Publications, opinions, and speeches


Disability policy: From remedies to rights

Published on 04/12/2018

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Persons with disabilities face a Catch-22 when they seek government assistance.

In order to be eligible for disability-related financial aid or support programs, applicants must show proof of severe limitation in functional capacity. The greater their incapacity, the more supports they receive. In short, doing worse means doing better.

Yet the reverse is also true. Once eligible for assistance, persons with disabilities who manage to improve their circumstances typically get penalized by various programs that effectively disincentivize their behaviour. In this case, doing better means doing worse.

This report considers ways to repair existing policies and programs to address these challenges, and the need to move beyond policy remedies toward a framework for disability policy rooted in human rights.

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Disability, Human rights, Income security


Sherri Torjman looks at policy remedies for the Catch-22s facing persons with disabilities who seek social assistance, and the need to move beyond short-term solutions to a more robust conceptualization of disability policy rooted in human rights.