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DisAbled Women's Network: DAWN ONTARIO

Publications Online

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New Additions

CLEO (Community Legal Education Ontario) Publications

DAWN Ontario Publications

Publications from Other Sources

Visit the Canadian Social Research Links site for links to publications

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New Additions

Family Violence in Canada: A Statistical Profile 2006
Victims Rarely Report Abuse: StatsCan Report

Victimization surveys have shown that spousal violence frequently involves multiple incidents. However, a new study examining 10 years of police-reported data shows that most spousal violence is reported to police on only a single occasion.

The study, which analyzed spousal violence offenders and their contact with police using a 10-year data file for 1995 to 2004, was published today in the 2006 edition of Family Violence in Canada: A Statistical Profile. It found that 8 out of every 10 spousal offenders were reported to police on only one occasion during the 10-year time frame. Persons accused of repeated spousal violence (those with two to four police-reported incidents of spousal violence) accounted for 18% of the total. Only 1% were considered chronic abusers, that is they were involved in five or more reported incidents.

These results may be partially explained by the 2004 General Social Survey (GSS) on victimization that found that only 28% of victims of spousal violence turned to police for help. Incidents that are reported tend to depend on the severity and frequency of the violence, and on whether children were witnesses. Other factors include whether the victim was female, young, Aboriginal or turned to others for support. Read More



Women's Economic Justice Report available online
In April, 2006 the Women's Economic Justice Report on Guaranteed Livable Income was released at a public meeting in Victoria BC. Follow this link to read Project background: http://pacificcoast.net/~swag/swcproject05.htm

Hard copies of the report (printed with 100% recycled newsprint with a colour cover) have been distributed to many groups and individuals in across Canada and a few to the US and overseas. Out of 1000 copies, we have only 200 hard copies left which we are reserving for those without easy access to the internet.

Note: This report is not just for women. All the women interviewed want a Guaranteed Livable Income for everyone; however, they also recognize that women face more poverty, stress, violence, unpaid and underpaid work, while also carrying primary responsibility and worry for the well-being of the world's children.
Read More


Report: Are Wage Supplements the Answer to the Problems of the Working Poor? PDF file (PDF 184KB/13p.)
Andrew Jackson, Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, 2006
The idea of addressing poverty through some kind of wage supplementation program has been around for some time, but has only recently moved to the centre stage of Canadian social policy. Unlike the more visionary concept of a Guaranteed Annual Income for all citizens, wage supplements are intended to promote and support employment in low-paid jobs. This paper examines different recommendations and finds wage supplements can play useful supporting roles in assisting the working poor, but should not be seen as the centerpiece of a new social architecture.

Read the report:
Are Wage Supplements the Answer to the Problems of the Working Poor? PDF file (PDF 184KB/13p.)


Where There Is No Doctor: Now Available Online
The Hesperian Foundation is proud to announce that their classic manual, Where There Is No Doctor, is now available online! Follow this link to access the 2006 edition on their website.

According to the World Health Organization, Where There Is No Doctor is perhaps the most widely used health care manual for health workers, clinicians, and others involved in primary health care delivery and health promotion programs around the world. The manual provides practical, easily understood information on how to diagnose, treat, and prevent many common illnesses. With over 90 translations and adaptations of the book available worldwide, and millions of copies in print, the book is an essential health resource for individuals and communities around the world.


Ontario Domestic Violence Death Review Committee Releases Annual Report
Dr. Barry McLellan, Chief Coroner of Ontario, announced today the release of the third annual report of the Domestic Violence Death Review Committee (DVDRC). The report contains an overview of domestic violence deaths occurring in 2002, 2003, 2004 and 2005 that were reviewed by the committee, along with the statistical analysis of information collected. Recommendations arising from the review are also included in the report.

The DVDRC is an advisory committee and reports directly to the chief coroner. The committee was created in response to recommendations made by the juries in the coroner's inquests in the deaths of Arlene May and Randy Iles (1998), and Gillian and Ralph Hadley (2002), as well as the Joint Committee on Domestic Violence. The committee members are drawn from the health, justice, advocacy and social services sectors. Read More


Report: Count Us In!
Inclusion and Homeless Women in Downtown East Toronto - June 2006
Project Partners: Ontario Prevention Clearinghouse, Ontario Women's Health Network, Toronto Christian Resource Centre and Toronto Public Health
The purpose of this project was to investigate how health and social services in Toronto, and in the province of Ontario, can be made more inclusive, and in turn, promote the health and well-being of marginalized groups. Homeless and underhoused women who live in Downtown East Toronto led the research and were actively engaged in all stages of the project, from collecting and analysing the data to developing the final recommendations.

