Core Concepts of Disability Policy, the Convention on the Rights of Persons With Disabilities, and Public Policy Research With Respect to Developmental Disabilities



This article describes the core concepts of U.S. disability policy and their utility for national and international policy development. It compares and contrasts the core concepts with the articles of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD), and then describes implications of the alignment of these two approaches. There is significant overlap among the core concepts and UNCRPD articles. Aligning the core concepts derived from U.S. disability policy and the UNCRPD provides a unifying international framework for thinking about core values in the development of public policy and research based on the social-ecological model. The core concepts approach can help researchers analyze policies in other countries and relate analyses to quality of life outcomes for individuals and families affected by disability. The authors posit that policy leaders, advocates in professional and family organizations, nation-state policymakers and organization leaders, and practitioners might adopt a similar approach.