In order to address obvious inequities, rights have been utilised to provide the 'basic' material needs for many groups. Whilst this brings some groups/individuals up to a perceived minimum standard, it unfortunately fails to address the misunderstandings from which the inequities originally stemmed. Via a sociological and philosophical exploration of rights-based strategies relating to intellectual disability, the purpose of this paper is to provide a fuller exploration of the issues surrounding this problem, and to suggest some fruitful alternatives. These alternatives will be concerned specifically with a broadening of rights to facilitate understanding, rather than simple 'protection' from harm and/or the provision of material needs. .