Monthly Archives: February 2009

New Blogs on the block

The blogosphere is like the Universe in the Monty Python song which “keeps on expanding and expanding in all of the directions it can whiz.” I could spend 24 hours a day or more and still never read even all the blogs which might interest me, never mind those which would give me apoplexy, but there are two which I have recently found which might interest readers.

Those of us who are keen on making information accessible talk a lot naturally about accessible web sites. But what about blogs?
How accessible is your blog? All Access Blogging is a blog generally devoted to…well…accessible blogs. What more can I say. It is worth a visit.

In these grim times it is encouraging to see the EEO Commissioner in her National Conversation about Work instituting a new blog on disabled people at work.

Those of us who care about employment issues need to get involved in the process so our voices are heard and our issues included.

On that note I do hope disability interests will be heard at the Employment Summit on 27th. There will be a representative there from DPA so good luck, especially if you are the only one!

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Filed under Disability Issues, Disability Rights, Web Accessibility

Eamon Daly 1969 – 2009

One of the very hard things about being part of the disability community is that many people in it do not live to make old bones. We must mourn for people before they nay have finished their life’s work, or before their potential is fully realised, or simply before they reach a proper old age.

Just a few days ago in Christchurch a large number of people from all over New Zealand gathered to celebrate the life of Eamon Daly, who had recently been elected president of DPA among his many other community and social activities. He was close to completing his PHD and lived life to the full, as you would expect from someone who was barely forty.

Sometimes we learn more about someone when they die than we knew about them in life. I had been looking forward to getting to know Eamon better, and working with him in his role as DPA president.

Eamon still had a great deal to give in all aspects of life. He will be sadly missed by many.

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Filed under Disability Rights

Education for all in NZ… Yeah right!

The world of disability is full of irony and paradox. The past week’s events have been no exception. Media attention has focused on truancy in our schools, with a fair bit of righteous outrage about children and young people who don’t attend school because they are disaffected, school is not where they want to be and it doesn’t engage them, or they think there are better things they can do with their time. What shall we do is the cry? Who do we punish and how? What so we do with these kids?

I am possibly a bit naive to wish that the same level of public indignation and energy could be raised about the disabled children who are denied equal access to their local schools, despite the law. Who but their families and some activists care if they are engaged in learning or not? We are assured it would be too difficult and expensive and ‘we don’t have the resources.’ The children who are truanting also need specialist help and resources I suspect.

It all leads me to wonder how many kids the schools really do serve if thousands are truanting and others are unacceptable.

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Filed under Disability Issues, Disability Rights