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Accessibility, Disability Justice, & Anti-Ableism

Image by Viktor Forgacs
Image by Yomex Owo


Over 6 million Canadians, aged 15 and over, have a disability. Some of these disabilities are visible, while others are not so visible and may be even hidden.

While all people in Canada have the right to take part fully in society, many face challenges and barriers that prevent this from occurring. To that end the Accessible Canada Act, a federal legislation, was enacted in 2019 with the intent to realize a barrier-free Canada by 2040.

Within the health system however, there are challenges to this.  While some relate to physical infrastructure, a significant aspect pertains to the knowledge, skills, and attitudes of health professionals and trainees towards individuals with disabilities that result in ableist thinking, and even poorer health outcomes and experiences.

Key Definitions & Concepts


Discrimination and/or prejudice against personswith any form of disability (e.g., physical, intellectual). Persons are defined by their disabilities, and are characterized as inferior to the non-disabled.


Accommodations are made to remove barriers to participation, resulting in the ability for all to participate.

Disability Justice

The disability justice framework calls attention to the ways that ableism is linked to multiple other systems of oppression. 

Articles & Books



= Book

Ableism is a Health Hazard (CPSO)
Lynn Ashdown & Caroline Bowman


Accessibility: Practical Every-Day Tips for Promoting Advocacy, Opportunity, and Inclusion
Audrey Yap & Daniel Sequeira


Hear & Beyond: Live Skillfully with Hearing Loss
Shari Eberts & Gael Hannan


Ontario: Development of Proposed Postsecondary Education Standards - final recommendations report 2022


= EqHS Lab members


= Tool


= Website

UN Geneva:
Disability-Inclusive Language Guidelines


Demystifying Disability
Emily Ladau


Alliance for Disability in Health Care Education
Core Competencies on Disability for Health Care Education (June 2019)


Thriving as a Nurse with a Disability: The Experience of Nursing Faculty
Paula Crawford-Dickinson & Monique Bacher


White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack
Peggy McIntosh



= EqHS Lab members


Inclusive Healthcare for People with Intellectual & Developmental Disabilities (CPSO)
Yona Lunsky

Patient Partnerships & Medical Education Reform (CSPL)
Lynn Ashdown


Ableism in Medicine (CSPL)
Franco Rizzuti

Videos: YouTube

Blindness Isn't a Tragic Binary — It's a Rich Spectrum | Andrew Leland | TED

Blindness Isn't a Tragic Binary — It's a Rich Spectrum | Andrew Leland | TED

When does vision loss become blindness? Writer, audio producer and editor Andrew Leland explains how his gradual loss of vision revealed a paradoxical truth about blindness -- and shows why it might have implications for how all of us see the world. If you love watching TED Talks like this one, become a TED Member to support our mission of spreading ideas: Follow TED! Twitter: Instagram: Facebook: LinkedIn: TikTok: The TED Talks channel features talks, performances and original series from the world's leading thinkers and doers. Subscribe to our channel for videos on Technology, Entertainment and Design — plus science, business, global issues, the arts and more. Visit to get our entire library of TED Talks, transcripts, translations, personalized talk recommendations and more. Watch more: TED's videos may be used for non-commercial purposes under a Creative Commons License, Attribution–Non Commercial–No Derivatives (or the CC BY – NC – ND 4.0 International) and in accordance with our TED Talks Usage Policy: For more information on using TED for commercial purposes (e.g. employee learning, in a film or online course), please submit a Media Request at #TED #TEDTalks #blindness
“The Future is Disabled”: Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha

“The Future is Disabled”: Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha

“At the core of my work and life is the belief that disabled wisdom is the key to our survival and expansion,” shares Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha, a writer, disability, and transformative justice movement worker. Laura speaks with Leah about her newly-released book of essays, The Future is Disabled: Prophecies, Love Notes, and Mourning Songs. The book, published by Arsenal Pulp Press, an independent queer of color-led press, was written during the pandemic and documents two years of “disabled” isolation. Among the grief and despair came essential organizing from the Disability Justice movement — and we should all take notice. And what about joy? Disabled pleasure activism, disabled art and culture-making brought hope in a time of crisis. Leah has joined Laura twice previously to talk about their work and read their poetry. In her new book, Leah asks: What if, in the near future, the majority of people will be disabled—and what if that’s not a bad thing? “When I say the future is disabled, I mean that as disabled people . . . we are imagining, in the worst conditions, futures where not only do we exist but we are thriving, we are in leadership and we are sharing the tools that everyone's going to need to survive.” - Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha _________________ GUEST: Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha: Writer, Disability/Transformative Justice Movement Worker; Author, The Future Is Disabled: Prophecies, Love Notes and Mourning Songs 🎧 PODCAST: Prefer to listen? Hear this week's episode on your favorite podcast platform (Available Monday, 1/9): ✏️ EPISODE NOTES: Visit our Patreon for more information on this week's episode, including related articles, books and more: 📺 RELATED EPISODES: Mutual Aid Justice: Beyond Survival: Design for Justice: Disabled Hackers are Leading the Way: Beyond Disability Rights; Disability Justice: Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha: 📚 Book of the Week: The Future Is Disabled: Prophecies, Love Notes and Mourning Songs” by Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha: ________________________________________________________________________ The Laura Flanders Show is non-commercial independent media that relies on the contributions of viewers and listeners. DONATE TODAY at or consider becoming a PATREON partner at 📩 SUBSCRIBE to our newsletter: 🎧 LOOKING FOR UNCUT INTERVIEWS? Patreon subscribers get exclusive access to our full uncut conversations and audio extras! Join our growing family today! FOLLOW The Laura Flanders Show Twitter: Facebook: Instagram: Website: Patreon: Subscribe to our podcast: 📚 Shop our Bookshop Store: ACCESSIBILITY This episode is closed captioned. CREDITS Executive Producer: Laura Flanders Senior Story Producer: Sabrina Artel Director of Development: Alicia Duque Consulting Producer: Rory O'Connor Editors: Nat Needham, David Neumann Radio & Podcast Producer: Jeannie Hopper Communications Manager: Janet Hernandez Motion Graphics: Nat Needham #DisabilityJustice #DisabilityJusticeMovement #TransformativeJustice #TheFutureIsDisabled #DisabledPleasureActivism #DisabledArt #Covid19 #Pandemic #Tridemic #PublicHealth #QTBIPOC
UDL At A Glance


Canadian Association of Physicians with Disabilities (CAPD)

Centre for Faculty Development (CFD):

Equity Focused Digital Pedagogy and Learning

H-CARDD Best Practice Series:
Health Care Access Research & Developmental Disabilities

Ontario: Development of Proposed Postsecondary Education Standards - final recommendations report 2022

Canadian Disability Policy Alliance

Docs with Disabilities Initiative

Government of Canada Workplace Accessibility Passport

Provincial Council for Maternal & Child Health: Disability & Pregnancy

BBC: Assistive Technology Guide
Testing with Assistive Technology

Project Implicit

Non-Endorsement Disclaimer
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