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1112 | Contesting Ableism: Law and Disability

How does this course relate to the programme curriculum: Does it develop on a prior course in the programme or is it a foundational or standalone course?

In a way this course may be treated as Standalone, because mainstream legal pedagogy scarcely touches the theme of physical and mental Disability and seldom engages with interface of Law and Disability. Even if there are some scant references to disability, they are more or less in an exclusionary plane to demean and depersonalise persons with disabilities. E.g., the notion of unsound mind, physical incapacity etc.

Describe how you have approached the course. What have you included/excluded and why? Choice of materials: primary or secondary readings / case law;

I have designed this course invoking analytical and descriptive methodology, i.e. a) to describe Ableism and deal with its interface with Law. b) to critically analyse this interface in light of Indian Legal order and c) to examine the transformative role of judiciary in the emancipation of Persons with disabilities. Besides, to break the ice with the students and to inform and sensitize their consciousness to this relatively evolving area. I would spend around three weeks (approx. 12 hours) to expose students to the fundamentals of disability studies, i.e. definition of disability, models of disability, and international human rights standards on disability. Students will be also engaged to sensitize Legal theory from Perspective of Disability and encouraged to question the Monolithic model of Law, the extravagant focus of law on Ableism and Non-disablement as a Norm

/ benchmark on par with Feminism. Focus of the course will be on evolving innovative legal strategies to combat stereotypes and inequalities and to emphasize on creation of rights enabling conditions and environment. For this purpose students would be appraised with prominent Principles, standards and doctrines of this domain, viz. Principle of Reasonable accommodation, accessibility, universal design and legal capacity , Nurturing disability as part of humanity and problematizing binary of sameness and difference.

Course Information