Minister Commends Decision to support Mojo Mathers   10 Mar 2012

New Zealand Government


Hon Tariana Turia
Minister for Disability Issues

9 March 2012 Media Statement

Minister for Disability Issues Commends Decision to support Mojo Mathers

The Hon Tariana Turia, Minister for Disability Issues, congratulates the Speaker of the House, Rt Hon Lockwood Smith, for making funds permanently available for electronic note-takers to support Deaf MP Mojo Mathers to fulfil her role and responsibilities as a Member of Parliament.

"While the process to secure the funding took some time, the outcome was successful for Ms Mathers as well as for the House of Representatives by making sure all of its members can participate" said Minister Turia.

“ The process has also given New Zealanders an increased awareness of some of the barriers disabled people face in the work place as well as the effort it takes to “get it right”.

"The decision to fund an electronic note-taker for Ms Mathers shows leadership from the Speaker by demonstrating a clear example of how employers need to make reasonable accommodations in the work place so that everyone has the same opportunities to participate and contribute”.

Minister Turia describes a reasonable accommodation as an adjustment made to "accommodate" or make fair the same system for an individual based on a proven need”.

Minister Turia also supports the development of a captioning service in the House. “This is a service that displays the spoken word into text on a television , video screen or other visual display to provide additional or interpretive information to individuals who wish to access it”.

“Once developed, this service will benefit all hearing impaired and Deaf people by providing a service that they too can use when watching proceedings in the House of Representatives” said the Minister.

“It would be great to see Parliament TV in the same league as Sky TV, TVNZ and TV3; offering closed captioning services across its network. It will be another step towards achieving a truly inclusive society.”

ends

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