Labour Studies Index

Updated: 2022-05-16

‘Because they have all the power and I have none’: State restructuring of income and employment supports and disabled women's lives in Ontario, Canada.

Document type Article
Author Chouinard, Vera
Author Crooks, Valorie A.
Journal Disability & Society
Volume 20
Date 2005
ISSN 0968-7599, 1360-0508
Pages 19-32


We examine the connections between neo-liberal forms of state restructuring and intervention in disabled people’s lives, looking in particular at how these have affected disabled women’s experi- ences of an income support program, the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP), in Ontario, Canada. We first outline why and how state programs have been re-designed and imple- mented in increasingly harsh ways as a result of such neo-liberal forms of state restructuring. Even groups formerly considered among the ‘deserving poor’ have found their access to social assistance diminished. We then argue that this is an outcome of state programs, policies and practices which are re-asserting and more deeply entrenching ‘ableness’ as a necessary condition of citizenship, inclusion and access to justice. Finally, we illustrate how disabled women’s lives and well-being have been altered as a result of changes in the provision of these forms of state assistance using in- depth semi-structured interviews conducted with 10 women in Ontario.