9 episodes

Invisible Institutions is a new documentary podcast exploring the past and present of institutions for people labelled with intellectual and developmental disabilities in Canada

Invisible Institutions Megan Q. Linton

    • Society & Culture
    • 5.0 • 28 Ratings

Invisible Institutions is a new documentary podcast exploring the past and present of institutions for people labelled with intellectual and developmental disabilities in Canada

    E1 The Institutions That Remain

    E1 The Institutions That Remain

    For over a century, people labeled with intellectual/developmental disabilities were confined into large-scale, state-operated institutions across so-called-Canada. In these places, labeled people were isolated from their communities, subject to abuse, and removed of their autonomy, personhood, all in the name of care. People with disabilities & their allies have been working tirelessly for the last decades to bring these conversations to the light and to close these institutions down for good.
    Transcript available here & our website invisibleinstitutions.com 

    • 1 hr 9 min
    E2 Sheltered Workshops

    E2 Sheltered Workshops

    Sheltered Workshops are workplaces where people labelled with an intellectual/developmental disability are not paid fairly for the work they do. These programs promise training to prepare for employment, but for many it becomes a lifetime of "training". Sheltered workshops are exploitative programs that put workers at significant risk. Guests Ari Ne'eman, Donnie Maclean, David Weremy & Jihan Abbas. 
    Episode transcript and show notes here
    CW: suicide, abuse, forced labour

    • 36 min
    E3 Manitoba Developmental Centre

    E3 Manitoba Developmental Centre

    The Manitoba Development Centre (MDC) is one of few remaining large-scale government funded and operated institutions for people labelled with an intellectual/developmental disability in Western Canada. MDC survivor David Weremy joins us to share his life-long fight "to shut them down, everyone one of them". We're joined by David Weremy & People First of Canada's Shelley Fletcher.

    A heads up that today’s episode deals with confinement, sexual and physical abuse and suicide.

    Here is the Episode 3 Transcript

    • 52 min
    E4 Lifetimes in Long-Term Care

    E4 Lifetimes in Long-Term Care

    More than 150,000 people live in long-term care in Canada, and every single one of them is a person with a disability. Government’s use long-term care as a stop-gap solution to the housing & care crisis, one that is all too often used against people with intellectual/developmental disabilities.
    A note that this episode contains discussion of sexual violence, physical, emotional and mental abuse, confinement, swearing and force-feeding.   Take care of yourself & be kind to each other. 
    Here's the transcript . 

    • 33 min
    E5 Let’s Talk About Sex and Reproductive Justice

    E5 Let’s Talk About Sex and Reproductive Justice

    Throughout Canadian history provincial governments have worked to control the sexuality and reproduction of people with intellectual/developmental disabilities. For fifty years, Alberta’s Sexual Sterilization Act (1928), made it legal to sterilize people labelled with intellectual disabilities without their consent. More than 2,834 people in the Alberta were subject to involuntary sexual sterilization surgery, but experts say this is just the tip of the iceberg. And today, access to sexual and reproductive rights for people with intellectual/developmental disabilities continues to be compromised by both ableism and institutionalization.
    Featuring Dr. Claudia Malacrida, Dr. Alan Santinele Martino & institutional survivors. 
    CW: sterilization, sexualized violence & explicit language 

    • 42 min
    E6 Group Homes

    E6 Group Homes

    In Canada, institutions for people with intellectual/developmental disabilities have never closed, they have changed faces and names, but have remained responsible for the segregation and isolation of labelled people. Today, group homes are the primary forms of supportive housing for labelled. And while not all group homes are institutional, all group homes have the potential to become institutions. With guests self-advocate Kory Earle and researcher Jihan Abbas.
    Transcript: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1AI-NJ4IEyvy7Hfjd1nX-EcGhAcF5-1yovXnEYprdO1o/edit?usp=sharing 

    • 37 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
28 Ratings

28 Ratings

HelenOttawa ,


This is a critical podcast!

Even if you have been following the disability movement closely there are profound discoveries from this podcast. The stories are both eye opening and enraging.

Congratulations on this work and please keep it up!

HappyListener1995 ,

Incredible Podcast

Although only the first two episodes have been released so far, I can confidently say that this is one of the best podcasts I have ever heard.

The information about political structures is thoughtful and accurate without ever sounding overly-academic, the interviews are deeply personal and honestly made me tear up more than once, and I can’t believe that the host has apparently not been a podcast host before.

The production goes above and beyond, and the project’s execution of giving a voice to some of the most invisibilized people in the world is a model for how political education should be done.

Megan’s research and presentation for Invisible Institutions will be an incredible resource for both researchers and anybody interested in social justice for an extremely long time to come.

the.hotdog ,

Great quality, informative, and compassionate

This podcast is on an other level. The production quality is what you’d expect out of one of the big producers! The information (while often heartbreaking) is so informative and accessible. I so appreciate the centring of people and their experiences while examining institutions. I eagerly await more episodes.

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