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CCS Disability Action Event Marks International Human Rights


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
3 December 2013

CCS Disability Action Event Marks International Human Rights Day

CCS Disability Action marked the International Day of Persons with a Disability with a crowd pleasing showcase of artistic talent. Disabled performers held court at Westfield Manukau City from 10am until 3pm with Mayor Len Brown officially opening the event to a large crowd of disabled people and shoppers.

The commemoration of this year’s international day gave the organisation an opportunity to take awareness about disability and inclusion out into the community through performances by a range of artists. Acts included the internationally acclaimed Touch Compass Dance Company, a children’s book reading and singer Shin Young Park who uses New Zealand Sign Language in her performances.

“The theme this year was to ‘celebrate us’ as disabled people. We are very grateful to Westfield for supporting us with a venue because we wanted to start these conversations with people for whom ‘disability’ may not be on their radar. The event was an opportunity to connect with visitors who may not have known what 3 December signifies for the disabled community. I’m confident that those people who took a moment out of their day to listen and reflect, left richer for the experience so that feels like success,” explains Susan Sherrard, Team Leader at CCS Disability Action.

Auckland-based signer-songwriter Natalie Te Paa, who is blind, drew in a crowd of around 100 people with an assured performance of popular hits along with songs she’s composed herself. “It feels great to be part of day that celebrates disabled people’s talents and gifts,” she says. “I’m proud to identify as a disabled person and some of my songs draw on this lived experience in a fun and lighthearted way. For me it’s just about us all learning to accept each other as we are – and music’s my way of spreading that message.”

The event was a partnership between CCS Disability Action and Auckland Council’s Disability Advisory Panel who was represented by Human Rights Lawyer and disabled persons advocate Dr Huhana Hickey and Councillor Sharon Stewart who acts as a liaison between councillors and the panel.

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