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Accessible & Inclusive Supports & Services

Advancing the Right to Legal Capacity

Policy Brief: The Equal Right to Decide in Canada – Closing the Gap

Over 50,000 Canadians are currently under guardianship – a system that takes away their power, choice, and control over their own lives. Many more Canadians who rely on decision-making supports and accommodations are vulnerable to losing their equal right to decide because assisted approaches are not supported in law and public policy. This policy brief outlines findings … Continued

Evoking Human Agency and Autonomy Where Interpretation Meets Indeterminacy

Presented by Michael Bach, 2013, for Essex Autonomy Project Conference, London, England.

Looking Differently at Disability and Decision Making

Presented by Michael Bach, 2015, for Open Society Foundations.

The Right to Legal Capacity under the UN Convention

Article 12 of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) recognizes the right to recognition as a person before the law and the right to legal capacity on an equal basis with others, without discrimination on the basis of disability—not only as the capacity to have rights, but the capacity to … Continued

Robust Safeguards in Medical Assistance in Dying (MAiD)

Concerns with Expanding Access to Medical Assistance in Dying: A Review of Evidence

IRIS has issued a review titled, “Concerns with Expanding Access to Medical Assistance in Dying: A Review of Evidence”. This review of evidence examines a wide range of evidence that points to substantial legal, ethical and social concerns with expanding access to medical assistance in dying for mature minors, through advance directives, and based solely on … Continued

Safe and Inclusive Communities


This report outlines the results of research conducted through a collaborative initiative led by Riverdale Immigrant Women’s Centre, the Centre for Equality Rights in Accommodation and the Institute for Research and Development on Inclusion and Society, entitled: Toronto – A Place to Call Our Own: Empowering Women to Take Action for Affordable Housing. The initiative … Continued

Women With Disabilities And Housing Brief

Doris Rajan, Director of Social Development at IRIS, has written a brief for the Learning Network at the Centre for Research and Education on Violence Against Women and Children at the University of Western Ontario. Funded by the Government of Ontario and commissioned by DAWN-RAFH Canada, this brief explores the barriers that women with disabilities … Continued

People with Mental Health and Cognitive Disabilities & Access to the Justice System

People with disabilities experience disproportionate challenges when interacting with the justice system, both as victims of interpersonal and domestic violence and also when they are involved as potential offenders. This literature review identifies the challenges people with mental health and cognitive disabilities experience when interacting with the justice system, in order to consolidate current information … Continued

Six Key Elements for an Inclusive Labour Market

Despite research suggesting the positive benefits associated with the employment of people with developmental disabilities historically, this group of individuals has disproportionately low levels of job attainment.  This research paper focuses on the positive outcomes of those who have employed individuals with developmental disabilities, as well as best practices that have been implemented, and explores … Continued

Income Sources Report IRIS & CCD

Statistics show that people with disabilities of working age are more likely to live below the poverty line than those without disabilities. The clearest factor in the income disparities between those with disabilities and those without is the component of social assistance. This report provides a statistical look at the personal income sources of people … Continued

IRIS Disability Inclusive Lens

A guide developed to aid policymakers in creating policy and program initiatives that are inclusive to individuals with disabilities. Areas which the research focuses on include: poverty levels, inadequate education, support services geared for people with disabilities, violence and abuse, and denial of autonomy and self-determination. By exploring these realms, the paper is able to … Continued

Employment Program Best Practices

This paper is a review of best practices that have been implemented in organizations who support persons with disabilities in the labour market. The report includes tips on how to overcome barriers which may arise when one tries to employ individuals with disabilities. By demonstrating key socio-demographic and disability-specific factors, the aim of the research … Continued

Youth in Transition

A literature review focusing on youth with disabilities and their transition from school to work and school to post-secondary education. Using research from the United States and the United Kingdom, the paper seeks to identify the unique situations and circumstances faced by youth with disabilities. By taking a deeper look, the paper discusses the lack … Continued

Intellectual Disability and Employment

This report looks at the employment situation of people with intellectual disabilities in Canada. It is based on the Participation and Activity Survey of 2006 (PALS), which has been Statistics Canada’s ‘flagship’ survey on disability. The report focuses on people who self-identified on PALS or who were identified by proxy as being told by a … Continued

Pride and Prejudice

What values and attitudes do Canadians hold on matters of impairments and handicaps, of who they think of as disabled, on what they understand to be a disability, and on which institutions in society are responsible for taking action for advancing the inclusion of persons with disabilities? To take up these questions, this paper examines … Continued

The Disability Community’s Engagement in Public Policy Processes

Click image for pdf This paper aims to develop a better understanding of how the disability community can engage more effectively among themselves and with governments so as to move public policy issues and reform agendas forward. The paper’s focus is on the participation of disability organizations and associations, and the disability policy community as … Continued

Mixed Signals

This paper provides a look at various policies, programs and practices that relate to Canadians with disabilities. The purpose is to present a sense of the state of affairs for disability organizations—service providers, consumer organizations, and advocacy groups—in contemporary Canada. The paper advances an argument for strengthening community capacity and developing active partnerships among governments, … Continued

Learning Difficulties Snapshot

The purpose of this research paper is to provide policy-relevant baseline information that will inform public policy regarding the population of people with learning and/or developmental disabilities. It explores selected demographic and other characteristics of adults 15 years and older classified as having ‘learning difficulties’. It draws from Statistics Canada’s 2001 Participation and Activity Limitation … Continued

Coming Together Report

Click image for pdf On February 13, 2008, Community Living Manitoba hosted a day long event which uncovered issues surrounding individuals with intellectual disabilities. Entitled ‘Come Together 2008’, the conference brought together police officers, government representatives, advocates and individuals with intellectual disabilities and their families. Areas which became recurring themes in the conference included the … Continued

When Bad Things Happen

This publication discusses violence, abuse and neglect of people with disabilities. Particularly, looking at women from Manitoba, the research study sets out to provide evidence that Manitoban women face unique circumstances which further marginalize them. Using focus groups, it concluded that Manitoban women are facing physical, mental and sexual mistreatment, amongst other things. Identifying ‘gray’ … Continued

CAILC Safety Symposium Report

In 2003, the Canadian Association of Independent Living Centres (CAILC) received funding from the National Crime Prevention Partnership Program, Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Canada for “Crime Prevention and Independent Living; A Pan-Canadian Initiative for People with Disabilities”. CAILC is a non-profit, national bilingual umbrella organization supporting a network of 26 member Centres across Canada … Continued