Final disability conference in Galway to discuss law reform

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Gakway Daily disability conference held in Galway

A conference focusing on how the law should be changed to help people with disabilities will be held on 22 November in the Institute for Lifecourse and Society at NUI Galway.

Policy-makers around the globe will have a series of concrete recommendations for reform of law, policy and practice on legal capacity resulting from the VOICES project by NUI Galway’s Centre for Disability Law and Policy.

The VOICES project takes an innovative approach to law reform by developing recommendations for how the law should change based on the stories of those with lived experience of disability.

People with disabilities, activists, researchers and practitioners have worked together to co-author chapters for an edited collection to be published in 2018.

This final workshop will draw together the four core themes of the project; criminal responsibility, contractual capacity, consent to treatment and consent to sex, and will feature a mix of personal narratives, art and theoretical perspectives.

The event will take place in the Institute for Lifecourse and Society at NUI Galway.

The workshop will be a conference style event and is open to the public where all 28 co-authors from 10 different countries will share their experiences of the project and discuss common themes across the chapters in the book. Speakers include people with disabilities, academics, and activists with experience of using stories to drive social change.

A keynote speech will be given by Dr Michael Bach, Managing Director of the Institute for Research and Development on Inclusion and Society in Canada. For over 30 years Dr Bach has undertaken research and development in Canada and internationally on ways to advance the full inclusion and human rights of persons with intellectual disabilities.

Dr Eilionóir Flynn, Principal Investigator on the VOICES Project and Deputy Director of the Centre for Disability Law and Policy at NUI Galway, said: “We are delighted to be welcoming this diverse mix of participants back to NUI Galway for the final workshop of this project.

“Participants from Ireland, the UK, Canada, Kenya, Australia, India, Bulgaria, Sweden, China and the Czech Republic will all gather in Galway to share their experiences and put the finishing touches to what promises to be a fantastic book. As a result of their work, policy-makers around the globe will have a series of concrete recommendations for reform of law, policy and practice on legal capacity.”