Press Release – Deaf Aotearoa
Deaf Aotearoa Chief Executive Rachel Noble is not surprised by Parliament’s Speaker ’s refusal to fund support for the country’s first Deaf MP, Mojo Mathers. Deaf Aotearoa Response to Deaf MP Funding Row
Deaf Aotearoa Chief Executive Rachel Noble is not surprised by Parliament’s Speaker ’s refusal to fund support for the country’s first Deaf MP, Mojo Mathers.
Ms Noble says Deaf people have had to face this type of discrimination for years.
“What’s happening to Mojo shows that there is still a lot of work to be done for Deaf people to be fully allowed to participate in society,” says Ms Noble.
“When people think of accessibility they often think of providing wheelchair access for the disabled. But, for the deaf and blind accessibility is about having the resources that we need to perform in work, education or as a parent. It’s hard work to be continually fighting for our rights.”
Ms Noble says Deaf Aotearoa has for several years been calling on the government to work with it to resolve these barriers.
“At the moment, every government department has a different set of rules, and we as Deaf individuals have to navigate our way each day when managing our lives,” she says.
“NZ has ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Therefore, has a responsibility to ensure that the convention is upheld, including article 29 which states that people with disabilities can stand for elections, effectively hold office and perform all public functions at all levels of government, facilitating the use of assistive and new technologies where appropriate.”
“By denying Mojo access to workplace assistance, the Speaker of the House is not allowing a Deaf MP to fulfil her role. The government should be leading by example.”
Deaf Aotearoa is the national association of the Deaf in New Zealand. The organisation promotes the awareness of, access to and advancement of the rights of Deaf people and helps ensure they are an active part of society.