In Dignity: Disabilities, Freedom and the Fight for Security, a CBC series

About 15 per cent of Canadians currently identify as having a disability and as Canada’s age pyramid is shifting and the population aging, that number could grow.

Saeid Ghorani has been driving for HandyDART for 11 years. (Photo by Ash Kelly)

Saeid Ghorani has been driving for HandyDART for 11 years. (Photo by Ash Kelly)

Multiple studies and surveys show that people with disabilities are more prone to experiencing abuse (financial, neglect, physical, sexual, bullying). People with disabilities are also less likely to report abuse than able-bodied individuals. One U.S. study showed that only about 30 per cent of people with disabilities reported it, despite 70 percent of survey respondents saying they had experienced abuse.

But abuse is not the only issue this population is facing. Issues of quality of life and dignity exists across the board in ways able-bodies people might take for granted. Employment discrimination, stigma, financial hardship and a lack of disability specific resources often leave people with disabilities in a dangerous and difficult cycle.

From Oct. 13-16, CBC’s Stephen Quinn hosted “In Dignity: Disabilities, Freedom and the Fight for Security,” on On the Coast.

We featured stories of abuse, potential cuts to home-care services and institutionalized living. We also took a ride on accessible transportation service HandyDART and held a solutions-oriented panel to close the series.

Tuesday, October 13 – we look at how women with disabilities occupy a cross-section of marginalization – resulting in an elevated risk of intimate partner abuse. We hear from one woman about her personal story and learn about a lack of resources available for women with disabilities who experience abuse.
Listen to the audio here. 

Wednesday, October 14 – How are massive cuts to support services affecting people whose disabilities require them to rely on caretakers?
Listen to the audio here.

Wednesday, October 14 –  Institutionalization of people with disabilities is a thing of the past; nearly. One long-term care facility remains open in South Vancouver. We hear from two residents at George Pearson Centre.
Listen to the audio here.

Thursday, October 15 – HandyDART services are a lifeline for the disabled, elderly and ill.  We’ll take a ride and give you the the inside scoop on what it is like to drive and be a passenger on HandyDART.
Listen to the audio here. Jump to 11:45.

Thursday, October 15 – We’ll also explore HandyDart’s use of taxis for passengers when the bus is delayed or full and hear how one woman had a frightening experience with this service.
Listen to audio here.

Friday, October 16 – We hear from two disabilities community advocates who dig deep into issues of policy and stigma and look to find solutions that will keep people with disabilities safe and secure.
Listen to the audio here. Jump to 1:16:20

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