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Disability

The Code protects people from discrimination and harassment because of past, present and perceived disabilities.  “Disability” covers a broad range and degree of conditions, some visible and some not visible. A disability may have been present from birth, caused by an accident, or developed over time.

There are physical, mental and learning disabilities, mental disorders, hearing or vision disabilities, epilepsy, mental health disabilities and addictions, environmental sensitivities, and other conditions. 

Relevant policies: 

  1. OHRC submission regarding Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) 2013-2014 Legislative review

    June 2014 - The Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) is making this submission to the second independent legislative review of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA). In accordance with its mandate under section 29 (c) of the Ontario Human Rights Code, the OHRC speaks out and makes recommendations designed to prevent and eliminate discriminatory practices including barriers faced by persons with disabilities. Disability is consistently the most frequent ground of discrimination cited in over 50% of applications to the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario.

  2. Submission of the OHRC to the Ombudsman’s Investigation into the direction provided to police by the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services for de-escalating conflict situations

    July 2014 - People with mental health disabilities are often among the most vulnerable people in Ontario. Many face a unique set of challenges where they live, in workplaces, or in our communities. When people are in crisis they also present a unique set of challenges to police services when considering the use of force. This leads to many concerns from a human rights perspective. It is not the role of the Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) to comment on individual cases – we leave it to other experts to resolve these. But it is our role to look at common themes and concerns, and offer ways to move forward.

  3. MacConnell v. Ontario (Community and Social Services) Special Diets case – judicial review allowed

    September 2014 - The Divisional Court has allowed an application for judicial review, heard on September 16, brought by the applicants and the Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC), of a decision of the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario (HRTO) denying special diet benefits to Joanne MacConnell.

  4. Policy on HIV/AIDS-related discrimination

    November 1996 - This policy clarifies the scope of the Code's protection for persons who are or are perceived to be infected with HIV or who have contracted HIV-related illnesses. The guidelines contained in this policy are based on extensive consultations between the OHRC and a wide-ranging number of interest and advocacy groups, employer groups, services providers, and members of the medical community, including hospital administrators.
  5. Ontario Human Rights Commission submission regarding the Ministry of Community and Social Services Proposed Integrated Accessibility Regulation under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act 2005

    October 2010 - The OHRC is again raising a number of concerns about the proposed Integrated Accessibility Regulation, echoing those we’ve highlighted in past AODA submissions. Specifically, the proposed IAR fails to identify interpretive human rights principles upfront and apply them to many of its provisions.
  6. Top of mind - an update on human rights and mental health Vol.1

    October 10, 2011 - Discriminating against someone because of a disability – including a mental health or addiction disability – is against the law. By developing a policy, educating the public, doing public interest inquiries, and through tribunals and courts, we are identifying and trying to remove the barriers many people with mental health and addiction disabilities face. (Volume no.1 No.1)
  7. Elections accessibility - Letter to the Executive of all political parties registered in Ontario

    March 2011 - Pursuant to my duty under Section 29 of the Ontario Human Rights Code, I am writing to all registered political parties in Ontario to help promote awareness about the importance of accessible elections for voters and candidates with disabilities as well as those seeking nomination.

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