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Largest international Disability Law Summer School hosted by NUI Galway began today

GALWAY: The world’s largest Disability Law Summer School has begun, hosted by NUI Galway’s Center for Disability Law and Policy.

The virtual event, which started today (May 31) and will conclude on July 2, focuses on the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, Access to Culture, Recreation, Leisure and Sport for People with Disabilities.

The 12th International Disability Law Summer School will take place over five weeks and will include live panel discussions, interactive events, comedy shows, and a DJ’d dance party.

Sinéad Burke, disability activist and founder of Tilting the Lens, gave the event’s keynote address. He spoke about the right of disabled persons to participate in cultural life and how this right can be achieved in practice.

The five-week programme will also have the participation of Robert Martin of the UN Convention for Rights of People with Disabilities Committee, comedian Rosie Jones, Irish author Louise Nealon, Jess Thom from Tourettes Hero and playwright Rosaleen McDonagh.

Professor Eilionóir Flynn, Director of Centre for Disability Law said: “The global pandemic has highlighted new ways to make culture more accessible, for example, through live streaming of cultural events. Nevertheless, disabled people are still excluded from accessing culture in different forms and much work remains to ensure full and meaningful participation of disabled people in all forms of cultural life.”

Prof. Flynn, who is also the Co-Director of the Summer School, explained that the aim of the summer school is to “bring together those who are leading in establishing cultural rights for people with disabilities, advocates and human rights experts in order to learn from each other – and develop ideas in this crucial area.”

Co-Director of the Summer school, Maria Ni Fhlatharta of NUI Galway’s Centre for Disability Law and Policy, said: “Access to culture is so often forgotten about when we talk about human rights, but it forms such a crucial part of our lives – from sport to concerts to play as children. I am really excited about the programme this year, we have a diverse range of speakers with some really incredible artists, academics and human rights activists.”

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