Local Burwood man in running for National Disability Award

Burwood local Michael Simpson has been short listed as a finalist for the Australian Government’s National Disability Awards to be announced on 22 November 2011.

Mr Simpson is in the running for the Ministers Lifelong Achievement Award recognising people who have advanced the rights of people with disability over a prolonged period of time.

Michael was blinded in two separate accidents when he was young, including being struck by a stray bullet.

Since then, Michael has made a major contribution to the development of policy supporting people with vision impairment.

His 35 years of advocacy for people with vision impairment has resulted in a number of reforms including accessible voting for people who are blind or vision impaired the establishment of a radio information service for people with print disability, and development of the talking set-top box, which is now being used for the rollout of digital TV.

Tony Burke, Federal Member for Watson, congratulated Mr Simpson on being short listed for the award.

“The Government’s National Disability Awards are an opportunity to highlight and celebrate the remarkable achievements and contributions of people with disability and those who support them,” said Mr Burke.

“We want to show Australia that people with disability have an enormous amount to contribute to the community.

“Michael is a role model for all Australians, not just those with a disability and I wish him all the best for the award.”

The National Disability Awards will be announced at a gala dinner in Parliament House Canberra on 22 November 2011 and are part of the Australian Government’s celebration of International Day of People with Disability.

For more information visit the International Day of People with Disability website www.idpwd.com.au or visit the Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs website www.fahcsia.gov.au.