Accessibility, UD and ‘reasonable accommodation’

The social model in the International Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

Agustina Palacios’ article in The age of Human Rights Journal takes a human rights and social model of disability perspective. She briefly outlines the preceding models of disability and contrasts these with the social model inherent in the Convention. She then enters a philosophical discussion referencing the Convention and its underlying principles and assumptions, leads on to universality, and then ‘reasonable accommodation’.  

“Taking into consideration all of the foregoing, it could be asserted that accessibility is the ideal situation, universal design would be a previous general strategy to achieve that ideal situation, and reasonable accommodation would be a particular strategy to be put in place when the universal design preventive purposes do not ensure accessibility.”

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UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

The World Health Organization has a page on the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities 

It sets out the obligations of signatories to the Convention. Australia is a signatory to this Convention.  Each of the obligations are detailed in separate sections called Articles. There are 50 Articles.  The General Principles of the Convention align with the Principles of Universal Design.

Article 3 – General principles

The principles of the present Convention shall be:

  1. Respect for inherent dignity, individual autonomy including the freedom to make one’s own choices, and independence of persons;
  2. Non-discrimination;
  3. Full and effective participation and inclusion in society;
  4. Respect for difference and acceptance of persons with disabilities as part of human diversity and humanity;
  5. Equality of opportunity;
  6. Accessibility;
  7. Equality between men and women;
  8. Respect for the evolving capacities of children with disabilities and respect for the right of children with disabilities to preserve their identities.
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Designing inclusive environments and the significance of universal design

Imrie book coverIn this book chapter Professor Rob Imrie discusses the rights agenda and its intersection with the design community and the preoccupation with form over function.

This chapter was published in the book, Disabling Barriers – Enabling Environments edited by John Swain, Sally French, Colin Barnes and Carol Thomas.  2013.

 

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Equity and inclusion through housing design

Jane Bringolf’s presentation to the Brisbane Housing Forum in May 2014. She discusses different perspectives on human rights, particularly in an era of demand for cost-benefit analyses and asks the question, how can we attain our rights within a market discourse, when those who do not experience social and economic exclusion have the the power of the market in their hands?

PDF document Housing Forum Brisbane 2014  

Word document Housing Forum Brisbane 2014  

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Getting in the door: the public interest in the design of private housing

Margaret Ward presented the inaugural Robert Jones Memorial Oration in Brisbane in 2014.  She recounts the life of Robert Jones and his dream to make public spaces and places accessible to everyone.  Margaret challenges popular assumptions about how accessible housing will be achieved using the evidence from her PhD study on the private housing market.

Download the pdf version: Margaret Ward Robert Jones Memorial Lecture 2014,

Download the Word version: Margaret Ward Robert Jones Memorial Lecture 2014

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