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NZ disability group awarded US$50,000 grant

Hon Ruth Dyson
Minister for Social Development & Employment

4 April 2008 Media Statement

NZ disability group awarded US$50,000 grant

The Disabled Persons Assembly (DPA) has been awarded a US $50,000 grant as part of the Franklin Delano Roosevelt International Disability Award, announced Disability Issues Minister Ruth Dyson today.

The prestigious Roosevelt Award has been won by the New Zealand Government in recognition of the progress made in advancing the participation of disabled people across New Zealand society. The US $50,000 grant, which is part of the Award, is given to an outstanding non-government disability organisation selected by the winning country.

“Twenty four New Zealand disability organisations applied for the grant, including consumer advocacy groups and service providers, at both regional and national levels. I want to congratulate all those who applied, the standard was very high and some wonderful projects were proposed.”

DPA’s application for the grant was supported by People First and CCS Disability Action. “It’s great to see disabled people and service providers working together and supporting each other to make a more inclusive society,” said Ruth Dyson.

DPA will use the funding to promote the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities as a major ongoing event in the lives of New Zealanders, and to create a diversity action programme, using disabled people as teachers.

The Franklin Delano Roosevelt International Disability Award will be formally presented to the New Zealand Government in a ceremony at the United Nations in May.

In the spirit of partnership with disabled people, our government is also funding a member of DPA to travel to New York to participate in the Award ceremony and accept the Roosevelt grant.


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Background

What is the Roosevelt Award?
The Franklin Delano Roosevelt International Disability Award is sponsored by the World Committee on Disability and the Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt Institute. It is given annually to a nation for noteworthy progress in achieving the full participation of its disabled citizens.
In recognition of its importance, the award ceremony is held at the United Nations, where the Head of State of the recipient nation is presented with a bust of President Roosevelt to be housed in its legislative chamber. A grant of US $50,000 is also presented to an outstanding non-governmental disability organisation selected by the winning country.

Why did we win it?
The 2007 Roosevelt Award has been granted to New Zealand for its achievements in promoting a truly inclusive society where disabled people are valued and fully participate. In particular, New Zealand has been recognised for the lead role it played at the United Nations in the development of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

What were the criteria used to choose the grant recipient?
The organisation had to be a New Zealand non-profit working in the disability sector, that can demonstrate their work has resulted in real changes in the lives of disabled people and their families, has a track record of promoting inclusion of disabled people in society and involves disabled people in different roles within the organisation.
The organisation had to demonstrate achievements in at least one of the following areas:
- building the skills and knowledge of disabled people, providing them with opportunities to experience leadership roles, and increasing the numbers of disabled people working as leaders of their sector and/or of society.
- advancing the rights of disabled people and their inclusion in New Zealand society, and how this has changed people’s behaviour and attitudes.
- improving the responsiveness of New Zealand society to disabled people.
The organisation had to identify how the grant would be used for disabled people, how this relates to the objectives of the New Zealand Disability Strategy or the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, and how disabled people will be involved.


ENDS

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