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February 8, 2013

Off The Radar

Using Google Trends one can get a sense of where Nova Scotia fits in awareness of Disability Rights.  Worldwide, New Zealand is the place where it's a hot topic - Kiwis get 100.  The 100 considers the total search traffic for each area and is assigned to the location with the highest likelihood that any search will be for 'disability rights'.  Hovering your mouse over Great Britain shows 67, meaning that any search in GB is two-thirds as likely to be for 'disability rights' as in New Zealand.  It's a measure of relative popularity.   46 in the US, 23 in Canada.

Limiting the area of interest to Canada, we find Ontario with 100, BC with 61 and the rest zero.  So in Canada, the highest likelihood of searching for 'disability rights' is in Ontario, and in BC it's 61% as likely compared to Ontario.

If you look in Nova Scotia alone you get this message:
Not enough search volume to show graphs.
To get a sense of how the topic of disability rights compares with a similar topic in Canada, we can add another term.  'charter rights' is 23 times more likely to be searched than 'disability rights'.  This time, Alberta gets 100 (surprise!) but Nova Scotia has a respectable 59.

Looking for something that truly matters, check out 'hockey' (worldwide, Canada = 100), which has a strong showing in every Province and Territory - Nunavut dominates with 100, Nova Scotia is 67.  By comparison, 'disability rights' creates nary a ripple.
Nothing really surprising here, except confirmation that it's up to us to make ourselves heard.  It's interesting that in a province with a Disabled Persons Commission in a country that signed and ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities there is little interest in the subject.  Disability Rights are not a Google Trend in Canada.

The takeaway here is that language matters.  Everyone has Charter Rights but only people with disabilities have disability rights.  To the degree that the UN Convention allows 'disability rights' to be considered separately, it permits a distinction that is ultimately harmful to the cause.

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