ADA vs UN CRPD for the lives of deaf community

Many scholars, lawyers and activists say that American with Disabilities Act of 1990/ADA Amendments Act of 2008 (ADAAA) and UN Convention on the Rights for People with Disabilities (UN CRPD) have different reflections, interpretations and structures with weaknesses and strengths to be involved. The ADA/ADAAA is applicable only for the US to use for litigations on lawsuits and the UN CRPD is applicable on international level for enforcement to comply for social structures to have on equality, respect, diversity, inclusion with promotion of human rights enshrined in the Universal Declarations of Human Rights. This international document does not involve for litigation to bring lawsuits and the US is not signatory to it with membership. Many recalls in fact that the ADA/ADAAA is not even on the basis to fulfill in removing the barriers and to ensure inclusion of persons with disabilities with full equality in one whole society. UN CRPD is able to fulfill on international level the disability human rights paradigm in being recognized with dignity and worth of every person but it lacks the power to enter in the US sphere to comply mutually altogether with the ADA/ADAAA. Looking at these three legal frameworks for the lives of deaf community with the various disabilities in the US, the improvements overseeing the notion regarding the anti-discriminatory laws via litigation process and the compliance for social model with human rights law altogether did not meet the overall achievement. Equality and inclusion for persons with disabilities are lacking among all of us and the value with dignity of every person who is disabled in the US did not represent that recognition. Without the US being the signatory member of UN CRPD and leaving ADA/ADAAA alone with poorly written and structurally flawed legal document is truly shown to have weaknesses in supporting for social coherence with total functional ability to contribute equally toward the society.

ADA/ADAAA and UN CRPD have been expanded throughout the years in 1990s and 2000s calling for an attention that all people with disabilities deserve to have protection from discrimination and get supporting recognition for living fully well integrated equally and inclusively in one whole society. Legally to argue for the ADA/ADAAA, both have come with the support to overlook the protection for the class of people with disabilities regarding the discrimination including the promotion of providing the accommodating services via the Civil Rights Act 1964 and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 but both do not represent promotion of equality and inclusion at all. In that view, the Civil Rights Act 1964 is comprised to provide the protection against the various forms of discrimination based on race, gender, religion, ethnicity and age while the ADA/ADAAA is being excluded from it in which it does not offer an opening door to make the disability more inclusive and be on equal basis. The Rehabilitation Act of 1973 is part of civil rights law however it is the first disability rights law in which it entirely focuses on prohibiting the discriminatory form against disabled people in programs receiving federal financial assistance. The ADA is the only document that is to be entirely focused in providing to have narrowly drawn anti-discrimination law only to move a segment of the disabled population from reliance on government benefits toward a full integration of an employment in the labor sector. Getting to have a better framework from ADA to ADAAA, it is to make changes in explicitly to provide the remedies to some of the problems in the original version of that law, particularly with respect to the Supreme Court’s interpretation of the definition of disability in series of cases in 1999. In fact, the ADA/ADAAA has made a progress in promoting and protecting the legal rights of persons with disabilities by prohibiting discrimination based on disability including to result in having a greater access to buildings, programs and services available for them. Despite of the ADA/ADAAA’s many accomplishments including the raise of awareness about disability in the US and the opportunity to represent as the only model to other countries and to the UN when it drafted the CRPD, the wall remains to exist. The legal framework of US for disability rights was never intended to ensure in have a true inclusion and full equality for people with disability. In fact, ADA/ADAAA has failed to live up to this purposeful goal, the main issue encountered truly faced to have judicial backlash and poorly defined interpretations of the term “disability” to apply for statutory requirement than to meet the individual’s rights/needs. These two legal frameworks have resulted to represent the limitation for a person with disability when seeking redress in which the potentiality for equality and inclusion for persons with disabilities to have is excluded at that point. Being incorporated with the Civil Rights Act 1964 for aiming to achieving equal treatment for similarly situated individuals however the ADA/ADAAA alone does not provide guidance to support that goal. Various legal scholars and advocates often have argued that equal treatment principle in these two legal frameworks is proven to be ineffective in addressing the actual problems of equality and difference. Probably to the point of having the civil rights approach being incorporated in it might be wrong to choose in doing in which altogether views the problems encountered by people with disabilities. Having to produce claims via litigation process, people often do not get the answers in providing the disability rights solution which is to meet in enforcing to have equality and inclusion toward the society. The truth in all that is that it only provides solution in which it is to help people with disabilities but not to help in approaching to have and be on equal basis in their everyday life.

