Daily Maverick (Johannesburg)

South Africa: Know Your Constitution - People With Disabilities - Hidden, but Not Unheard


The "Know Your Constitution" Campaign* is a campaign that advocates for the right to constitutional literacy, including the right to access physical copies of our Constitution.

The Campaign culminates on 10 December - the 17th anniversary of the official adoption of the Constitution. This week's focus is on rights of people with disabilities - a group of South Africans that face human rights violations as a matter, of course, on a daily basis.

Beyond blind beggars at traffic lights, and a handful of exceptional public figures with disabilities, the relative invisibility of disabled people in our society belies the fact that up to 15% of our population may have a disabling impairment of some kind.

The work of SECTION27 and Afrika Tikkun proves that constitutional literacy is a tool for amplifying the quiet voices of the most marginalised, and provides an example of what those voices can achieve, given access to and the understanding of our Constitution.

"We feel that our children with disabilities should not be treated as if they do not exist! They also have rights to education like all other children," states a letter presented to a Ward councillor in...

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