Dr. Deborah Stienstra Featured on DDA Podcast to Discuss Disability Rights in Canada

Dr. Deborah Stienstra, Director of the Live Work Well Research Centre, was recently featured on the Developmental Disabilities Association (DDA) podcast to discuss the current disability rights landscape in Canada and her book, "About Canada: Disability Rights, Second Edition". The book examines the evolution of disability rights in Canada since 2012, when Dr. Stienstra wrote the first edition.

Dr. Stienstra felt a second edition was necessary because of the substantive changes that have taken shape across the country, exacerbated by the emergence of COVID-19. The pandemic illustrated how exclusions are intensified in emergencies and the subsequent need for everyone to be included in public health responses. When people with disabilities offer their expertise, they must be listened to. Dr. Stienstra highlighted the need for people with disabilities to be at the table when decisions are made.

During the podcast, Dr. Stienstra shared some of her ongoing work with the Live Work Well Research Centre, including her work as leader of the Disabilities, Access, and Inclusion research cluster, which aims to inform social policy to ensure the inclusion of people with disabilities through projects such as Disabilities and Livelihoods in Canada. Disabilities and Livelihoods emphasises livelihood as distinct from employment, in that it considers the necessities of attaining a good life. Dr. Stienstra’s work on the project focuses on pre-employment supports for young women with disabilities. In a discussion of Medical Assistance in Dying (MAID), Dr. Stienstra expressed concern over people with disabilities being forced into making a decision because they are denied the supports necessary to living a good life.

Dr. Stienstra concluded the podcast by affirming that change happens when people can make a personal link to a given issue. Listen to the full Disability Rights podcast.