People with disabilities have the right to be free from discrimination when they receive goods or services, or use facilities. “Services” is a broad category and can include privately or publicly owned or operated services.
Goods, services and facilities
You have the right to be free from discrimination when you receive goods or services, or use facilities. For example, this right applies to:
- stores, restaurants and bars
- hospitals and health services
- schools, universities and colleges
- public places, amenities and utilities such as recreation centres, public washrooms, malls and parks
- services and programs provided by municipal and provincial governments, including social assistance and benefits, and public transit
- services provided by insurance companies
- classified advertisement space in a newspaper.
Relevant policies and guides:
In employment, people with disabilities are entitled to the same opportunities and benefits as everyone else. “Employment” includes employees, independent contractors and volunteers. The Code prohibits discrimination based on someone’s disability in all aspects of the employment relationship.
This case involved a transgender boy, Jesse Thompson, who was denied access to the boys’ locker room the rest of his amateur hockey team used during the 2012-2013 hockey season. Jesse alleged that this resulted in him being ‘outed’ as trans, excluded from important team interaction and bonding, and exposed to harassment and bullying.
April 6, 2016 - Dear Minister, I write in regard to your Ministry’s current consultation involving certain provincial and demonstration schools for students with disabilities. Under Ontario’s Human Rights Code, students with disabilities have a right to be free from discrimination. This includes the duty to accommodate students’ disability related needs. That duty also covers the accommodation process and everyone involved.
July 8, 2016 - In pursuit of our public interest mandate, section 31 of the Code authorizes the OHRC to request production of documents and gather other information as part of an inquiry. Pursuant to section 31, we are writing to request that you review employee dress codes in your Ontario operations, remove any discriminatory requirements, and provide documentation showing that you have done this.
May 23, 2016 - The OHRC believes that MGCS’ current system for storing and sharing information relating to name and sex designation changes discriminates against trans people in violation of Ontario’s Human Rights Code, insofar as it fails to protect privacy and confidentiality relating to transgender status and transition history. Disclosing information of such a sensitive nature not only harms dignity, but also can expose people to significant barriers, disadvantage, and even health and safety risks.
June 15, 2016 - Dear Minister Orazietti, Congratulations on your appointment as Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services. The Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) is looking forward to working closely with you, especially as you continue to review the use of segregation within provincial jails, as well as the treatment of immigration detainees held in provincial custody.
May 30. 2016 - In support of your important responsibility to provide input to the Ontario Police College on the development of this training, we would like to highlight our view that training specific to racial profiling must be provided for it to be successful and for there to be meaningful change.
Examples of gendered and/or sexualized dress code requirements or expectations that may violate the Human Rights Code:
Removing barriers based on sex and gender
This checklist can help organizations make sure that their dress codes and uniform policies are consistent with Ontario’s Human Rights Code protections relating to sex and gender, as set out in the OHRC’s Policy position on sexualized and gender-specific dress codes.
Dress codes/uniform policies should: