“To Make the Crooked Straight”: The Crippled Children Society in Southern New Zealand, 1935–2007
This article examines the history of the New Zealand Crippled Children Society, focusing on the Dunedin branch and highlighting how this voluntary organization has evolved in relation to a widespread change in attitudes and policies towards disability in order to meet the changing needs of its consumers. While taking account of the historical and social context, this study examines the origins of the society in Dunedin in the 1930s and its initial aims as a charitable organization for children affected by polio. It then maps the progress and changes made by the society over time, concentrating on the major upheavals of the late 1980s and 1990s, up until the early twenty-first century which saw the implementation of the New Zealand Disability Strategy (2001) and the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (2006) These show how the society adapted to changes in government policy, public attitudes and professional opinion while preserving its original ethos.
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