Invitation: Disability Rights Conference,Organized by The Office of Accessibility and Inclusion, Lahore University of Management Sciences

Invitation To Participation at The Disability Rights Conference (March 2022) Organized by The Office of Accessibility and Inclusion (OAI), Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS)

⏰ 5 minutes

Roya Institute is pleased to announce that Ms. Angbeen Atif Mirza, Representative of the Roya Institute in Pakistan, is chairing an important conference at Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS). Details are as below. Roya invites all interested persons and organizations to take an active part in this event.


According to the WHO World Report on Disability, %15 of the world’s population, or more than 1 billion people, are living with disability. Of this number, it’s estimated 450 million are living with a mental or neurological condition— and two-thirds of these people will not seek professional medical help, largely due to stigma, discrimination, and neglect. According to The Right To Education, Pakistan, 5.035 million people with disabilities are deprived of access to their cities. The Government of Pakistan ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in 2011. However, none of these provisions have been effectively implemented or enforced till date. 

The world today is moving towards a more active recognition of the challenges, barriers and opportunities for persons with disabilities, particularly in the context of a global pandemic. Since March 2020, every person on earth has been impacted by drastic political, social and economic change as a result of domestic and international responses to COVID-19. Following the International Day of People with Disabilities (December 2021), the aim for 2022 is to recognize that persons with disabilities are amongst the most affected populations by the COVID-19 pandemic and to ensure that their agency and voice at the decision-making table is not restricted in any way. 

Marginalization, discrimination, vulnerability, and exploitation are everyday factors for many people. The lack of recognition for this vulnerability with specific regard to persons with disabilities has exacerbated their reduced access to routine health care and rehabilitation services and more pronounced social isolation. Furthermore, poorly tailored public health messaging, inadequately constructed mental health services, and a lack of emergency preparedness for persons with disabilities has placed them at a greater risk for exclusion. 

It is important to call on domestic and international public health officials, political representatives, advocates, supporters, and every citizen in every community, to push for more meaningful investments into the socioeconomic building blocks which will reduce the barriers faced by persons with disabilities in every community across the globe. 

Brief Description of OAI 

The Office of Accessibility and Inclusion (OAI) was established at the Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS) in 2020. Its aim and mission are to collaborate with the student body, faculty, staff, and student-led societies at LUMS to make the campus a safer, inclusive, accessible, diverse, and supportive community, both online and offline, for everyone at LUMS. OAI aims to provide individuals with disabilities as well as vulnerable and minority groups an equal opportunity to participate in the University’s programmes, partake of its benefits and services and to empathetically address any issues that might be hindering their life on campus. In addition, it aims to engage in healthy debates and discussions about inclusivity and accessibility issues that concern the LUMS campus and Pakistani society, at large. OAI is informed by conversations, input and perspectives from students, staff, and faculty from across the University and beyond, resulting in initiatives that are impactful and that bring members of the community closer together. The Conference on Disability Rights is one such step. 

Conference Objectives 

The Conference on Disability Rights serves as an important milestone in the Lahore University of Management Science (LUMS)’s aim of promoting safe, secure, accessible, and inclusive spaces for Persons with Disabilities at the Higher Education Level in Pakistan. This highly interactive two-day event will consist of sessions on disability rights and movements. The 

  • This conference aims to encourage open discussion and better understanding as well as to break down the stigma associated with disabilities. 
  • The conference aims to generate inclusive dialogues and interdisciplinary interactions between academia, community organizers, social and legal activists, health care service/providers and government representatives. 
  • The conference will also disseminate good practices about implementation of fundamental human rights for persons with disabilities as set out in the UN standards: independence, freedom of choice, full participation and equal access to political and public life; 
  • The conference will serve as a platform to foster collaboration between various stakeholders to increase understanding and improving accessibility, creating more inclusive spaces for Persons with Disabilities (PWDs), specifically in the area of Higher Education in Pakistan.

Conference Themes 

The Core Themes of the conference are as follows: 

  1. Disability and Identity Around the World 
  2. Disabilities as Social and Legal Rights Issue 
  3. Gendered Disabilities and Feminist Approaches to Disability 
  4. Community Activism and Policy Making around Disability Rights in Pakistan 
  5. Lived experiences, Life-writing, and Narratives of People with a Disability in Pakistan 

Conference Dates & Venue 

TBD – tentatively the 5th and 6th of March 2022 

Venue: LUMS, Lahore, Punjab, Pakistan. 

Conference is designed to raise awareness of the importance of creating a future where persons with disabilities experience equal opportunity and develop policy proposals to chart this path in the specific area of Higher Educational Institutions. 

Submission Guidelines

At this year’s conference, we invite you to explore the development and implementation of the rights of people with disabilities across the local, regional, national, and international levels. We encourage submissions and participation from individuals and communities whose voices have traditionally been marginalized. 

We invite creative proposals for presentation of creative work as well as for practical, skill- building workshops on topics including but not limited to: 

  1. Advocacy of Disability Rights 
  2. Access to Education and Disability Rights 
  3. Disability Rights and Economic Opportunities (Inclusive Workforce, Equality of Opportunity)
  4. Disability Rights and Technology 
  5. Policies, Programs and Services that Promote Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities 
  6. Best Practices and Models for Policy Development and Disability Rights Implementation 
  7. Academic and Theoretical Approaches to Disability Rights

We invite proposals of individual papers, panels, workshops, roundtables, and thematic conversation. Graduate student submissions are encouraged. 

Panels will be composed of 3- 4 presenters (time must be divided equally among panel presenters allowing 10-15 minutes for questions). Roundtable and thematic conversation may consist of more than three participants. The time for all panel types is one hour. 

Abstracts are limited to 500 words. Abstracts for academic work will be reviewed anonymously by an interdisciplinary program committee and rated based on the following criteria: 

  1. Identification of a Significant Problem; 
  2. Clarity and Coherence; 
  3. Methodology and Conceptual framework ; 
  4. Substantive Findings or Recommendations; and 


Abstracts must be submitted through the Proposal Submission Form available on the link*by 1 February 2022*

You will be notified of the decision on submitted Abstracts by 15 February 2022*. Conference proceedings and selected papers will be published in a special issue of OAI Publication. Once selected, you will be expected to submit final completed proposals by 25 February 2022* to the Conference Committee. 

Other important collaborators whose expertise, substantive knowledge, and practice, theoretical, practitioners, policymakers, and insight, or methodological expertise can be engaged in ways that help to build upon and advance research in the area of Disability Rights.