Law, Disability and Society

Given that disability is intersectional and spans every living community, any justice movement must embrace an ethos of disability justice. For several years, many organizations and individuals have been working to achieve a world in which all people are empowered to exercise their human rights. This topic area will offer a platform to learn, engage and grow from our ideas around social movements in pursuit of justice. We welcome stories, insights and blueprints for collaboration across diverse sectors and generations.

This matters now more than ever. Breaches in disability rights and law don’t occur in a vacuum. Rather, the impetus behind recent animosities aimed at historically disenfranchised sectors of the population has also emboldened prejudice against people with disability. We will examine how passed and proposed rights-restricting legislation affects the people with disabilities, and consider what the shifting landscape of civic discourse means for community organizing, anti-bullying efforts, health care and employment. Additionally, we will discuss what can be done to support currently and formerly incarcerated people with disabilities.

As we’ve seen, the struggle to overcome disability animus isn’t strictly a disability issue. Therefore, opposing all forms of bigotry and oppression calls for a strategy directed at common values, common interests and common solutions. Such an inclusive narrative suggests the need for coalition building with groups and communities that share kindred interests or values.

We are interested in proposals that:

  • Link disability justice and human rights with other movements for change. This encompasses, but is not limited to, movements for environmental, economic, ethnic and racial justice, LGBTQ rights, youth organizing and immigration reform;
  • Address immigration and refugee issues as it relates to barriers in mobility across nation-states, freedom of movement, multiple vulnerabilities and livable conditions;
  • Discuss the places where disability and displacement intersect in local, national and international contexts;
  • Promote multifaceted approaches for social inclusion of persons with disabilities through a human rights based approach;
  • Identify best practices and evidence based research in how the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) can best be utilized to promote inclusive societies and reduce inequalities;
  • Identify the ways to further strengthen the disability rights dimension of the United Nations 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda;
  • Identify the ways in which engagement between society, law and persons with disabilities can be strengthened to effect social change;
  • Showcase research findings, perspectives and methods on issues relating to law and disability;
  • Present emerging good practices to access of justice for persons with a disability;
  • Discuss feminist analysis, practice and challenges as it relates to the intersection of gender and disability;
  • Address the role of advocacy in the pursuit of justice and fairness in the legal system;

We are particularly interested in receiving presentation proposals from advocates concerning their experiences and recommendations and from international participants providing cross-cultural perspectives.

We welcome all proposals. Please see presentation formats on our webpage at: Please read criteria for each format and ensure that you have the appropriate number of presenters for your chosen format. You may submit proposals online at: or send your proposals via email to

If you have questions or need further information, please contact the Pacific Rim team at For general information on the conference, please contact Charmaine Crockett at, (808) 956-7539. For registration questions please contact the registration desk at, phone (808) 956-8816, fax (808) 956-4437.