BBI co-sponsors session on access to justice for persons with disabilities

Side event held at the Fifth Conference of States Parties to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

September 5, 2012

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The Burton Blatt Institute (BBI) at Syracuse University co-sponsored a side event Sept. 13 on “Access to Justice for Persons with Disabilities: Exploring Challenges and Good Practices” at the Fifth Conference of States Parties to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Other sponsors include the American Bar Association, AusAID, Global Partnership for Disability and Development, the United Nations Development Program, USAID, WomenEnabled Inc., and the World Bank.

BBI chairman at UN

The conference brings together governments, UN entities, and civil society from around the world to discuss the progress in implementing the Convention on the Rights of Person with Disabilities. University Professor and BBI Chairman Peter Blanck spoke along with several panelists at the side event to share challenges and solutions to promote the implementation of Article 13 of the Convention-Access to Justice.

Persons with disabilities are often denied access to fair and equal treatment within justice systems. This event presented current practices and challenges in access to justice by persons with disabilities; emerging practices that  ensure fair and equal treatment; and introduce the Global Forum on Law, Justice and Development, a multi-stakeholder knowledge-exchange forum to promote Article 13.

Blanck examined full and equal participation in the justice process, with a focus on equal access to courts, as impacted by physical, informational, and technological aspects. He discussed the challenges and opportunities for the use of accessible approaches to justice that enhance the process for persons with disabilities and others such as the elderly. The session highlighted the issues associated with persons with cognitive disabilities, such as autism, intellectual and developmental disabilities, reading and learning disabilities, dyslexia, TBI and PTSD, and related issues associated with elder participants.

Session Materials
Disability Civil Rights Law and Policy: Accessible Courtroom Technology
Peter Blanck, Ann Wilichowski, and James Schmeling
Disability Civil Rights Law and Policy Cases and Materials
Peter Blanck, Eve Hill, Charles D. Siegal, and Michael Waterstone
Towards a Right under the ADA to Web Access for People with Cognitive Disabilities
Peter Blanck, PhD, JD