International Development

MILESTONE International Development

Seminar on ‘Access to Justice for People with Disabilities’ produces collaborative results in Jalisco, Mexico

The RightsNow! Consortium and Mexican partner organization, MADIJAL, implemented a successful three-day Seminar on “Access to Justice for People with Disabilities” in Guadalajara during April 2018. U.S. and Mexican disability lawyers worked with local government officials to provide workshops and presentations to 133 participants from government, universities, the legal community, civil associations and disabled people’s organizations. Seminar topics included:

  • Recognizing Disability-Based Discrimination
  • Legal Protection of Persons with Disabilities in Mexico
  • Enforcement Options for Disability Rights
  • Fundamentals of Presenting a Case
  • Accessibility Accommodations and Barriers in the Justice-Related and Public Sectors
  • Best Practices in Establishing a Law Clinic
  • Strategies for Working in Cross-Disability Coalitions

During the Seminar participants formed working groups to plan actions to promote ‘Access to Justice’ for people with disabilities in Jalisco, Mexico.

As a result, stakeholder groups reported follow-on activities such as:

Media Campaign: Disability-based Discrimination and Legal Protections

14 Internet TV programs were produced, with questions from the audience averaging 600 per week. An informational Facebook page was created, “Inclusion based on justice and dignity of people with disabilities”, to share video and written resources:

Training campaign: “Access to Justice for People with Disabilities in Indigenous Communities”

Trainings were conducted for Jalisco’s Indigenous Communities Advisory Council and Human Rights Commission offices, utilizing new print and digital campaign materials and a training video in Spanish and Wixarrica. Topics addressed at the training and in materials included:

  • Recognition of disability-based discrimination
  • Legal protections
  • Avenues for redress and filing complaints to state bodies

Training Campaign: “Rights and Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities” in the Justice System and Public Sector

A training campaign and workshops were conducted for officials and staff in Jalisco’s justice systems and public sector. Agendas and training materials addressed the following topics:

  • Disability related accommodations
  • Protocol for cases involving persons with disabilities
  • Disability rights, laws and treaties, domestic and international
  • Appropriate rights-based language
  • Protecting rights of individuals with psychosocial disabilities

Survey: Identifying disability-based discrimination

Questionnaires were designed and administered by Civil Association representatives and Academics to identify incidents of discrimination and gather information about the experiences of persons with disabilities and their family members attaining services by CSO’s.

Plans for Legal Clinics for Clients with Disabilities

Eight Universities located in the Guadalajara metropolitan area collaborated on initial plans to create legal clinics specializing in legal assistance to people with disabilities.

Guidelines to Defend the Rights of People with Disabilities in Health and Education Fields

Information and recommendations for guidelines on disability rights were compiled to be presented to the Economic and Social Council of Jalisco.