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Resource helps young people engage with disability issues

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Disability Action Canterbury West Coast and UNICEF NZ

12 FEBRUARY 2014

New resource enables young people to engage with disability issues in their community

CCS Disability Action Canterbury West Coast will enable children and young people to engage with disability issues using the UNICEF resource ‘It’s About Ability’, which introduces participants to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD). New Zealand signed the Convention in 2007.

CCS Disability Regional Manager, Ruth Teasdale, says “Learning about disability and human rights issues at an early age enriches both students and our wider community. Support from the government’s ‘Make a Difference Fund’ means we can run a series of programmes with 12 year old students from Christchurch schools, increasing their understanding about the rights of people with disabilities. We are delighted to be able to offer the programme in Christchurch.”

The programme, guided by facilitators who are disabled themselves, will begin by exploring attitudes and behaviours within the students’ school and local community. ‘It’s About Ability’ will assist young people to gain an understanding of human rights and inspire them to value diversity. Students will be encouraged to develop their own project or become involved with a disability organisation as a way of gaining practical experience and insight.

Prudence Walker who will be facilitating the programme says “It’s exciting to have an opportunity to work with young people to develop their thinking about human rights and disability. UNICEF has done a great job of creating a resource that is colourful and exciting for children.”

UNICEF NZ National Advocacy Manager, Deborah Morris-Travers, says “We are pleased that CCS Disability Action will be using ‘It’s About Ability’ – it’s a resource that has been developed in partnership with children, drawing on the experiences of disabled people in a range of countries. The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities is a guide for disabled people, their friends, family, and community in how to exercise their rights. As with all human rights treaties, it is important for people to understand them. ‘It’s About Ability’ makes the UNCRPD accessible to children so that they too can play their part in upholding and advocating for the rights of people with disabilities. ”

CCS Disability Action’s Prudence Walker is contacting schools and looking for partner disability organisations to get the programme underway for the 2014 school year. For anyone interested in participating, please call 03 741 3292

ENDS

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