They facilitated 11 focus groups with 58 women who are homeless or underhoused.(4) The researchers collected feedback on the health and social services that women use as well as the participants’ ideas about how policies and services could be improved. Count Us In! aims to influence how governments and service providers plan, deliver and fund services for populations that are marginalized. As one participant said, this is an opportunity for the service providers to "step back and take a good look at what is needed."

This report summarizes what the women said. It describes many of the barriers they face, and then highlights their solutions for making services more inclusive. Read the k
ey recommendations

Count Us In! highlights the importance of marginalized women being actively involved in every part of the process, to ensure that their voices are heard, that they are "at the table," and that the appropriate actions are taken to meet their needs.

Download the Report PDF File, Requires Adobe Acrobat Reader (PDF, 381 kb, 33 pages)



Where is the Money for Women's Rights? PDF file requires Adobe Acrobat Reader
It seems that there are too few interested funders, with too little money, to support existing women's rights organizations and initiatives. Is it that women's rights groups are not bold enough in their fundraising strategies? Is it that donors simply don't understand the urgency and importance of this work? What has really been happening in terms of funding for women's rights organizations in the last ten years and what have been the driving forces behind those trends? This report is the result of an action research initiative launched by AWID to explore precisely those questions and to give insights into possible strategies for changing the existing funding landscape so that more resources are made available to women's rights organizations. Read More PDF file requires Adobe Acrobat Reader

New Policy Paper: Sexuality and Development PDF file requires Adobe Acrobat Reader
Jolly, S. April 2006
Development has generally treated sexuality as a problem - considering it only in relation to population control, family planning, disease and violence. However, sexuality has far broader impacts on people's well-being and ill-being. Using Robert Chambers' framework of the multiple dimensions of poverty, this IDS Policy Briefing highlights the many links between sexuality and poverty and suggests constructive ways to engage with sexuality as a development issue. It looks at how we can take a broader and more positive approach to sexuality, and how we can foster an environment that enables people to live out healthier, happier sexualities free from violence and fear. It gives examples of actions which shift the focus from negative to positive, from violence to pleasure, and shows how development can approach sexuality through health, human rights and sexual rights, gender, and religion. For more information see:
PDF file requires Adobe Acrobat Reader

New Paper: ''Responding to Violence against Women: How Development Interventions Address the issue of Gender-Based Violence

Belen Sobrino, paper series: New Voices, New Perspectives, INSTRAW/March 06.

The paper highlights the shortcomings of current development policies to tackle violence against women, and proposes a new framework from a body politics approach to address VAW. For more information please see:

International Consultation on Women Human Rights Defenders Proceedings PDF file requires Adobe Acrobat Reader
Victoria Collis, River Path Associates. (December 22, 2005)
This is a full report of the International Consultation on Women Human Rights Defenders held on 29 November - 2 December 2005 in Colombo, Sri Lanka. This report documents the discussions and analyses of violations and abuses committed against women human rights defenders through a framework of four key sources of violations: state actors, non-state actors, family and community, sex and sexuality-based attacks. It also contains strategies and recommendations made by the participants to better protect women human rights defenders. To view the report please see:
http://www.defendingwomen-defendingrights.org/pdf/WHRD-Proceedings.pdf PDF file requires Adobe Acrobat Reader


Welfare Fraud: The Constitution of Social Assistance as Crime PDF
By: Professor Janet Mosher, Osgoode Hall Law School, York University and Professor Joe Hermer, Division of Social Sciences, University of Toronto at Scarborough, 2005
"The impression that there is widespread defrauding of benefits by recipients has been so successfully installed in public discourse and government policy that social assistance is now primarily viewed not as a necessary form of support for those in need, but rather negatively, as a burdensome problem of regulation, policing and crime control. Those on social assistance, the far majority of them women and children, are widely viewed as morally suspect persons, criminals in waiting poised to abuse a public expenditure and trust." Read More PDF


Below is a list of comprehensive reports outlining the issues for Persons with Disabilities. These reports date back a quarter century and propose a wide range of policy solutions. Each one identifies disability supports as a critical issue and underlines the need for urgent action. The issues are well understood. It is time to take action on the commitments made to persons with disabilities. When will governments address the systemic issues of exclusion, poverty and a lack of access to needed disability supports?

