The eJournal is sponsored by the Syracuse University College of Law Disability Law and Policy (DLP) Program of the Syracuse University Center on Human Policy, Law, and Disability Studies (CHPLDS). The DLP Program sponsors a range of law school academic programs and co-curricular activities, including the first joint degree program in law and disability studies. The Program is part of the CHPLDS which is the first such university-wide network of academic programs, centers, student organizations, and affiliated faculty whose research, teaching, and advocacy promotes the rights of people with disabilities locally, nationally, and globally.

Sponsored by Syracuse University Disability Law & Policy (DLP) Program

"Universalizing the Right to Work of Persons with Disabilities: An Equality and Dignity Based Approach" Free Download
V Mantouvalou (ed), The Right to Work (Hart, Oxford 2015)

EINAT ALBIN, Hebrew University of Jerusalem - Faculty of Law

The article analyses Article 27 of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), the latest international human rights instrument that has been adopted regarding the right to work. It claims that Article 27 offers an innovative and welcome approach towards this right, while addressing some of the main concerns that were raised in the literature regarding the right to work as adopted in other international human rights documents and implemented in practice. This approach is one which offers a structural-institutional equality prism, while respecting one’s dignity, and that places meaningful obligations on states. Structural-institutional equality is achieved through the placing of a duty to restructure the social institutions, resulting in proactive structural change, while acknowledging the social contextual causes of inequality. Dignity is achieved through respect of personal freedom and the idea of inclusion. Leaning on that analysis the article further argues that a reason exists for a universal application of Article 27 to various other groups experiencing disadvantage at work.

"Background Primer for Discussion on Diversity within the Legal Profession" Free Download

JAMES M. DONOVAN, University of Kentucky College of Law Library

Despite its easy use in ordinary conversation, the details of what is meant when a speaker raises questions relating to “diversity? can be more complicated that they at first appear. The materials included here seek to map the more predominant landmarks on that intellectual landscape.

"Older Women with Intellectual Disability and the Meaning of Aging" 
Journal of Women & Aging, Volume 27, Issue 3, 216-236

NIRY DAVID, University of Haifa
ISRAEL ISSI DORON, University of Haifa - Department of Gerontology

Background: Aging with intellectual disability has become an important topic in light of the significant increase in life expectancy of this population. More specifically, the combination of gender, age and intellectual disability raises unique social issues.

Aim: The aim of this research was to capture and analyze the aging experience of women with intellectual disability from their own voice and viewpoint, within the Israeli experience.

Methods: A phenomenological qualitative method was used in this study. In depth interviews were conducted with nineteen women with mild to moderate intellectual disability.

Findings: Four key themes arose from the interviews: (1) the importance of work and reluctance to retire; (2) ageism and the fear of getting old; (3) The importance of a significant partner in old Age; and (4) Today's positive self-perception.

Conclusion: A meaningful aging process can be constructed within the context of gender and disability. It was manifested in this study as a disability-neutral experience. However, ageism and negative attitudes towards old age still need to be addressed.

"Salvaging ‘Safe Spaces’: Protecting LGBTQ Youth of Color from Policing in Congregate and Non-Congregate Social Services" 
American University Journal of Gender, Social Policy & the Law, Vol. 23, No. 3, 2015, Forthcoming

BRENDAN M. CONNER, Streetwise and Safe

The concept of “safe space? for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (“LGBTQ?) young people is one traditionally applied to educators’ responsibilities to create safe havens for LGBTQ students, by creating space for dialogue and addressing name-calling, bullying and harassment. The term is increasingly used in advocacy to reform the child welfare system, particularly in the areas of adopting safer foster care and group home placement, housing classification procedures, and in sensitizing youth-serving professionals. Rarely is an equivalence drawn between reform efforts and the obligation of youth-serving professionals to uphold the legal rights of their clients and increase safety from law enforcement in social service locations. Without reform, the rapidly emerging shelter-to-prison pipeline threatens to enlist youth-serving professionals in contributing to the ever-increasing number of state-involved LGBTQ youth of color.

Gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and gender non-conforming youth are subject to a frightening level of policing and criminalization. Approximately 300,000 gay and transgender youth — 60 percent of whom are Black or Latino — are arrested or detained each year The disproportionality in these figures is reflected in the fact that while LGBTQ youth represent just 4-8 percent of the nation’s overall youth population, they make up as many as 13 percent of those currently in detention. The act of arrest is never just ink on a R.A.P. sheet for LGBTQ people. It often involves discriminatory profiling, false arrest, and illegal searches, as well as endemic sexual harassment, verbal abuse, and physical brutality. LGBTQ youth are much more likely to be verbally and physically assaulted by the police than their heterosexual peers, and are more than twice as likely to report negative sexual contact with police in the preceding six months. This gratuitous violence is paired with the reality that LGB and gender non-conforming youth are twice as likely to be held in secure detention for truancy, warrants, probation violations, running away and prostitution, and are more likely than heterosexual youth to face detention for non-violent offenses. Those young people who avoid detention face multiple court appearances, fines and surcharges, and intensive probationary supervision, often in institutional placement (or “congregate care?). Even once court supervision is lifted, youth face life-limiting collateral consequences: a single criminal conviction can result in restriction of access to housing, eviction, denial of public benefits including educational loans, exclusion from professions, and even deportation.

Society’s emerging awareness of LGBTQ youth homelessness has caused the proliferation of both congregate and alternative care options such as drop-in centers, transitional housing, and permanent supportive housing. As street-involved young people seek shelter and community indoors, the police have followed suit, increasingly targeting these spaces with warrant enforcement units and unannounced, warrantless searches often threatening staff with arrest for non-compliance. The scarcity of shelter options also drives the internalization of a policing mentality among social service providers. Efforts to “rightsize? congregate care are incremental at best. These reforms have not been met with an equal emphasis to increase permanent and independent housing options. This mentality effectively deputizes youth-serving professionals to enforce a strict regime of exclusionary and restrictive policies designed to separate the “deserving? or high-functioning youth from the non-deserving. A culture of rules is built up in these programs that conditions enrollment on perceived good behavior, compliance with twenty-minute bathroom limits, and milestones tied to income or employment that are often impossible to reach for youth who face occupational discrimination for their gender identity or report prior convictions.

This Article therefore identifies the responsibilities of youth-serving professionals in mitigating the disproportionate policing and criminalization of LGBTQ youth of color. Part I offers factual background on the policing and criminalization of LGBTQ youth of color. Part II analyzes legal standards applicable to mandatory reporting, arrest and search warrant execution, counselor and social worker malpractice risks for false reporting of crimes, and breach of client confidentiality. Part III provides recommendations for youth-serving professionals, including police incident reporting, staff escort policies and mediation of client grievances, with an eye to minimizing liability for police misconduct in and outside their premises, and preserving the right to privacy of clients. The Article also includes a model police incident report as an appendix, to be tailored to local jurisdictions. The Article concludes on the note that it is incumbent upon youth-serving professionals to minimize police involvement in their programs, as a rapidly emerging pathway into the juvenile justice system for LGBTQ youth of color.


About this eJournal

Sponsored by: Syracuse University Disability Law & Policy (DLP) Program.

This eJournal distributes working and accepted paper abstracts which address issues of domestic, comparative, and international disability law and policy and disability studies, including  issues related to mental health and mental disability law and policy. The eJournal addresses legal issues, legislation, policy and a critical examination of disability as part of diversity in the US and in other societies throughout the world.


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