From Principles to Practice

An International Disability Rights Law and Policy Symposium Page

In October 2000, DREDF convened From Principles to Practice, a landmark international disability rights law and policy symposium. More than forty nations have enacted some form of disability anti-discrimination legislation in the past thirteen years, yet law and policy experts and advocates internationally have had few opportunities to come together to discuss legal theories, implementation issues, and strategies for future reform. The symposium provided such an opportunity.

The broad goals of the four-day symposium included:

  • Sharing ideas about laws and policies, enforcement mechanisms, and strategies for reforms
  • Discussing basic legal principles
  • Identifying specific strategies and tactics that will advance legal reforms
  • Encouraging communication among lawyers and advocates.

Approximately one hundred-fifty invited participants from fifty-seven countries joined DREDF in Washington, DC to participate in the symposium. Commissioned papers by disability rights law and policy experts from abroad and the U.S. set the stage for the plenary sessions. These papers were updated, edited and published in 2002 as the collection, Disability Rights Law and Policy: International and National Perspectives.