Canadian Public Policy

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    • 00:00


    • 00:07

      DANA LEE BAKER: Welcome.My name is Dana Lee Baker, and today Davi Kallmanand I will be providing a brief introduction to disabilityand public policy in Canada.In this short film, we will firstprovide a brief overview of the historical context in Canada,provide an explanation of how disability becamean issue of diversity and related to rights,

    • 00:27

      DANA LEE BAKER [continued]: and finally, talk about a few of the elementsof the public policy infrastructure relatedto disability in Canada and in other democratic countries.Canada is a democratic country in North America,with 10 provinces and 3 territories.About 36 million people live in Canada.Canada is a federation, meaning that provinces and territories

    • 00:48

      DANA LEE BAKER [continued]: engage in self-governance on many issues.In particular, on issues related to the daily lives of Canadiansand others who live in the Canadian borders.Canada is a constitutional monarchy.There was no violent revolution against Great Britain.Rather, Canada was established as an independent countrythrough a series of political acts.

    • 01:08

      DANA LEE BAKER [continued]: The Federal Dominion of Canada was created on July 1st 1867,with the British North America Act.Independence of Canada was increased in 1931under the Statute of Westminster.The Constitution was patriated in the Canada Act of 1982,which also involved the creation of the CanadianCharter of Rights and Freedoms.

    • 01:30

      DANA LEE BAKER [continued]: Canada has had a long interest in documentingthe experiences of people with disabilitiesliving within Canada.The Participation and Activity Limitations Survey, PALS,is a survey conducted by Statistics of Canadaevery 10 years to collect information on disability.In recent years, the method of surveying thosewith disabling conditions in Canada

    • 01:51

      DANA LEE BAKER [continued]: has included the Canadian Survey on Disability, the CSD,which has been conducted every five yearsand is different from PALS in that questions were designedto provide greater consistency and disabilityidentification by type.As such, the purpose of the CSD is to provide informationabout Canadian adults whose daily activities are

    • 02:12

      DANA LEE BAKER [continued]: limited due to health-related problems or other conditions.Information gleaned from the CSD isused to plan and evaluate services, programs,and policies for adults with disabilities.The last CSD survey was conducted in 2012,and it identified 3.8 million people,13.7% of Canadians, aged 15 or older

    • 02:34

      DANA LEE BAKER [continued]: who reported having limitations to their daily life activitiesbecause of a disability.The survey also found that disabilitydoes in fact increase steadily with age,and that women report a slightly higher prevalence of disabilitythan men.The prevalence by age group is as follows.From 15 to 24, it's 4.4%.

    • 02:54

      DANA LEE BAKER [continued]: From 24 to 44, it's 6.5%.From 45 to 64 is 16.1%.From 65 to 74, it's 26.3%.And ages 75 and older report 42.5%.This results in an average across all ages of 13.7%.

    • 03:16

      DANA LEE BAKER [continued]: Language can be difficult and controversialin the context of disability.In this film, we're using person-first language.The reason for this choice is that there'sless potential for confusion with historical discriminationthan is the case with identity-first language.It also does not assume an identity preference,and doesn't require that each individual consider disability

    • 03:37

      DANA LEE BAKER [continued]: to be the lead characteristic of their identity.Ideally, either a person-first or disability-first languagecould be used.We are getting there, but the legaciesof harm associated with identity-first languageare still very potent.

    • 03:51

      DAVI KALLMAN: The late 20th and early 21st centuryhas been a story of progress against ableismdespite earlier disability discriminationattempts in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.Trust in medical authority and the growth of industrialisationcreated a set of social, political, and economicconditions that fostered the segregation of disabled people

    • 04:12

      DAVI KALLMAN [continued]: in Canada.The history of disability in Canadais deep rooted in institutional prejudice,which has led to the increase in disability activists.From the late 19th to mid 20th centuries,we see discrimination occurring through eugenicsand immigration policies.Now, the eugenics program in Canadawas aimed towards individuals labeled

    • 04:33

      DAVI KALLMAN [continued]: as having a mental defect.In fact, the repressive nature of eugenicsagainst marginalized groups contributed in partto historical scholarship focusedon disability in Canada.There are instances in Alberta where people were actuallysterilized due to their mental and physical disabilities.In addition to mistreatment of Canadiansunder the eugenics program, immigration policies

    • 04:54

      DAVI KALLMAN [continued]: were influenced by prejudiced notionsof who should be actually allowed into the countryand who should be deported.Discrimination was based on disability, race, religion,ethnicity, class, and gender.There are instances of actually expulsionfrom British Columbia from mid 19thto mid 20th centuries of immigrants categorized as beinginsane and feeble-minded.

