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No Deaf Telephone Relay Action

No Deaf Telephone Relay Action Despite Commission Opinion

A Protest is being organised for Wellington on May 14-16 over 3 days. May 14th is the major day while the 15th and 16th May are follow up protest days just in case. Details of this protest will be circulated to all Deaf Communities in New Zealand in the next week.

Even after 7 years of lobbying for a Relay Service in New Zealand through the New Zealand Government and the Human Rights Commission, there is still no sign of action on a 24 hour / 7 days a week Relay Service in New Zealand.

Kim Robinson and Victoria Manning need the support of the Deaf Community to succeed in this lobby. Recently the Human Rights Commission announced an opinion that Telecom and Clear Communications (Now TelstraClear) have breached the Human Rights Act by not providing access to its voice telephone network. Access is made through the use of available technological systems such as a Relay Service that is available in developed countries around the world. There will be a media release about this next week.

It is not just the Deaf Community that needs to protest about the New Zealand Governments inaction. People with speech-impairments, Hearing-impaired, Hearing people are also affected. Not having a Relay Service affects more than 1 million people a day in New Zealand. This represents a high economical sector that is lost through discrimination. Eg. Jobs requiring use of the telephone to communicate information. Lack of access to important Health Information through verbal communication.

The Protest is aimed at showing the New Zealand Government that is issue can no longer be ignored and delayed for long periods of time. People need access to the best available telecommunications system NOW!!!

How can you help?

* A donation pledge will be circulating the New Zealand Deaf Community asking for donations to assist with this lobby by protesting / lobbying the New Zealand Government.

* There will be Protest T-shirts on sale soon: "Let your fingers do the talking -- Relay Service Now." Keep watch for these.

* Information of Protest will be posted on Teletext Page 503.

* A website with this information will be available soon at: http://www.ideaf.com/nzrelay/

* It is recommended that you go to your Deaf Club to get regular weekly updates and information to help with this protest.

* More information will follow next week.

We need all available help to make this a success. Your help would be very much appreciated. Tell your friends and Family about this - get them involved.

If you can assist in any way please contact:
Kim Robinson Fax (09) 832 6112
6a Helena St Sms 021 1348126

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