Engaging ideas, transforming minds
Engaging ideas, transforming minds

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Canadian Scholars’ Press
382 pages
6.75 x 9.75 inches
May 2018
Print ISBN: 9781773380469


This long-awaited reader explores the history of Canadian people with disabilities from Confederation to current day. This collection focuses on Canadians with mental, physical, and cognitive disabilities, and discusses the ways in which they lived, worked, and influenced public policy in Canada.

Organized by time period, the 23 chapters in this collection are authored by a diverse group of scholars who discuss the untold histories of Canadians with disabilities—Canadians who influenced science and technology, law, education, healthcare, and social justice. Selected chapters discuss disabilities among Indigenous women, the importance of community inclusion, the ubiquity of stairs in the Montreal Métro, and the ethics of disability research. Untold Stories: A Canadian Disability History Reader offers an exceptional presentation of influential people with various disabilities who brought about social change and helped to make Canada more accessible.

Untold Stories is an invaluable collection for Canadian students in disability studies, sociology, history, social work, and education studies.


  • provides an overview of disability culture in Indigenous communities
  • evaluates the necessity of research ethics and accountability for disability history

Related Titles

Table of Contents


Introduction 1

Nancy Hansen, Roy Hanes, and Diane Driedger


Chapter 1 “Out from Under”: A Brief History of Everything 8

Kathryn Church, Melanie Panitch, Catherine Frazee, and Phaedra Livingstone

Chapter 2 Posthumous Exploitation? The Ethics of Researching, Writing, and

Being Accountable as a Disability Historian 26

Geoffrey Reaume

Chapter 3 Uncovering Disability History 40

Nancy Hansen


Chapter 4 “Blindness Clears the Way”: E. B. F. Robinson’s The True Sphere of the

Blind (1896) 53

Vanessa Warne

Chapter 5 The Education of “Good” and “Useful” Citizens: Work, Disability, and d/Deaf Citizenship at the Ontario Institution for the Education of the Deaf, 1892–1902 66

Alessandra Iozzo-Duval

Chapter 6 “An Excuse for Being So Bold”: D. W. McDermid and the Early

Development of the Manitoba Institute for the Deaf and Dumb,
1888–1900 91

Sandy R. Barron

Chapter 7 Remembering the Boys 110

Caroline E. M. Carrington-Decker

vi Contents

Chapter 8 “Someone in Toronto … Paid Her Way Out Here”: Indentured Labour and Medical Deportation—The Precarious Work of Single Women 121

Natalie Spagnuolo

Chapter 9 Service Clubs and the Emergence of Societies for Crippled Children in Canada: The Rise of the Ontario Society for Crippled Children,

1920–1940 140

Roy Hanes


Chapter 10 Work, Education, and Privilege: An Alberta City’s Parasitical

Relationship to Its Total Institution for “Mental Defectives” 163

Claudia Malacrida

Chapter 11 Disability as Social Threat: Examining the Social Justice Implications of Canada’s Eugenic History 179

Phillip B. Turcotte

Chapter 12 The Impact of Ventilation Technology: Contrasting Consumer and

Professional Perspectives 196

Joseph Kaufert and David Locker


Chapter 13 Je me souviens: The Hegemony of Stairs in the Montreal

Métro 207

Laurence Parent

Chapter 14 Organizing for Change: The Origins and History of the Manitoba

League of the Physically Handicapped, 1967–1982 221

Diane Driedger

Chapter 15 The Council of Canadians with Disabilities: A Voice of Our Own,

1976–2012 243

April D’Aubin

Contents vii

Chapter 16 Building an Accessible House of Labour: Work, Disability Rights, and the Canadian Labour Movement 268

Dustin Galer

Chapter 17 The Habeas Corpus of Justin Clark 282

Marilou McPhedran


Chapter 18 Winnipeg Community Centre of the Deaf: Program Development as

Community Development 297

Charlotte Enns, Bruce Koskie, Rita Bomak, and Gregory Evans

Chapter 19 History of Science and Technology and Canadians with

Disabilities 306

Gregor Wolbring and Natalie Ball

Chapter 20 “Like Alice through the Looking Glass” II: The Struggle for

Accommodation Continues 320

Vera Chouinard

Chapter 21 Triple Jeopardy: Native Women with Disabilities 339

Doreen Demas

Chapter 22 The Community Inclusion Project in Manitoba: Planning for the

Residents of the Pelican Lake Training Centre 345

Zana Marie Lutfiyya, Dale C. Kendel, and Karen D. Schwartz

Chapter 23 Living in the Midst: Re-imagining Disability through

Auto/biography 356

Kelly McGillivray

Contributors 368

Copyright Acknowledgements 374

Nancy Hansen

Nancy Hansen is an Associate Professor and the Director of the Interdisciplinary Master’s Program in Disability Studies at the University of Manitoba.

Roy Hanes

Roy Hanes is an Associate Professor in the School of Social Work at Carleton University.

Diane Driedger

Diane Driedger is an Assistant Professor in the Interdisciplinary Master’s Program in Disability Studies at the University of Manitoba.

Dissonant Disabilities, Untold Stories


Cover art statement

“The title of My Will Remains is drawn from a quote by Frida Kahlo (1907–1954), the Mexican artist. Her work resonates with me as an artist who has worked lying down, as she did. I have joined her, proclaiming my sisterhood as I work lying down due to my pain and fatigue with my disability. Kahlo is my role model for persisting, for working—lying down does not mean being unproductive.”

Diane Driedger, artist and editor

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