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Key terms:

Ableism: Ableism is a set of beliefs which result in discrimination and social prejudice against people with disabilities. It is based on the assumption that typical or conventional abilities are the standard, and therefore superior. It is rooted in the idea that disabled people need to be ‘fixed’ or ‘protected.’ Ableism may take many forms, the most prominent of which is the segregation people with disabilities in institutions such as long-term care facilities. Learn more.

Abolition: Abolition is the act of eradicating, or officially ending a system, practice, or institution. In the context of the nursing home industrial complex, abolition involves putting an end to the incarceration and segregation of elders and the disabled in institutions that strip them of their fundamental rights and freedoms.


Carceral Ableism: The belief that people with disabilities need special protections, which functions to legitimate their incarceration, thereby contributing to their marginalization and segregation from society. Learn more.

De-institutionalization: De-institutionalization is a movement that advocates for the movement of disabled persons from private or state-run institutions such as long-term care facilities or psychiatric facilities, back to the care of their families or community-based care facilities. The latter settings are thought to be less restrictive than the former and may benefit previously institutionalized persons by allowing them to participate actively in their communities and respect the right to freedom of people with disabilities. Learn more.

Institution: Institutions are enduring and entrenched features of social life, which may be crucial in the organization of society. They are a set of positions, roles, norms, and values that may organize patterns of activity in order to address fundamental social problems and sustain the social structure. Further, institutions are complex social entities that manifest in the forms of government, the family, universities, penal facilities, and long-term care facilities. Learn more.


Institutionalization: The isolation of the elderly and people with disabilities in facilities away from mainstream society, usually based on the assumption that they are unable to care for themselves, or that they are a danger to themselves or others. The practice of institutionalization developed in the 19th century, as a solution to the confinement of people in jails, almshouses or poorhouses, asylums, and hospitals. Learn more.

Long-term Care: In Canada, long-term care homes, also known as nursing homes, or residential care homes, are facilities that provide a range of health and personal care services to Canadians who require up to 24-hour nursing care for their medical or physical needs. Learn more.

Total Institution: a total institution is a place of residence and work in which a large number of people in similar circumstances live a structured lifestyle that is largely isolated from the wider society for a significant span of time.
Where Indigenous, Black, and racialized people face oppression and are abused under the system of capitalism
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