Robert Martin speaks internationally, advocating for people with disabilities. He travels to Melbourne to give a key note address at a conference and present an award. He was instrumental in drafting the "Rights of Persons with Disabilities" for the United Nations Convention.
Martin sticks to a strict protocol upon arriving in a new city. He lives in Whangunai, New Zealand with his wife Lynda who he met in a work skills program.
Martin Collects (02:02)
Martin collects books, records, DVDs, and stuffed animals from around the world. His current project is transferring his records to MP3s.
The Kimberly Center (02:08)
When Martin was 18 months old he was placed into institutional care by his parents. He visits the now defunct center. He describes how he would play with the staff.
Not a Center for Learning (02:59)
Because the Kimberly Center was so far removed from the community, it pretended to be progressive, but acted in a different manner. Martin recalls the physical abuse, sexual abuse, and loss of dignity he endured during his tenure at the school.
Discharged at 15 (02:56)
Martin visits with conference attendees and friends. He is tasked with finding a young leader who promotes self-advocacy to present the Robert Martin award to. He finds the award winner, but refuses to say who it is.
Martin plays cricket, rugby, and soccer. His first overseas trip was to the Special Olympics for Soccer. Although he does not play competitively anymore, he still coaches a local soccer team.
Martin's Activism (02:41)
Martin visits the local chapter of People First, a disability rights organization that played a vital role in closing mental deficiency centers in New Zealand. He received the New Zealand Order of Merit in 2008.
Outdated Equipment (02:45)
Martin visits the Oakleigh Center, a mental deficiency center in Australia. Bas Arkenbout shows him the property. They meet a resident, Bernie, who is thrilled that he will be discharged and transition into the community.
Walking to the Conference (04:25)
A volunteer helps Martin with his speech. He awards the Robert Martin award to Geelong's leaders. He returns home to spend time with his wife.
Credits: Robert Martin: The People's Advocate—Against the Odds (00:40)
Credits: Robert Martin: The People's Advocate—Against the Odds
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