Wrapping up 2010

As we approach the end of the usual Lemming-like rush towards Christmas and the holiday season we begin to take stock of the year that was. In my household that process has been disrupted by a flood from an apartment two floors above, resulting in the appearance of two large, loud and breezy driers in our hallway. Trying to work in my office was like being on a long-haul flight with the gale inside the plane.

Still we are dry and quiet now and I can belatedly reflect on the events of 2010. This year saw the end of my eight year term as a human rights commissioner with responsibility for disability issues. A wrench to stop doing something I love but I still retain connections and I am delighted that a fulltime disability human rights commissioner will be appointed.

This year has seen a raft of reports and research around disability rights and social welfare, and the beginnings of the Improving Attitudes and Behaviour towards Disabled People campaign. It will be interesting to see it develop and to measure its achievements in my daily life as a disabled person.

I was relieved that none of my family or friends were injured or lost their homes or livelihoods in the frightening earthquake in Canterbury.

We have seen the passing of disabled friends, colleagues and activists and mourned our loss while giving thanks for their enormous and valuable contribution to the disability community.

New beginnings are also evident. We travelled south for a (freezing) midwinter family wedding and our daughter came home from the UK summer to share the celebrations lasting a whole delightful weekend.

At AccEase we are broadening our scope of disability work, and I have relished developing new products and establishing collaborative relationships including some with international organisations..

I wish readers and friends a very happy Christmas, if you celebrate it, and a pleasant, safe and restful holiday with a resurgence of energy for the work still to be done. Our beautiful pohutukawa trees are in full bloom in the sunny summer this year. I hope they are a good omen for us all, bringing a prosperous, rights based and peaceful 2011.

Red pohutukawa flower with leaf. NZ Christmas tree.

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