4th International Disability Summer School, June 18-23, 2012


                                                                                               Harvard Project on Disability

4th International Disability

Summer School

The UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities – How to Use it



Pictured are participants at 3rd International Summer School, June 2011


18th – 23rd June 2012


Centre for Disability Law & Policy, National University of Ireland, Galway, Republic of Ireland


School Directors: Professor Gerard Quinn (NUI Galway, Ireland) & Professor Michael Stein (Harvard Project on Disability)

With opening address by President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins




About the School

The purpose of this six day International Summer School is to equip participants with the insights and skills necessary to translate the generalities of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities into tangible reform for persons with disabilities.

The participants will include persons with disabilities, their families, civil society groups of persons with disabilities as well as advocates for disability law reform, lawyers, policy makers, policy analysts and others.

The Faculty includes senior academics, practitioners and policy makers from around the world most of whom have been directly and actively engaged in drafting and implementing the Convention.

This is the fourth International Summer School on disability law & policy offered by the Centre for Disability Law & Policy and the second in conjunction with the Harvard Project on Disability. Last year it attracted over 80 participants from 18 different countries around the world which probably makes it one of the biggest such events .

This year we will be particularly honoured by the President of Ireland, Michael D Higgins, who has graciously agreed to give an opening address at the Summer School. He takes a great interest in disability issues and has been a tireless campaigner throughout his long political life for the rights and interests of persons with disabilities in Ireland and indeed throughout the world.

The teaching Faculty include many who drafted the convention and include, Professor Theresia Degener (Member of the German delegation in the negotiations and member of the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, Bochum University, Germany), Dr. Michael Bach (Inclusion International & Canadian Association for Communtiy Living, Toronto), Professor Jerome Bickenbach (Swiss Paraplegic Institute & University of Lucerne, Switerland), Professor Nora Groce (University College London), Andrea Coomber (INTERIGHTS London), Gauthier deBeco (KU Louvain, Belgium), Dr. Eilionoir Flynn (specialist on comparative disability strategies, Centre for Disability Law and Policy at the National University of Ireland, Galway), Janet Lord (Research Associate, Havard Law School Project on Disabiiity and International Disability Rights Legal Practitioner) and Mr. Eric Rosenthal (Disability Rights International, Washington DC).

Fees and Scholarship


The fee for the Summer School is €300. The fee covers attendance on the 6 day teaching programme and a social evening event at the end of the week. The course fee covers the cost of teaching, teaching materials, lunch and refreshments during teaching hours.  Accommodation is not covered by the course fee. The course fee must be paid by credit card.


Participant places are limited, and will be reserved on a first come first served basis.


A course fee waiver concession will be available for a limited number of applicants from NGO’s (this may be a part or full course fee waiver and is at the discretion of the Summer School).  If you are interested in applying for a scholarship, please email disabilitysummerscho@nuigalway.ie with details of why you feel you should be considered for a scholarship by 31st March 2012.

Background Information:

The Centre for Disability Law and Policy has previously hosted three successful Summer Schools focusing mostly on Europe, the most recent being that of 2011 entitled ‘ The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities – From Paper Rules to Action’. A summer school was also held in 2006 entitled ‘Disability Discrimination Law Summer School: Comparative Perspectives on Effective Test Case Strategies under the EU Framework Directive’.

For those who would like to gain an idea of what previous Summer Schools have encompassed please click on the following link to the previous Summer Schools:

  • http://www.nuigalway.ie/cdlp/events/summer_school.html

    A significant turning point in the disability sector has been the signing and in many countries the ratification of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities. As such participants may wish to gain a better understanding of this Convention prior to attending the Summer School and please feel free to access the text of the Convention by clicking on this link:

Testimonials from 3rd International

Summer School 2011


“Empowering, informative, consciousness raising”

“Offers an awareness of activism by disability rights organisation across the globe”

“Very impressed with the calibre of the speakers and the diverse range of attendees”

“Extremely informative and well organised”

“The personal experience of the lecturers was illuminating…realising possibilities and potential that are still open to me as a person with a disability”

“I am know more aware of the diversity of people and opinion with the PWD Community…and the distance between reality and the aspirations of the convention. I can now look at things more critically”


If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us at: disabilitysummerscho@nuigalway.ie