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Disability awareness > Module 1 > Page 4

 

Context and theories of disability

Recent developments

One of the most important and influential documents to emerge in Ireland in recent years is the Report of the Commission on the Status of People with Disabilities (1996). The Report stated that ‘People with disabilities are the neglected citizens of Ireland…..they want equality, to move from a reliance on charity towards establishing basic rights….'

The Commission's stance on education can be summed up as follows:

‘ Education is a process of sharing, developing, building, strengthening, encouraging and recognising the abilities of people…. Education respects diversity. It aims to enhance and enable the person to achieve his or her own goals.'

This landmark document and its view of disability was very much influenced by the social model of disability that views inaccessible environments as being the main barriers to people with disabilities participating fully in society. Some of the areas highlighted in the Report included access to such fundamental rights as health care, housing, education, training and employment.

The publication of the Report of the Commission on the Status of People with Disabilities (1996) proved to be a landmark in putting the rights of people with disabilities on the political agenda.

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