The third conversation in the Vidhi Book Adda series was a discussion on the book ‘Structured Negotiation: a Winning Alternative to Lawsuits’ by Lainey Feingold, on December 16th 2021.
For persons with disabilities, poor access to the services and facilities that the able-bodied take for granted has become the background noise of their lives. Technology has enormous potential to dismantle the barriers they face. However, if not designed with the needs of the disabled in mind, technology can reinforce and exacerbate pre-existing barriers. While the Rights of persons with Disabilities Act, 2016 requires all service providers, private and public, to make their platforms disabled friendly, a recent survey brought to light that more than 40 such mainstream platforms remain inaccessible. Given this state of affairs, are time-consuming, expensive and emotionally exacting lawsuits the only way out?
Lainey Feingold’s book proposes an alternative pathway for ‘principled peacemaking’. Called structured negotiation, the technique she proposes involves constructive good-faith engagement with service providers, to find amicable solutions to disputes. While her technique has predominantly been used to address the barriers faced by the disabled, the structured negotiation mindset is applicable across a range of contexts and fact situations.
This conversation evaluated the salient features of this approach, its efficacy in the Indian milieu and the approach to practically operationalizing it in practical situations.
- Lainey Feingold, Disability Rights Lawyer, Public Speaker and Author
- Shilpi Kapoor, CEO, Barrier Break – a Digital Accessibility Firm
The discussion was moderated by Rahul Bajaj, Senior Resident Fellow, Vidhi Centre for Legal Policy.