Thursday, September 7, 2017

Perceptions of Our Childhood: Confronting Social Constructions of Care, Disability, and Childhood

The Sociology of Childhood and Youth Studies in Canada is finally out! 

This is a great edited collection exploring Canadian scholarship about young lives from a sociological perspective. 

I'm honoured to have a chapter in this collection examining our own experiences around disability and sibling relationships titled Perceptions of Our Childhood: Confronting Social Constructions of Care, Disability, and Childhood. Most importantly, I'm thrilled to have had the opportunity to expand on aspects of my doctoral research that push back against negative notions about disability and childhood. 

Monday, April 24, 2017

How ODSP Regulations Trap Recipients in Poverty

Recently I had the opportunity to collaborate with Helen Ries on a piece in the Toronto Star about ODSP regulations and poverty. 

It's important that we continue to advocate for change in Ontario to ensure disabled persons are not experiencing poverty. To support these efforts you can do the following: 

1. Share this article with your networks. 

2. Join the coalition (and check out the great work coalition members are doing to alleviate poverty).  

3. Consider reaching out to your local representative to ensure poverty and disability are priority issues for all parties.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Strategies for Competent and Ethical Disability Law Advocacy

Wednesday, November 30, 2016 from 12:00 PM to 1:30 PM (EST) is the 2nd annual Council of Canadians with Disabilities (CCD) Conference Fundraiser. 

Please join myself, and others, as we discuss issues related to disability advocacy and the law. 

Friday, October 14, 2016

Consultations of interest to Disability Community

There are currently a number of consultations with the federal government that are of interest to the disability community. Details and links to participate are listed below: 

1. From now until February 2017 the government is consulting with Canadians around planned accessibility legislation. To find background information on this process as well options for participating, Canadians can visit the website

2. Public consultations are also underway to help shape a national strategy on housing. Canadians can share ideas, take a survey, and submit their ideas in writing prior to October 21, 2016. 

3. Between October 6th and November 4th 2016 the government is gathering feedback about changes to Employment insurance (EI) and caregiving benefits

4. In advance of the next federal budget the government is consulting Canadians about budget priorities. To take part, visit the #Budget2017 website. 

5. The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) is consulting with Canadians around efforts to modernize rules that govern the charitable sector. Of specific interest for the non-profit sector are rules that govern political activities. To learn more about this and to be part of this important process visit the CRA website

6. The government is also set to consult Canadians about poverty reduction strategies (in 2017). For the time being, Canadians can access background and related information on this issue and the upcoming process. 

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Coalition for Change Nominated for Ottawa Social Impact Award!

The work of the Coalition driving the movement to change the gift and asset limits for ODSP recipients in Ontario has been nominated for an Ottawa Social Impact Award

The Ottawa Social Impact Awards are a partnership between the City of Ottawa and Impact Hub Ottawa to highlight Ottawa-based initiatives that have the potential for lasting impact, emphasize the power of collective action, and recognize social innovation aimed at shaking up the status quo. 

For more on the work of the gifts and assets collation please visit the website, and to vote for this initiative please visit the Ottawa Social Impact Award website

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Ottawa Book Launch! Disability Politics in a Global Economy: Essays in Honour of Marta Russell

Please join us Thursday October 20th from 4 to 6 PM at the University of Ottawa (Fauteux Hall, FTX570) for the launch of Disability Politics in a Global Economy. 

Please RSVP:

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Public Consultations on the future of the Huronia Regional Centre

From now until September 20, 2016 we have the opportunity to share feedback on what the province of Ontario should do with the 175 acres of land that were once the Huronia Regional Centre

Ontario officially closed the last of its institutions for individuals with intellectual disabilities in 2009. Since this time, the province has quietly rid itself of many of these sites. 

For example, all 354 acres of Rideau Regional Centre (in Smiths Falls) were sold through the Ontario Realty Corporation in 2011 for $100,000. With the private buyer planning to build a residential seniors complex. While South Western Regional Centre (in Chatham) was sold for a reported $150,000 and recently demolished with plans to develop separate parcels of land for hobby farms. 

Yet the sale of these sites leaves activists and survivors with questions about how the redevelopment of these sites, particularly to private buyers, erases histories of abuse and the lived experiences of inmates. Given how private buyers have trivialized and exploited the history of these spaces south of the boarder, there are serious concerns the province needs to address. 

There is no question these sites were oppressive and abusive. While there has been a successful class action lawsuit on behalf of survivors and the province has apologized, the province's redevelopment of these sites has helped erase these spaces and what survivors endured within them. More on the complexities of the redevelopment process can be found in a chapter I co-authored with Jijian Voronka in the book Disability Incarcerated

These sites, while horrific, are an important part of the history of disability in this province, and speak to one of the many ways incarceration has been packaged and sold as a policy solution (a practice that continues today through various policy responses to disability). Please take a moment and take advantage of this opportunity to let the province know that respecting and preserving this history is important.