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Preventing disability, respecting disabled people: have we got the balance right?
  1. T Shakespeare*
  1. Correspondence World Health Organization, Avenue Appia 20, 1211, Geneva 27, Switzerland


There are multiple intersections between injury and disability. Human rights approaches to disability (eg, the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities) suggests some rethinking may be needed. Many disabled people reject a pathological conception of disability and celebrate disability an identity. Evidence shows that disabled people are at higher risk of injury: should they then be a priority for safety messages? It is more common to find that becoming disabled is represented as an avoidable tragedy: does this shock tactic undermine respect and acceptance of disabled people? This talk will explore some of these nuances and offer suggestions for an appropriate public health approach.

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