Webmaster's Note: The below Abstract is by Professor Laverne Jacobs, who served as Fulbright Visiting Research Chair in Cannadian Studies with our program during the 2013-2014 academic year. We are pleased to announce the publication of a special edition of the Windsor Yearbook of Access to Justice by Professor Jacobs, resulting from a conference that was held at Berkeley in 2014.
It brings me great pleasure to write this Introduction to Exploring Law, Disability, and the Challenge of Equality in Canada and the United States. This special collection of articles in the Windsor Yearbook of Access to Justice [WYAJ] stems from a symposium of the same name held at the Berkeley Law School at the University of California on 5 December 2014. Writing this introduction allows me to bring together my identities as a law and disability scholar, the principal organizer and convener of the Berkeley Symposium, and editor-in-chief of the WYAJ.
In these roles, I have had the opportunity to engage with this set of articles and their authors in a distinct way – from the early versions of these articles through to the final peer-reviewed publications. The Berkeley Symposium is the first conference, of which we are aware, to bring together scholars and experts from both Canada and the United States to present research and exchange ideas on equality issues affecting persons with disabilities in both countries.1 Each academic was invited to write about an equality issue of their choice that is of contemporary concern to persons with disabilities, and to focus on Canada, the United States,or both, at their option. The result is a set of articles that is simultaneously introspective and comparative.