Monthly Archives: January 2008

New Year honours for disabled people, and God versus Mammon

One of the great things about writing a disability blog is that I can celebrate the achievements of disabled people. In this year’s New Year’s Honours List there were several honours for service to disabled people. Congratulations to all those people.

I know two of those people well. Bill Wrightson has worked tirelessly for years on access to the built environment. If I need any info on that topic it is always Bill I turn to. His advice is always thoughtful and sound. He has made a huge contribution in his field.
Good on you Bill!

Robert Martin must surely be the first person with an intellectual disability to become a member of the Order of Merit. As the first person, and probably still the only person with an intellectual disability to speak at the UN he is someone I admire enormously. The thing that always struck me about Robert’s life is that he grew up in Kimberly during the sixties and had never heard of the All Blacks! That speaks volumes to me. He is now of course a huge fan. The other thing is that he led a revolt in a sheltered workshop long before any government mooted the repeal of the DPEP Act.
Great stuff Robert!

New Year’s Eve was fairly quiet in this corner of Wellington. We spent the evening sampling the ‘rocket fuel’ very alcoholic eggnog punch contributed by a friend. As we contemplated the Wellington skyline ­ we have a good view across to Mt Vic ­ we couldn’t help but reflect on the relative position of God and Mammon in the twenty-first Century. The fitful gleam of the Christmas cross on the top of Mt Victoria is out-glared by the sign on the crane dominating the view from our window. We wondered what purpose the sign served. Who but disgruntled apartment dwellers like us can see it, and I can’t remember the last time I needed a crane.

After a few more glasses we speculated about the possibility of a sniper attack to “take out” the interloper. Not that any of us would know what to do with a rifle even if we had one. What price energy saving and global warming? If the corporates so obviously don’t care why on earth should I?

Before anyone asks me what relevance the last few paragraphs have to information accessibility, disability issues etc, let me remind you that I am a well-rounded person, sadly in every sense following the festive season, and therefore will blog about whatever else takes my fancy!

Happy New Year!

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