said. 

A recent IHC report found most respondents felt those with a disability don't get the right support to enter the workforce. Source: 1 NEWS