Attitude Awards 2018: The award show celebrating Kiwis living with disabilities

by Fiona Rae / 01 December, 2018
Attitude Awards 2018, Sunday.

Attitude Awards 2018, Sunday.

RelatedArticlesModule - Attitude Awards

The Attitude Awards, which started out as a way of showcasing disabled Kiwis’ employability, have become a global online hit.  

Nowhere else in the world has anything like the Attitude Awards 2018 (TVNZ 1, Sunday, 11.00am), the annual celebration of the achievements of Kiwis living with disabilities.

That’s according to Attitude CEO Robyn Scott-Vincent anyway. International viewing goes gangbusters online, and “the Canadians have bought us before”, she says. “It’s like, why would they be interested? But there’s no celebration that we know of anywhere else.”

This is the awards’ 11th year and, from the get-go, Scott-Vincent wanted it to be a fancy black-tie event.

“When we began, someone said we should do it as a nice little afternoon tea. But we said, ‘Why does everything for disabilities have to be somehow low grade?’ So we said, ‘No, it’s going to be fabulous,’ and it has been.” A decade later, however, the awards come with great expectations.

“People expect us to up the ante every year. It’s pretty funny. One year we said, ‘Right, we’re going to have a mobility dog carry the envelopes onto the stage,’ and another year we had a parade of children.”

But the awards have serious intent. They not only recognise Kiwis living with disability, but also employers who support and integrate them. This year, the Employer Award finalists include a Whanganui horticulturist and Greymouth’s BP service station.

“Employment was the main reason we started the awards,” says Scott-Vincent. “Employers have a perception that people with disabilities are somehow not capable. So the more we could showcase high levels of achievement, the more that would help to create a culture where it would be natural that people with disabilities should be in employment.

“All an employer has to do is shift their thinking no more than 10 degrees.”

Talent will out, however, and differently abled Kiwis are achieving despite the odds. Finalists in the Attitude Leadership Award include Alex Snedden, a disability advocate who attended the World Down Syndrome Congress in Scotland this year, and autistic man William Luskie, who advises a number of agencies in Dunedin.

Young deaf fashion designer Cruze Kapa is a finalist in the Attitude Entrepreneur Award, along with candle-maker Emma Sykes and educational video-game designer Tim Young.

“Every year we’re amazed that the nomination process uncovers new people,” says Scott-Vincent. “You forget that if one million Kiwis have a disability, there are amazing stories out there.”

This article was first published in the December 1, 2018 issue of the New Zealand Listener.

Latest

Prepare for a return to the 'old normal' of sharemarket volatility
100287 2018-12-18 00:00:00Z Investment

Prepare for a return to the 'old normal' of sharem…

by Pattrick Smellie

In the decade since the global financial crisis, investors have enjoyed a steady upward ride and very few shocks.

Read more
Is cryptocurrency a haven from market volatility?
100307 2018-12-18 00:00:00Z Investment

Is cryptocurrency a haven from market volatility?

by Nikki Mandow

It’s been a wild ride for cryptocurrencies over the past year, but can they become a stable store of wealth for investors?

Read more
Stop your new build from feeling cookie-cutter with these clever solutions
100101 2018-12-18 00:00:00Z Property

Stop your new build from feeling cookie-cutter wit…

by Noted

Building a new home but want something unique? These creative solutions prove new-builds and personality do go together.

Read more
Dumplings with Wings is the new place to get your dumpling fix
100543 2018-12-17 15:39:32Z Auckland Eats

Dumplings with Wings is the new place to get your …

by Alex Blackwood

Dumplings with Wings' colourful creations take cues from all over the world.

Read more
The Children Act doesn't do justice to Ian McEwan's novel
100520 2018-12-17 11:27:11Z Movies

The Children Act doesn't do justice to Ian McEwan'…

by James Robins

Emma Thompson may be on the bench but legal drama The Children Act is yet another example of the limits of literary adaptation.

Read more
After a testing year, can Simon Bridges survive 2019?
100499 2018-12-17 08:57:04Z Politics

After a testing year, can Simon Bridges survive 20…

by Jane Patterson

Simon Bridges has held on to the National Party leadership as a testing year ends, but how secure is his position? He says he's not worried.

Read more
Capital offences: A grammarian on nouns proper and common
99726 2018-12-17 00:00:00Z Education

Capital offences: A grammarian on nouns proper and…

by Ray Prebble

A look at the nuances of nouns.

Read more
Two small South Island towns' annual clash for the Cup o' Wood
99541 2018-12-17 00:00:00Z Life in NZ

Two small South Island towns' annual clash for the…

by Mike White

For 70 years, neighbouring Central Otago villages St Bathans and Becks have taken to the rugby field to battle for the Wooden Cup.

Read more