UNITED NATIONS – One of nine new members elected to the United Nations’ persons with disabilities committee has become the first person with an intellectual disability to serve.
New Zealander Robert Martin, who suffered a brain injury at birth, was elected to the committee Tuesday at the ninth conference on the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Martin, 59, is a leader in his country’s disability community and evaluates disability support services funded by the government. He is an adviser to People First New Zealand, an advocacy group for persons with learning disabilities. The convention, adopted by the UN General Assembly a decade ago, is a blueprint for ending discrimination and exclusion of the physically and mentally disabled in education, jobs and everyday life.