Getting disability rights on the curriculum

22nd February 2018

News, Student news, Alumni news

A conference focusing on disability law and policy will launch an Oxford-wide project led by Wadham alumna Dr Marie Tidball (Criminology, 2011).

  • Marie Tidball

The conference will showcase the academically excellent work on Disability Law and Policy taking place at the University and the intellectual challenges faced by academics and legal practitioners who work in this field.

The conference will showcase the academically excellent work on Disability Law and Policy taking place at the University and the intellectual challenges faced by academics and legal practitioners who work in this field.

Thanks to a generous donation from a Wadham alumnus, Marie is to spend a year devoting half her working week to finding ways to integrate disability into the Oxford curriculum. This conference will bring together a steering group to influence this process.

The Disability Law and Policy Project aims to put disability law at the centre of learning and teaching in the law curriculum.

In January 2017 the Disabled Students Sector Leadership Group (DSSLG), supported by the Department for Education reported that the barriers to participation and success for disabled students come not from the student but from society and its institutions, systems and processes. They concluded that part of the solution is more inclusive curricula, learning and teaching environments, and restructured support.

“I would like Oxford to lead the way in implementing this guidance” said Marie.

She hopes that her work could eventually lead to a longer term objective of creating a a Disability Law and Policy Masters course, and a University Lectureship in Disability law. “This would provide an opportunity for barristers and solicitors to develop a specialism in the area of disability law, to work with clients with disabilities and to influence changes to case law. One of the real issues for people with disabilities is getting access to the legal system and accessible justice,” she added.

Marie’s work on this project complements her role at TORCH, the Oxford Research Centre in the Humanities, looking at the future of disability rights. She is a Research Associate at the Centre for Criminology and Bonavero Institute of Human Rights and also leads the committee organising the Herbert Smith Freehills Oxford Disability Mooting Championship and organises the 42 Bedford Row Disability Law Essay Prize, to be launched soon for 2018. Marie also sits on Oxford City Council as the Board Member for Young People, Schools and Public Health.

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