Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Event: 6/17 Webinar on Transitional Justice and Disability in the Americas

On Thursday June 17, 2021, from 10:00-11:15 am ET, Disability Rights International (DRI) is hosting a virtual event "Transitional Justice and Disability in the Americas: Accountability for Serious and Pervasive Human Rights Violations". Click here to register. 

Speakers for the event include:

  • Juan Mendez, former UN Special Rapporteur on Torture
  • Juliana Bustamante, Director of PAIIS Colombia
  • Alberto Vásquez, President of Sociedad y Discapacidad (SODIS) Peru
  • Silvia Quan, President of Colectivo Vida Independiente de Guatemala
  • Amalia Gamio, UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
  • Fabian Salvioli, UN Special Rapporteur on the promotion of truth, justice, reparation and guarantees of non-recurrence (invited) 

Moderators include:

  • Eric Rosenthal, Executive Director, DRI
  • Priscila Rodríguez, Associate Director, DRI

International Sign, English captioning, and simultaneous English-Spanish translation available.

June 15, 2021 in Disabilities | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, April 5, 2021

The LPE of Disability Accommodations

Over at the LPE Blog, Professor Shirley Lin writes about the law and political economy of disability accommodations.  A defining feature of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, the accommodations mandate was drafted with a transformative social model of disability in mind.  However, Congress essentially delegated the design for this mandate to the Reagan-era EEOC, which in turn operationalized accommodations through de facto bargaining between employees and employers.  By evaluating new empirical evidence relating to race, class, and gender and the theories underlying the mandate, her forthcoming article argues that market logic further limited its redistributive work and society’s ability to critique its effectiveness.  In response, her article proposes reallocations of power so that the state can: gather and publicize organizational precedent to enable structural analysis and regulation at scale; legally recognize that dismantling ableist environments and discrimination are collective endeavors; and expand the social insurance model for accommodations through tax policy.  Read more here.

April 5, 2021 in Disabilities | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, November 2, 2015

NY Human Rights Law and Troubling NY Transgender Policy

Last week Jeremiah Ho updated us on the status of anti-discrimination laws in the fifty states where discrimination is based on sexual identity.  New York was cited as one state that is close to enacting such protections.

In 1945, New York passed its first Human Rights law which bans discrimination on several grounds.  One section of the act  reads, for example: 

"It shall be an unlawful discriminatory practice for an employer or licensing agency, because of an individual's age, race, creed, color, national origin, sexual orientation, military status, sex, disability, predisposing genetic characteristics, marital status, or domestic violence victim status, to refuse to hire or employ or to bar or to discharge from employment such individual or to discriminate against such individual in compensation or in terms, conditions or privileges of employment."

New York's Human Rights Commission, under Governor Cuomo's direction, proposes a way to extend protections explicitly to transgender individuals.  While well intended, the method of ensuring protections to transgender individuals is controversial.  The proposal "clarifies" that the gender discrimination definition include gender identity and the status of being transgender.  The method by which gender dysphoria is included in the classifications against whom discrimination is prohibited, is by categorizing gender dysphoria as a disability.  The characterization resurrects an argument that was raised during drafting and lobbying for the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Categorizing gender dysphoria as a disability has its critics and promoters.  On one hand, many transgender individuals may need assistance during periods of corrective surgery and other health care, resulting in what typically is a period of temporary disability.  Yet to categorize gender dysphoria as a disability absent significant physical or mental impairment is to undo progress that has been made in creating social acceptance for transgender and other gender non-conforming individuals. 

While gender dysphoria may lead to mental health disorders, such as depression and anxiety, those conditions result from a variety of responses an individual has based either on the dysphoria or others' reactions to the dysphoria.  The dysphoria itself should not be classified as a disability.  This attempt to classify as a disability a birth characteristic brings back memories of homosexuality being classified as a disorder in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM).

Arguments prevail from differing view points.  For one perspective on this topic, see Kevin Barry's article Disability Queer.



November 2, 2015 in Disabilities, Equality, Margaret Drew, Transgender | Permalink | Comments (0)