New Zealand Wins Disability Award

New Zealand has been chosen as the recipient of the 2007 Franklin Delano Roosevelt International Disability Award.  

The Award recognizes and encourages progress by nations toward the fulfillment of the goal of the United Nations World Programme of Action Concerning Disabled Persons, according to the Franklin & Eleanor Roosevelt Institute.   

The World Programme prescribes how nations, communities, organizations, religions and people of goodwill everywhere can and must expand the participation of people with disabilities for economic, humanitarian and social reasons.  Furthermore, this award is presented to a nation that has made noteworthy national progress toward this goal. Featured in New Zealand Herald, NZ Cabinet Minister Ruth Dyson talks about this prestigious recognition.

“We are one of the very few countries in the world to have a national strategy with disabled people as its focus,” said Ms Dyson, who is Minister for Social Development with responsibility for disability issues.

“The strategy encourages and educates the community to understand, respect and support disabled New Zealanders.”

“It recognises that society creates barriers that prevent people with impairments from … enjoying the ordinary life that the non-disabled take for granted.”

The Governor-General will collect the Award for New Zealand in 2008. The Award includes a grant of US$50,000 (about NZ$65,000) to a New Zealand non-government organisation (NGO) that can demonstrate an outstanding commitment to disabled people and families.  Pertinent information on the application for the NGO grant has been provided by the Office for Disability Issues.

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