Obstacles: A Report of the Special Committee on the Disabled and the Handicapped, Feb. 1981 PDF File

A Portrait of Persons with Disabilities, 1995

Federal Task Force on Disability. "Equal Citizenship for Canadians with Disabilities: The Will to Act" October, 1996 PDF File

In Unison: A Canadian Approach to Disability Issues- A Vision Paper, Oct. 1998

Future Directions to Address Disability Issues for the Government of
Canada: Working Together for Full Citizenship
, 1999 PDF File

In Unison 2000: Persons with Disabilities in Canada, 2000

Disability in Canada: A 2001 Profile, 2001 PDF File

Advancing the inclusion of persons with disabilities: A Government of Canada report, 2002 PDF File

Advancing the inclusion of persons with disabilities: A Government of Canada report, 2004 PDF File

Canadian Attitudes Towards Disability, 2004 PDF File (prepared by Environics)

Supports and Services for Adults and children aged 5-14 with
disabilities in Canada: an analysis of data on needs and gaps
, 2004


Beijing + 10: Position Paper on Women with Disabilities
Disabled Peoples' International - There are at least 300 million disabled women living in all countries of the world. 82% of these live in the developing world. Disabled women and girls are much more marginalizes and mostly invisible to policy makers. Read More

Vancouver Status of Women launches Welfare Resource Guide for Women - 2nd edition
Press Release dd March 24th, 2005: "Vancouver Status of Women (VSW) launched its 2nd Edition of the Welfare Resource Guide for Women this week. This guide provides updated general information to women about British Columbia's welfare system or Employment and Assistance Regulations within a feminist framework. This Guide is meant to help women apply for welfare, disability, and child benefits, and offers guidance in application or appeal processes. The Guide especially focuses on the needs of single mothers."
Welfare Resource Guide for Women in BC - March 2005
(565 kb, 57 pgs) PDF file - requires Adobe Acrobat Reader
Chapter 1: Welfare and Employment Assistance
Chapter 2: Disability Benefits
Chapter 3: Federal and Provincial Child Benefits
Chapter 4: Reconsiderations and Appeals
Chapter 5: Welfare Advocacy Resources

When Mom Must Work : Family Day Care as a Welfare-to-Work Option
By Colin Hughes and Kerry McCuaig
Published by the Ontario Coalition for Better Child Care


Women’s Health in Canada: Beijing and Beyond
Prepared by Olena Hankivsky, PhD with The Canadian Women’s Health Network
This document was prepared as a Health Section for Canada’s “NGO” report to the UN’s Commission on the Status of Women’s upcoming meeting in March 2005. Although ‘health’ is not a specific area of discussion at the meeting, a selective commentary on this area, using the Women’ Health Strategy as an analytic lens, is timely not only because the Strategy has now passed its fifth anniversary but also because health remain a priority at meetings of the Commission on the Status of Women. The document is intended for both a Canadian and international audience. Read More (HTML)

Brief to the Ontario Legislature's Standing Committee on Social Policy on Bill 118, the Proposed Accessibility for Ontarians With Disabilities Act

Public Hearings on Bill 118
Proposed Accessibility for Ontarians With Disabilities Act
February 8, 2005 - Day 6 of 6 days of the Public Hearings on Bill 118
arrow February 7, 2005 - Day 5 of 6 days of the Public Hearings on Bill 118
arrow February 3, 2005 - Day 4 of 6 days of the Public Hearings on Bill 118
arrow February 2, 2005 - Day 3 of 6 days of the Public Hearings on Bill 118
arrow February 1, 2005 - Day 2 of 6 days of the Public Hearings on Bill 118
arrow January 31, 2005 - Day 1 of 6 days of the Public Hearings on Bill 118


Information on Accessible Travel
from the Transportation Committee of the Council of Canadians with Disabilities


