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Governments Should Make Information Accessible to All

Imagine that during a national emergency, you and your loved ones are at risk. The government is announcing information that could have a profound impact on your safety, but you don’t have access to it because it hasn’t been made available to you.…
A sign language interpreter records sign language lessons that are broadcast on public television, at an elementary school in Athens, Friday, Nov. 20, 2020. 
News

Marginalization and Exclusion Imperils Rights, New UN Expert Report Finds

Ageism – the stereotyping, prejudice, and/or discrimination of individuals or groups based on their age – is all around us. One just has to look at a rack of birthday cards for images ridiculing older people or the rows of “anti-ageing” creams on the…
Rohingya people refugees carry an older woman on the way to camp at Shahpori Island, in Teknaf, Bangladesh on September 13, 2017. 
News

Storm Highlights Need for Inclusive Disaster Planning in the US

Hurricane Ida made landfall in the southern US state of Louisiana last week, leaving thousands of people displaced and millions without power or access to other resources. Among those most at risk during the storm and in its aftermath have been people…
Occupants prepare to depart the Renaissance Place senior living apartments in the aftermath of Hurricane Ida on September 3, 2021, in New Orleans, Louisiana. 
News

Repeal New Segregated Education Policy for People with Disabilities

On August 17, Brazilian Minister of Education Milton Ribeiro made harmful remarks about children with disabilities, saying they “disturbed” other students and that some are “impossible to live with.” Later, he apologized to “those who were offended”…
A young girl who does not attend school, living in an institution in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on November 6, 2016.
News

Sports Federations Need to Ensure Reasonable Accommodation for All Athletes

The Tokyo Paralympic Games begin this week with thousands of Paralympic athletes from around the world competing in 539 events in 22 sports. Sadly, one athlete who had earned a place on the United States team won’t be there. Rebecca Meyers, 26, a…
Rebecca Meyers competes in the Women's 400 m Freestyle S13 during day 4 of the Para Swimming World Championship in Mexico City, Mexico on November 5, 2017.
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Inclusive Climate Action and Planning Needed after 12 Perish

On July 15, twelve people with disabilities living in a group home drowned in floods in Sinzig, Germany, because they did not manage to evacuate in time. This is not the first time people with disabilities in group homes died during a climate…
The “Lebenshilfe-Haus” or ‘assisted-living facility”, where twelve people with disabilities drowned in floods on July 15, 2021.
News

Data Collection Reform Needs Meaningful Consultations

In a positive move, Mexico’s National Institute of Geography and Statistics (INEGI) is looking at how to develop a new policy that would include disabilities in government data collection.  Without proper data, it is difficult for the government…
The National Institute of Statistics, Geography and Information building in Aguascalientes City, Mexico on July 19, 2018.
News

Climate Crisis Requires Inclusive Heat Action, Planning, and Response

Recent climate change-exacerbated heat waves in the western Canadian province of British Columbia have left hundreds dead. According to British Columbia’s chief coroner, of the 719 sudden deaths between June 25 and July 1, many were “older individuals…
A person enters the Hillcrest Community Centre, where they can cool off during the extreme hot weather in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, June 30, 2021.
News

Recounts Harrowing Experience Fleeing during Latest Escalation

Abeer al-Harakli, a 28-year-old disability rights defender from Gaza, addressed the United Nations earlier this month at the 14th session of the Conference of States Parties to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. She described…
Abeer al-Harakli, a disability rights defender from Gaza, addressing the United Nations in a video message at the 14th session of the Conference of State Parties to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, United Nations, New York, June 17, 2021. 
News

Guardianship System Subjects Many to a Range of Abuses

“I have an IUD in my body right now that won’t let me have a baby and my conservators won’t let me go to the doctor to take it out,” pop star Britney Spears told a court last week. Fans, influencers, activists, and members of the public rallied in…
A "Free Britney" sign shows support for popstar Britney Spears who had a scheduled hearing in her conservatorship case at the County Courthouse in Los Angeles, June 23, 2021.
News

Opportunity for Expanding Access to Justice for People with Disabilities

A recent judgment by India’s Supreme Court is a watershed moment for women with disabilities in India and worldwide. The case involved a 19-year-old blind woman who was raped by her brother’s friend. The court in its April judgment, rendered by…
A young girl with long hair portraid from behind, in front of a field.
News

New Law Bans Discrimination, Promotes Inclusion

On May 5, Armenia’s parliament adopted the law on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. This is a long-awaited reform with the potential to change the lives of the roughly 200,000 people with disabilities in Armenia by protecting them from…
A boy sits on a swing in the courtyard of an orphanage for children with disabilities, Yerevan, Armenia.
News

Prosecutors Mandated to Inspect Institutions, Promote Independent Living

Brazil’s National Council for Prosecutors, the government body overseeing the country’s prosecutors, took a major step yesterday by approving a resolution that could mean significant human rights improvements for the more than 10,000…
A group of persons with disabilities in a yard in an institution in Rio de Janeiro. Residents are taken outside for a few hours during the day but spend most of the time confined to their beds.
News

Deaf Activist Warns “Our Wounds Will Never Heal”

When Caroline Atim, founder and director of the South Sudan Women with Disabilities Network, spoke to the UN Security Council this week, I watched her hands intently and listened to her sign language interpreter, as she described the devastating…
Caroline Atim, wearing a blue dress, addresses the United Nations Security Council during a virtual meeting, April 14, 2021. She is seated in front of a black background.
News

Residents Need Access to Courts Amid Emerging Reports of Neglect During Pandemic

This week, Arizona legislators will vote on bill 1377, which would shield nursing homes from civil liability for negligence while providing services during the Covid-19 pandemic. At least 32 states have already passed laws or issued executive…
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News

Academy Should Ensure Accessible Entrance to Awards Stage

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced last week that “Crip Camp: A Disability Revolution” had been nominated for an Oscar for Best Documentary Feature. The film, released by Netflix in March 2020, and shown by the Human Rights…
Still from the film Crip Camp.
News

Governments, International Actors Should Step up Protections for Older People

A groundbreaking report released on March 18 and led by the World Health Organization (WHO) calls out ageism for what it is: a socially-acceptable form of discrimination that impacts older people’s livelihoods, health, and even survival. The report…
Older people crossing the broken bridge at the Stanytsia Luhanska checkpoint.
News

Government Should Enable Access to Services, Shelter from Violence

This week, Mexico’s Senate approved a reform to the country’s General Law for Women's Access to a Life free from Violence by including disability as one of the elements prosecutors and courts must evaluate when deciding to grant protection to women…
Women with disabilities demonstrate against violence in Mexico City, Mexico, March 8, 2020. 
News

Millions of People with Disabilities Around the World Are Deprived of Legal Capacity

The hashtag #FreeBritney has been trending since the release of the documentary Framing Britney Spears, and fans, influencers, and activists are campaigning to have the singer’s father removed as her legal guardian. And they should. Under…
Britney Spears supporters pose for a photo outside a court hearing concerning the pop singer's conservatorship at the Stanley Mosk Courthouse in Los Angeles, February 11, 2021.
News

Ensure Alternative Registration Methods for Covid-19 Shots

Most US states have prioritized people over 75 in the first wave of Covid-19 vaccinations, but obstacles to securing an appointment can hinder delivery. Most states are using online systems for scheduling. But while technology was once considered the…
Allegheny Health Network employees run a Covid-19 vaccine clinic at PNC Park in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, February 6, 2021.