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Working Together on Employment

February 3, 2010

People with Disabilities, Labour Markets, Public Policies and Canadian Federalism

This lecture examines the subject of disability and employment in relation to our body politic; how public policies on supporting the active participation of people with disabilities in the labour force are shaped by the political institutions of federalism and intergovernmental relations.

I first offer a diagnostique on people with disabilities in the Canadian labour market, taking stock of the current situation, noting challenges to participation and comparing their circumstances to those of adults in the working-age population without disabilities. I then turn to a brief consideration of research gaps in our understanding of the labour market outcome for people with disabilities. Next, I will review developments in active employment programs for persons with disabilities in Canada over the past 40 years, followed by a consideration of what labour market policy and programming for people with disabilities might and ought to look like in the coming years. Inevitably, the status and practice of citizenship for people with disabilities are closely linked to Canadian political life and our governmental structures and practices. Thus, students in rehabilitation sciences along with students of disability studies must come to terms with the federal condition of our body politic.

Presenter Bio

Dr. Michael J. Prince
Lansdowne Professor of Social Policy
Faculty of Human and Social Development
University of Victoria

Dr. Michael J. Prince is the Lansdowne Professor of Social Policy in the Faculty of Human and Social Development at the University of Victoria, a position he has held since 1987. Prior to this, he was a faculty member at Carleton University, in Ottawa, in the School of Public Administration.

Professor Prince has been a member of the board of directors of the BC Association for Community Living, since 2004.  He also chairs the National Action Committee on Income Security, Employment and Supports, for the Canadian Association for Community Living.  Prince is currently Co-Principal Researcher with the Council of Canadians with Disabilities on a five year community-university alliance project entitled "Disabling Poverty, Enabling Citizenship."  Among his publications, Prince is the co-author with James J. Rice of Changing Politics of Canadian Social Policy (University of Toronto Press, 2000) and, quite recently, the author of Absent Citizens: Disability Politics and Policy in Canada (University of Toronto Press, 2009). 

Presentation Location

International Collaboration On Repair Discoveries, Vancouver, BC