This paper explores how the expressed health needs of Indigenous peoples with disabilities resonate with the mandate of Article 25 ‘Health’ of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). The perceptions of indigenous peoples with disabilities are investigated, regarding their access to, and expectations of, health care. Their views are compared to those of health workers, senior bureaucrats and United Nations delegates. An exploratory case study approach was taken to compare three jurisdictions: Australia, Mexico and New Zealand. The data collection techniques used involved semi-structured interviews, focus groups and field notes. The findings suggest that the health needs of indigenous peoples with disabilities are largely underserved and misunderstood by health departments. Specialised and preventive health care for those with disabilities was found to be particularly problematic. Poverty, discrimination and disenfranchisement emerged as being the possible major determinants of the ill health experienced by indigenous peoples with disabilities. The findings and conclusions outlined in this paper advocate the need to build capacity and rights literacy for indigenous peoples with disabilities, particularly with respect to the CRPD, in order to enhance its impact on the health of indigenous people. A legitimate redistribution of resources and decision-making in response to the expressed health needs of indigenous peoples with disabilities is needed if the vision of the CPRD is to be realised in relation to Article 25.
Disability and the Global South, 2018, Vol.5, No. 2