Do ‘Disabled Voices’ Make a Difference?
DO ‘DISABLED VOICES’ MAKE A DIFFERENCE? EXPLORING EQUALITY AND FAIRNESS IN THE ENACTMENT OF ACCESSIBILITY STANDARDS
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Date: Wednesday, September 24, 2014
Location: Fasken Martineau Classroom, Room 122, Allard Hall, Faculty of Law, University of British Columbia
Speaker: Laverne Jacobs
Co-sponsor: Center for Feminist Legal Studies
Rights adjudication occupies a large part of public law analysis and theorizing. At the
same time, using adjudication to achieve equality, particularly to vindicate the rights of
persons with disabilities, has proven to be a formidable and often dissatisfying exercise. This lecture shifts the focus from rights adjudication to the law-making process as a means of providing access to justice, and uses the development of accessibility standards in Ontario as a case study. Since the enactment of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act in 2005, the Ontario government has been working towards instituting a proactive approach to regulating disability discrimination, with the goal of full accessibility in the province by 2025. A central and unique feature of this legislation is the required inclusion of persons with disabilities and various stakeholders in a legislated consultation process used to develop the accessibility standards themselves. The legislation has been followed in Manitoba which has enacted legislation to provide comparable accessibility standards through a similar process.