Lifemark for a Lifetime of Design

In his May budget Finance Minister Bill English had some good news for disabled people - including a one and a half million dollar boost to the project that's helping to make housing design disability friendly. That's according to CCS Disability Action chief executive Viv Maidaborn, who says years have been spent trying to get accessibility standards adopted by the building industry, without success. Viv Maidaborn says twenty years of failing to get improved access regulations led to the adoption of a markedly different approach - mobilising consumer power around 'Lifetime Design'.

Viv Maidaborn, chair of Lifemark.
CCS Disability Action CEO and lifetime design promoter Viv Maidaborn.

Meet the Australian - or should that be Australasian - who's heading up the disability rights international monitoring committee

Now that the government has ratified the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, it will have to report to the UN on progress in making the Convention's requirements a reality for disabled people. And that information will be shadowed by a non government report that'll take into account the experiences of disabled people gathered under the auspices of the Disability Rights Promotion International project we heard about last time. The job of hearing both reports falls to the international committee set up under the Disability rights Convention. It's a normal procedure in having what's called a Treaty body to monitor progress with UN human rights agreements. What's a first for the UN is that this treaty body has a majority of disabled people as its members.Including the man who's taken the role of Chair - labour law professor Ron McCallum from Sydney. Ron McCallum made his first visit to NZ as Chair recently, as a guest of our Human Rights Commission. He says back in 2008 he was one of twenty three people nominated for the international committee - with only twelve spots on offer in the first election at the UN Headquarters in New York.