Public Lecture at NUI Galway to Address UN Convention on Disability Rights

Tuesday, 1 April 2008

A public lecture entitled 'The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities – New Dawn or False Hopes?' will be given by Professor Jerome Bickenbach at NUI Galway on Monday, 14 April, at 7pm.

Professor Bickenbach will talk about the concept of equality that underpins the new UN Disability Convention. His lecture will be of interest to persons with disabilities, their representative organisations, families, carers and service providers.

Originally from Canada, Professor Bickenbach is one of the foremost international authorities on ethical, philosophical, and legal issues in disability policy. Working recently with the World Health Organisation (WHO) in Geneva, he played a central role in drafting its International Classification of Functioning, a framework for measuring health and disability at both individual and population levels.

During his visit to Ireland, Professor Bickenbach will be a guest of the Centre for Disability Law and Policy at the Faculty of Law in NUI Galway. Professor Gerard Quinn, Director of Centre, said: "We are delighted to welcome such a highly engaging speaker. Jerome helped WHO completely rethink its understanding of disability and steered it away from an excessive reliance on 'medical approaches' toward a more 'socialised approach'. This approach places the problems of disability on the barriers confronting the person – rather than on the individual person. This 'social approach' to disability had a dramatic effect in the drafting of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities which Ireland has signed and is due to ratify".

All members of the public are welcome to attend this free event. The lecture will take place at 7pm in NUI Galway (Áras Moyola, ground floor, Room 127, North Campus). Refreshments will be served afterwards. Those wishing to attend or those with special requirements can contact 087 6660634 or email: disability@nuigalway.ie. For further information, visit website: www.nuigalway.ie/law/news.html

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