Human rights, disability, and higher education : conference held at UCT Middle Campus, Cape Town from 25 to 26 January 2003


Human rights, disability, and higher education

This report will be of value to Disability Studies scholars, educational theorists and researchers, as well as those interested in the construction of disability within the context of transformation in post-apartheid South Africa. Over the past three decades, the discipline of Disability Studies has emerged as an independent field within the social science research and theoretical arena. Questions surrounding the nature and origin of (oppressive) societal responses to impairment - ranging from service installations to bureaucratic policies, linguistic conventions to exclusionary practices - are the primary concern of the field. Disability Studies attempts to examine and debunk the 'disabled' identity as one ascribed to individuals arbitrarily, yet selectively designated as disabled. Broadly, key theoretical positions within the field assert that the negatively valued and ascribed group identity of being 'disabled' is one which serves, through the operation of complex ideological machinery, to justify and obscure the systematic exclusion of persons so designated from equitable participation in the production of culture. This study looks at dynamics of human rights and disability within higher education institutions from this perspective.

Funded by Disaibility desk, office of the Presidency.