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Disability Convention good for seniors

Age Concern New Zealand media release

Disability Convention good for seniors

24 July 2008

Older people have a lot to gain from moves to ratify an international Disability Convention Age Concern New Zealand says.

"The UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities will help disabled people at all life stages to contribute to society on an equal basis," Age Concern New Zealand chief executive Ann Martin says.

"New Zealand signed up to the Convention last year, now Age Concern New Zealand fully supports the next step: ratifying it.

"Around half of older people have a moderate or severe disability: that's over a quarter-million people. As the population continues to age, disability rates may rise further, despite medical advances, so overcoming barriers is in everybody's interest."

"Older people want to go on making contributions to society, and anything that can reduce barriers to their participation has our full support," Ann Martin said.

"Back in 2001, the New Zealand Disability Strategy began by saying 'We live in a disabling society'.

"Sadly, this statement remains true for many older people, whose enjoyment of life is compromised by the barriers to access and the stigma attached to disability. That's the sort of barriers that we look to the Convention to eliminate.

A Select Committee is now working through ratification issues, and Age Concern is right behind Government's goal of having the Convention ratified by September this year.


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