Open Access Journal

ISSN: 2183-2803

Article | Open Access

Exclusion to Inclusion: Lived Experience of Intellectual Disabilities in National Reporting on the CRPD

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Abstract:  This article critically examines the application of an innovative project aimed at developing a mechanism for people with intellectual disabilities to provide input to the Icelandic government’s report on its implementation of the Convention on the Rights of Persons With Disabilities (CRPD). The project was undertaken to comply with the CRPD’s obligation to ensure the participation of disabled people in the review process and to respond to the recognized need for changes to consultation processes to accommodate the needs of people with intellectual disabilities. The project was successful in producing its intended outcome, to facilitate meaningful input by people with intellectual disabilities to the national review process. However, the research reveals that effective use of the outcome report by the authorities, which had both funded the project and praised its work, was lacking. These findings draw attention to the need to address unspoken norms and biases, and to take assertive steps to institutionalize a more structured and transparent process of co‐creation to ensure that the voices of marginalized groups are in fact heard and effectively taken into account in outcome processes. The research this article draws on is qualitative, comprised of data gathered through document analysis, as well as in‐depth interviews with representatives of disabled people’s organizations and the authorities.

Keywords:  Convention on the Rights of Persons With Disabilities; effective participation; inclusion; intellectual disabilities; marginalization



© Laufey Elísabet Löve. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license (, which permits any use, distribution, and reproduction of the work without further permission provided the original author(s) and source are credited.