The Canadian Journal of Sociology, Vol. 29, 2004, p.59-82
Canadian disability policy was described 25 years ago as "déjà vu discourse" and little has improved to the present day. The paper examines Canada's disability policy record, and how the State conducts policy reform. Five possible explanations for lack of progress are considered - public attitudes and lack of information, the relative powerlessness of disabled people and their families, the constraints of the economic context and public finances, federal-provincial jurisdiction issues and weak accountability mechanisms. The article concludes that sweeping reforms, rather than tinkering with programmes and structures, are needed if real progress is ever to be made.