null Disability and equal rights

61. Discapacidad y equiparación de derechos (Disability and equal rights)

The recent reform of Spanish legislation recognizes that people with disability have legal capacity on equal conditions with others, and obliges the state to take measures to provide the necessary support to make this effective.


This change entails moving from a care model in which decisions are primarily made by representatives to one based on respecting the wishes and preferences of the individual, who is responsible for taking their own decisions. The role of guardians in modifying the individual's capacity gives way to new forms of support, which may be voluntary or the result of a legal decision but are always based on recognizing the legal capacity of the person affected.


This change entails uncertainty and contradictions, in so far as it modifies people's rights, and it needs to be accompanied by a change in the way society views disability, which continues to be characterized by paternalism.


This publication offers a considered reflection on the current status of this change and the challenges it poses.