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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. With learning in mind

    In 2016, the Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) wrote to public colleges and universities in Ontario asking them to implement six specific measures to reduce systemic barriers to post-secondary education for students with mental health disabilities. This report describes the systemic barriers identified by the OHRC, the modifications to post-secondary institutions’ policies and procedures requested by the OHRC, and the institutions’ self-reported progress in implementing the requested changes.

  2. Drug and alcohol testing (brochure 2016)

    The Ontario Human Rights Code

    The Ontario Human Rights Code (Code) provides for equal rights and opportunities and freedom from discrimination. The Code recognizes the dignity and worth of every person in Ontario.

    The Code prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities and perceived disabilities in employment, services, housing and other social areas. Under the Code, disabilities include addictions to drugs and alcohol.

  3. By the Numbers: A statistical profile of people with mental health and addiction disabilities in Ontario

    October 2015 - This report highlights the unique disadvantages that people with mental health and addiction disabilities experience in different social and economic areas. Showing these disadvantages can help policy makers, government, researchers, disability groups and service providers in their work to protect the human rights of people with disabilities, including people with mental health or addiction disabilities. The OHRC hopes that this report will be used as a tool to promote change to close these gaps.

  4. Preventing discrimination based on mental health and addiction disabilities : An overview for employers (brochure)

    June 2014 - Mental health issues and addictions are “disabilities” that are protected under the Code. For example, the Code protects people who have anxiety disorders, panic attacks, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, or addictions to alcohol or drugs, just to name a few.

  5. Report of the Ontario Human Rights Commission on police use of force and mental health

    February 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.

  6. Minds that matter: Report on the consultation on human rights, mental health and addictions

    September 2012 - Minds that Matter reports the findings from the Ontario Human Rights Commission’s (OHRC) province-wide consultation on the human rights issues experienced by people with mental health disabilities or addictions. It provides a summary of what we heard from more than 1,500 individuals and organizations across Ontario and sets out a number of key recommendations and OHRC commitments.

  7. Disability and human rights (brochure)

    2011 - The Ontario Human Rights Code (the Code) provides for equal rights and opportunities, and freedom from discrimination. The Code recognizes the dignity and worth of every person in Ontario. It applies to the areas of employment, housing, facilities and services, contracts, and membership in unions, trade or professional associations. At work, employees with disabilities are entitled to the same opportunities and benefits as people without disabilities. In some cases, they may need special arrangements or “accommodations” so they can do their job duties.

  8. Human rights and mental health research and policy consultation paper

    January 2011 - We are developing a human rights and mental health policy that will focus on rights and responsibilities under the Code related to employment, rental housing and services. To guide us in these steps, we are holding public consultations across Ontario in the winter and spring of 2011. This Consultation paper focuses on the major areas we are asking for input on. We will release a report after the consultation to identify the themes and issues that emerge.

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