ARTICLE 19 is currently organising consultations on the Principles on Freedom of Expression and Persons with disabilities. During the consultation period, we are running a series of blogs exploring the issues addressed in the draft Principles in a greater detail.

If you are interested in writing a guest blog, please do get in touch!

 

Alternative communication techniques as a precondition for freedom of expression: by Janos Fiala-Butora, Harvard Law School Project on Disability 

The experiences of persons with severe cognitive disabilities shows that the ability to express ourselves is a fundamental precondition of personal autonomy. Since non-disabled persons are rarely lacking this attribute, they often take it for granted. However, if somebody is in need of assistance to conduct basic communication, denying that assistance can have far-reaching consequences. It can undermine someone’s ability to make decisions, legally erasing them from the circle of “competent” individuals, with far-reaching implications for their ability to enjoy a wide range of fundamental rights, beyond free expression.

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