There are more than 300,000 Australians with intellectual disability. This number is expected to increase due to improvements in neonatal care and disease prevention activities. Access to appropriate health care and support is imperative; people with intellectual disability frequently experience unrecognised and poorly managed complex medical conditions, which detrimentally impact their mortality and morbidity rates. This article first traces health and disability rights in the development of international human rights law, and tracks the parallel movement from medical models of disability to the social model that underpins the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. The article then narrows its focus to the domestic context and explores how Australia’s health and disability rights obligations might affect domestic policy and planning, so as to ultimately improve the health and well-being of this vulnerable population.
Thanks Claire, Rob and Nick.