World's Women Worse Off in Past Decade: Report
By Deborah Zabarenko -
UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - Life for many of the world's women has become tougher in the decade since a global U.N. conference in Beijing agreed to push for equality and economic development, a grass-roots group said on Thursday. The report, released as some 6,000 women's activists converged at the United Nations, blamed governments for failing to act on pledges to improve conditions for women in the final document from the 1995 Beijing conference, known as the Platform for Action. The current U.N. meeting is meant to assess how far women have come in areas such as economic development and the ending of gender discrimination since the Beijing meeting and a follow-up conference five years later. "Governments are...failing to mobilize the political will and leadership needed to carry out the commitments made to women at Beijing," said June Zeitlin of the Women's Environment and Development Organization, which wrote the report. "As a result, many women in all regions are actually worse off now than they were 10 years ago. Read More

Poverty in Canada & the clawback of the National Child Benefit Supplement (NCBS)

New United Way Report 'Poverty by Postal Code' Documents Changing Toronto Neighbourhoods

United Way of Greater Toronto Press Release
Key Findings
Links to Report online
Links to Media coverage

Walking on Eggshells: Abused Women's Experiences of Ontario's Welfare System


Woman Abuse and Welfare in a Rural Community:
Rural Women Speak About Their Experiences with Ontario Works

Rural Women Speak About the Face of Poverty was the first step in a project to involve rural women in a larger follow up project on rural women and poverty. The project was guided by the Rural Women and Poverty Action Committee, comprised of women of experience and their advocates in Huron, Grey and Bruce Counties.
Final Report: http://www.hurontel.on.ca/AbuseOWfinal.pdf
pdf (PDF file)


Coming Out About Lesbians and Cancer
The Lesbians and Breast Cancer Project Summary Report
The Lesbians and Breast Cancer Project was a community-based participatory study conducted in Ontario, Canada in 2003. Read More
March 31, 2004
PDF version (535 kb) PDF file requires Adobe Acrobat Reader

A new approach to Violence against Women & Girls
Overcoming Violence against Women and Girls:
The International Campaign to Eradicate a Worldwide Problem

by Michael L. Penn and Rahel Nardos
[Book Review]
Why is it that although women compose half the world's population and put in nearly two-thirds of the world's work hours, they receive just one-tenth of the world's income and own less than one-hundredth of the world's property? It does not take much reflection to realize that part of the answer to this question boils down to the capacity and willingness of men, throughout history and into modern times, to use violence to enforce and uphold their superior position. For if all men had somehow restrained themselves, if wife beating, rape, and other forms of violence against women had been inconceivable from the start, is it likely that half the human race would have for so long remained in an inferior position? Overcoming Violence against Women and Girls: The International Campaign to Eradicate a Worldwide Problem outlines the vast scope of this continuing problem -- and also offers a new and insightful interdisciplinary approach to remedying it. Read More

Federally Sentenced Women with Mental Disabilities:
A Dark Corner in Canadian Human Rights

Prepared by Yvonne Peters
For DisAbled Women’s Action Network (DAWN) Canada - February 2003
HTML version
PDF version (190 kb) PDF file requires Adobe Acrobat Reader

Violence And Abuse Against People With Disabilities: Experiences, Barriers And Prevention Strategies (Word doc)
by Laurie E. Powers, Ph.D. & Mary Oschwald, Ph.D.
Center on Self-Determination; Oregon Institute on Disability and Development; Oregon Health & Science University
"Violence and abuse are serious problems for persons with disabilities, who are at greater risk than non-disabled persons ...
The social context of disability, including factors such as inaccessibility, reliance on support services, poverty and isolation, has a powerful impact on individuals’ increased risk for violence. Historically, individuals with disabilities have not been considered reliable reporters of abuse nor have they been given the chance to be self-directed in many domains of their life. Traditional approaches to "protecting" people with disabilities have inadvertently kept them from accessing the tools and resources needed for protecting themselves....What Do We Know? Violence against women with disabilities has received far greater attention than has violence against men with disabilities. For example, The Disabled Women’s Network of Canada (Riddington, 1989) surveyed 245 women; 40% experienced abuse, 12% had been raped..."

Examination of Disability in the Context of Sustainable Human & Social Development
from Chapter 33 in the Universal Design Handbook
Author: CJ Walsh, Consultant Architect
Published by McGraw Hill - USA

This Paper examines "disability" and "contextual factors" from the broad perspective of Sustainable Human and Social Development. It remains, then, for the reader to decide whether or not the concepts of "Universal Design/Design-for-All" are sufficiently elastic to remain on the European Disability Agenda for the short term - up to the year 2010.

