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RSVP Productions wins EEO Trust Award

RSVP Productions wins EEO Trust Award

A television production company that tells stories about the lifestyle, issues and achievements of people who live with a disability has itself won an award.

RSVP Productions was awarded the 2009 EEO Trust Work and Life Award for workplace diversity at a ceremony in Auckland last night.

Founded by documentary maker Robyn Scott-Vincent, RSVP Productions produces the Sunday morning TV One programme “Attitude”.

The EEO Trust Work and Life Awards, now in their 12th year, celebrate organisations that actively invest in their businesses by investing in diverse workforces.

Robyn says when the company started making the show five years ago, New Zealand didn't appear to have any young presenters, producers or editors with disabilities, despite the fact that one in five New Zealanders live with disability. Since then the company has sought to turn its presenters into role models for the disability sector in New Zealand.

“But these young presenters are also waving the flag and showing all of New Zealand that everyone disabled or non-disabled just want ‘an ordinary life’.

“Unemployment is a huge issue for New Zealanders who live with a disability. For example only 17% of people who have a spinal injury ever return to work. Mostly that’s because they struggle to find supportive employers. The really sad thing is that those employers are missing out on making their workplace a much richer place. It would be fantastic if diversity was seen as a plus and became the goal of all employers,” says Robyn.

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RSVP Productions strives to ensure its production crew face no physical barriers and provides workplace flexibility. Employees who need to work from home from time to time are provided with technical support, made possible in part by Government equipment grants.

The production company now has a team of 11 that includes four people who are quadriplegic, one person who is a paraplegic and another who has cerebral palsy.

The award was presented by the Minister for Disability Issues Tariana Turia at a dinner held at the Auckland War Memorial Museum on October 29.


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