    • 05:15

      DAVI KALLMAN [continued]: For example, newspaper articles and public discussionsas late as the early 20th century,argued that people should be excludedfrom Canada on the grounds of disability or disease.In Canada, the Disability Rights Movementarose in the later half of the 20th century.Within this, there were multiple social movementsthat advocate civil rights for the 3.8 million people

    • 05:36

      DAVI KALLMAN [continued]: with physical, sensory, and cognitive impairmentswithin Canada.In the 19th and 20th centuries, early disability inclusiongrew with political institutions as helpedwith the establishment of residential institutions.Now, these included psychiatric hospitals,schools for the blind, houses for refuge,and church-run homes.These institutions housed large numbers of people

    • 05:58

      DAVI KALLMAN [continued]: with mental health issues, intellectual disabilities,and physical disabilities.Although within this political context,many people with disabilities wereseen as incapable and dependent on others,thus were seen as useless and actually denied the opportunityto exercise their civil rights.Ethical and moral values within Christian communitieswere strong, encouraging Canadians

    • 06:20

      DAVI KALLMAN [continued]: to support various charitable programs, and organizations,and services for disabled people.Organizations included the Woman's Christian TemperanceUnion, Young Women's Christian Association,and the National Council of Women.The view that disabled were incapable and uselessactually changed with the following in the First WorldWar.When many injured and disabled veterans returned to Canada,

    • 06:43

      DAVI KALLMAN [continued]: this viewpoint actually accelerated after the SecondWorld War, where they noticed that therewas a lack of accommodations for people with disabilities.It made it difficult for injured veterans to transitioninto mainstream society.As such, organizations were establishedto advocate on behalf of veterans, such as employment,placement, counseling, rehabilitation, and vocational

    • 07:04

      DAVI KALLMAN [continued]: training.After the Second World War, activists within the VeteransMovement promoted the expansion of servicesto include all individuals with disabilities,regardless of the source or cause of one's disability.Deinstitutionalization, which actuallymeans removing people from residential institutions,was advocated.

    • 07:24

      DAVI KALLMAN [continued]: And in the 1950s and 1960s, organizationsworked to provide group homes for youth and adults livingwith intellectual disabilities.In the 1970s, people with disabilitiesbegan to form their own activist groups.By the end of the 1970s, these disability-founded groupscame together to form the Coalition of Provincial

    • 07:45

      DAVI KALLMAN [continued]: Organizations of the Handicapped,later renamed the Council of Canadians with Disabilities.One issue of particular concern for these groupswas the treatment of people confinedin psychiatric hospitals.Forces of activists joined togetherto promote a new model of care thatwould allow people to live and work in the community.During this period, many individuals with disabilities

    • 08:06

      DAVI KALLMAN [continued]: were deinstitutionalized.Now, the passage of the Canadian Charterof Human Rights in the 1970s is extremelyimportant to the Disability Activists Movement.The key point is outlined in Section 15 of the CanadianCharter of Rights and Freedoms.It states that every individual is equalbefore and under the law, and hasthe right to equal protection, the equal benefit

    • 08:29

      DAVI KALLMAN [continued]: of the law without discrimination,and in particular, without discrimination based on race,national or ethnic origin, color, religion, sex, age,or mental or physical disability.As the government of Canada explains,the purpose of this section is to protectgroups who suffer disadvantage and address the factthat discrimination has happened everywhere,

    • 08:50

      DAVI KALLMAN [continued]: spreading disadvantage and denying opportunity.This marks the first time in historythat any constitution or charter referred specificallyto individuals with disabilities.This is a groundbreaking moment.The passage of this charter is extremely important,as it framed disability as a human rights issue.And this became law in 1982, with full force

    • 09:11

      DAVI KALLMAN [continued]: in place in 1985.Now, in the 1980s, people with disabilitieswere included alongside women and other visible minoritiesin the Employment Equity Act of 1986.Following the report of the Royal Commissionon Equality in Employment, during this time,new organizations developed as a wayto establish support for people with disabilities

    • 09:31

      DAVI KALLMAN [continued]: and to protect their legal rights.In 1981, the International Year of Disabled Personswas a catalyst in launching federal government cooperationwith Canada's disability community.And in 1987, a parliamentary committee on human rightsand the status of disabled persons was created.The purpose of this committee was

    • 09:51

      DAVI KALLMAN [continued]: to ensure that the government was consulting with individualswith disabilities in order to make accuraterecommendations to Parliament.The economic recession of the late 1980s and early 1990saffected the disabled community completely.Social assistance rates were cut out,leaving these people to fend for themselves.In the 21st century, the accessibility

    • 10:12

      DAVI KALLMAN [continued]: for Ontarians with Disabilities Actrelies on the submission of compliance reportsby governments and organizations,and sets out a series of accessibility standardsto create a barrier-free Ontario.During this century, there was a revival in public interestand political commitment to disability rights.Activists have worked with government agencies

    • 10:33

      DAVI KALLMAN [continued]: to ensure barrier-free policies and legislation for individualswith disabilities on areas such as education, housing,transportation, and employment.There is still a long way to go.Many battles have been won, but also many battleshave been lost.And there have been differences in opinion of whatinclusion actually means.

    • 10:52

      DANA LEE BAKER: Disability touches every aspectof society and public policy.In this short video, we are touching on just a few pillarsof disability policy-- health care, social services,education, employment, and culture.Beginning with health care-- In considering health careand disability, it's important to rememberthat disability and disease are not the same thing.

    • 11:12

      DANA LEE BAKER [continued]: Disease implies an expectation of reduction in functioningand the possibility of a fatal outcome.This is not the same as disability,which simply implies a difference in capacity.However, engagement with health care systemscan be more time consuming and costly,given an identified disability.

    • 11:32

      DANA LEE BAKER [continued]: Canada has a publicly funded health care system.The government of Canada has described the systemas dynamic, because of the continual reform and the factthat the administration and design of the systemis a joint responsibility of the federal and provincialgovernments.Under the Constitution of 1867, provinceswere said to be responsible for establishing, maintaining,

    • 11:56

      DANA LEE BAKER [continued]: and managing hospitals, asylums, charities,and other charitable institutions,while the federal government was responsible for marine,hospitals, and quarantine.Responsibilities have varied over time.But the reality is that most care was privately fundeduntil after World War II.In 1947, Saskatchewan introduced a universal hospital care plan.

    • 12:19

      DANA LEE BAKER [continued]: Other provinces quickly followed and coveredservices expanded in partnership with the federal government.In 1984, the Canadian Health Act waspassed, which essentially established universal healthcare across Canada.The preamble to this act articulatesthis as fundamental to society, and necessary for alleviatingthe consequences of disease and disability amongst all income

    • 12:43

      DANA LEE BAKER [continued]: groups.There are five main principles to the Canadian Health Act.According to,public administration-- meaning that the health caresystem is nonprofit-- comprehensiveness,universality, portability-- meaning that the coverage isthe same for a person who moves to another provinceas their home province's coverage for a defined period--

    • 13:04

      DANA LEE BAKER [continued]: and accessibility.Reform in this policy is ongoing, however,Canadians generally understand health care as a rightand as a public good.There are important intersectionsbetween disability and health care.In particular, control over what exactlyis covered by the medical programis a provincial decision, and this

    • 13:25

      DANA LEE BAKER [continued]: has been a contentious issue in the context of disability,especially.As has been challenged all the way up to the Supreme Court,different people have different opinionsas to what constitutes a medically necessaryintervention.In Auton versus BC, the access to applied behavior analysisfor children with autism was challenged all the way up

    • 13:45

      DANA LEE BAKER [continued]: to the Supreme Court.In that case, the Supreme Court of Canadaaffirmed that Canadian provinces cancreate different kinds of services motivatedby different understandings of needsand different understandings of the state of science and healthcare.This conversation is obviously complicatedby the concept of portability.There are also other ongoing challenges and opportunities

    • 14:08

      DANA LEE BAKER [continued]: in health care in Canada.Health care equity remains a challenge,including for those who have a disability.We are only beginning to understandhow to think about disease and disabilityas both distinct and intersecting,and this complicates conversationsabout the formulation of health care policy.

    • 14:28

      DANA LEE BAKER [continued]: Mental Health Parity challenges how we think about health care.And in particular, connection to education policiesand what is exactly a medical treatmentversus an educational interventionis an ongoing source of conversation.

    • 14:43

      DAVI KALLMAN: Next, I will be discussing social servicesfor individuals with disabilities in Canada.It is important to note that the Canadian social welfaresystem is similar to the US and largelyof the 20th century invention.Programs exist and are managed by boththe federal and sub-federal governments,with variation between provinces and territories.

    • 15:04

      DAVI KALLMAN [continued]: Programs include both entitlements and somethat are less universal.The goals of programs are to provide social and economicsecurity, and to address the legacy of incidentsof disability and poverty.The Canadian government describes them as centeredaround both identities, such as parenthood and veteran status,and life events such as unemployment and housing.

    • 15:25

      DAVI KALLMAN [continued]: Examples of social service programs,as described by the government of Canadaon the website describing social services,include that the Canadian Pension Plan providescertain disability benefits.It provides a monthly taxable benefitto contributors who are disabled andto their dependent children.The Transitional Vocational Programprovides post-secondary training to adults

    • 15:46

      DAVI KALLMAN [continued]: with mild developmental disabilitiesto help them prepare for the world of workand independent living.And then we have to Registered Disability Savings Plan--is a long-term savings plan to help Canadianswith disabilities and their families save for the future.And then we have the Assured Incomefor the Severely Handicapped.It is a program that provides financial assistance and health

    • 16:07

      DAVI KALLMAN [continued]: benefits to adults with permanent disabilitiesthat severely impair their ability to earn a living.The Residential Rehabilitation Assistance Planis a program that provides fundingto first-nation councils and membersso that they can repair and reserve housing that does notmeet minimum federal health and safety standards,or make homes accessible to people with disability.

    • 16:29

      DANA LEE BAKER: In education, thereare two primary issues relating to education and disability.The first is reversing historical exclusion,and the second is providing appropriate accommodationsfor children with disabilities.Reversing historical exclusion of children with disabilitiesfrom formal organized education with their peersinvolves including them in public education systems

    • 16:52

      DANA LEE BAKER [continued]: from preschool all the way up to higher education.In this film, as with much discussion of special educationpolicy, we'll be focusing on primary and secondaryeducation.Providing accommodations and servicesthat allow children to participate and benefitfrom education, either in a classroom,including all children with all abilities,

    • 17:13

      DANA LEE BAKER [continued]: or less ideally, in other educations,is a fundamental goal of special education in Canada.Canada's modern approach to the educationof children with disabilities is predominantly inclusive.Administration of public educationis done exclusively by provinces and territories.And each province or territory has

    • 17:33

      DANA LEE BAKER [continued]: its own law requiring the educationof children with disabilities.Each provides slightly different takeson what constitutes appropriate services for childrenwith disabilities.It also involves different provinces and territorieshaving different understandings of approachesto identification and program planning.

    • 17:53

      DANA LEE BAKER [continued]: And finally, there has been a large amount of experimentationwith regard to different approaches of fundingof special education, including approaches to funding thatare based on the prevalence of disability and populations,as opposed to being connected to specific a childwith a specifically identified disability.

    • 18:10

      DAVI KALLMAN: The next segment of this video I will addressis employment and disability in Canada.This is a compounded problem, and lifetime costsof disability can be extraordinarily high,making it both crucial and difficultto find employment even when individuals with disabilitiesare fully qualified for positions.Additionally, people with disabilities

    • 18:31

      DAVI KALLMAN [continued]: remain less likely than others to be employed in Canadaand other parts of the world.In fact, in 2011, the employment rateof Canadians with disabilities was 49%compared with the 79% of Canadians without a disability,according to the Institute for Research and Developmenton Inclusion and Society.And these reports were from 2011.

