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THE GLOBALIZATION OF DISABILITY RIGHTS LAW – FROM THE AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT TO THE UN CONVENTION ON THE RIGHTS OF PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES

Charles F. Szymanski
Keywords: Globalization, disability, discrimination, reasonable accommodation, civil rights, undue hardship, essential functions ,

Abstract

The author examines a positive aspect of globalization: the spread of laws throughout the world protecting the rights of people with disabilities since the enactment of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in the United States. The origin of the ADA and its effect and application in the United States are first examined. Next, the subsequent process of the globalization of disabilities rights legislation is analyzed. A general review of significant national and regional disability discrimination laws is undertaken, together with an attempt at ascertaining how such laws were influenced by the ADA. Special attention is given to developments in disability rights law in Europe and Latin America. Finally, the drafting, adoption and future impact of the UN Convention of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities is reviewed. The author concludes with a prognosis of the future global development – and enforcement – of disability rights law and other civil rights laws. Through increased contact and shared information made possible by globalization (among other strategies), disability rights (as well as other civil rights) advocates may continue to influence the global development of law in their respective fields