Prominent international disability advocate to visit New Zealand

Media Advisory: Prominent international disability advocate David Lepofsky to visit New Zealand - 01 September 2017

The Blind Foundation is proud to bring renowned disability rights campaigner David Lepofsky to New Zealand to speak on behalf of The Access Alliance Access Matters campaign on the need for Parliament to pass Accessibility Legislation.

Lepofsky is an acclaimed Lawyer, Activist, and Academic who helped pass pivotal pieces of Canadian accessibility legislation; a disability amendment to the charter of rights, the Ontarians with Disabilities Act 2001 and the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act 2005.

The Access Alliance, a group of 12 organizations in the disability sector, has invited David to speak at the Connecting the Dots conference (supported by JR McKenzie Trust and Sudima Hotel (Hind Management Group)) for disability advocates. The Alliance is advocating for a New Zealand Accessibility Act, inspired by David’s Canadian work.

David will be in the country and available for media Monday 4th September-Saturday 9th September. He is traveling to Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch, and Dunedin. Full details below.

The Access Matters campaign for Accessibility Legislation in the next parliamentary term has support so far from the Green Party and others are expected to make announcements before the election. There will be a candidates forum hosted by My Voice Matters following the Connecting the Dots conference on Monday the 4th of September with; Tracey Martin, NZ First, Mojo Mathers, Green, Aupito William Sio, Labour, Cinnamon Whitlock, Maori Party, and Teresa Moore, Opportunities Party Co-Deputy Leader.

Lepofsky has been awarded some of his country’s highest honors. Those include investiture in the Order of Canada (1995), the Order of Ontario (2007), and the Terry Fox Hall of Fame (2003), honorary doctorates from Queen's University and the University of Western Ontario, and awards from other organizations including e.g. the City of Toronto, the Law Society of Upper Canada, the Ontario Bar Association Public Lawyers Section, the Advocates Society, the Ontario Crown Attorneys Association, the Ontario March of Dimes and Community Living Ontario.

He is the author of one law book, and the author or co-author of 30 law journal articles or book chapters on topics including constitutional law, criminal law, administrative law, human rights, and the rights of persons with disabilities. He has lectured on topics including these across Canada, and in the U.S., Israel, Ireland, Denmark and Belgium.

Public Events
Monday 4 September 3:00-5.30pm: The My Voice Matters Political Candidates Forum - Sudima Hotel Auckland Airport.
Tuesday 5 September 5:30-7:00pm: AUT Law School - WA224 Conference Room AUT City Campus 55 Wellesley Street, Auckland.
Thursday 7 September 6-8pm: Otago University Law Faculty, Dunedin.

For more information and interview requests contact:
Kristin Gillies
Email: kristin@forpurpose.co.nz
Mobile: 021 065 8460


About The Access Alliance
The Access Alliance is a collaborative of twelve national disabled people’s organisations, disability service providers, community organisations and disability advocates, working together to remove the barriers disabled New Zealanders face and build a New Zealand that is accessible to everyone. Collectively, the members assist over 763,000 New Zealanders.
The Access Alliance members include Auckland Disability Law, Blind Foundation, CCS Disability Action, Deaf Aotearoa, Disabled Person’s Assembly, Parents of Vision Impaired New Zealanders, Inclusive New Zealand, Kāpō Māori Aotearoa, Blind Citizens New Zealand, National Foundation of the Deaf, People First, and the Cerebral Palsy Society. Other organisations are invited to join.
For more information, go to accessalliance.org.nz


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