IOE - Faculty of Education and Society


VIRTUAL EVENT: The impacts of COVID-19 on people with disabilities and chronic health conditions

28 April 2021, 3:00 pm–4:00 pm

A street in London where two people are walking. Image: José via Unsplash

In this webinar, David Pettinicchio from the University of Toronto will explore the effects of COVID-19 on people with disabilities and chronic health conditions in Canada.

This event is free.

Event Information

Open to







Jenny Chanfreau

The pandemic has wreaked disproportionate havoc on already marginalised and vulnerable communities. 

People with disabilities and chronic health conditions are not only more at risk of getting COVID-19, but they are also more likely to be economically disadvantaged, more likely to experience social isolation and negative mental health status, and to be left out of important social and economic policymaking that ultimately affects their daily lives.

Not surprisingly, the pandemic has reified and exacerbated these dimensions of disadvantage and inequality. 

In June of 2020, we conducted a cross-national survey among Canadians with disabilities and chronic health conditions as well as in-depth qualitative interviews. 

This talk focuses on findings from this project divided into three areas:

  • employment and financial effects of the pandemic
  • COVID-19’s effects on mental health
  • how people with disabilities and chronic health conditions are making sense of government COVID-19 policies and countermeasures.

QSS seminar series

In this weekly Quantitative Social Science (QSS) seminar series, speakers present research that falls under the broad umbrella of quantitative social science.


Image: José via Unsplash

About the Speaker

David Pettinicchio

Associate Professor of Sociology at the Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy, University of Toronto

David's research lies at the intersection of political sociology and inequality. He is currently editing Volume 28 of 'Research in Political Sociology' (Emerald).

His book 'Politics of Empowerment: Disability Rights and the Cycle of American Policy Reform' (published with Stanford University Press in 2019) examines the back-and-forth relationship between policymaking and citizen participation.

Currently, he is working with Professor Michelle Maroto and a research team of doctoral students on a project focused on COVID-19, disability, and chronic health. The project is based on an original national survey and qualitative interviews, which will be discussed in this event.

Three peer-reviewed articles drawing from this data are already published or forthcoming in Canadian Public Policy, Disability and Health Journal, and Sociological Perspectives.

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