18 June 2013

Two years and seven minutes ago

In June 2011 I spoke to the Venice Commission for seven minutes to try and persuade them that people with disabilities should have the right to vote. Yes, you read that correctly.
7 June 2013

A social paradigm of mental health

7 June 2013. New post on OliverTalks: Psychiatry should step out of the bubble of mental health and join the disability rights world where the right to live in the community means more than access to psychiatric treatments.
30 May 2013

Legal capacity litigation

I wrote yesterday about a conference I went to last week in Serbia. This OliverTalks post summarises my presentation about legal capacity litigation.
29 May 2013

Serbian judges sentence 3,500 people to civil death each year

Last Tuesday I participated in the first day of a two-day conference in Belgrade, about legal capacity and community living, organised by various NGO partners in the “Person” project, which is funded by the European Commission (aka European taxpayers).
24 May 2013

“Walk on!” Transforming lives through horses one step at a time

I took a day off from law last week to visit a British NGO called Circles Network. You can read about their person-centred planning on my previous OliverTalks post here. Circles Network leave labels behind, ignore impairments and discard deficits. Out in the Warwickshire countryside, non-human animals help humans learn about themselves and others. Listening happens but words need not be spoken. The extraordinary is rendered quite ordinary.
21 May 2013

Building inclusive communities through Circles of Support

Last Tuesday I went to Rugby, a town 50 minutes by train from London and spent the day with my friend Mandy Neville who runs an NGO called Circles Network. Mandy radiates positive energy and it is no wonder that this distinctive charity now has branches in all four of the countries which comprise the UK, running a range of services all focused on helping individuals and creating inclusive communities.
10 May 2013

Global psychiatry: stop deploying human rights rhetoric to justify forced psychiatric treatment

On Wednesday I gave a lecture at the University of Leeds. It was about human rights and the Movement for Global Mental Health. Let me outline one of the main points which I made. OliverTalks posts next week will cover the other points.
7 May 2013

Corporates beware

Blind people can’t access all ATMs in Hungary. This latest case at the UN is a slap in the face for wealthy companies who can’t be bothered to make their services accessible. And it’s a wake-up call for governments that let companies discriminate.
2 May 2013

Inclusive education in Albania: “it takes an effort, it does”

“This one’s autistic, she is Downs, and this one is autistic too”, said the lady, pointing in turn to three girls who were sat around a table holding coloured pens. “What are the girls’ names?” I replied.
15 April 2013

Croatia’s EU election is more important for some than others

Croatia voted yesterday to elect 12 Members of the European Parliament, in preparation for the country’s accession to the European Union on 1 July. The measly turnout of 20.74% indicates that most Croatians considered the election unimportant. But for around 16,000 people yesterday was the first time that they were treated like citizens.