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Telecommunications Inq. Ignores Disability Sector

Foundation For The Blind Dismayed That Ministry Inquiry Into
Telecommunications Ignores Disability Sector

Media Release From The Royal New Zealand Foundation For The
Blind
-----------------------------------------------------------

The Royal New Zealand Foundation for the Blind (RNZFB) is dismayed to note that the Ministerial Inquiry into Telecommunications has in part, been reduced by Government to economic objectives and largely ignores the disability sector.

Jane Holden, Chief Executive of the RNZFB says that "while there are some positive recommendations, I am extremely disappointed to note that no concrete action has been taken to ensure the equal participation by disabled New Zealander's in accessing and using telecommunications. Given the high degree of technological innovations and the consequent potential increased
participation in the electronic age by disabled New Zealanders particularly the blind and sight-impaired we are most concerned that the Minister has not accepted the recommendation to establish a Disability Advisory Commission.

"This would in fact have brought us in line with international trends. By not adopting the recommendation to establish a Disability Advisory Commission, Government has not acknowledged the importance of input from disabled citizens in this country.

"The RNZFB will be actively pursuing this issue with the Minister to ensure that the social objectives of this Government as they relate to people with disabilities are not simply consultation with no follow up. This country needs to take active steps if we are to truly value the contribution of
disabled New Zealanders in all aspects of life. Acceptance of the recommendation could have been a real first step." ENDS

ENDS

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