Press Release – Be Institute
“Some of the greatest leaders throughout history have been people living with a disability,” says Be. Institute Chief Executive Minnie Baragwanath, “and on Saturday night, 19 more amazing leaders are stepping into the spotlight to help shape …2 December 2011
Be. Leadership participants graduate on UN International Day for Persons with Disabilities
“Some of the greatest leaders throughout history have been people living with a disability,” says Be. Institute Chief Executive Minnie Baragwanath, “and on Saturday night, 19 more amazing leaders are stepping into the spotlight to help shape the future of New Zealand.”
The participants of the Be. Leadership Programme 2011 will graduate on Saturday 3 December at an event at the Auckland Art Gallery, coinciding with the United Nations International Day for Persons with Disabilities.
These nineteen graduates, living with a range of abilities, have spent the past year strengthening and developing their leadership skills through a programme of conversation, inquiry and reflection. And they will now use these skills to make a positive contribution to the future of New Zealand, both in accessibility issues, and the wider community.
A range of guests will be attending the event, including the Auckland Mayor Len Brown and Deputy Mayor Penny Hulse, as well as Be. Leadership funders Te Pou, Manawanui in Charge, and the Ministry of Social Development, and of course the families and friends of the graduates.
The Be. Leadership Programme is the first of its kind, taking approximately 20 participants each year to create a forum of listening, questioning and exploring different perspectives on a wide range of issues.
Throughout the course of the programme, the participants have met and heard from many inspiring guest speakers such as the Minister for Disability Issues Tariana Turia, Be. Institute trustee and Chief Executive of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade John Allen, and media commentator Russell Brown.
While these participants are often already leaders in the community, the Be. Leadership Programme hopes to develop their leadership skills in the broadest sense so that they can contribute to the wider Be. Accessible Campaign goal of increasing meaningful participation by disabled people in society.
The Be. Accessible social change campaign has a vision for a 100% accessible country for us all, and aims to achieve this through a number of programmes of which Be. Leadership is one.
More information about each of the graduating leaders is available in the Be. Media Accessibility Pack, which you can get a copy of by contacting the Be. Institute at email@example.com or 0800 Be. In Touch (0800 234 686).
Key Facts about Accessibility
• 1 in 5 New Zealanders live with a disability of some kind
• 45% of people over 65 have at least one impairment and this number will grow over the next decade
• People with access needs face significant barriers to making a valuable contribution to society, such as: (Disability Survey, 2006)
o Less educational qualifications
o Less employment opportunities
o Lower personal incomes
o Less likelihood of having the support of a partner or spouse