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Melbourne hosts AFDO human rights conference

The Australian Federation of Disability Organisations (AFDO) is holding a conference in Melbourne from 28-29 May to discuss the challenges of actualising the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UN CRPD) within Australia.

The issues addressed will range from monitoring what the Government does to improve the lives of Australians with disabilities – including implementing policies and making them reality – to ensuring that these Australians have a strong and veritable voice to speak for themselves.

The AFDO says that the Federal Government’s decision to ratify the UN CRPD raised hope of improved circumstances for the future. Even so, the organisation says human rights issues remain a very present, everyday concern for Australians living with disabilities – such as buildings without ramps or lifts, refusals to teach Australian sign language (Auslan) to deaf schoolchildren, and the battle to have utility bills sent in Braille.

A keynote speaker at the AFDO Conference will be leading human rights lawyer and advocate Tina Minkowitz, who specialises in issues surrounding people with psycho social disabilities.

AFDO Chief Executive Officer Lesley Hall said “This conference is a critical turning point for how governments, disability service providers and people with disabilities look at the lives of people with disabilities.

“We hope to bring people to a point where they understand that access and freedom of choice are a basic right for everyone.”

The conference will take place at Melbourne’s Jasper Hotel on 28 and 29 May.

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