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David Lepofsky Accessibility Policy Law Lecture

David Lepofsky, a leading Canadian disability rights lawyer, activist and advocate, who has advised on accessibility legislation for over 25 years, addressed the Auckland University Policy Law School on the 12 Nov 2018.

In this lecture, David discusses why we need legislation and how it might be implemented with some lessons from the Canadian experience. 

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Christchurch disability activists join movement

Christchurch disability activists join the nation-wide movement for disability rights law – Canadian Disability Advocate calls for a campaign for the New Zealand Government to “just say yes” to a New Zealand accessibility law

On Tuesday 12 November from 1pm to 2pm media are invited to attend a news conference at the Blind Foundation, 4 Maunsell Rd Parnell, Auckland to hear Canadian disability rights advocate and blind law professor David Lepofsky report his 8-day blitz across New Zealand, as a guest of the Blind Foundation and Access Alliance. As part of this blitz, last Friday 9 November, people with disabilities, whanau and their allies discussed what needs to be in New Zealand’s accessibility legislation, to make Christchurch accessible for everyone.

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Transcript of our Stories Presentation at Parliament

Chrissie Cowan - Access Alliance Chair

"Korihi te manu, takiri mai i te ata,
Ka ao, ka ao, ka awatea,
Tihei mauri ora.

E te Atua tēnā koe
E te Minita Sepuloni tēnā koe
E ngā manuhiri tēnā koutou
Tēnā koutou ki a koutou kua tae mai nei ki te tautoko te kaupapa o tenei rā. No reira tēnā koutou katoa

Minita Sepuloni, e te whaea Poto Williams chair of the Parliamentary Champions for Accessible Legislation (PCAL), members of PCAL, members of parliament, Paula Tesoriero, Acting Chief Commissioner and Disability Rights Commissioner, Office for disability issues representatives, other government officials, Access Matters Campaigners and Access Alliance organization representatives nau mai, haere mai, welcome.

I would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge Alani Vailahi from Minister Sepuloni’s office and David Cunningham from Parliamentary Security Operations for helping our team to find a warm and dry venue here at Bowen House ngā mihi ki a korua ...

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Our Stories Booklet

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Disability Advocates to present stories at Parliament

Disability Advocates to present stories at Parliament
Tuesday, 4 September 2018, 8:32 am
Press Release: Access Alliance

Disability Advocates to present stories at Parliament in Support of an Accessibility Act

Accessibility campaigners will assemble at Parliament today in a public presentation of their personal stories to Minister for Disability Issues, Hon. Carmel Sepuloni.

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Join us at Parliament for our Stories Booklet Presentation

We're very excited to announce that on September 4, we'll be presenting Minister Sepuloni with our stories booklet at Parliament. All supporters welcome. We are calling on Minister Sepuloni to prioritise introducing an accessibility law by May 2020, within this term of Government. The event will be NZSL-interpreted and streamed live on our Facebook page. It will also be filmed.

When: Tuesday September 4, from 11am to 12pm - live streaming of the presentation from 11:30am

Where: *VENUE CHANGE* Bowen House, 74-80 Lambton Quay, corner of Lambton and Bowen.  Just across the road from the Beehive.

Important accessibility arrival information:

  • Please email Áine at akelly-costello@blindfoundation.org.nz if you will need a Mobility parking spot - these are unfortunately at a premium on Parliament grounds but Security will do their best to ensure there are parks available for those needing them.

RSVP now and add your name to the booklet we're presenting

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A Campaign Update from Mary Fisher

Kia Ora, 

My name is Mary Fisher. I’m a blind swimmer, postgrad student and active Access Matters campaigner. I’ve been lucky enough to

 be part of several Access Alliance delegations to Parliament recently and wanted to update you on the positive progress toward putting accessibility law at the heart of a more inclusive Aotearoa.

Cover of the Access Matters booklet is pink and has white text that says \

In the last three weeks, representatives from the Access Alliance have been meeting with key MPs and Ministers. Meanwhile, grassroots campaigners from Warkworth to Nelson have been doing likewise with their local MPs. Everywhere we go we have been delivering our beautiful booklets full of stories from our community about the barriers we face daily and how an accessibility law can change all of our lives for the better.

Here are a few highlights from our meetings:

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Just Announced: "An Act to Ensure a Barrier-Free Canada"

Canadian Parliament today made history by holding the first reading of an Act to ensure a Barrier-Free Canada!
 
This is an accessibility act that many Canadians with disabilities campaigned for in the lead-up to the 2015 Federal election, and inputted on in earlier consultation stages. Disability advocates Canada-wide are now scrutinising it to see if they believe it is up to the task of playing the role it can in making Canada truly accessible.
 
In the meantime, disabled and deaf New Zealanders and supporters are watching with great interest. We’re urging our own Minister of Disability Issues Hon. Carmel Sepuloni to take the important step of committing the introduce an Accessibility Act for our country.
 
You can take action to encourage her by sharing a story of an access barrier you face and how a law change could help to remove it. We’re bringing your stories to MPs around the country so they can support Minister Sepuloni in her decision. Add your voice: https://www.accessalliance.org.nz/share_a_story

The media release from Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act Alliance follows:

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Edinburgh's choice - improve or exclude

As our city streets become more crowded and businesses increasingly compete to attract the attention of the passer-by, our footpaths are increasingly becoming an obstacle course to be negotiated. As temporary signage and outdoor seating encroach more and more into pedestrian thoroughfares we are excluding more and more of the very people that businesses are trying to attract. 

The Scottish city of Edinburgh has taken the leap and is working with business owners and disability advocates to ensure it's city streets are kept clear of clutter and open an accessible to everyone.

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Harnessing Digital Accessibility

The digital world is an increasingly vital part of our lives. Here we are, right now. You, me, and your device. You, me, your device, and millions of other kiwis perusing online spheres for information, love, consumer items, friendship, or education.

Perhaps today in the digital world you’ll get a job, pay a bill, or express yourself through an emoji. Maybe you’ll order groceries, find out how to get somewhere, or post a selfie. Whatever you do, there’s no denying that accessing the digital world is not just an add on anymore, for convenience. It’s now a basic human right, and it’s something that most of us find we need access to in order to be active and included members of society.

But is the digital world built for everyone? At the moment it isn’t, but it could be.

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