Innovative Practices 2016 on Education and ICT

A curriculum for advancing the UN CRPD – in six languages

The overall objective of this project is to equip persons with disabilities and organizations of persons with disabilities (DPOs) to promote disability rights education and advocacy through participatory learning methods and high-quality content. The aim is to create a flexible and adaptable yet comprehensive curriculum centred on the core concepts of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD).

“The curriculum consists of an accessible and easy-to-use training manual, and provides a major resource to strengthen advocacy and human rights education.”

Louise ARBOURFormer UN High Commissioner for Human Rights
About the practice at a glance
Name of Innovative Practice:Curriculum “Human Rights YES!”
Organisation:Burton Blatt Institute, Syracuse University
of Implementation


  • The original English curriculum has been translated into French, Spanish, Hungarian, Korean, and Arabic.
  • The curriculum has been utilized in training in more than 15 countries on six continents and has reached more than 5,000 disability advocates and allies.
  • The curriculum has been disseminated free of charge via hard copy in two editions, in CD ROM format in the second edition, and is online in various formats for download.

Enabling Human Rights_PRA_Picture1


With the adoption of the CRPD in 2006, very few DPOs were equipped to engage proactively in the disability rights law and policy advocacy needed to implement the convention, and they had little or no familiarity with its core concepts. Moreover, there were no materials that provided a comprehensive, participatory curriculum on the CRPD that could be used to address a wide variety of training needs and audiences.


The project provides a methodology and core content for running disability-rights education trainings for a wide variety of audiences, from grassroots DPOs to national government decision-makers. The model is highly flexible and adaptable to local circumstances, provides examples from around the world, and can be used in diverse educational contexts ranging from law schools, to informal grassroots workshops, to national electoral and human rights commissions, to mixed audiences from DPOs and government. Notably, the curriculum is widely disseminated and available for download free of charge in various formats. Moreover, the curriculum has generated a number of companion materials among partners, including two manuals published by the Harvard Law School Project on Disability in easy-to-read language for advocates with developmental disabilities.


The flexible curriculum provides step-by-step instructions for facilitators to run participatory exercises, as well as sample agendas for building workshop programmes designed in accordance with stakeholders’ needs. Going forward, the curriculum will be translated into Mandarin through a new partner at Wuhan University. The project is currently seeking new partnerships with DPOs in developing countries and looking at running workshops at major human rights education and disability rights conferences.


Ms. Janet E. LORD
Burton Blatt Institute, Syracuse University together with University of Minnesota Human Rights Center, Harvard Law School Project on Disability, Advocating Change Together
N-120 Mondale Hall, 229 19th Ave S., Minneapolis, MN 55455, USA
+ 1-443-416-1215

Nominated by: Janet LORD, Burton Blatt Institute, Syracuse University