Advocacy via human rights legislation: the application to assistive technology and accessible environments

Valerie Watchorn, Natasha Layton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities identifies two key factors that enable participation in society: assistive technologies and accessible environments. This article demonstrates that, for many people living with disability, access to these enablers is integral to the enjoyment of human rights. Although government structures, such as funding schemes for assistive technology and environmental modifications, ostensibly uphold human rights, the reality for many Victorians is that policy restrictions and funding shortfalls restrict access to necessary assistive technology solutions. This is illustrated by findings from a comparative evaluation of met and unmet need that was conducted as part of a larger study into assistive technology and environmental adaptations used by 100 Victorians living with disability. Results from this study indicate a one to three failure ratio in realising human rights for Victorians requiring assistive technology solutions, demonstrating significant gaps between rhetoric and reality for people even in this developed nation. Improved access to effective and timely assistive technology solutions is essential in order for people to enjoy their human rights. The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities is presented as a tool that can be used to advocate for positive change in this area.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)117-138
Number of pages22
JournalAustralian Journal of Human Rights
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2011
Externally publishedYes

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