Barb Goode on the $2 Bill: Self-Advocacy & Shaping a Nation

-Liam Foster, Anthony Hablak, Abbie Henderson & Katherine St. Arnaud

*illustrations rendered by Milo Groundwater

Our bill design portrays Barb Goode, one of the first voices for disability rights in Canada. Goode served as the chair and spokesperson for the Consumer Advisory Committee for the Canadian Association for Community Living. The committee was given intervenor status in the supreme court case E v. Eve – the 1986 decision ruled that disabled people could no longer be sterilised without their consent. Her actions made people with disabilities persons in the eyes of the law, with the right to integrity in their own bodies. In 1992, Goode became the first disabled person to address the United Nations. She was the first self-advocate to join the UN League for Persons with a Mental Handicap’s board of directors. Below the portrait is a quote from Goode: “we are people first.” This demonstrates her conviction that every individual deserves to be treated with humanity. We selected Goode for our bill to celebrate what she represents: self-advocacy and the impact individual actions have in human rights movements. The reverse side is based on a protest for reproductive rights, but we decided to leave the protesters’ signs blank so that the image connects to protest movements across time and various causes. The protest signifies the universal struggle for shaping one’s nation, while a backdrop of the supreme court represents the state’s role in that process. This design calls attention to an under-represented figure and group, while also provoking all Canadians to reflect upon their roles as individuals in shaping the country’s laws and values.

Suggestions for Further Reading

Fleischer, Doris, and Frieda Zames. The Disability Rights Movement: From Charity to Confrontation. Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 2011.

Goode, Barb. The Goode Life: Memoirs of Disability Rights Activist Barb Goode. Vancouver: Spectrum Press, 2011.

Hansen, Nancy, Roy Hanes, and Diane Driedger. Untold Stories: a Canadian Disability History Reader. Toronto: Canadian Scholars, 2018.

Hansen, Randall, and Desmond King. Sterilized by the State: Eugenics, Race, and the Population Scare in Twentieth-Century North America. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2013.

Morgan, Cecilia. Commemorating Canada: History, Heritage, and Memory, 1850s-1990s. University of Toronto Press, 2016.

Stienstra, Deborah. About Canada: Disability Rights. Winnipeg: Fernwood Publishing, 2012.

Trapeznik, Alexander. What is Public History Globally?. London: Bloomsbury, 2019.


One thought on “Barb Goode on the $2 Bill: Self-Advocacy & Shaping a Nation

  1. Disability history deserves this kind of attention. Thanks for your work to make it more visible! Well done!


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