Not long ago, we celebrated Australia Day. Sure Australia has its problems but generally speaking, we do live in a lucky country, free from civil war and a functioning democracy. Our attitude of giving people a fair go is legendary. Unfortunately this is not always put into practice and we are seeing an example of this now with the cinema chains deferring and avoiding the issue of providing access to Deaf/hearing-impaired and Blind/vision impaired Australians. It is not unfair to say they are being very unAustralian with their derogrative and contemptous attitudes towards us.
The United Nation Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities even lists “For everyone to be included, we need to change existing rules, attitudes and even buildings.” They outline a simple philosophy of non-discrimination, allowing for full inclusion and respect for disabilities and acceptiong people with disabilities as part of our diverse world. Yet, despite this, the cinema chains refuse to acknowledge our basic rights and celebrate our diversity.
It is UNAUSTRALIAN! It is UNFAIR!
Our organisations have worked hard. Deaf Australia’s President mentioned it had been a long, hard and often unforgiving slog. To have been offered such an insulting offer of just 0.3% of movies as “access” must have been akin to a slap in the face. Now is the time to show we are united as a community and show our deaf organisations they are not alone.
Email the e-postcards to the Ministers listed. Bombard them. Remind them of the United Nations Convention. Remind them that Australia signed this convention on 17th
July 2008. They are bound by this to allow us to have full inclusion in society. Send them your stories. Tell them about the kilometres you have to drive to see a movie. Tell them how you have to interpret a movie for your son or daughter. Tell them how you can’t enjoy a luxury night at the Gold Class cinema. Tell them about what you ARE TOLD YOU CANNOT HAVE! And ask why?
Attached with this edition will be the postcard. Send it. Forward it to your friends, family and work colleagues and ask them to send it too.
Check out http://www.artsaccess.com.au and find out the protest locations for Saturday February 13th at 11am. Remember they will be held in all capital cities except Canberra and Darwin.
Don’t be passive. Do not settle for three screenings of one movie per week at a fixed location when others have up to 15 movies or more they can pick from any day, any time, anywhere. You are the change that can make it happen.
From little things like us, big things can grow.