Conference focuses on the rights of persons with intellectual disabilities

With Canada’s ratification of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in March, it joins other countries in embracing one of the most powerful treaties to affect the rights of persons living with intellectual disabilities in our history.

That landmark achievement will be celebrated this month with a sold-out international conference in Niagara Falls.

The 3Fs (Rights, Respect, Responsibility) Community-University Research Alliance will host the Human Rights and Persons with Intellectual Disabilities conference at the Sheraton Fallsview Hotel on April 21 and 22.

“This milestone has been a long time coming,” said conference co-ordinator Dorothy Griffiths, Associate Dean, Faculty of Social Sciences. “The adoption of the UN Convention ushers in a new era of equality and human rights for persons living with an intellectual disability.

“History shows us that the rights of these individuals have been violated across all aspects of their lives — health, education, justice, sexuality, and the right to live in a community. This conference will celebrate this historic moment, but it will also chart a course for the research, planning and work that still needs to be done to make this dream a reality.”

Work at the conference will help develop a “Rights Agenda” policy and practices document. Participants will look at how Canada and other nations are supporting the rights of people with intellectual disabilities. The conference has attracted international educators, health professionals, justice officials, policy analysts, researchers and advocates.

Speakers include:

  • Stephen Lewis, Professor in Global Health, McMaster University
  • Michael Bach, Executive Vice-President, Canadian Association for Community Living
  • Timothy Endicott, Dean, Faculty of Law, Oxford University

The event is co-sponsored by the Canadian Association for Community Living, Community Living Ontario, the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, National Association for Dual Diagnosis (Ontario Chapter), Ontario OASIS, the Department of Justice Canada (Partnership & Innovation), the Southern Network of Specialized Care, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Counsel of Canada, the Law Foundation of Ontario, People First of Canada, People First of Ontario, Bethesda and the Ontario Association on Developmental Disabilities.

For more info, visit www.3Rshumanrights.com. The 3Fs Community-University Research Alliance is a project of Brock and Community Living Welland-Pelham.

Posted on April 16, 2010

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