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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. Adding voices to the mental health conversation

    From: Annual Report 2010-2011: Looking back, moving forward

    Since disability was added to the Human Rights Code in 1981, it has become the ground most often cited in human rights complaints in Ontario. The OHRC has done much work in this area, but primarily on physical disability. In the past, there were few official complaints based on mental health, but we knew that they were out there. Now, as mental health issues emerge from the shadows and people feel more empowered to tell their stories, we’ve worked to better understand the discrimination that mental illness creates.

  6. Looking for high quality solutions

    From: Annual Report 2010-2011: Looking back, moving forward

    All Ontarians should enjoy the rights to inclusion, dignity and personal choices in their daily lives. While most of us take the ability to make these choices for granted, there are still some people who do not enjoy the level of rights that most of us do. Simple rights like being able to decide what clothing to wear or what to have for lunch are often not available to some of the most vulnerable members of our society – people with developmental disabilities. An initiative is underway to change this.

  7. Looking at the path – reviewing the AODA review

    From: Annual Report 2010-2011: Looking back, moving forward

    As the government moves forward with implementing the AODA, we continue to advocate for the Act and accompanying standards to meet the vision and the requirements of the Ontario Human Rights Code.

    This included commenting on Charles Beer’s 2010 report, Creating a Path Forward – Report of the Independent Review of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) 2005.

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