In Working Toward 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 Toward 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.
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.
Acknowledgments Illustrations Introduction 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 Conclusion Bibliography Notes Appendix I: Abbreviations Appendix II: Profile of Interview Participants