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Societies 2018, 8(2), 36;

Canadian Disability Policies in a World of Inequalities

Department of Political Science, University of Guelph, Guelph, ON N1G 2W1, Canada
Received: 1 April 2018 / Revised: 22 May 2018 / Accepted: 28 May 2018 / Published: 30 May 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Social Participation and Human Rights)
Full-Text   |   PDF [233 KB, uploaded 30 May 2018]


Canadian disability-related policies are shaped within a global system of inequalities, including colonialism and neoliberalism. Using a critical theory framework, this article examines the complicated material inequalities experienced by people with disabilities and evident in the intersections of disability, gender, Indigenousness, race, and age. The collectively held ideas that give context to disability policies are at odds. Human rights protections are found in the foundational documents of Canadian society and part of its international commitments, yet these commitments often become window-dressing for a pervasive logic that it is better to be dead than disabled, and medical assistance in dying legislation supports this choice. While human rights protections are essential, they are not sufficient for decolonizing inclusion. Constructive actions between Indigenous peoples and settlers may help to find new ways of addressing disability and inclusion in Canada. View Full-Text
Keywords: disability policy; Canada; intersectionality; human rights; Indigenous; colonialism; neoliberalism; capitalism; medical assistance in dying disability policy; Canada; intersectionality; human rights; Indigenous; colonialism; neoliberalism; capitalism; medical assistance in dying
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Stienstra, D. Canadian Disability Policies in a World of Inequalities. Societies 2018, 8, 36.

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