Access to Justice for Persons with Disabilities: An Emerging Strategy
Laws, Vol. 3. No. 2 (2014)
19 Pages Posted: 28 May 2014
Date Written: May 27, 2014
Persons with disabilities often find themselves marginalized by society and by our justice systems. We can improve access to justice by training better advocates. Advocates not only must be knowledgeable concerning relevant laws and regulations, but also must be able to interact effectively on a personal, professional level with persons who have disabilities. We also want to make certain that persons with disabilities have the opportunity to learn to advocate for themselves and for other persons with disabilities. Technologies are available that can help us accomplish these goals. This article provides a brief survey of legal protections (and gaps in such protection) for persons with disabilities. Successful advocate training programs from around the world are identified and described. The article provides examples of how technology is being used to support these efforts and provides suggestions regarding additional ways in which technology could be employed. Law schools around the world have begun to embrace the goal of better advocacy, but improving access will require well-prepared advocates to answer the call. Training advocates to provide services to a population that may have significantly different needs even within that population may be a more efficient and effective way to improve access to justice than by attempting to draft laws and regulations that somehow address all possible circumstances.
Keywords: disability, discrimination, accessibility, access, justice, human rights, courts, alternative dispute resolution, ADR, online dispute resolution, ODR, CRPD, ADA, ADAAA, law schools, education, training, Americans with Disabilities Act, Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabiities
JEL Classification: D63, D73, H54, I18, I20, I31, J18, J29, J68, J70, J71, J78, K39, K40, K41, L50, M12
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation