This page features the news on disability from Canada in the Debrief Library. See also news from other countries.


Accessibility and Design

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Woman with disabilities nears medically assisted death after a fruitless bid to secure an affordable apartment that doesn't worsen her chronic illnesses. (May, CTV News)

This Ontario family has spent years looking for wheelchair accessible housing. “These parents carry their eight-year-old son up and down stairs everyday with no end in sight.” (May, Toronto Star)

Court Case on whether appopriate housing is a human right for people with disabilities Nova Scotia government argues that it isn't and they have the right to define the quality of social serices people receive, not the court. (Jan, Halifax City News)


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Discussion guide on ageism in Canada. (Aug, Government of Canada)


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Outcomes in patients with and without disability admitted to hospital. "Patients with a disability who were admitted to hospital with COVID-19 had longer stays and elevated readmission risk than those without disabilities." (Jan, CMAJ)


Quebecers with disabilities struggle with rapid tests, say advocates after the province ran out of PCR tests for the general public. (Jan, CBC)

Accessibility of Canadian COVID-19 Testing Locations for People with Disabilities During the Third Wave of the COVID-19 Pandemic: "more than a year into the pandemic, there existed a clear lack of accessibility information for Canadian testing locations for people with disabilities." (Dec, MedRxiv)

Living with COVID

High-risk Canadians feel forgotten as rules lift: “Can't we have lives too?” (Mar, CTV News)

Chronic exhaustion, derailed lives and no way out. This is long COVID. (Jan, Maclean's)

Climate Crisis and Environment

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Disability rights don’t have to clash with environmental responsibility (Jul, the Conversation)

One Year Since Deadly Heatwave Protections Still Needed: 600 people died due to extreme heat in the summer of 2021, 91% of whom were 60 or older. (May, Human Rights Watch)

Communication and Language

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Sign Languages

How Indigenous sign language is helping this woman connect with her culture (Jul, CBC)

Culture, Entertainment and Media

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Crip Rave Is the Revolutionary Collective Prioritising Accessibility. “There was the disorientation of the music, but also the vibrations, which left me sensing my pain in a different way ... I left that night with a new relationship to my body.” (May, RA)

Acting the part: A thematic analysis of the experiences of actors with disabilities. “Many actors experience inadequate accommodations, inaccessible work sites, stigma, and being limited to disability specific roles. As a result, actors with disabilities have implemented strategies to improve their success when faced with social and physical barriers in the industry.” (Mar, Canadian Journal of Disability Studies)

Alt-Text & Ambiguity A Poetic Approach to Image Description by Alex Haagaard and Liz Jackson (Apr, Akimbo)

#CripRitual exhibition of art exploring disability culture and ritual (#CripRitual)

Digital Accessibility and Technology

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Online Accessibility

The internet doesn't have to be impossible to navigate for Canadians with disabilities. (Dec, National Post)

Social Media

Canadian goes viral for honest restaurant accessibility reviews on TikTok (Jun, DH News)

Disaster Risk Reduction and Crisis Response

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Cyclone Fiona: people with disabilities need more support in extreme storms (Oct, the Conversation)

Economics and Social Protection

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Canadians on disability overlooked amid rising inflation (Aug, CTV News)

Social Protection

This woman with disabilities gets only $1,169 a month. She hopes the Ontario election changes that. (Apr, CBC)

What happened to the Canada Disability Benefit? “It is 2022, the election has been won and done, and as the cynics predicted, the Canada Disability Benefit is still nowhere to be seen.” (Apr, Canada's National Observer)

Employment, Business and Work

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Diversity Works research looking at employment journeys of black, indigenous and people of colour with disabilities. (Aug, Canadian Association for Supported Employment)

Opinion: It’s time for a culture shift where disability inclusion is concerned. By friend of the Debrief, Yazmine Laroche. (Jun, Globe and Mail)

Up to $270 million is available to fund projects to connect persons with disabilities with good jobs. (May, Government of Canada)

A report on disability inclusion in MBA programs “half of the respondents had a negative perception of employers' on-campus recruitment drives“ including stereotyping and ableism. (Access to Success)

Employers’ lessons learned in hiring, retaining and advancing employees with disabilities (Feb, Public Policy Forum)

Hiring more people with disabilities can address labour shortages > "Labour shortages are one of the biggest issues facing Canadian companies right now, but there’s an underrepresented and untapped pool of skilled Canadians that could help close the gap: people with disabilities." (Dec, Globe and Mail)


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History and Memorial

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Former lieutenant-governor of Ontario David Onley dies at 72. “Onley, who used a motorized scooter after having polio as a child, was the first visibly disabled person to hold the position when appointed in 2007.” (Jan, The Star)

Humanitarian, Migrants and Refugees

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Migration has always been a disability justice issue. (Sep, Briarpatch)

Institutions and Deinstitutionalization

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Why there is so much happiness in this long-term care home that doubles as a Grade 6 classroom. (Dec, CBC)

Making the invisible visible: an interview with Megan Linton about the harms of the institutional system, COVID-19, and disability justice. (Aug, Canadian Dimension)

Invisible Institutions Podcast “a new documentary podcast exploring the past and present of institutions for people labelled with intellectual and developmental disabilities” (Invisible Institutions)

Discussion of and key points on Sheltered Workshops and Sub-Minimum Wage Labour 'Workers on average work more than 2 years in sheltered workshops, despite their label of “training programs”.' (Mar, Invisible Institutions)

Warehousing disabled people in long-term care homes needs to stop. Instead, nationalize home care. (Jan, the Conversation)

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A new book Disability Injustice - Confronting Criminalization in Canada "Ableism is embedded in Canadian criminal justice institutions, policies, and practices, making incarceration and institutionalization dangerous – even deadly – for disabled people." Edited by Kelly Fritsch, Jeffrey Monaghan and Emily van der Meulen (Feb, UBC Press)

Lived Experience and Opinion

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A Disability Justice Issue featuring writing and art from activists across Canada. (Sep, Briarpatch)

What Does It Mean to ‘Crip’ Healing?

'We’re used to thinking of “healing” as specific treatments — surgery, pills, herbs, acupuncture. Those things are useful and important. But a cripped definition of healing would include anything that supports someone’s disabled body/mind. My cane; my friend’s garden bench chair they sit on while they weed; my heating pad and excellent ice packs; my friend’s sensory friendly hijab; the CRV my friend and his partner bought that can easily fit his wheelchair in the back; stim toys; my car with its disabled parking permit; the disabled parking spaces at the Grocery Outlet; the portable wheelchair at the protest; Zoom captions; the autistic Black, brown, Indigenous, Asian and mixed race group I hang out in online; and my close and extended disabled BIPOC friend family who are available to bitch and vent and commiserate and troubleshoot and doula each other: none of these are healing in the “cure” sense. But all of these things do a lot to ensure my or someone else’s chances of an excellent disabled life.' (Dec, The Tyee)

Mobility, Travel, Transport and Tourism

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People with disabilities bearing the brunt of travel woes: “Whereas a lost or damaged suitcase is an inconvenience, a lost or damaged mobility device robs people of their dignity, their mobility, and their independence, and it can pose a risk to their health. This is far more than an inconvenience. In many cases, it may be a violation of fundamental human rights.” (Oct, Canadian Human Rights Commission)

Air Travel

Flight Attendant Refuses to Store Passenger's Wheelchair. the story unfolds on TikTok. (Mar, Distractify)

Toronto woman with disability says flying Air Canada made her feel like an 'unwanted burden' (Feb, CBC)

Airlines can't seem to safely transport my wheelchair, but they've found a way to move horses by air. (Nov, CBC)

Air Canada broke my $30,000 motorized wheelchair. Here’s what happened next (Oct, Toronto Life)

Policy and Rights

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I am a MAID provider. “Canada’s MAID laws are missing fundamental safeguards for vulnerable people. That needs to change.” (Feb, Maclean's)

Death shouldn’t always be the sentence for suffering Canadians. “As our Medical Assistance in Dying (MAiD) laws expand, even supporters of MAiD have become alarmed at how widely the net is being cast. [...] We have not witnessed a slippery slope in Canada, we have fallen off a cliff.” (Jul, National Observer) There are warnings from experts that a lack of safeguards mean it might be suggested to people who would not have otherwise considered the procedure, and of instances where “people have sought to be killed because they weren’t getting adequate government support to live.” (Aug, AP News) See also reactions from activists (Aug, BioEdge). One woman in her late 30s asked “If I'm not able to access health care am I then able to access death care?” (Jun, CTV News).

Politics and Elections

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Convoy Occupation's Politics Pose Unique Threat to Disabled People

"People who required support could no longer access it; streets were no longer being cleared of snow in some areas; and sidewalks had vehicles parked on them. Public space was overrun by those whose interpretation of “freedom” left no room for social responsibility to others and treated someone else’s choice to wear a mask as a provocation." (Feb, The Maple)

Relationships, Sex and Reproductive Rights

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I'm queer and disabled. Pride isn't accessible for me. (Jun, CBC)

Sport and Paralympics

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Informing Future Paralympic Media Approaches: The Perspective of Canadian Paralympic Athletes. “I have no problem talking a little bit about how I got started in the sport or whatever. I just don't want that to be the primary focus of the article. I don't want it to be focused on my disability. I want it to be focused on my ability.” (Jun, Project ECHO)