Working towards Equity: Disability Rights Activism and Employment in Late Twentieth-Century Canada
In Working towards Equity, Dustin Galer argues that paid work significantly shaped the experience of disability during the late twentieth century. Using a critical analysis of disability in archival records, personal collections, government publications and a series of interviews, Galer demonstrates how demands for greater access among disabled people for paid employment stimulated the development of a new discourse of disability in Canada. Family advocates helped people living in institutions move out into the community as rehabilitation professionals played an increasingly critical role in the lives of working-age adults with disabilities. Meanwhile, civil rights activists crafted a new consumer-led vision of social and economic integration. Employment was, and remains, a central component in disabled peoples' efforts to become productive, autonomous and financially secure members of Canadian society. Working towards Equity offers new in-depth analysis on rights activism as it relates to employment, sheltered workshops, deinstitutionalization and labour markets in the contemporary context in Canada.
- World Rights
- Page Count: 328 pages
- Dimensions: 6.1in x 0.8in x 9.0in
"This is an ambitious and largely successful book. It deserves a wide readership because of its potential to expand the historiography about work, rights and rights movements, and policy (federal and provincial) – in the style of the new disability history – by bringing a disability analysis to bear on these topics."
Jason Ellis, University of British Columbia
"The strength of Working towards Equity is the rich narrative the author weaves. Detail surrounding the intricacies and complex relationships among the various disability voices is provided, ensuring that this volume will be well cited for years to come. Even better is the fact that it is grounded in the employment experiences of thirty disabled people over a period of forty years."
Mario Levesque, Mount Allison University
"Working towards Equity makes a notable and worthwhile contribution to the field of disability studies as well as to social policy, labour history, and social movement activism studies in Canada. The illustrations and photographs are terrific features helping to bring alive the history, making it both personal and political."
Michael J. Prince, Faculty of Human and Social Development, University of Victoria and Author of 'Absent Citizens: Disability Politics and Policy in Canada'
"Working towards Equity draws from a broad array of sources, including archived manuscript collections, documentary films, interviews, government reports, and published monographs and articles. Filling a significant gap in the historiography of disability rights, employment, and labour, this study makes a significant contribution to twentieth-century social and cultural history."
Michael Rembis, Department of History, University of Buffalo, SUNY
Dustin Galer received his PhD in history from the University of Toronto. He is the founder of MyHistorian (www.myhistorian.ca) where he works as a personal historian.
Table of contents
1. Disability Activism, Work and Identity
2. Family Advocacy and the Struggle for Economic Integration
3. Rehabilitation, Awareness Campaigns, and the Pursuit of Employability
4. “A Voice of Our Own”: Disability Rights Activism and Struggle to Work
5. Sheltered Workshops and the Evolution of Disability Advocacy
6. Employers and the Ideological (Re)Construction of the Workplace
7. Rise and Decline of the Activist Canadian State
8. Labour Organizations, Disability Rights, and the Limitations of Social Unionism in Canada
Appendix I: Abbreviations
Appendix II: Profile of Interview Participants
PrizesCAWLS Book Prize awarded by the Canadian Association for Work and Labour Studies - Winner in 2019
Subjects and Courses