Human Rights of People with Intellectual Disabilities Essay

Perceptions of people with intellectual disabilities have changed over time in that, the society no longer views them as disabled members but see them as having unique abilities that require nurturing.


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Since disability is not inability, human rights’ advocates argue that perception of people with disabilities as disabled is discriminative and therefore call for their recognition as a minority people with unique abilities that do not require any fixing but integration into mainstream activities of economic, social, and political development.

According to Lindqvist (2004), the United Nation World Summit for Social Development agreed that to preserve human rights of people with disabilities and attain capacity for social development; they need empowerment and integration into social, political, and economic spheres of modern society (p.3).

Thus, provision of special schools to intellectually disabled children is recognition of their unique abilities and contribution to the society. At special schools, intellectually disabled children get a chance to hone their unique talents and skills, which can significantly boost their independence in the society.

In the past, people with disabilities experienced discrimination because the society considered them as lesser human beings due their inability to perform normal tasks. However, human rights’ advocates have tremendously changed such simplistic and undignified thinking and consequently, people with disabilities are progressively achieving equal treatment in various aspects of life.

Although human rights’ code and constitutions of various countries clearly stipulate that, no individual should receive any form of discrimination based on disability, the rights of intellectually and physically disabled persons have been continually restricted.

Griffiths, Owen, and Gosse (2009) argue that restrictions that are in place require justification whether they protect the rights of disabled persons or violate their inalienable rights as stipulated in human rights code (p.26).


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Thus, government and society should not restrict or deny intellectually disabled children from accessing education as other students. Moreover, education system should not discriminate against children with intellectual disabilities for they have inalienable rights to access education.


Griffiths, D., Owen, F., & Gosse, L. (2009). Human Rights and Persons with Intellectual Disabilities: An Action-Research Approach for Community-Based Organizational Self-Evaluation. Journal on Developmental Disabilities , 10(2), 24-42.

Lindqvist, B. (2004). Disability and Human Rights Approach to Development. The International Disability and Human Rights Network, 1-9.