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Disability and Decision 2010 - The Coalition Need to Get it Right - Australia

  • Published: 2010-08-09 : Author: People with Disability Australia Incorporated
  • Synopsis: Lack of awareness of how barriers to social activities can keep people with disability marginalized and excluded in our community.

People with Disability Australia (PWD) was dismayed at Tony Abbott's offhand comment on Monday, referring to access to cinemas for people with disability as "waffle".

Tony Abbott's comments demonstrate a concerning lack of awareness or understanding of how barriers to social activities can keep people with disability marginalized and excluded in our community.

"The comment was a slap in the face for all of us," says Jan Daisley, President of PWD.

"We welcomed the announcement of the Government's Cinema Access Implementation Plan as a breakthrough in reducing the number of people with disability being excluded from mainstream social activities.

"This Plan will enable millions of Deaf Australians, people with hearing impairment, Blind people and those with vision impairment to enjoy what most people in our community take for granted," says Ms Daisley.

PWD has welcomed the commitments made by both major parties to invest in reforming the disability sector, yet is still waiting for the Coalition to commit to working within a human rights framework should they be elected.

Recently, Tony Abbott announced that he would withdraw funding for the National Human Rights Framework if the Coalition is elected. PWD calls on the Coalition to make a commitment to secure the rights of people with disability by announcing how it will meet its obligations under the United Nations Convention under the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD).

"We are concerned that Monday's offhand comment by Mr Abbott indicates a lack of knowledge or awareness of CRPD within the Coalition, especially in light of the fact that accessing cultural services, including cinemas, is a right enshrined in Article 30 of the Convention," says Ms Daisley.

"The Australian Government has ratified CRPD, and regardless of who wins the election, the next Australian Government is required to take appropriate measures to enable persons with disability to participate in community life to the same degree as every other citizen."

People with Disability Australia Incorporated (PWD) is a national disability rights and advocacy organization. Our primary membership is made up of people with disability and organizations mainly constituted by people with disability. We have a cross-disability focus - we represent the interests of people with all kinds of disability. PWD is a non-profit, non-government organization.

Our vision is of a socially just, accessible and inclusive community, in which the human rights, citizenship, contribution, potential and diversity of all people with disability are respected and celebrated. This vision underpins everything that we do.

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