It is a central political goal to secure disabled persons equal opportunities to live meaningful lives. This goal reflects a wish to combine two fundamental moral ideals: the egalitarian ideal of equalization and the liberal ideal of personal freedom and responsibility. However, it is inherently difficult to combine these two ideals in the design of policies towards disabled people. If we are to treat disabled persons as free and autonomous individuals we need to take account of the fact that the disabled is a heterogeneous group of individuals with different preferences and who make different choices. However, it is not obvious how considerations of freedom and responsibility can be reconciled with considerations of equality in the context of disability.
The main goal of the conference "Disability, equality and responsibility" is to present papers that relates to the question of how the ideal of equalization and the ideal of personal freedom and responsibility can be reconciled in the context of disabi lity. This topic is also main focus of the research project ?A liberal egalitarian approach to disability? (with Alexander W. Cappelen as project leader) and the conference will be an important contribution to this research project.
The conference will b e held in Bergen on 2. June 2006. Five papers will be presented and most of the invited researchers have already accepted the invitation. Norwegian researchers will be invited to comment on the papers. We have been in contact with the Rokkan Centre for So cial Studies about the possibility of using Rokkansenteret as a venue for the conference.
The conference will provide Norwegian researchers an introduction to the contemporary normative debate on disability and to establish connections with international researchers in this field. In particular those research groups who are financed by "velferdsforsknings-programmet" will be encouraged to participate on the conference so as to make this a network conference.