Deborah Stienstra

University of Manitoba

Deborah Stienstra is Professor in Disability Studies at the University of Manitoba. She held the Royal Bank Research Chair in Disability Studies from 2000-2003 at the Canadian Centre on Disability Studies. She has worked with national organizations including the Canadian Research Institute for the Advancement of Women, the Council of Canadians with Disabilities, the National Action Committee on the Status of Women, FAFIA, and the Canadian Voice of Women for Peace. Her recent research interests include the effects of changes in public services on people with disabilities, women’s experiences as a result of economic restructuring, intersections between disability, race/ethnicity and Aboriginality, access and inclusion in telecommunications policy, and experiences of people with disabilities in end of life and cancer care. She is co-editor of Making Equality: History of Advocacy and Persons with Disabilities in Canada and the lead author of Women with Disabilities: Accessing Trade.

  • About Canada: Disability Rights

    By Deborah Stienstra     March 2012

    Through a close examination of employment, education, transportation, telecommunications and health care, About Canada: Disability Rights explores the landscape of disability rights in Canada and finds that, while important advances have been made, Canadians with disabilities still experience significant barriers in obtaining their human rights. Using the stories and voices of people with disabilities, Deborah Stienstra argues that disability is not about “faulty” bodies that need to be fixed, but about the institutional, cultural and attitudinal reactions to certain kinds of bodies, and that neoliberal ideas of independence and individualism are at the heart of the continuing discrimination against “disabled” people. Stienstra contends that achieving disability rights is possible, but not through efforts to “fix” certain kinds of bodies. Rather it can be achieved through universal design, disability supports, social and economic supports and belonging – in short, through foundational social transformation of Canadian society.

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  • Strategies for the Year 2000

    A Women’s Handbook

    By Barbara Roberts and Deborah Stienstra     January 1995

    How well has Canada measured up to its obligations under the two agreements it signed during the UN Decade of Women? The authors of this book detail the terms of the conventions (the Convention for the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women and the Forward Looking Strategies for the Advancement of Women by the Year 2000) and have painstakingly chronicled the progress the provincial, territorial, and federal governments have made towards fulfilling their legal obligations in areas such as women’s participation in decision-making, childcare, violence against women and so on. All levels of governments are found wanting. As an assessment of progress on women’s equality in Canada, it is fascinating reading and a thorough resource.

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