Social Service Accessibility in Montreal’s English-Speaking Disability Community : A Needs-Based Assessment

Type of resource
Social Service Accessibility in Montreal’s English-Speaking Disability Community : A Needs-Based Assessment
The author notes that health and social service systems can be difficult to traverse, especially in the stressful situations that often necessitate accessing them. In Quebec, these difficulties are exacerbated for English speaking or limited French-proficient persons. The author employs a needs-based assessment to explore how linguistic-based access barriers to health and social services affect Montreal’s English-speaking Disability community, focusing on those with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities and their caregivers/advocates. The author identifies the community’s needs and proposes three key issues that result in the needs being unmet by the social service system. Specifically, the author points out that the issues are: (i) inaccessible information for limited French-proficient persons, as many important documents are available in only French; (ii) the primary method for bolstering language congruency between service users and providers relies on the service seeker to acquire French, which is incompatible with the lived experiences of many members of the Disability community; and (iii) limited options for English services across Montreal. The author indicates that the protection of the French language under the Charter of the French Language (1977) impacts the ability of the Act Respecting Health Services and Social Services (1991) to protect the rights of English-speaking Quebeckers to receive services in English. Through a human rights model of Disability and citizenship lens, the author suggests that language laws can be understood and implemented to protect the Québécois identity while ensuring active inclusion of otherwise marginalized communities in health and social service systems.
Master's Thesis
McGill University
# of Pages
Nash, Aubrey. “Social Service Accessibility in Montreal’s English-Speaking Disability Community : A Needs-Based Assessment.” Master’s Thesis, McGill University, 2019.
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