The Bengt Lindqvist Human Rights Prize in Critical Disability Studies will be awarded to a student graduating from the Master’s Program in Critical Disability Studies who has produced the best Major Research Paper.
Bengt Lindqvist’s leadership and dedication to the rights of persons with disabilities has had a profound and lasting effect on the policies of governments and the lives of people throughout the world. Serving as the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Disability from 1994 to 2003, he monitored the implementation of the Standard Rules on the Equalization of Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities, a framework to further the equality and full participation of persons with disabilities in social life and development. His work led directly to the creation of Disability Rights Promotion International, a collaborative project working to establish a comprehensive and sustainable international system to monitor the human rights of persons with disabilities, which is based at York University. Bengt Lindqvist’s achievements have been recognized by many communities internationally, including receiving an honorary doctorate from York University in 2013. Mr. Lindqvist recognized so clearly and unfailingly that the voices of people with disabilities were the voices we needed to hear and what was said by those voices had to be the only agenda in addressing the denial of rights, and exclusion. He never bent in his resolve to make those voices heard. Bengt Lindqvist had a singular influence on disability rights in the 20th century, and his legacy and impact are continuing into the 21st century.