Accordingly to the UN CRPD, it has broader aspect in which it includes to have more substantive rights such as the right to reasonable accommodation, support and accessibility. It is not to be related to the existing human rights treaties yet they go to the core of how and for whom society with these rights are structured. UN CRPD truly takes the approach of equality to have for full and effective participation and inclusion in society while this part is not truly represented for the ADA/ADAAA. This international disability rights framework is simply to go beyond that model that is to achieve equal results and societal changes are the necessary measures needed to ensure by minimizing economic, societal and cultural oppression. Particularly to hard and soft laws, UN CRPD plays a different kind of role. Consequently, this framework does have limitations to invoke on disability based human rights claims under hard laws while the soft laws are not truly legally enforceable. The implications of adding disability protections to the existing canon of human rights on UN CRPD, it entirely is to represent both for individuals with disabilities as well as for other under protected people. Broadly stated for this framework, it is argued that it reflected to show negative rights for both civil and political rights and positive rights for economic, social and cultural rights in which the disability rights paradigm reaffirm for all that to have human rights protections. By contrast, it does not rely on providing litigation as a way to enforce its mandates and it is not self-executing document that cannot impact solely the state laws or be enforced in court without prior legislative implementation. Differences between these three frameworks are the methods in how they do approach on disability regarding of civil rights and human rights laws. Civil rights and human rights laws in this particularity have different interpretations that idents to support the legality of protection for people with disabilities. Civil rights law for the ADA/ADAAA is to see the specificity related to medical model of who truly has disability and truly shows to meet their defined requirements while human rights law for UN CRPD is to support in providing the definition of disability within the physical and the societal attitudinal barriers that explicitly excluded or stigmatize people with disabilities toward the society. It is to be heavily relied on societal model than on medical model regarding of person’s condition /diagnosis for full inclusion and participation in the society. Accordingly, the rights based laws for ADA/ADAAA that stands for truly devalues for people with disabilities to have independence and autonomous life while for UN CRPD, it values this ideal for a mutual reinforced support.

By seeing the differences here for these three legal frameworks and looking via my loophole to apply for the lives of deaf community with the various kind of disabilities is suggested that having the litigation claim for anti-discrimination laws and use the societal model with protection of human rights law would truly bolster altogether to have a full equality and inclusive participation in the society. Reading the actual ADA/ADAAA and UN CRPD, the legal view point in how disability being defined including the rights truly have impacted me a lot. The applicable approach used in ADA/ADAAA are the words of handicapped and hearing impairment in which both serve to have no good morality to signify the respect in representing the class of people with disabilities. Handicapped and hearing impairment are the words in which the ADA/ADAAA should not use as they should use explicitly on generality the term applicable to interpret the laws only for people with disabilities. The proper use of terms in disability rights as agreed among advocates with various disabilities to have is people with disabilities and deafness. Otherwise, the structurally build law for disability rights in the US is looked to be weak while in life it does not serve to recognize the community of people with disabilities on equal basis with a total inclusion and diversity. Living throughout my life with my disability of deafness, the ADA/ADAAA does not represent for me to see the society to have a total equality to serve via employment process while for UN CRPD it serves to this point. Yes, US is loss at this point and we definitely need to advocate on this matter. Following the example of UN CRPD for the US is a good idea as it can serve to promote and provide expansion to the ADA/ADAAA in a broad way in accepting and in recognizing the legal point by using the social model more often then the medical model. Disability rights for the lives of deaf community including deafblind, deaf-disabled and deaf with mental disorders serve the right to be recognized with full equality, inclusion and diversity in one whole society. My point is that those people with these mentioned disabilities have the kind of ability in making a huge plus and huge additional differences toward the community to contribute. With this in mind is to apply for the ADA/ADAAA in which all people with all kinds of disabilities with the use of legal work to be involved need to educate, to bring awareness and to bring elimination of all barriers and oppression via employment sector, via different programs, via health care sector and via the educational sector. A strong enforcement of law for disability rights is important to exist with guidance to envision and to show that all people with different kind of disabilities have the right to a full entitlement of dignity of life with a door open for many opportunities via employment and academic sector. The exact rights being written legally in a document for disability rights is thus a way to show to people with disabilities that all human beings have and are entitled to such rights no matter what.

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1 Comment Leave a comment

  1. I totally agree on the fact to create and/or reinforce policies that recognizes the rights for people that lives with any kind of disability. And I believe that is our responsibility, as society, to take away stigmas and to recognize that we all humans beings, no matter what, have exactly the same human rights, and we must respect and facilitate equal opportunities (in all sectors) for all. We must keep reinforcing this with the people and authorities that are awere, and to continue on providing awareness to those who are not.

    Liked by 1 person

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