Policy and legal context

Disability is a Human Rights issue

Human Rights are fundamental. They exist independently of laws passed in a society, and cannot be constrained by customs or beliefs of a particular community.

We all have human rights whether there are laws to uphold them or not. They are universal and indivisible. Every day disabled people are denied their human rights.

When a person is excluded from employment because they are disabled, it is discrimination. If a child is excluded from education because they are disabled, their rights are being violated. If a disabled person is made to live somewhere against their will it is a violation of their fundamental human rights.

Equality. Dignity. Freedom.

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Activity 1 – Policy used in your school/college

Task 1

Take some time to investigate the policy and legal context of disability rights in terms of your school, college, youth or sports club. For example, ask your teacher (or supervisor) where the Equal Opportunity policy for your school/college can be accessed.

Q1: Is information concerning the relevant disability policy readily available within your school, college or youth club? You can explore this in terms of how inclusive somewhere is in supporting and encouraging the participation of disabled people.

Here is the Scouts policy on an inclusive society:

The Scout Association is open to all young people and adults regardless of their sexuality or gender identity. We have a clear Equal Opportunities Policy and attend Pride events to demonstrate our commitment to equality. We openly welcome LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) members, have volunteers specialising in diversity (including our national team of Specialist Advisers) and even a national unit supporting LGBT adults in Scouting FLAGS.

Task 2

Create a list of a range of words relevant to policy, law and disability. Make your own wordle to include important words in policy and law concerning disability. To make a wordle:

  • Go to www.wordle.net
  • Click on “Create your own.”
  • Enter a bunch of words
  • Click on the Submit button
  • You will now see your Wordle and you can print it or save it as an image by clicking the Save as PNG button

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Activity 2 – Political manifestos

Find out what the political manifestos of each of the mainstream political parties say about disability issues/policy. For example, explore what the Conservatives (Tory or Tories), Labour, Liberal Democrat, Scottish National Party (SNP), the Green Party and UK Independence Party (UKIP) say about disability issues. You may find this on their individual party websites.

Alternatively, you could look at the following resources:

Q1: What do these say about the stance taken towards disability issues?