Can Policy to Address Some Disability Rights Mitigate Weak Approaches to Others?

Karen R. Fisher, Sally Robinson, Sarah Parker Harris

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Governments prioritize some rights over others because of policy constraints. We ask whether differential disability policy priorities can readdress other unrealized rights when applied to services for people with disabilities in boarding houses in Australia. The housing is inappropriate to their support needs and breaches their immediate right to unsegregated housing. Findings about the government-funded support showed that their well-being improved, but the housing increased their support needs and reduced their eligibility for suitable housing, implying that support policies that prioritize progressive realization rights are not successful where immediate realization rights to housing remain unaddressed. These findings about the negative social outcomes from ignoring human rights hierarchies have implications for policy priorities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)512-521
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Public Administration
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 17 May 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • citizenship
  • disabled
  • housing
  • policy process
  • social justice


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