The Rhetoric and Practice of Partnership: Experiences in the Context of Disability
In this paper we look at the use of “partnership” in the context of disability policy. The contested nature of “partnership” will be examined with reference to Making a World of Difference Whakanui Oranga, the New Zealand Disability Strategy (NZDS), and to Special Education 2000 (SE2000). We describe an evaluation study of SE2000, and our experiences of being on the NZDS sector reference group. We look at the difficulties that arise when the tensions between partnership as “means” and partnership as “outcome” are not made clear. We argue that there needs to be closer attention to the relationships between values, research and policy: we argue that relationships have to be valued, that the lives of disabled people have to be valued, and central to the development of disability policy.