Ten+ Years Later – We Are Visible updates the innovative community-based research project, We are Visible, conducted in 1996, and highlights the experiences of health and health care of ethno?cultural/racialized women with disabilities in Toronto. Through community-based research and a literature review, this project works to understand the barriers to health and health care that ethno-cultural/racialized women with disabilities face and whether any progress has been made to address the issues discussed by the women in the original We Are Visible project.
Both Ten+ Years Later – We Are Visible and the original We are Visible report are available online at http://owhn.on.ca/wearevisible.htm
Overview of the key findings of Ten+ Years Later – We Are Visible:
- A noticeable decline in the general quality of health care services
- Changes noted specific to the participant’s understanding of themselves as ethno?cultural/racialized women with disabilities
- Improvements in the system, including the increase in information and material available on-line and that the face of health care has become more diverse
- Participants identified numerous barriers that prevented their access to health care services and/or compromised the quality of service they receive
- Participants noted the numerous ways they access information as well as the facilitators and barriers to high quality and timely information
- A disproportionately high number of women with disabilities live in poverty and are facing increasing financial strain and barriers with the increased delisting of services and medication
- Participants talked at length about the impact of providers’ attitudes on the quality of their care and cited the need for training to better equip providers to meet their needs as ethno?cultural/racialized women
- About half of the participants identified experiencing and/or witnessing the discrimination of others in a health care setting
The project findings reveal that issues raised in the first We Are Visible project are still present and in urgent need of attention. The recommendations gathered from Ten+ Years Later – We Are Visible draw on the lived experiences of ethno-cultural/racialized women with disabilities and have important implications for current policy development, service provision and research.
Project Partners: Ethno-Racial People with Disabilities Coalition of Ontario (ERDCO) and Ontario Women’s Health Network (OWHN)