Disability and the law

What are some of the laws applying to people with a disability in Australia? Which human rights are not always fully enjoyed by disabled people?

Some countries have better records on human rights than others, and there are still many areas that need much improvement. This is particularly so when we look at the rights of disabled people, and it is why a new agreement has been developed on this issue by the United Nations.

In this unit, we will focus on one specific problem affecting people with a disability. This focus problem is access because it interferes with a range of human rights. In the past and even today, disabled people in Australia and in other countries have found that they could not fully exercise their human rights because they simply could not physically get to the places where important activities took place.

Activity Three

To complete this activity, you will need specific information. Read and discuss the following with a partner:

  • Information Sheet 2 (particularly  Articles 20 to 27, which describe important human rights connected with community activities)
  • Information Sheet 3 (more information on the laws relating to access for disabled people in Australia)

Now look at the incidents described in recent news items in Information Sheet 4. Consider these in connection with what you have discovered about human rights (including special rights for disabled people) and Australian laws. What is working well? Where have things gone wrong? Record your thoughts on a PMI chart.

(You can download one from http://www.globaleducation.edna.edu.au/resources-gallery/resource-gallery-templates.html.)

(Ask your teacher if there could be a class discussion on these issues. There will be lots of different views, so everyone will need to respect the right of individuals to be heard. Everyone will also need to show responsibility in respecting the feelings of others. Add some more ideas to the graffiti board.)