I was ask to contribute to a proposal that seeks to make an institution of learning more accessible to the physically handicap. In the process of doing the background research for my contribution to this proposal I came across the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) which basically makes the same promises as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights but specifically for the physically handicap persons in the world.
The very notion of equality is something that I have come to realize is tricky. Most employers would proclaim that they are equal opportunity employers but there is no fundamental understanding of what this equality means. The equality stipulated in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights presupposes normalcy which implies the ability to already enjoy the rights that the declaration proclaims. For example the right to free hold assembly presupposes that one is able to get to a place where he/she can meet with others. For a physical handicap person who uses a wheel chair, for example, this movement is not a trivial matter to achieve which essentially limits his/her ability to free assemble. There are disabilities which would put a handicap person (a human being) in a situation where his/her rights under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights are violated.
While it is acceptable to proclaim non-discrimination as a policy, it is imperative to go an extra mile to provide an environment in which instances of discrimination do not arise; for example rules and regulations that seemingly ignore the realities of being a handicap/challenged person obviously discriminate on the basis of ability.
The provision of these additional services and/or support mechanisms should not be misconstrued to mean that the handicap person is less of a human being than he is; In addition to the CRPD, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights still applies to the physically handicap person.