The RightsNow! Consortium worked with partner organization MADIJAL in Guadalajara, Jalisco, México to bring together disability rights advocates, local government and the public sector to promote the rights of people with disabilities by increasing their access to legal resources and the justice system. The visit in April aimed to develop and strengthen cross-disability, cross-sector networks to address disability discrimination through implementation of the law.
Since 2009, MADIJAL has carried out social initiatives and promoted public policy to make Jalisco a more inclusive state. MADIJAL is a member of the Citizen Council of the State Commission on Human Rights, which was the first the coordinating mechanism in Mexico for monitoring compliance with the CRPD. Currently, MADIJAL’s network of 24 associations represents more than 2,000 people with disabilities.
In January, 2018 MIUSA Project Specialist, Susie Grimes and ACLU Senior Staff Attorney, Claudia Center, traveled to Guadalajara to meet with MADIJAL member organizations and government officials to learn about systemic discrimination and barriers to legal representation experienced by persons with disabilities and their families.
In April, 2018, a team of U.S. and Mexican legal experts convened lawyers, disability advocates and public sector operatives in Jalisco to plan coordinated strategies to improve access to justice. U.S. experts shared lessons learned and approaches that have been successful in the U.S., including referral networks, legal clinics, and inclusive law schools. Ongoing consultation and technical assistance from experts in the U.S. and México will be provided to project participants through June 2018.