From a medical perspective, disability may be viewed as the result of a physical condition intrinsic to the individual which may reduce that person's quality of life and cause disadvantages. A major purpose of medical research can thus be viewed as aiming to discover ways of limiting and, if possible, 'curing' disabilities to alleviate disadvantage.
On the other hand, the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities includes within its definition of persons with disabilities those with impairments 'which in interaction with various barriers may hinder their full and effective participation in society on an equal basis with others'.
The Convention requires governments to make 'reasonable accommodation' for persons with disabilities. This means making 'necessary and appropriate modification and adjustments' to ensure those with disabilities can enjoy their rights on an equal basis with others.
Where should scarce governmental resources be channelled: to improving function and finding cures or making reasonable accommodations to ensure persons with disabilities can effectively and fully participate in society?
It is the voices of people with disabilities themselves that must guide this debate. This event will include diverse voices of people with disabilities with varying perspectives on the topic and will aims to highlight the 'social' and 'medical' models of disability and stimulate discussion about rights and research.
Moderated by Jon Faine, host of the morning show on 774 ABC Melbourne.
Dr Dianne Ashworth
First recipient of bionic eye transplant and Lecturer In Social Work, Deakin University
Professor Richard Dowell
Graeme Clark Chair in Audiology and Speech Science at The University of Melbourne
Professor Helen Herrman
Director at Orygen, The National Centre of Excellence in Youth Mental Health
Mr Graeme Innes AM
Previous Disability Discrimination Commissioner
Ms Rosemary Kayess
Human Rights Lawyer and Director, Human Rights and Disability Project, of the Australian Human Rights Centre at the Faculty of Law, University of New South Wales
Ms Jody Barney
Deaf Indigenous Community Consultant and Advocate
Banner image: 'Not titled' by artist, George Aristovoulou 2015. With thanks to Arts Project Australia.
Auslan interpreters will interpret this event.
Please use the hashtag #disabilitytalks