The movement for disability rights promotes equal rights and opportunities for people with mental or physical disabilities. Inspired by the Civil Rights Movement and other social changes of the 1960s, people with disabilities and their allies began agitating for change. By the 1970s, world leaders started to reconsider the ways in which societies could better support persons with disabilities. Progress in the last few decades has shown that the international community has not only reconceptualized the ways in which society can better support disabled persons, but also the ways in which rhetoric is shaped around these issues. 



Declaration on the Rights of Disabled Persons, 1975

The 1970s was marked as a time in which global leaders began to look at disability issues as more than just a social welfare issue and began to consider the ways in which we socially and institutionally disenfranchised persons with disabilities.


Seal of the Organization of American States (via  Wikipedia )

Seal of the Organization of American States (via Wikipedia)

Inter-American Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Persons with Disabilities, 1999

The Organization of American States adopted the Inter-American Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Persons with Disabilities in 1999.  It is one in a series of documents by the OAS to protect human rights in the Americas. 


Signing of the convention (via  UN Photo )

Signing of the convention (via UN Photo)

Convention on the rights of persons with disabilities, 2006

The UN General Assembly adopted the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in 2006 to protect the rights and dignity of people with mental and/or physical disabilities.  Its articles include protection for the rights to education, justice, and accessibility to facilities and services, among others.