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Disability Convention Celebration Kicks off Party

2 May 2008

Disability Convention Celebration “Kicks off Party”

When the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities comes into force on May 3, disabled people in New Zealand will celebrate and with good cause.

Gary Williams, CEO of DPA, NZ’s only owner-operated organisation of disabled people, says ”this isn’t the end of our involvement, but on Saturday we can stop and mark the day that disabled people throughout the world will have our own convention that protects our rights ‘up and running’.

“We’ve wanted a convention for over 25 years, and it’s one that, we, disabled people helped to write. It’s a convention where New Zealand took a leading role. And it’s one where DPA and many other disability organisations all contributed time, expertise and passion”.

“We will start the celebrations on Saturday, and we expect there will be many more such events to follow” says DPA policy researcher Wendi Wicks. “Disabled people need to mark the Convention, because it will bring gains for disabled people- the changed way of thinking and talking about disability will bring about differences in laws, policies and practices, and that will make our everyday lives better.”

As he cuts the celebration cake, Gary Williams has some hopes for the future. “I hope the government will soon ratify the Convention and the Optional Protocol, so that we can continue to take the leadership role we’ve had to date” he says. “That will keep the faith with disabled New Zealanders.”


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