    • 18:52

      DAVI KALLMAN [continued]: Discrimination against people with disabilitiesis illegal in Canada under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms,making Canada one of the first nations in the worldto establish fundamental disability rights.Now, despite this, Discrimination Acttowards individuals with disabilitiesis still very present.According to Statistics Canada, 12%of people with disabilities living in Canada of working age

    • 19:14

      DAVI KALLMAN [continued]: reported that they had been refused a job in the last fiveyears because they had a disability.Unfortunately, the main issue in terms of employability withdisabled individuals, is the assumption that individualswith disabilities cannot do the job,or that the workplace will have to accommodate them in someway.Federal funding for national, regional, and local projects

    • 19:35

      DAVI KALLMAN [continued]: designed to help people with disabilities gainor regain employment do exist.They exist within the Opportunities Fund for Personswith Disabilities and the Canadian Pension PlanDisability Vocational Rehabilitation Program.The first focuses more on the first-time employment,or starting businesses, and the secondis more focused on helping people return to work.

    • 19:57

      DAVI KALLMAN [continued]: Of course, people with disabilitiesare also eligible for employment programs,such as the employment insurance.According to Statistics Canada, despite these efforts,as in other nations, employment of people with disabilitiesof regular working age are less likely to beemployed than people without disabilities.The likelihood of employment correlateswith the articulated severity of the disability.

    • 20:20

      DAVI KALLMAN [continued]: Those with a mild disability had a 68% employment rate.Those with moderate disability had a 54% employment rate.Those with severe disability had a 42% employment rate.And finally, those with a very severe disabilityhad a 26% employment rate.However, these effects are someonemitigated by higher education.

    • 20:40

      DAVI KALLMAN [continued]: People with mild or moderate disabilities and a universityeducation were no less likely than their peerswithout disabilities to get a job.However, they may still encounter discriminationwhen it comes to promotion to management positions.Gender and disability also play a role in employment and salaryincreases.In this next segment of the video,

    • 21:01

      DAVI KALLMAN [continued]: I will talk about the intersection of cultureand disability in Canada, and the rolethat disability culture plays in disability activism.In 2001, a report from the Canada Council for the Artsstated that disability culture hasbecome one of the fastest-growinginfluences on the world's contemporary art scene.Disability arts and culture lives

    • 21:21

      DAVI KALLMAN [continued]: with the notion of Independent Living and Human RightsMovement, as they work hard to challenge existing prejudiceand bias attitudes towards disability.Within art and culture, there aretwo aspects of culture relating to disability.The first is, unlike many countries,Canada is more progressive in the waythat individuals with disabilitiesare perceived and treated.There's also less discrimination in mainstream culture.

    • 21:44

      DAVI KALLMAN [continued]: In fact, there are more than 50 disability deaf artsfestivals and hundreds of organizations and projectsthat populate the international circuit.Deaf culture, in particular, enjoysits own distinct artistic development.This is outlined by the Deaf Culture Centre.Deaf and disability cultures often sharethe same supportive attitude toward disability,

    • 22:04

      DAVI KALLMAN [continued]: and recognize the importance of self-determination.Canada has a strong tradition of public supportfor culture and the arts.As time goes on, more support for both types of projectscan be anticipated.Canada is known for the celebrationof the United Nations International Dayof Disabled Persons.One of the most celebrated of these activitiesis the Abilities Festival.It is a celebration of disability arts and culture.

    • 22:27

      DAVI KALLMAN [continued]: It is an event that showcases the talentof passionate artists with disabilities.Despite the obvious improvements over the years,there are still challenges in changingthe perceptions and portrayals of disability culturewithin Canada.As of now, there is far too little informationabout the disability culture and arts sectors,making it difficult for policymakers and organizations

    • 22:49

      DAVI KALLMAN [continued]: to contribute to the efforts beingmade by disability communities.

    • 22:52

      DANA LEE BAKER: Thank you for taking the timeto view this short video on Canadian disability policy.We appreciate your time and attention.We're looking forward to ongoing development and disabilitypolicy, including in the areas of social welfare policiesrelating to disability.[MUSIC PLAYING]

Canadian Public Policy

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Dr. Dana Lee Baker and Davi Kallman present an overview of disability and public policy in Canada. After presenting basic information and history about Canada, they focus on four primary areas of disability policy: education, employment, health care, and social services.

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Canadian Public Policy

Dr. Dana Lee Baker and Davi Kallman present an overview of disability and public policy in Canada. After presenting basic information and history about Canada, they focus on four primary areas of disability policy: education, employment, health care, and social services.

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