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Women at a High Risk of Abuse: Migrant, Aboriginal and Women with Intellectual and “Mental Health” Disabilities

Women in Canada come from many diverse backgrounds and live with multiple experiences of marginalization and with each layer of exclusion, whether that is migrant, indigenous or disability status – other barriers to their safety are added. Consequently, particular populations of women experience higher rates of abuse than other women’s communities due to structural violence and the resulting more significant needs, yet these very populations receive limited attention in the violence prevention and response service sectors, which also contributes to their higher rates of victimization.

Led by IRIS, the Women at a High Risk of Abuse: Migrant, Aboriginal and Women with Intellectual and “Mental Health” Disabilities project was launched on November 4th and 5th, 2015 in Toronto.

Indigenous, migrant and disability partners from Vancouver, Saint John, Toronto and Regina gathered to learn, reflect upon and discuss how we could collectively address violence against women from these communities. Over the next three years there will be Community Town Halls, workshops and ongoing working groups with women, as well as Safety Reviews of key services in each of these communities. Contact Doris Rajan atd.rajan@irisinstitute.ca and Fatima Gardaad at fgardaad@irisinstitute.ca for more information and/or to learn how you can become involved.

Disability and Inclusion Based Policy Analysis

This is a guide to assist policy makers in the public, non-profit and private sectors in advancing full inclusion of people with disabilities.  The guide is based on similar frameworks for ‘gender based’ policy analysis.  It provides an overview of changing perspectives on disability, a ‘snapshot’ of key facts on disability in Canada today and their policy implications, and provides a step-by-step guide of key questions to ask in policy and program design, implementation, evaluation, revision and coherence-building.  The guide is designed to provide policy makers with a framework to integrate disability and inclusion based policy analysis into policy development in any sector, recognizing that barriers to inclusion are embedded across policy domains.  The guide integrates standards of the recently adopted UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities into all stages of policy analysis, and provides guidelines for setting priorities for inclusive policy development in the context of competing demands and scarce resources.  Building organizational capacity to conduct disability and inclusion based policy analysis is also discussed, and provides a set of criteria and measures for policy makers to evaluate their capacity.

IRIS gratefully acknowledges the input of a number of advisors and reviewers who assisted in preparing the Guide including Laurie Beachell, Gary Birch, Audrey Cole, Johanne Bourbonnais, Janet Forbes, Bendina Miller, Dulcie McCallum, Norm McLeod, Vangelis Nikias, Gordon Porter, Dr. Michael Prince, Doris Rajan, Diane Richler, Lorraine Silliphant, Dr. Tim Stainton, Heather Tracey, Una Tucker and Marie White. We also extend our appreciation for the generous financial contributions to the development of this guide, to the Canadian Association for Community Living Foundation, and the Community-University Research Alliance – ‘Disabling Poverty/Enabling Citizenship’ led by the Council of Canadians with Disabilities and funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.

 Download the guild “Disability and Inclusion Based Analysis”

Policy Making for Inclusion – Leadership Development Program

This workshop series is designed for senior policy makers in the public sector to assist them in developing public policy for inclusive development.  It introduces policy makers to the social and human rights model of disability, current socio-economic demographics of disability and their policy implications, the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, how to apply a ‘Disability and Inclusion’ lens in policy formulation, implementation, evaluation, revision and in developing horizontal and vertical policy coherence.  The workshop series builds on policy development research, training and development curricula and materials developed by The Institute.  A core resource for the program is Disability and Inclusion Based Policy Analysis, recently published by The Institute.  This workshop series will be delivered to senior policy makers for the Government of New Brunswick in February 2012, from across all departments of the provincial government, and including, Deputy Ministers, Assistant Deputy Ministers, Human Resources Directors, and Policy/Program Directors.  For more information on this Leadership Development Series, please contact, Michael Bach, Managing Director, IRIS at 416 661-9611, x. 237 or at mbach@cacl.ca