Disability Politics and Care: The Challenge of Direct Funding


“We do not need care!” is a rallying cry for disability movements. It is informed by a recognition that a lack of choice over life decisions – from relationships and employment, to what to wear or eat – is a subtle yet pervasive form of violence endured by many people with disabilities as part of their “care.”

Disability Politics and Care examines a provincial direct-funding program to illuminate what happens when people with disabilities are given autonomy over their own care arrangements. In addition to investigating responses from a wide range of stakeholders, Christine Kelly reflects on the broader social and political implications of these sorts of programs. She probes the divide that exists between rejections of care by disability activists, on the one hand, and attempts by feminists to value gendered forms of labour, on the other. Rather than trying to forge common ground, Kelly explores how maintaining a tension between them could positively transform the understanding and practice of care.

Enlivened by the voices of disabled people, attendants, informal supports, and others, this book uses one independent living program as a starting point for untangling much larger philosophical, theoretical, and material questions about (self) determination, (inter)dependence, governance, and justice.

Book available for purchase here.

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