The Access Alliance is commending the actions of the Minister for Disability Issues, Hon. Carmel Sepuloni, after her comments at a moving event at Parliament today.

Disability advocates presented Minister Sepuloni with a giant book full of the individual stories of people who face accessibility barriers every day.

Chair of the Access Alliance and CEO of Alliance member Kāpo Māori Aotearoa, Chrissie Cowan, said, “We are encouraged to hear Minister Sepuloni acknowledge the role of accessibility legislation in many other countries and that she is seriously investigating the role legislation could play in providing a strong mandate for improvements to accessibility here.”

Access Matters campaigner and wheelchair user Juliana Carvalho, who presented the book to the Minister, said, “We all came here today because we want to share our challenges just trying to do the everyday things that others take for granted, like working, studying, catching a bus, getting to a doctor’s appointment, or keeping up with the media.

“We know that changing the law to introduce an Accessibility Act can help remove so many of these barriers.

“We were very encouraged to hear Minister Sepuloni state that addressing accessibility barriers is a major focus moving forward,” said Ms Carvalho.

Ms Cowan also complimented the work done by the Parliamentary Champions for Accessibility Legislation (PCAL).

“We are delighted to have the support of the cross-party champions group to support the development of Accessibility Legislation and I thank Poto Williams and Dr Shane Reti for their contribution to forwarding this important kaupapa”.

Caption: Hon. Minister Carmel Sepuloni with MP’s Poto Williams and Chloe Swarbrick surrounded by Access Matters advocates in pink t-shirts after the event. Photo credit Victor Komarovsky

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