An exhibition launches online on Monday which say it is an attempt to explore the relationship between the Human Rights Act and people with autism or learning disabilities.
Developed without a penny of Arts Council or local authority grants, the RightfulLives exhibition arose from the evidence that there have been very few successful legal cases applying the Human Rights Act to people with learning disabilities. There have been many documented cases where the Act has barely touched the lives (and deaths) of people with learning disabilities.
The exhibition organisers say, “This shows up in the stories of thousands of people who have been institutionalised, usually many miles from their home, and subjected to a regime of restraint, seclusion and over medication. This often continues for many years.
“It also shows up in more insidious ways: non-disabled people live in their homes; disabled people live in a placement. The practices and language create an environment where the person is seen as not quite human. The exhibition wrestles with the question – If a person is seen as not quite human, then does it follow they won’t have the same rights as the rest of the population?”
The contributors to the exhibition include Croydon residents who are on the autistic spectrum, and their families. There are also contributions from social care professionals, legal practitioners, academics, trainers, film-makers and others.
“Our hope is that the exhibition leads initially to a reflection on why learning disabled people are so often denied their fundamental rights,” the organisers say.
“The longer term aim is to make human rights legislation the fundamental foundation stone in care arrangements and care disputes.”
The exhibition goes live online this Monday, September 24.
To follow the exhibition on Twitter, follow the account @RightfulLives and the hashtag #RightfulLives
- Inside Croydon’s editor, Steven Downes, has been nominated for an award by the Anna Kennedy Online charity for this website’s coverage of the issues surrounding local authority provision – or lack of it – for people with special enducational needs. For more on this story, click here
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