Available online at this pinpoint URL:
http://www.eca.lu/documents/disability.pdf (PDF file - requires Adobe Acrobat)


Disability in Canada: A 2001 Profile
Report released by Human Resources Development Canada (HRDC) highlights selected findings from Statistics Canada's 2001 Participation and Activity Limitation Survey (PALS). The report is available on HRDC's website in HTML, text, and PDF formats.


[4.3 mb]

choose to change this - Women and children more at risk in province "Since June 1995: 161 women, 21 children, 10 family and friends murdered.   33% increase in murders of women between 2000 and 2001--virtually all in Ontario" - The title of this report is borrowed from the Liberal Party election campaign slogan "choose change" because we look forward to a new approach that will offer hope to women and children experiencing violence in Ontario. Abused women work hard every day to change their lives and the lives of their children. Governments can take women's lives from poverty to promise, from fear to freedom--if they choose to take action now. During November Wife Assault Prevention Month in Ontario, we especially look forward to positive and speedy change. Read the report released by OAITH - Ontario Association of Interval and Transition Houses - on Monday, Nov. 24, 2003 at Queen's Park. (Reproduced in HTML from PDF file)

Research Paper – The Legal Concept of Employment : Marginalizing Workers - Now available on the Law Commission of Canada’s web site, the research report: “The Legal Concept of Employment: Marginalizing Workers“ by Judy Fudge, Eric Tucker & Leah Vosko of York University. The report provides an interesting statistical, historical and legal analysis of self-employment in Canada. The report, which was funded by the Law Commission of Canada & Human Resources Development Canada, was produced for a project examining law reform and policy options to better meet the needs of vulnerable workers in Canada. Copies of this Research report are available at this pinpoint URL:
Français: http://www.lcc.gc.ca/fr/themes/er/tvw/worker_main.asp

Access to Breast Cancer Screening Programs for Women with Disabilities
by Maria Barile -- Equal access to health services for women with disabilities to health services is a constant concern in all aspects of throughout their life cycles. Often, women with disabilities are denied services provided to women simply because these services are “unintentionally” geared to non-disabled women. In some cases, as in the case of breast-cancer screening, this inequality of access for all women with disabilities can have life-threatening consequences. Read More =>

When Social Policy is Health Policy
MS Word doc
size 1.3 mb
Why Increasing Poverty & Low Income Threatens Canadians' Health & Health Care System by Dennis Raphael

School Of Health Policy & Management, York University

Disablement and Feminisation of Poverty by Maria Barile
"From the economic viewpoint, one can infer that poverty and disablement are synonymous with each other. What happens when poverty and disability are experienced at the same time?" Article looks into the economic and social experiences of women with disability based on the Canadian experience.

Bibliography on Women with DisAbilities

CCDS Report on Women with disabilities and Health
for the Ontario Women's Health Status Repo
It is available in HTML or PDF at: http://www.disabilitystudies.ca/rescompleted.html#top


John Fraser, Cynthia Wilkey, JoAnne Frenschkowksi
Income Security Advocacy Centre (ISAC) Jan 2003
Full Report, posted Jan 29, 2003

CLEO - Community Legal Education Ontario Publications
These documents point to the CLEO website (CLEO does NOT give legal advice) and open in a new browser window. Please note that in order to view the publication, you must have Adobe Acrobat Reader which is available for download FREE at: http://www.adobe.com/products/acrobat/readstep2.html

French publications

Thumbs up! inclusion, rights and equality as experienced by youth with disabilities PDF file - requires Adobe Acrobat Reader
by Catherine Frazee
This 36-page paper (PDF format)is one of a series published by the Laidlaw Foundation in Canada. Building Inclusive Cities and Communities is the new focus of the Children's Agenda Program of the Laidlaw Foundation. It follows a two-year process whereby the Foundation adopted social inclusion as a tool for evaluating and advancing social policy in support of children and families. As part of the process, the foundation has commissioned 12 working papers on that have contributed to understanding social inclusion and pointed to the importance of cities and communities as places where inclusion and exclusion are first experienced by children and families. (Catherine Frazee teaches at the School of Disability Studies, Ryerson University, Toronto and is Co-Director of the Ryerson RBC Foundation Institute for Disability Studies Research and Education.)

Health & Disability

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DAWN Ontario Publications

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Last Updated June 13, 2006


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