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DPA response to remark made by Kim Campbell

Disabled people need industry leaders to dispel incorrect public attitudes

The Disabled Persons Assembly (DPA) wants to challenge the remark made by the Chief Executive of the Employers and Manufacturers Association Kim Campbell on Radio New Zealand yesterday morning.

Regarding the need to legislate on education standards Mr Campbell made a remark about disabled people which implied that disabled people were not expected to become educated, and by implication good New Zealand citizens, who could be entrusted with the responsibilities of employment

DPA Community Networker Chris Ford says, “As a member of DPA, a wheelchair user, someone with a good education and the firm belief that I am a fully participating citizen of New Zealand I would like to invite Mr Campbell to rethink his views on this issue.

“Mr Campbell seems to be embracing a stereotype about disabled people that needs to be challenged so disabled people aren’t further hindered by negative public attitudes.”

“Despite my education and my ability to get on with others I have always had trouble gaining consistent employment and I put this down to negative public attitudes about how I would manage in the workplace because I use a wheelchair.”

“We look to industry leaders like Mr Campbell to become fully informed about disability issues so they can help us dispel public fears about the diversity of people who live in this country.

Mr Ford says, “I would be more than happy to meet and talk with Mr Campbell, together with other disability community representatives, about how disabled people can contribute to New Zealand’s economy and enjoy educational success.

“After all, in the last Census, 25 percent of New Zealanders identified as having a disability and that’s a lot of people”, says Mr Ford.

DPA is a national organisation of disabled people who advocate for full citizenship rights for disabled people in New Zealand.


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