Invisible Institutions

Invisible Institutions

Invisible Institutions is a new documentary podcast exploring the past and present of institutions for people labelled with intellectual and developmental disabilities in Canada


February 1, 2022 1 min

Introducing Invisible Institutions, a new documentary podcast exploring the exploitation, isolation, resistance and survival of people labeled with intellectual/developmental disabilities.

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Invisible Institutions is a new documentary podcast about the institutionalization, exploitation and resistance of people labelled with intellectual/developmental disabilities. 

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February 23, 2022 69 min

For over a century, people labeled with intellectual/developmental disabilities were confined into large-scale, state-operated institutions across so-called-Canada. In these places, labeled people were isolated from their communities, subject to abuse, and removed of their autonomy, personhood, all in the name of care. People with disabilities & their allies have been working tirelessly for the last decades to bring these conversat...

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March 9, 2022 36 min

Sheltered Workshops are workplaces where people labelled with an intellectual/developmental disability are not paid fairly for the work they do. These programs promise training to prepare for employment, but for many it becomes a lifetime of "training". Sheltered workshops are exploitative programs that put workers at significant risk. Guests Ari Ne'eman, Donnie Maclean, David Weremy & Jihan Abbas. 

Episode transcript and show note...

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March 23, 2022 52 min

The Manitoba Development Centre (MDC) is one of few remaining large-scale government funded and operated institutions for people labelled with an intellectual/developmental disability in Western Canada. MDC survivor David Weremy joins us to share his life-long fight "to shut them down, everyone one of them". We're joined by David Weremy & People First of Canada's Shelley Fletcher.

A heads up that today’s episode deals with confi...

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April 6, 2022 33 min

More than 150,000 people live in long-term care in Canada, and every single one of them is a person with a disability. Government’s use long-term care as a stop-gap solution to the housing & care crisis, one that is all too often used against people with intellectual/developmental disabilities.

A note that this episode contains discussion of sexual violence, physical, emotional and mental abuse, confinement, swearing and force-fee...

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Throughout Canadian history provincial governments have worked to control the sexuality and reproduction of people with intellectual/developmental disabilities. For fifty years, Alberta’s Sexual Sterilization Act (1928), made it legal to sterilize people labelled with intellectual disabilities without their consent. More than 2,834 people in the Alberta were subject to involuntary sexual sterilization surgery, but experts say this ...

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May 25, 2022 37 min

In Canada, institutions for people with intellectual/developmental disabilities have never closed, they have changed faces and names, but have remained responsible for the segregation and isolation of labelled people. Today, group homes are the primary forms of supportive housing for labelled. And while not all group homes are institutional, all group homes have the potential to become institutions. With guests self-advocate Kory E...

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In 2021, Canada expanded access to medical assistance in dying to all people with disabilities who suffer as a result of their condition. These expansions to MAiD come at a time when people labeled with intellectual and developmental disabilities are criminalized and institutionalized. 

Featuring footage from the Freedom Tour documentary, and the Disability Filibuster.  Featuring testimonies by Catherine Frazee, Sarah Jama, and Jon...

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