A Reflexive Law Approach and Accessibility Rights of Persons with Disabilities to the Virtual World: Seeking the Midas Touch of Corporations
AbstractThe United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities undeniably made a paradigm shift in the discourse and construction of ‘disability’. It seeks to recognise the inherent dignity, value and autonomy of persons with disabilities as members of human society and their right to live in the world in an inclusive and participatory manner on an equal basis with others. The right to live in the world encompasses the right to live in the virtual world. This necessitates ensuring accessibility to the Internet. Whereas international human rights law recognises the state as directly responsible for ensuring accessibility, it is private corporations that effectively function as the gatekeepers of the Internet. Unless corporations are proactively engaged, the virtual world cannot be made inclusive for persons with disabilities. The complexity of this issue requires looking beyond conventional forms of command-control anti-discrimination laws. This article explores a reflexive law approach to create a dialogic web between seemingly differentiated subsystems in society (with their own norms and values) in order to attain accessibility rights for persons with disabilities.
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