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Structured negotiation as a boost for disability rights

  • Published
    8th Jan, 2024


The Structured Negotiation's success is rooted in the mutually beneficial situation it offers, benefiting both service providers facing defaults and the complainants.

Structured Negotiation as a Dispute Resolution Alternative

  • Definition and Adoption: Structured negotiation, a collaborative dispute resolution method, gains prominence as an alternative to litigation, emphasizing collaboration over confrontation.
  • Success in Disability Rights Cases: Notably effective in settling disability rights cases in the U.S., structured negotiation resolves issues related to accessibility, leading to institutional reforms and driving strategies for accessible products.
  • Win-Win Situation: At the core of its success lies the methodology's ability to create a win-win situation, encouraging defaulting service providers to avoid litigation costs and negative publicity, while providing complainants with barrier-free marketplace participation.

Success Metrics and Legal Precedents

  • Addressing Inaccessible Services: Structured negotiation succeeds in addressing issues with automated teller machines, point of sale devices, pedestrian signals, and service provider websites, achieving tangible improvements.
  • Corporate Compliance and Legal Advocacy: Defaulting service providers, aiming to sidestep the drawbacks of litigation, find incentive in structured negotiation. Legal precedents form a crucial foundation for successful negotiations.
  • Role in Accessibility Blueprint: Courts creating a blueprint for accessibility and legal compliance pave the way for structured negotiation, enabling businesses to ensure accessibility without resorting to lengthy litigation.

Application in the Indian Context

  • Reducing Legal Complexities: As Indian civil courts face increasing pendency and red tape, structured negotiation provides an effective alternative, reducing paperwork and legal complexities.
  • Challenges of Disability Legislation: India's Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016 faces challenges in enforcement. Structured negotiation offers a practical approach to address accessibility issues efficiently outside the legal process.
  • Business Prioritization and Future Outlook: Structured negotiation's success depends on service providers prioritizing disability issues. Advocating for a widespread adoption, the article emphasizes the business benefits of catering to persons with disabilities.
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