Access to Books for Persons with Disabilities

We are delighted to welcome this guest post from Abigail Rekas.  Abigail is a EU Marie Curie Fellow at the Centre for Disability, Law and Policy, NUI Galway.  Abby’s DREAM topic is focused on using digital technology to increase access to print and other copyrighted material for people with print disabilities.

The past few years has seen a major surge in interest in access to books for persons with disabilities. This seems like a pretty simple proposition – everyone should be able to go to the bookstore and pick up a book they’d like to read. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case, for a number of reasons. Accessible publishing historically has been an expensive proposition, performed by non-profit charitable organizations. These organizations are frequently working under an exception to copyright law, because they cannot afford to license the right to reproduce the book for such a limited run and do the translation into Braille or record the audio book.

The rise of digital technology has been a Continue reading “Access to Books for Persons with Disabilities”

Access to Books for Persons with Disabilities

Historic Hearing in US Senate on UN Disability Treaty

We are delighted to welcome this guest post from Professor Gerard Quinn Director of the Centre for Disability Law & Policy at NUI Galway.

A historic hearing took place yesterday (Thursday, July 11th) in the US Senate Committee on Foreign Relations.  The issue before the Committee was US ratification of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD).  In the US system the Senate must gives its ‘advice and consent’ before the Federal Government can ratify a treaty.  A two thirds majority vote is needed from the full Senate before the Administration can proceed to ratification.  This is an exceedingly high bar but, especially after yesterday, it looks likely to be met.  It is now almost a foregone conclusion that the Committee – chaired by Senator John Kerry (D-Mass) – will commend a positive vote to the full Senate.

This really matters not just for the US but also for the rest of the world.  And it would certainly up the ante for Irish ratification.  The traditional bi-partisan approach of the US Congress was splendidly exemplified in opening remarks made to the Committee by Senators John McCain (R-Ariz) and Tom Harkin (D-Iowa).  The symbolism of their joint appearance spoke volumes about the natural reflex of both parties in favour of the civil rights of persons with disabilities.  Indeed, both of them relayed the support of former President H W Bush as well as former Senator Bob Dole.  This immediately took the issue out of the cauldron of partisan politics and placed it where it should be – as matter of high principle. Continue reading “Historic Hearing in US Senate on UN Disability Treaty”

Historic Hearing in US Senate on UN Disability Treaty

Getting it Right: Capacity Legislation and the Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities

Amnesty International and the Centre for Disability Law & Policy (NUI Galway) will run a seminar entitled “Getting it Right: Capacity Legislation and the Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities” on 30 November 2011 from 9am – 1pm at the Alexander Hotel, Fenian Street, Dublin 2.  This seminar will explore how Irish legislation can reflect the changes Article 12 of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD).  Article 12 of the CRPD requires a fundamental change in thinking about legal capacity and repeal of laws that restricts or denies legal capacity.  Person sharing their personal experiences of having their legal capacity called into question will address the conference.  The seminar will also be addressed by leading international legal experts Christine Gordon (speaking about the British Columbia model) and Oliver Lewis (MDAC). This seminar is timely as the Government moves towards the publication of a bill to replace the outdated Ward of Court System.  For more information see here.

Getting it Right: Capacity Legislation and the Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities

Conference on Disability & Genetic Discrimination

This Saturday 19 November the Centre for Disability Law & Policy will co-host a one-day conference with the Burton Blatt Institute entitled “Genetic Discrimination: Transatlantic Perspectives on the Case for a European Level Legal Response”.  It will take place  in Aras Moyola (Ground Floor), North Campus, National University of Ireland Galway commencing at 9am.  The leading experts in the field will speak at the conference.  See the detailed conference programme here and an Irish Times piece here.  This one day international conference is the first of its kind in Europe and will be significant in sparking a debate in Europe about future law and policy in this area.  It is planned to publish the proceedings from the conference. The purpose of this conference is to examine the case for a European level legal and policy response to protect the privacy of genetic information and to prevent genetic discrimination, particularly in the employment and insurance contexts.  The science of genetic testing and related technology is in the process of advancing. Among other things, genetic testing technology may well offer the prospect of being able to detect the onset of future disabilities. The technology is becoming more prevalent and is being used increasingly in both the employment context and the insurance context.  The conference is aimed at legal practitioners and medical practitioners, academics and researchers, NGOs and those involved in disability issues, bioethics and practice. It is also aimed at those interested in medical testing generally as well as genetic testing specifically. There will be Continuing Professional Development (CPD) points available to those who are eligible and a Certificate of Attendance will be provided after the Conference.  For further information please contact Ms. Aisling de Paor at: aisling.depaor@nuigalway.ie or telephone +353 91 494017.

Conference on Disability & Genetic Discrimination

Scholarship for the LL.M in International & Comparative Disability Law Announced

The Centre for Disability Law & Policy at NUI Galway will fund a scholarship for the LL.M. in International and Comparative Disability Law and Policy in NUI Galway.  The scholarship will be awarded on basis of a competition open to all applicants (the recipient of the scholarship will be awarded the tuition for the programme).  To be eligible to enter for the CDLP scholarship, candidates must first apply for the LL.M in International and Comparative Disability Law and Policy.  Only candidates who are offered a place on this programme will be considered for the scholarship.  Candidates who have been offered a place subject to degree results are also eligible to apply.  Applications for the LL.M. are made online at: www.pac.ie.  The deadline for receipt of applications is 5 pm, on Sunday July 31st, 2011. Applications should be sent to llmdisability@nuigalway.ie.  Full information is available here.

 

Scholarship for the LL.M in International & Comparative Disability Law Announced

General Election 2011: The Lifecourse Social Policy Agenda for the Next Government

We are delighted to welcome this post from the Directors of the Lifecourse Institute at National University of Ireland Galway.  The Directors are Professor Pat Dolan Academic Director of the Lifecourse Institute & Director Child & Family Research Centre; Professor Tom Scharf Director of the Irish Centre for Social Gerontology and Professor Gerard Quinn Director of the Centre for Disability Law & Policy. The recently formed Lifecourse Institute at NUI Galway brings together the three research centres with a focus on older people, families & children and persons with disabilities.  Its primary function is to produce research that supports innovative policy reform across the lifecycle that enables citizens to achieve their potential and live fulfilling and productive lives.  
This post is based on their ‘Critical Perspectives’ paper, which is intended to provide a succinct statement of the major policy challenges facing the next Government across the lifecourse.  It is intended as a public service at a critical moment in Continue reading “General Election 2011: The Lifecourse Social Policy Agenda for the Next Government”

General Election 2011: The Lifecourse Social Policy Agenda for the Next Government