The Concept of Quality of Life as Framework for Implementing the UNCRPD
System(s) of support: Dignity and Respect
Target Group(s): Intellectual Disability
Age Group(s): Adults
Societal views on the rights of persons with disabilities have changed over the last few decades. Evolutions are reflected in international conventions, as the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) developed to guide policies and practices. However, knowledge about the implementation of the Convention remains limited. In addition, another important construct, quality of life (QOL), has gained increasing prominence in the field of disability. This construct has evolved from a sensitizing notion to a measurable construct that provides a framework to assist organization and systems transformation.
The present research focused on the implementation of the UNCRPD articles to assist organizations and systems in the support provision practice. The study is a preliminary step toward implementation, looking for consensus on cross-culturally referenced indicators of QOL outcomes. The methodology chosen to find cross-cultural consensus was an international modified Delphi study to determine the relation and alignment among UN Convention articles, QOL domains, and measurable indicators. A total of 153 experts (self-advocates, professionals, family members, academics, and experts in law) from 11 countries evaluated the indica-
tors. The Delphi study resulted in finding at least one indicator per convention article/QOL domain pairing. Thus, an international pool of cross-cultural indicators was identified to assist the implementation of the Convention articles. The study provides a first exploration of using the QOL framework to implement the UNCRPD. Although international indicators have been found per convention article/QOL pairing, challenges exist in regard to the further translation process into practice between policy and research, and vice versa. Efforts should continue to determine not only the relations among convention articles and measurable indicators, but also associated strategies for realizing the aim of the Convention in local policies and practices.
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