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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. 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.
  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Policy on drug and alcohol testing

    September 2000 - Drug and alcohol testing are of particular concern in the workplace, notably for those Ontario employers that have safety sensitive operations, and/or that are subject to U.S. regulatory requirements (e.g. the trucking industry) or to the policies of U.S. affiliates with “zero tolerance” for the consumption of drugs or alcohol. For this reason, this Policy focuses on the workplace. However, it applies to other social areas as well.
  5. Policy and guidelines on disability and the duty to accommodate

    November 2000 - Under the Code, everyone has the right to be free from discrimination because of disability or perceived disability in the social areas of employment, services, goods, facilities, housing, contracts and membership in trade and vocational associations. This right means that persons with disabilities have the right to equal treatment, which includes the right to accessible workplaces, public transit, health services, restaurants, shops and housing.
  6. Submission of the Ontario Human Rights Commission Concerning barrier-free access requirements in the Ontario Building Code

    March 2002 - This submission is in response to the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing’s (MAH) public consultation on the accessibility provisions of the Ontario Building Code (the “Building Code”). It has become increasingly clear to the Commission that the barrier-free requirements in the current Building Code have not been sufficient to achieve the degree of integration and full participation for persons with disabilities that is intended by the Ontario Human Rights Code (the “Human Rights Code”).
  7. Submission of the Ontario Human Rights Commission to the Transportation Standards Review Committee regarding the Initial Proposed Transportation Accessibility Standard

    August 2007 - The Commission has grave concerns with significant aspects of the Transportation Standard. In a number of areas, the standard falls far short of human rights standards, not only failing to make progress towards equality for persons with disabilities, but regressing on gains previously made. The Commission urges the Committee to significantly revise the Transportation Standard in order to bring it into alignment with human rights standards and the purposes of the AODA.

  8. Submission of the Ontario Human Rights Commission to the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario Regarding the draft policy, "Physicians and the Ontario Human Rights Code"

    February 2008 - The draft policy raises a number of new concerns. The following pages detail the Commission’s concerns and provide suggestions for how to address them. We hope that our comments assist the College in providing greater clarity and ensuring that physicians have correct and sufficient information about their obligations under the Code.

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