Law, Disability and Society

Given that disability spans every 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 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. Is it not time to come together in opposing this and all forms of bigotry and oppression by using common values, common interests and common solutions?

To forge a united pursuit of justice for disability within a fractured and perilous landscape, noted speaker Matthew Wappett will share his incisive investigations into the effects of environmental stress on learning and social interaction.  Notwithstanding the gravity of his focus, Wappett offers something to chuckle about: research showing that the cultivation of laughter in the classroom can genuinely mitigate animus and break down stubborn resistance to inclusivity in learning environments. 

This topic area encompasses a range of viable blueprints for justice, including a session on a Canadian project for safe and successful re-settlement of 25,000 refugees from war-torn Syria, an interactive workshop aimed at helping domestic abuse victims with disabilities navigate the criminal justice system, and a breakout talk on the power inequities that wrack the field of sign language interpreting.  As divergent as the numerous concerns for disability may seem, this topic area seeks to bolster justice for all with fortitude in advocacy and fairness in the legal system.

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.