FULBRIGHT LECTURE ON LAW AND DISABILITY DISCRIMINATION IN CANADA
Date: Wednesday, October 15, 2014
Location: Berkeley Law, Moses Hall, Conference Room 223
Speaker: Laverne Jacobs
Sponsor: Canadian Studies Program
RSVP requested by October 13, 2014 by contacting Rita Ross at 510-642-0531, or by emailing Rita Ross at firstname.lastname@example.org
The Canadian Studies Fulbright Lecture
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 paper shifts the focus from rights adjudication to the law-making process as a means of providing access to justice and social change, and uses the development of accessibility standards in Ontario as a case study. Since the enactment of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act , 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 consultation processes used to develop the accessibility standards themselves. The Ontario legislation has been followed in Manitoba which has enacted legislation to provide comparable accessibility standards through a similar process.
This study explores how the voices of persons with disabilities are articulated and received in regulatory processes designed to promote equality and combat disability discrimination. Through the use of multiple sources (qualitative interviews with persons with disabilities and with organizations dedicated to disability issues, government records obtained through freedom of information requests, and legal and theoretical analysis), the study aims ultimately to theorize about how persons with disabilities and multi-interest government-appointed committees may interact effectively to further minority rights.