About Canada: Disability Rights. 

By Deborah Stienstra  

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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.

  • EPUB
  • ISBN: 9781552665688
  • March 2012
  • $17.99
  • For sale worldwide
  • Kindle
  • ISBN: 9781552667101
  • May 2015
  • For sale worldwide

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  • “Because the UNCRPD, which Canada ratified in 2010, affirms the right to equality of opportunity, every occupational therapist in Canada should read this book, which provides a valuable resource as we work with people with disabilities to assure their opportunities for participation in occupations are equal to our own.”

    — Karen Whalley Hammell for the Canadian Journal of Occupational Therapy 82(1) (full review)

  • Review in Prairie Books NOW


  • What Are Disability Rights?
  • People and Policies in Search of Disability Rights
  • When People with Disabilities Fall through the Cracks
  • Disability Rights and Key Areas of Canadian Society
  • How Can People with Disabilities Claim their Rights?
  • Learning from Ordinary Lives, Changing Social Attitudes
  • Notes
  • Index


  • Deborah Stienstra

    University of Guelph

    Deborah Stienstra holds the Jarislowsky Chair in Families and Work, is a professor of political science and the director of the Live Work Well Research Centre at the University of Guelph. 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.

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