THE UNIVERSITY OF THE WEST INDIES
FACULTY OF SOCIAL SCIENCES
UWI CENTRE FOR DISABILITY STUDIES
COURSE TITLE: Disability, Law and Society
SHORT TITLE: Disability, Law and Society
SUBJECT CODE: DBST
COURSE NUMBER: 2000
CONTACT HOURS: 39
CREDIT HOURS: 3
ACADEMIC CREDITS: 3
LEVEL: UG 2
EFFECTIVE TERM: Semester 2 2018-2019
TERM BEGIN: Semester 2
TERM EXAMINED: Semester 2
EQUIVALENT COURSE: N/A
GRADE MODE: Standard
The course format consists of a combination of weekly lectures, assigned readings, and tutorials. All students are required to register for, and to regularly attend, one of the weekly tutorials. The mode of delivery for this course is face-to-face. There will be 3 contact hours each week; one 2-hour lecture and a 1-hour tutorial.
Contact and credits hours are as follows:
Schedule Type Duration (Number of weeks) Contact Hours Credit Hours
Lecture 13 26 26
Tutorial 13 13 13
Total: 13 39 39
There is an increasing global focus on the population of persons with disabilities. Paired with this is the development of Caribbean legislation to protect the rights of persons with disabilities. Students of the UWI, who are destined to be leaders and managers in various spheres of society, must be exposed to information on the legal frameworks within the region for persons with disabilities. This course fits within the developmental imperatives of the Caribbean and will contribute to the benefit of the students and Caribbean societies.
In this course students will be introduced to how the legislative environment is being shaped to improve the social, political and economic landscape for persons with disabilities. It will expose students to different international, regional and local treaties and legislation that have been formulated to protect the rights of persons with disabilities. Specifically, the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, the Declaration of Pétion Ville, the Kingston Accord and the Disabilities Act of 2014 will be thoroughly interrogated. The course will inform students how these treaties and legislation were developed, why they were developed, the mechanisms for implementation and enforcement and how they are likely to improve the quality of life of persons with disabilities.
On successful completion of the course, students will be able to:
1. Explain the rights of persons with disabilities
2. Identify when the rights of persons with disabilities are violated
3. Identify work or training situations where persons with disabilities may be discriminated against
4. Understand the importance of including persons with disabilities in different activities in their communities
5. Understand the differences and similarities between the legal instruments designed to protect persons with disabilities
The following are themes to be examined in the course:
1. Disability Perspectives
a. Is disability a rights-based or welfare issue?
2. Disability and the law
1. The origins of disability law
2. The Standard Rules
3. The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
a. Why was the CRPD established?
b. Is it a legally binding document?
c. Are State Parties obligated to its provisions?
4. Social Issues and Disabilities
a. Discrimination and Persons with Disabilities
b. Employment Rights and Persons with Disabilities
5. Caribbean Agreements/treaties for Persons with Disabilities
a. The Kingston Accord
b. The Declaration of Petion Ville
c. The Disabilities Act 2014—The Jamaican legislative framework
6. Other Regional and National Agreements, Conventions and Legislation that Affect and Impact Persons with Disabilities
a. The Inter-American Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Persons with Disabilities
b. The disabilities legislation of Antigua, Guyana, Bahamas, Cayman Islands and Haiti
c. The Caribbean Single Market and Economy (CSME) and Persons with disabilities
7. Strategies to Monitor and Measure the Implementation of National and International Laws and Agreements
a. Strategies to Monitor Implementation
b. Evaluating the Achievement of National Goals and Objectives
c. Monitoring National and International Initiatives to Benefit Persons with Disabilities
8. Dealing With Direct and Indirect Discrimination Against Persons with Disabilities
a. Personal Strategies
b. Organizational Strategies
c. Social and National Strategies
For this course, students will be assessed through a mid-semester exam and a written final exam. Students will also be assessed and graded in accordance with tutorials attendance and class participation. The grades will be apportioned as such:
Course work: 60%
Three (3) Tutorial Presentations (10% each)* 30%
Mid-semester exam (2 hours) 30%
Final Written Exam (2 hrs) 40%
* Students will be required to make presentations in tutorial on a given topic from the theme presented in the previous lecture. There will be three such presentations, each valuing 10%.
Ministry of Labour and Social Security. (2014). Disabilities Act of Jamaica 2014. www.mlss.gov.jm
Oliver, M. (2009). Understanding Disability: from Theory to Practice, 2nd edition. London: Palgrave MacMillan.
United Nations. (2006). Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. www.un.org
Highly recommended reading
Doyle, B (2008). Disability Discrimination: Law and Practice. 6th edition. Bristol: Jordan Publishing.
Barnes, C. (1994). Disabled People in Britain and Discrimination: A Case for Anti-discrimination Legislation. London: C. Hurst & Co Ltd.
Bell, D., & Heitmueller, A (2009). The Disability Discrimination Act in the UK: Helping or Hindering Employment Among the Disabled? Journal of Health Economics, 28(2), 465-480.
Crowther, N. (2007). Nothing Without Us or Nothing About Us? Disability and Society, 22(7), 791-794.
Borsay, A. (2005) Disability and Social Policy in Britain since 1750. Basingstoke: Palgrave MacMillan .
Fletcher, A & O'Brien, N. (2008). Disability Rights Commission: From Civil Rights to Social Rights. Journal of Law and Society, 35(4), pp. 520-550.
Kayess, R & French, P. (2008). Out of Darkness into Light: Introducing the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Human Rights Law Review, 8 (1), pp.1-34.
Oliver, M & Barnes, C (2011). Disability Studies, Disabled People and the Struggle for Inclusion. British Journal of Sociology of Education, 31(5), pp.547-560.
Waddington, L (2015). Fine-tuning non-discrimination law: Exceptions and justifications allowing for differential treatment on the ground of disability. International Journal of Discrimination and the Law 15(1/2), pp.11-37.
Berthoud, R. (2011). Trends in the Employment of Disabled People. Colchester: Institute for Social and Economic Research.
Coleman, N, Sykes, W, Groom, C (2014). Barriers to employment and unfair treatment at work, a quantitative analysis of disabled people's experiences, Research Report 88, Manchester: Equality and Human Rights Commission.
Equality and Human Rights Commission (2010). The United Nations Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities: What does it mean for you? Manchester: Equality and Human Rights Commission.
World Health Organization/World Bank (2011). World Report on Disability, Geneva: World Health Organization.