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Journal on Developmental Disabilities
Le journal sur les handicaps du développement

 Volume 10, No. 2other issues

Human Rights and Persons with Intellectual Disabilities:
An Action-Research Approach for Community-Based Organizational Self-Evaluation

Dorothy M. Griffiths, Frances Owen, Leanne Gosse, Karen Stoner, Christine Y. Tardif, Shelley Watson, Carol Sales and Barbara Vyrostko


Persons with intellectual disabilities have historically been denied their rights or experienced severe rights restrictions. In recent decades there has been a shift towards the respect for the rights of persons with disabilities. However, there are still rights restrictions that may be in place in today's systems. Agencies supporting persons with intellectual disabilities are beginning to establish commissions on human rights to review restrictions when they occur and to ensure that such restrictions are either justified or removed. These restrictions may be in place to protect the individual, or they may represent restrictions or violations that have no justification. There has, however, been no systematic research into the nature of rights restrictions that exist in systems that support persons with intellectual disabilities. In this research, an agency that was initiating a rights review process asked the critical baseline question: What rights restrictions exist in the agency? Using staff questionnaires and interviews with individuals with disabilities, the more commonly rated rights restrictions were identified within the agency. The data, however, indicate that staff (primary and part-time) and the individuals identified different rights restrictions and had significantly different ratings of these restrictions.


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