28 Dec 2020 4:45 AM GMT
"For many of us, what drew us to the law as our chosen career path was its ability to remedy injustice, to help make our society more equal. And yet, despite professing these high ideals, we must always ask: How far does our profession in fact actually practice them?While a number of barriers that lawyers with disabilities face can only be addressed through...
"For many of us, what drew us to the law as our chosen career path was its ability to remedy injustice, to help make our society more equal. And yet, despite professing these high ideals, we must always ask: How far does our profession in fact actually practice them?
[Rahul Bajaj, one of the book authors, with Haben Girma, an interviewee covered in the book. The picture was taken in Oxford. Rahul has a white cane, and Haben has a guide dog]
These interviews which have taken us on a journey through the lives and times of various people with disabilities show us that the obstacles faced by them are many and varied. The entire legal community needs to better understand the needs of the disabled and more importantly view accessibility and accommodation as a matter of right and not as a privilege or favour. This understanding and a move to make the legal profession more accessible must come from all quarters and at all levels of the hierarchy- law students and faculty, examination authorities and invigilators, recruiters and supervisors, seniors and judges must all come together to bring about perceptible and holistic change to the lamentable status quo. While we continue to believe in this ideal we are also cognizant that change is slow and often met with friction and ignorance and therefore, no change, howsoever small is insignificant and no attitudinal shift, insufficient. We hope these interviews and takeaways stay with you and at least to some extent spur you into acting in ways which make the legal profession more inclusive of the disabled. It would indeed be paradoxical if the legal community which purports to fight for the rights of the legal-illiterates and outsiders, continues to turn a blind-eye to the rights and lawful claims of an invisible minority within its own cohorts."