Cases violating CRPD art 9(1) (4)

Note that committees can record actual or potential violations.

Article 9 - Accessibility

1. To enable persons with disabilities to live independently and participate fully in all aspects of life, States Parties shall take appropriate measures to ensure to persons with disabilities access, on an equal basis with others, to the physical environment, to transportation, to information and communications, including information and communications technologies and systems, and to other facilities and services open or provided to the public, both in urban and in rural areas. These measures, which shall include the identification and elimination of obstacles and barriers to accessibility, shall apply to, inter alia:

(a) Buildings, roads, transportation and other indoor and outdoor facilities, including schools, housing, medical facilities and workplaces;

(b) Information, communications and other services, including electronic services and emergency services.

CRPD art 9(1)

Beasley v Australia (CRPD, 2016)

Remedy's assessment: Unremedied

Ms Beasley is Deaf and uses Auslan to communicate. Summoned to perform jury duty, she was turned away because she requires an Auslan interpreter to communicate with hearing jurors and others in the courtroom. The Committee found this denial of a ‘reasonable accommodation’ to allow Ms Beasley to exercise her legal capacity on an equal basis was a violation of her rights to equality before the law (art 5(1)), to reasonable accommodation (art 5(3)), to equal access to information and communications (art 9(1)), to access to justice (art 13(1)), freedom of expression (art 21(b)) and to participate in the conduct of public affairs (art 29(b)).

The Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities agreed that reasonable accommodation would be to allow an Auslan interpreter to take an oath regarding confidentiality of jury deliberations.

Read more on Beasley v Australia.

Given v Australia (CRPD, 2018)

Remedy's assessment: Unremedied

A voter with cerebral palsy was denied assistive technology that was available to blind voters in order to cast an independent, secret vote. Obliged instead to vote with the aid of another person, she was denied her choice of assistant. Ms Given was denied her right to a secret ballot and the right to fully participate in political and public life on an equal basis with others.

Read more on Given v Australia.

Henley v Australia (CRPD, 2022)

Remedy's assessment: Partially remedied

Lauren Henley, who is blind, alleged Australia’s failure to make audio description available on free-to-air television violated her rights to access to information, communications and other services, including electronic services (art 9(1b)); and to access television (art 30(1b)), in conjunction with art 4(1) (non-discrimination) and art 4(2) (the right to have economic, social and cultural rights realised progressively and with maximum available resources). The Committee on the Right of Persons with Disabilities agreed and recommended individual remedies and non-repetition measures.

Read more on Henley v Australia.

Lockrey v Australia (CRPD, 2016)

Remedy's assessment: Unremedied

Mr Lockrey is Deaf and requires real-time steno-captioning in order to communicate. He was summoned to serve as a juror, but when he informed authorities he would need steno-captioning in order to serve as a juror, the NSW Sheriff refused, claiming that to have a captioner in the jury room would breach the confidentiality of jury deliberations.

The Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities found that Australia had discriminated against Mr Lockrey by failing to make reasonable adjustments to accommodate him, noting that a captioner could take an oath of confidentiality in order to be present in the jury room. The Committee further found violations concerning Mr Lockrey’s right to accessibility, to express himself ‘in official interactions’ and to equal access to justice.

Read more on Lockrey v Australia.