Story: Disability and disability organisations

Robert Martin makes history

Robert Martin was placed in state care after suffering a brain injury during birth. He spent his childhood in foster homes and state-run institutions, where he was subjected to physical and emotional abuse. Influenced by this experience, he became involved in disability rights activism, promoting self-advocacy among people with disability and campaigning for a shift to community-based care for those with intellectual disability. In 2016 Martin became the first person with learning disability to address the United Nations General Assembly, when he successfully lobbied to become a member of the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. 

Using this item

YouTube: Attitude channel

This item has been provided for private study purposes (such as school projects, family and local history research) and any published reproduction (print or electronic) may infringe copyright law. It is the responsibility of the user of any material to obtain clearance from the copyright holder.

All images & media in this story

How to cite this page:

Martin Sullivan, 'Disability and disability organisations - Ideas about disability care', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 8 December 2023)

Story by Martin Sullivan, published 5 May 2011, reviewed & revised 12 Jul 2018