Educational Programs and the Ontario Disability Support Program: A Critical Literature Review
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AbstractMy major research paper (MRP) is a critical literature review of educational programming available to Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) recipients. Specifically, I review financial literacy education (FLE) programs and ODSP employment training programs. The purpose of my research was to gain a critical understanding of how these programs incorporate learners’ experiences with governmental institutions that impact financial wellbeing and employment. I analyze the literature through the lens of two critical theories: critical pedagogy and critical disability theory. Previous literature indicates that involvement with the social assistance system in Ontario influences recipients’ sense of identity related to disability (Crooks et al., 2008; Lightman et al., 2009). The impact on recipients’ identity is influenced by the binary categorization of able/disabled within social assistance institutions. Some ODSP recipients identify as neither able-bodied nor disabled, rather on a spectrum of illness and wellness. Research into these types of educational programming can support educators and policymakers in identifying the barriers ODSP recipients encounter while pursuing personal goals related to financial security and employment. In this MRP, I report on findings that indicate the presence and the usefulness of critical pedagogy and critical disability theory to improve FLE and employment training delivery. Through this research, I aim to understand the gaps in current FLE and employment training delivery and offer recommendations for future program development.
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