Shared Values, Networks, and Trust among Canadian Consumer-Driven Disability Organizations


  • Susan Arai University of Waterloo
  • Peggy Hutchison Brock University, St. Catharines, Ontario
  • Alison Pedlar University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario
  • John Lord Kitchener-Waterloo, Ontario
  • Val Sheppard Ministry of Tourism, Sport and the Arts, British Columbia



consumer-driven organizations, disability movement, social capital, new social movements, trust


This article focuses on the development of social capital among consumer-driven disability organizations in Canada. A new social movement focuses on issues of identity, quality of life and the lifestyle of people within the movement rather than solely on rights, income security and provisions of the welfare state. Reported here are survey findings revealing the network and values that form the relationship between four national consumer-driven disability organizations (Council of Canadians with Disabilities, the Canadian Association of Independent Living Centres, People First of Canada, and the National Network for Mental Health) and their member or affiliate organizations. Study results reveal features within the new social movement that contribute to, and diminish, social capital, including issues around the development of shared values, establishment of networks and supports within an atmosphere of trust and mutuality. Study findings expand on the mobilizing and political capacity found among consumer-driven disability organizations in Canada.






Special Topic: Disability in Canada