References and Readings

  • Gunderson, M., & Hyatt, D. (1996). Do injured workers pay for reasonable accommodation? Industrial and Labor Relations Review, 50(1), 92-104.

    The authors present evidence on the extent to which injured workers in Ontario in 1979-88 "paid", through lower wages, for "reasonable accommodation" requirements designed to facilitate their return to work after their injury. The data source, the Ontario Workers' Compensation Board's Survey of Workers with Permanent Impairments, provides detailed information on two categories of accommodation: workplace modifications, such as customized equipment and shortened work schedules; and reductions in physical demands, such as exemption from bending and heavy lifting. Employers who rehired their own injured workers appear to have absorbed virtually all the cost of the accommodations they made, but employers who hired workers who were injured at other firms shifted a substantial portion of the cost of workplace modifications onto the injured workers, in the form of lower pay.

    Available Online (subscription needed):

  • Metts, R. (2000). Disability issues, trends, and recommendations for the World Bank. Social Protection, 1-100.

    After describing the two major contemporary disability definitions and comparing their suitability for disability policy and planning, the paper presents a descriptive analysis of the evolution and current status of disability policy and practice.

    Available Online:

  • Morris, J. (2001). Impairment and disability: Constructing an ethics of care that promotes human rights. Hypatia, 16(4), 1-16.

    Author Jenny Morris discusses her own personal experience of impairment within a social model of disability, and the importance of recognizing differences in order to promote human rights.

  • O'Neil, T., & Piron, L. (2003). Rights-based approaches to tackling discrimination and horizontal inequality: Background paper. Overseas Development Institute, 1-21.

    Included in this paper are a review of the importance of human rights for equality and social inclusion, the extent and nature of discrimination and its contribution in explaining inequalities in income, assets, health, education, the process by which discrimination takes place and the extent to which states combat direct and indirect discrimination in law and practice. Furthermore, the paper touches upon the potential contribution of ‘rights-based approaches’ by governments, civil society and international donors in combating discrimination and the inequalities they create.

    Available Online:

  • Rosenthal, E., & Sundram, C. (2003). International human rights in mental health legislation. World Health Organization. New York Law School Journal of International and Comparative Law. Volume 21 (3), p.469.

    This paper describes some of the elements of international human rights law that governments should take into account when drafting domestic legislation affecting people with mental disabilities. International human rights law has major implications for laws regulating the operation of mental health and social service systems, as well as for broad laws protecting all citizens from discrimination.

  • The National Council on Disability Topical Overviews for Delegates to the 6th Ad Hoc Committee on the Protection and Promotion of the Human Rights of People with Disabilities.

    The National Council on Disability (NCD) commissioned this series of papers on various topics that were paramount to the human rights discussions related to drafting a UN Convention. The papers were to help the delegates comprehend and utilize concepts and constructs under discussion. The topics include the right to: employment and work; education; healthcare; transportation; information technology; living independently; and participation in political and public life. Each paper examine key aspects relevant to its topic for example, in the paper on employment and right to work, concepts such as “reasonable accommodation” and “undue hardship” are explained and discussed.

    Available Online:

  • Weiwei, L. (2004). Equality and non-discrimination under international human rights law. Research Notes.

    This paper provides an overview of the sources of non-discrimination and the historical development of the concept, and examines in detail the scope of the principle of non-discrimination. The paper emphasizes the domestic implementation of the principle with a discussion of its application in China.

    Available Online: