The UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities - Human Rights Joint Committee Contents

Memorandum submitted by the London Autistic Rights Movement

  Submission to the Joint Human Rights Committee. On The UN Treaty on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and the Optional Protocol must be ratified in full.

  But the specific provisions in the Treaty to cover some types of disabled people (eg the deaf sign community) do not meet in full the needs of all disabled people. Most notably those not resourced, despite pleas to the contrary, to be there, such as neurodiverse people (people with uneven neurological profiles whatever the cause, ranging from brain injury to mental health survivors to autism, tourette's, parkinson's, dyspraxia and dyslexia). The UN was prepared to ensure that poor countries were represented, but was deliberately deaf (pun intended) to demands from those at the wrong end of the hierarchy of impairments in the developed world.

  Thus there is no specific provision in this Treaty to cover even scotopic sensitivity by ensuring that there is an explicit right to have documentation on the paper colour of one's choice. Even though 95% of the population finds something other than black type on white paper easier to read.

  Nor are there explicit provisions to create an individually controlled environment and to combat sensory overload (noises and colours too bright), food intolerance, etc.

  The task now is to goldplate this treaty on the basis of best practice (including creating a globally fully inclusive, democratic and fully representative Disabled People's Movement, not merely geographically but also on the basis of type of disability). This also includes, as Disability Awareness in Action (DAA) has pointed out, and LARM submitted as part of our response to the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), Office for Disability Issues (ODI), consultation on Independent Living, the direct election of members of disabled representatives at all levels of Government with full powers, as has been done in Uganda in the past, but ensuring that they are fully representative. LARM's submissions over this and Welfare Reform build on top of and incorporate the Disability Rights Commission (DRC)'s Neurodiversity & Autism Action Group Reports which include the Disabled People's Charter of Needs. This expands the Southampton Centre for Independent Living (SCIL)'s requirements for Independent Living to include such rights as to have a person's social interaction style supported, coaching and counselling rights, food and dietary rights, the right to an individually controlled environment (ICE) (including all forms of sensory input and output (noise, light, heating, smell, taste and texture); flexiplan (including cellular spaces and the right not to be in an open plan environment.

Adrian Whyatt, Steering Group Member, London Autistic Rights Movement (LARM)

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