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VIP calendar highlights disability issues

VIP calendar highlights disability issues

An 18-month calendar promoting the New Zealand Disability Strategy will increase public awareness and support for people with disabilities, Disability Issues Minister Ruth Dyson said today.

Speaking by video link at the launch of the calendar, Ms Dyson congratulated Ripple Trust, an Auckland disability organisation, for developing the VIP Calendar.

“The calendar offers practical and creative ways to action the disability strategy's 15 objectives. Catchy monthly statements like ‘Everything about us with us’, ‘Remember – life is about having fun – for everyone!’ ‘Value and respect our right to live where we choose’, and ‘Keep labels for cans’ are useful reminders that people with disabilities have the same aspirations as all New Zealanders. The calendar will help ensure all our citizens are VIPs – valued, included and participating fully in society.”

Ms Dyson said the calendar would help to change attitudes.

"Research shows that the biggest barrier facing people with disabilities is other people’s attitudes. The calendar, which I hope will end up in homes and workplaces up and down the country, encourages us to make one change every month in the way we think, talk or act.

“Selected statements have been translated into 15 languages, in recognition that disability crosses all languages and cultures. The calendar is also available in Braille.”

The VIP Calendar is part of a three-year project to implement the disability strategy, initiated by the Ministry of Health Northern Locality and run by Ripple Trust. "Since its launch in April 2001, the disability strategy has given new impetus and confidence to the disability movement, and encouraged excellent initiatives in many communities. This calendar is another fine example of leadership by people with disabilities,” Ruth Dyson said.

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