Document Type



Available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike 4.0 International Licence



Publication Details

Universal Design & Higher Education in Transformation Congress,30th October -2nd November 2018, Dublin Castle


After 1948 and the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights there was little attention to individual rights as such. The focus was mostly on anti-colonialism and collective rights for peoples, like the right to self-determination for indigenous and tribal peoples living in independent states and freedom from colonialism (Moyn, 2010b) p. 85-86. The awareness regarding individual rights was actually invoked in the 70’s. It was President Jimmy Carter who in January 1977 in his inauguration speech proclaimed: "Because we are free we can never be indifferent to the fate of freedom elsewhere…. Our commitment to human rights must be absolute." (Moyn, 2010a) Universal Human Rights applies to all individuals. However, as a consequence of negative attitudes and approaches to disabled people, the United Nations worked to emphasise that by establishing the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). CRPD was adopted in 2006 and was intended to be an instrument for human rights with an explicit social development dimension. CRPD recognises persons with disabilities as capable of claiming their rights, taking control over their lives and being active members of society.(UN, 2018a). Attitudes towards persons with disabilities have before and after the adoption undergone a change from viewing them as “objects” or clients in need of care and charity to seeing them as individuals with rights. But there are still questions remaining how do societies then comply with rights for persons with different kinds of disabilities? Is there a full acceptance that persons with all types of disabilities ought to enjoy all human rights and fundamental freedoms and make decisions for their own.

Included in

Education Commons