Disability Rights In Canadian History

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Overview of Disability Rights in Canadian History Disabilities by definition, is defined as a mental, social, emotional or physical condition that limits a person’s movement, senses or activities. There are over 600 million people in the world currently suffering from numerous disabilities which include deafness, epilepsy, mental illness, developmental disabilities, behavioral problems, substance abuse, blindness, and obesity. Throughout history, the society has developed a various of different perceptions towards people with disabilities such as that their disability was a punishment from the gods, disabilities were contagious, and that witchcraft and demonic forces were the cause of such disabilities to individuals. Nonetheless, people…show more content…
The enactment of this act created much controversy as several hundreds of people contested the Sexual Sterilization Act for its discrimination against disabled people. Although many contested, the act was still assented. In 1937, Dr. W.W. Cross, Social Credit Minister of Health proposed an amendment to the act as it was unfair to disables. Unfortunately, because Alberta was going through the Great Depression at that time, they supported that sterilization for disabled people was greatly needed, which in turn, empowered the act to sterilize a larger population of disabled people. In 1942 during World War II, another amendment was made but this time to broaden the selection of disabled patients who had to undergo sterilization. This was due to the fact that Albertans had the knowledge that the Nazis would torture those who were disabled with atrocities. As a result, the pace of sterilization on disabled people was sped up. For almost 20 years, mentally disabled people had no rights or say to reject such laws from stripping away their identity and rights to reproduce. In those 14 years, 99% of 4,800 cases were proposed for sterilization in Alberta. Finally in 1972, David King, MLA Edmonton Highlands successfully introduced a Bill that repealed the Sexual Sterilization Act but it was until…show more content…
People with disabilities and sympathetic activists formed groups to advocate for the establishment of Disability Rights. Differently formed groups with the same intentions were increasing in all parts of Canada and by 1976, they all came together to form the Coalition of Provincial Organizations of the Handicapped, which soon later was renamed to the Council of Canadians with Disabilities; working to protect disabled people under the Charter of Rights and Freedom from discrimination, increasing public awareness, and creating access of pension plans for the
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