Profile: Disabled Persons' Assembly New Zealand
(caption for the above picture, which is courtesy Karim Baradi: Karim Baradi, Co-ordinator of DPA Christchurch & Districts, since 2007; he has earlier worked for the Deaf Society of Canterbury)
"The two biggest hurdles we face in Christchurch, especially during the rebuild, is to ensure that all new buildings are disabled-friendly, and employers are willing to give jobs to people with disability. We, as a country, have come a long way in the last 30-40 years but still a lot of work needs to be done," he says. "Over 20-25 percent of our population suffers from some kind of disability. So it's important that disabled issues are at the forefront of decision-making.” - Karim Baradi
Disabled Persons' Assembly NZ (DPA) is a national lobby and advocacy organisation that promotes the issues facing disabled people. It works to improve access and rights for disabled people in six key areas including:
- human rights,
- education and
It is recognised by the Central Government as the voice of people with disability in New Zealand.
“Our core function is to help engage the New Zealand disability community to listen to the views of disabled people and articulate these as we work with decision makers, both at the local government and national level,” adds Baradi.
"..voice of people with disability in New Zealand.."
“Disabled people if given opportunities and support can be very effective professionally. Take my case for example. I am partially deaf. So when I joined DPA, I was given a special hearing aid which I could fit in my phone. I also needed extra help during meetings with the use of sign language and notes taking, as I was unable to follow what everyone was saying. But with all that support, I have been a very productive DPA employee over the last decade.”