Civil Society As Agents of Change

June 20-24th, 2016
ILAS, NUI Galway

DSS 2016

The 8th International Disability Law Summer School is now over, but most of the sessions can be viewed on our YouTube channel. All documents from the Summer School, including a transcript, can be found on One Drive. Photos of the event can be viewed and downloaded from our Flickr account.

About the School

The purpose of this five-day International Disability Summer School was to equip participants with the insights and skills necessary to translate the generalities of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities into tangible reform for persons with disabilities.

The core focus of this year was Civil Society and its role in changing laws and policies around people with disabilities. This year is also the 25th annversity of the Americans with Disabilities Act, a landmark pieice of legislation in the history of disability rights.

The participants included persons with disabilities, their families, civil society groups of persons with disabilities as well as advocates for disability law reform, lawyers, policy makers, policy analysts and others.

The faculty included senior academics, practitioners, advocates and policy makers from around the world. Most of the speakers have been directly and actively engaged in drafting and implementing the Convention. Others are advocates for change and reform.

This was the eighth International Summer School on disability law and policy offered by the Centre for Disability Law & Policy. In 2015, the summer school attracted over 100 participants from 39 different countries – from Africa, Asia, Latin America and China. We believe it is the biggest such event in the world.

In keeping with the practical orientation of the Summer School there was a Moot Court competition based on a problem disseminated at the beginning of the Summer School and culminating in a mock court at the end. All participants were involved at some level.

Prior legal knowledge or experience was not required. The aim was to provide the participants with a forum to sharpen their argumentative strategies based on the CRPD and to identify weaknesses as well as strengths in the different argumentative approaches. Delegates were mentored throughout the week in crafting their arguments by the international Faculty. The participants demonstrated what they have learnt in arguing before a mock UN Committee. The summer school was highlighted on Twitter using the hashtag #DSS16