CFN Speaker Series - Disability & Displacement

With the contemporary international refugee crisis and the rising numbers of displaced marginalized social groups seeking immigration or refugee status, settlement sectors around the world are struggling to meet the demands for help and support. Within this global reality, marginalized social groups such as people with disabilities are the first to fall through the cracks. These experiences serve as a reminder of the important role that settlement sectors can and should play to prevent such a fate. Such circumstances leads one to ask what can we do differently in supporting the settlement and integration experiences for immigrants and refugees with disabilities?

The CFN Speaker Series continues November 30th right here at the Centre, with special guest presenter Dr. Yahya El-Lahib of the University of Calgary. Yahya came to the Faculty of Social Work, University of Calgary after finishing his PhD at the School of Social Work, McMaster University.  As a long time disability activist, Yahya’s research, practice and policy background has centred on working on disability issues at all levels of intervention, from frontline work with individuals and families, to community practice, policy development, and research on a variety of issues including education, employment, poverty, political and civic engagement, as well as the impacts of war. Throughout this involvement, Yahya has been closely affiliated with the disability movement in Lebanon working from a grassroots social justice approach which has allowed him to bring to his current community involvement, teaching and research in Canada a critical transnational dimension to social work.

In his presentation, he will outline key tensions at the intersection of disability and displacement by highlighting some of the issue that settlement workers in Canada face when providing services for immigrants and refugees with disabilities. In addition, he will briefly sketch some of the dynamics that immigrants and refugees with disabilities face during their displacement, as well as settlement and integration processes. He will then move to discuss the need to defragment key and essential services that immigrants and refugees require to facilitate a successful settlement and integration process. The presentation will conclude with a discussion of the troubling dominant misconceptions about immigrants and refugees with disabilities to highlight the actual and potential contributions that they make to the Canadian local and national fabric. Throughout this discussion, key recommendations for the settlement sector will be provided to improve the quality of services for immigrants and refugees with disabilities.

CFN Speaker Series from CFN Productions on Vimeo.