Research Chair in Disability Appointed


The Canadian Centre on Disability Studies, Royal Bank of Canada and the University of Winnipeg are pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Deborah Stienstra, Associate Professor, Department of Political Studies, University of Winnipeg, to the Royal Bank Research Chair in Disability Studies. The two-year appointment became effective September 1, 2000.

Dr. Stienstra brings extensive research experience to her new appointment with the Centre. Policy analysis that leads to action is at the heart of Stienstra’s focus, with one of her main research interests being the assessment of policy on disability and persons with disabilities. A recent publication, “Taking Action on United Nations Standard Rules on Disability” with co-author Patrick Kellerman, challenges the reader to “use this handbook as a first step to explore more about how Canadian governments are keeping their commitments.” (The Canadian government agreed in 1993 to implement the United Nations Standard Rules for the Equalization of Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities.)

Dr. Stienstra’s goals include a “think tank” on research priorities with leaders in the disability community, and an assessment of access to primary health care for persons with disabilities. Stienstra speaks with passion about globalization and disability as a potential topic for future research.

Dr. Constance Rooke, President of the University of Winnipeg, said that “the Canadian Centre on Disability Studies is focused on an area of importance to all Canadians. I am pleased that Deborah Stienstra, a member of our faculty, has been appointed to the Royal Bank Research Chair.”

“Royal Bank Financial Group is committed to funding disability research through strong partnerships with organizations such as CCDS,” said Bruce Campbell, Regional Vice President, Royal Bank, Manitoba and Northwestern Ontario. “Our commitment is about investing in people and providing the support to help enhance their lives.” Royal Bank Financial Group announced its commitment of $350,000 to sponsor the Royal Bank Research Chair in Disability Studies in 1997.

Professor Donna Collins, University of Manitoba, Chair of the CCDS Research Committee, welcomed Dr. Stienstra to the Research Chair, saying, “I very much look forward to working with her in this new role. Deborah is an experienced, well-respected and high-quality researcher who brings a renewed strength to CCDS’s research agenda.”

Speaking on behalf of the Centre, Executive Director Dr. Henry Enns said, “Dr. Stienstra has begun her research work with an enthusiasm that is infectious. Her appointment brings a tremendous amount of expertise to the Chair, continuing the excellent work begun by the first Royal Bank Chair, the late Dr. Karen Blackford.”

Research in Brief

– From the research staff at CCDS comes news that the current study of best practices in home-based work by persons with disabilities completed data collection in January, 2001. Preliminary findings are being compiled for discussion at a workshop for study participants, and a report and best practices handbook will be published in September, 2001. This study is being funded by the Workers’ Compensation Board of Manitoba.

– The final report for the project Employment for Youth With Disabilities: Issues and Experiences finds that employment training is underfunded and too short and that many young people with disabilities are “falling through the cracks.” The complete report is available on the Research page of the CCDS website,

– The CCDS Research Department is looking for people interested in research on disability studies from a consumer-based perspective to volunteer for the Research Committee or one of its task groups. Contact Deborah Stienstra at or contact CCDS.

– Through the Small Grants Awards Program, grants of up to $5,000 are made available for community research projects related to disability either locally or nationally. Contact CCDS for application guidelines. Deadline for submission is March 15, 2001. Announcement of awards will be in May, 2001.

– “Democracy, Diversity, and Disability” is the theme of the Society for Disability Studies 14th Annual Meeting, June 21 to 24, 2001, in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada at the Winnipeg Convention Centre. For information contact CCDS or visit our website.

(For more information, contact the Canadian Centre on Disability Studies at 56 The Promenade, Winnipeg, MB, R3B 3H9; phone: (204) 287-8411; TTY: (204) 475-6223; fax: (204) 284-5343; e-mail:; website:


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