Request for Participation in Research Project about Disability and Mothering

May 13, 2019

RE: Request for Participation in Research Project about Disability and Mothering

Title of Study: Understanding Systemic Barriers Experienced by Disabled Mothers in Canada: A Human Rights Inquiry into how Policy, Legislation and Media influence Discrimination and Stereotypes of Disability and Mothering

I am a PhD candidate at UBC Okanagan, in British Columbia. I am writing this letter to ask if you would be willing to participate in an interview on your experiences as a disabled woman and mother. This research project is part of the requirements for a dissertation being completed at UBC Okanagan. The interview should last approximately two to four hours, depending upon accommodations.

This project seeks to learn about the experiences of disabled mothers in two provinces using established human rights monitoring methods, life course history methods, and arts-based methods. The purpose of this is to learn about the experiences of disabled mothers, and to understand whether policies and legislation impact the experiences of disabled mothers across their lifespan.

Participants must be over the age of 19, and self-identify as living with a disability. They must have child(ren) under the age of 19, and have custody or shared custody of their child(ren). The participants must live in either British Columbia or Ontario. You must agree to have the interview audio recorded.

If you agree to participate, you will be interviewed to document both positive and negative experiences related to the reproductive rights, of Canadian citizens, to have and raise a family. The focus of this research is women’s personal narratives or experiences related to being mothers. You will be asked to participate in a one-on-one interview. You will be able to share your experiences using oral methods (e.g., through an interview) as well as artistic ways of telling your stories if you choose. The interviews will be audio recorded and transcribed. Interviews can happen in one sitting or in multiple sittings to accommodate your comfort.

Legislation, policy and media will be used to contextualize and understand the interplay between rights and lived experience. You may be asked about recent media stories or programs and policies in your province.

This project uses an emancipatory, human rights based approach to inquire whether disabled mothers in Canada are being respected, and are having equal experiences raising their children as non-disabled mothers.

If you agree to participate, you will be asked a series of questions about your life and your experiences. We will particularly want to know if your human rights have been violated and how they have been violated. In other words, we will want to know if there are unfair things that have happened to you which have stopped you from participating in society in the way that people without disabilities participate in society.

If you agree to participate, you will be interviewed by Jewelles Smith (PhD Candidate at UBC Okanagan). In the past, people with disabilities have often been left out of research about people with disabilities. We think that it is only fair that people with disabilities play an active role in any research about them.

If you are interested in participating in this project, please contact Ms. Smith directly.


Jewelles Smith, PhD(c)
UBC Centre of Inclusion and Citizenship (CIC),
UBC Okanagan 3333 University Way, Kelowna, BC, V1V 1V7
(250) 200-1200