Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Book Review - "Working Men's Bodies"

My Review of John Field's book, Working Men's Bodies: Work Camps in Britain, 1880-1940 is now posted on the Humanities and Social Sciences Online. It can be found in the H-Disability section, which explores historical issues around the experiences of disability. The full book review can be found here

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Gifts & Assets Ontario: Action to Support Disabled Persons Receiving ODSP

Many people are under the assumption that those receiving the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) have all of their immediate needs covered. But this is not the case as the maximum amount an ODSP recipient can access ($1,110 per month) puts ODSP recipients on and/or below the poverty line. 

Consider the following: 

  • In 2014 the average expenditure for housing was $1617 and $675 for food - way below the maximum level an ODSP recipient can receive.

  • Cuts and a failure to keep pace with inflation have meant that ODSP payments have failed to reflect the cost of living. In fact, it would require a 25% increase to the rate a single person receives for ODSP to even be worth what it was in 1994. 

Additionally, there are costs disabled persons incur that are not adequately covered by ODSP. These include: 

  1. Safe and accessible housing.
  2. Adequate and healthy foods.
  3. Adaptive equipments and accessibility needs.
  4. Transportation related costs. 
  5. Fee-for-service disability supports.
  6. Clothing and recreational expenses. 

While we certainly need to raise the rates for ODSP recipients, we also need to do away with outdated regulations that prevent persons on ODSP from receiving gifts and assets. This is a quick fix that the province of Ontario could implement immediately (like BC has done) to better support the economic well being of ODSP recipients.  

How can you help? 

  • Visit the Gifts and Assets website to learn more.
  • Join the coalition for change. 
  • Follow Gifts & Assets on Twitter.
  • Share information about this effort with your networks. 

Monday, July 11, 2016

Housing Trust for Adults with Intellectual Disabilities in Ottawa-Carleton

I was fortunate enough to work as a part of a wonderful team of researchers for a recent exploratory study on the feasibility of a housing trust for persons with intellectual disabilities in the Ottawa-Carleton region. 

Through Citizen Advocacy Ottawa, our research team worked with individuals, stakeholders, and advocates to explore the housing needs of persons with intellectual disabilities as well as how the establishment of a local housing trust would help to address the housing crisis. 

Some of the key findings from this research include: 

  • The ageing population, both in terms of caregivers and disabled adults, has created an urgent need to identify and implement innovative housing models, like a housing trust, in this region.  

  • Housing trusts are a part of a broader housing continuum that can offer greater options for independent living and affordable housing. 

  • Community members need a strong continuum of housing choice to ensure inclusion and personal autonomy.  

  • Existing gaps within parallel areas of disability support require policy makers to proactively work to promote a holistic lens where disability supports are concerned. 

  • It is vital that future housing models separate housing costs from from support costs to ensure conflicting interests are minimized and that housing requirements can be met using various sources of funding. 

The full research report can now be accessed online

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Disability Politics in a Global Economy - Available for pre-order

Disability Politics in a Global Economy is now available for pre-order. 

I'm incredibly excited to be a part of this book, which examines the legacy of Marta Russell
This interdisciplinary collection, which helps situate the marginalization of disabled bodies, draws on the work of scholars and activists interested in law, political economy, education, and disability studies. 
Marta Russell scholarship and activism have left an important mark where disability rights are concerned, and as the chapters in this collection illustrate, her insights continue to shape the disability rights movement.