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  • From Nondiscrimination to Full Inclusion: Guaranteeing the Equal Rights of People with Disabilities

    Jody Heymann, Aleta Sprague, Amy Raub

    Chapter from the book: Heymann, J et al. 2020. Advancing Equality: How Constitutional Rights Can Make a Difference Worldwide.


    An estimated one billion people, or 15% of the global population, live with disabilities. In 2006, the U.N. adopted the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, a landmark global treaty establishing countries’ responsibilities to eliminate barriers to the full participation of people with disabilities in society. In this chapter, we examine whether the world’s constitutions fully protect equal rights for people with disabilities, including by explicitly prohibiting discrimination, guaranteeing inclusive education, and mandating reasonable accommodations at work. In addition, we analyze whether constitutions limit any rights based on physical or mental disability, and examine how discriminatory, outdated language undermines constitutions’ potential to advance equal rights. Finally, this chapter explores the potential consequences of constitutional silence on disability, drawing on examples from history.

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    How to cite this chapter
    Heymann, J et al. 2020. From Nondiscrimination to Full Inclusion: Guaranteeing the Equal Rights of People with Disabilities. In: Heymann, J et al, Advancing Equality. California: University of California Press. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1525/luminos.81.h

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    Published on Jan. 14, 2020