Putting Human Rights into Practice with People with an Intellectual Disability

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Abstract

Human rights create a protective zone around persons and allow them the opportunity to further their own valued personal projects without interference from others. In this paper we apply the concept of human rights to people with an intellectual disability. First we briefly analyze the concept of human rights, their structure, and justification. Second, we directly apply our model of human rights to persons with an intellectual disability and argue that it has the resources to bridge the perceived gap between rights and needs and to offer practitioners ethically defensible practice guidance. We supplement this abstract analysis with a case example. Finally we conclude with some reflections on the future of a human rights viewpoint in the arena of intellectual disability.

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