To contemplate disability is to scrutinise inequality

Goodley et. al. 2019

An illustration of a woman with dark hair seated in a wheelchair reading a book to a child with dark hair. They are surrounded by leaves.

23% of disabled people live in poverty, whereas 9% of the total Canadian population live in poverty.

Disability-based discrimination represents 60% of claims at the Canadian Human Rights Commission, and 49% of all reports across provincial human rights.

22% of Canadians are disabled.

The percentage of people with disabilities is disproportionately high in Indigenous communities – more than double the average for Canada as a whole. Higher rates of disability among Indigenous people is a result of settler colonialism, which causes ongoing poverty, poor living conditions, lack of access to traditional foods, and environmental racism. For example, tuberculosis is almost nonexistent off-reserve, with 0.9 cases per 100,000 for non-Indigenous Canadians, and a rate of 30 cases per 100,000 for First Nations (Health Canada, 2012).


of off-reserve First Nations people have a disability


of Métis people have a disability

The percentage of people with disabilities is also disproportionately high for people who are unhoused. This suggests that disabled people are more likely to be unhoused due to the lack of appropriate housing and lack of community supports.


of people experiencing homelessness have a disability


of shelter residents have at least one form of disability (City of Ottawa, 2018)

4,000 to 9,000

Emergency shelters house 12,000 people annually, of which an estimated 4,000- 9,000 are disabled (Statistics Canada, 2017)

283,800 households in Canada have at least one member who is on a waitlist for social and affordable housing

The waitlist for accessing group homes for adults labelled with I/DD can be up to 22 years, causing an overreliance on the most institutional forms of care; emergency shelters, psychiatric institutions, prisons and long-term care facilities (Ombudsman, 2016)

3.5 x

people with disabilities are 3.5 times more likely to experience suicidality than non-disabled people


13,000 people have been euthanized in Canada since 2016

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