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Social Locations – Ability

Equity Framework > Social Locations > Ability

Defining disability is complex and evolving. The term “disability” covers a broad range and degree of conditions, some visible and some not visible. Disability is a social issues and not a collection of individual medical experiences. This social issue represents a disconnect between an individual living with a disabiliy and a world that is not designed to include people living with disabilies [1]. It is estimated that 13% of Toronto residents (15 years and over) are living with some form of disability [2]. People living with disabilities are more likely to live below the poverty line, a significant proportion of people experienceing homelessness in Canada also live with disabilities, and national unemployment rates of people with disabilities are high. Diverse people with disabilities can experience significant gaps resulting in on-going exclusions [3][4].


  1. City of Toronto. Disability Awareness & Inclusion. Retrieved February 20, 2020 from
  2. Ontario Human Rights Commission (2016). Disability and human rights [Brochure]. Retrieved February 20, 2020 from
  3. Crawford, C. (2013). Looking into poverty: Income sources of poor people with disabilities in Canada. Toronto: Institute for Research and Development on Inclusion and Society (IRIS) and Council of Canadians with Disabilities. Retrieved February 20, 2020 from
  4. Stienstra, D. (2018). Canadian Disability Policies in a World of Inequalities. Societies, 8(2), 36. doi: 10.3390/soc8020036 Retrieved February 20, 2020 from