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International Day to celebrate disabled people

Hon Ruth Dyson
Minister for Disability Issues

2 December 2005 Media Statement

International Day to celebrate disabled people


A New Zealand Sign Language-interpreted zoo encounter, multi-cultural Pacific festival, art expo, afternoon of film and dance, and pub poetry reading are among events planned around the country during December to celebrate tomorrow’s International Day of Disabled People (3 December).

Disability Issues Minister Ruth Dyson said the international day, which has been observed by the United Nations since 1992, provided a great opportunity to reflect on progress to uphold the rights of disabled people.

“Since the Labour-led government came into office in 1999, we have appointed a Minister for Disability Issues, an advocate on all policy issues. We have developed the New Zealand Disability Strategy, a framework of action based on a human rights model, for removing barriers to inclusion in society. And we have set up the Office for Disability Issues to help government departments and agencies prepare their plans to implement the strategy and monitor its delivery.”

Ruth Dyson said achievements included:

- progress on legislation to make New Zealand Sign Language an official language;

- establishment of a telephone relay service for people who are deaf, or have hearing or speech impairments;

- a lead role for New Zealand in developing a United Nations convention on the rights of disabled people;

- a doubling of the budget for the Total Mobility subsidised-taxi scheme, which would lead to better services and a 60 per cent increase in the number of users over the next three years;

- a review of long-term disability support services; and

- work to improve employment opportunities for disabled people.

“Our government is committed to building a nation where disabled people are valued and able to contribute to their full capacity. Our approach to disability issues will continue to be based on an ongoing commitment to human rights, partnership and inclusion,” Ruth Dyson said.

The fifth progress report on implementing the New Zealand Disability Strategy will be tabled in Parliament this month.

Attached is a list of local events to celebrate International Day of Disabled People

ENDS

International Day of Disabled People 2005 – Events around New Zealand

AUCKLAND

Summer at Auckland Zoo: a New Zealand Sign Language-interpreted encounter at Auckland Zoo is a chance to see the animals in a whole new light.

Sunday 4 December 2005, Sunday 15 January 2006, Sunday 19 February 2006.

For prices and more information, check out: http://www.aucklandzoo.co.nz/aucklandzoo/news_
item.php?id=1132793219&archiveYear=&page=1

Pacific Information Advocacy and Support Services Trust multi-cultural event with food, arts and crafts as well as demonstrations and performances.

Friday 9 December, 10am-2.30pm at the Otara Leisure Centre, 115 Baird Rd, Otara.

WAITEMATA

Pathway to Diversity: an art expo hosted by Waitemata DHB at Waitakere Hospital, 55-75 Lincoln Rd, Henderson, 3-6 December. There will be a silent auction of the artworks on 6 Dec.

For more information, contact Bryony Hilless (Communications Manager, Waitemata DHB).
phone (09) 486 8955, email: bryony.hilless@waitematadhb.govt.nz

WELLINGTON

Celebrating the Good Life! International Day of the Disabled

Saturday, 3 December, Rangimarie Rooms, Level 3 and the Marae, Level 4, Te Papa.

11-12 noon: The Genetic Revolution 'Promise and Peril' Lecture series. Free entry.
Media Coverage of Human Genetic Research, presented by Prof Jenny Kitzinger of Cardiff University.

12.30-2.00pm: Disability, Biotechnology and the Good Life, presented by Assoc Prof Christopher Newell from the School of Medicine in Tasmania, followed by a panel discussion. Free entry.

2.15-4.30pm: Celebrating the Good Life! International Day of the Disabled (Free entry).

2.15pm-2.30pm: documentary screening - Tim.

2.30pm-2.45pm: short film - Beauty.

2.45-2.50pm: short film - Land of the Deaf. (In a world where everyone is Deaf and communicates in NZ Sign Language, one woman starts to lose her deafness. Eventually she becomes profoundly hearing and must learn to cope with her disability).

2.45pm -3.45pm: Dis/Ability Onscreen panel discussion on how disabled people are portrayed onscreen.

4.00pm-4.30pm: Touch Compass Dance Trust performance, New Zealand's only professional mixed ability dance company.

For more information, go to: http://www.tepapa.govt.nz/TePapa/English/WhatsOn/Events/UpcomingEvents/DisabledDay/

CHRISTCHURCH

Special Olympics New Zealand: Asia/Pacific National Games are being held at various venues around the city from 1-3 December.

Check out www.specialolympics.org.nz for more information.

DUNEDIN

Bus ride and poetry reading by Dunedin DPA members to highlight the difficulty some disabled people have in using public transport.

5pm, Saturday 3 Dec. Meet at the George/Albany St bus stop. The group will get off the bus at Filadelfio's bar/café (3 North Road) @ 5.30/6pm for drinks and poetry.

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