Publication Date

June 2007


[Excerpt] This Article argues that to be effective, both domestic and international disability rights must adopt a disability human rights paradigm. Such a framework combines the type of civil and political rights provided by antidiscrimination legislation (also called negative or first-generation rights) with the full spectrum of social, cultural, and economic measures (also called positive or second-generation rights) bestowed by many human rights treaties.16 By acting holistically, this agenda accounts for factors normally exogenous to civil rights laws and ensures that individuals can flourish and participate in their societies. Accordingly, our intention is to share some thoughts on how to best provide disabled citizens with equal opportunity rather than “merely” equal treatment. Internationally, States and civil society organizations have been developing innovative and effective equality measures. We draw on their experiences in providing examples of how disability legislation and policy can be developed to implement a more holistic human rights approach. These lessons are also pertinent for invigorating the ADA.