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duty to accommodate

Mental health disabilities shouldn’t be a barrier to student success

October 12, 2017

Just as students were headed back to school, a vigorous debate was unfolding on the pages of this paper (and others) about the accommodation of students with mental health disabilities. Unfortunately, this debate has been dominated by professors and columnists whose expertise lies outside human rights law and whose opinions do not adequately take into account the lived experience of discrimination.

Policy statement on the duty to accommodate under the Ontario Human Rights Code

The Ontario Human Rights Code (the Code) recognizes the dignity and worth of every person in Ontario. The Code provides for equal rights and opportunities, and freedom from discrimination. It applies to the areas of employment, housing, facilities and services (including education, health care, etc.), contracts, and membership in unions, trade or professional associations. It covers specific grounds, such as disability, creed, family status, sex, and gender identity.

Academic accommodation: New OHRC inquiry report on systemic barriers for post-secondary students with mental health disabilities

June 8, 2017

Toronto – Today, the Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) released With learning in mind, a new inquiry report that describes systemic barriers that students with mental health disabilities experience in post-secondary schools. It also outlines the changes the OHRC called for in college and university policies and programs, and the progress these institutions have made in implementing the changes.

Policy statement on religious accommodation in schools

March 2017 - Education providers are responsible for many things, including delivering a curriculum, managing the various other aspects of educational services, ensuring student safety, fostering pluralistic environments that respect human rights, and managing tension and conflict as they arise in the school setting. Schools ought to be a place for healthy discussions about acceptance and where a diversity of views can co-exist. Educators should communicate messages about difference in a fair and respectful manner and be sensitive to the views of everyone protected by the Ontario Human Rights Code. Students, staff and parents should realize that they cannot reasonably expect their own views and beliefs to be respected if they are not willing to respect the views and beliefs of others.

OHRC policy position on medical documentation to be provided when a disability-related accommodation request is made

Under the Ontario Human Rights Code (Code), employers, unions, housing providers and service providers have a legal duty to accommodate the needs of people with disabilities who are adversely affected by a requirement, rule or standard at work, at school, in housing, or any of the other “social areas” covered by the Code.

Cole v Ontario (Health and Long-Term Care) : Challenging the funding limits to live in community settings


The applicant, Ian Cole, is a middle-aged man with a severe intellectual disability who lives in the community. To live in the community, Mr. Cole depends on the receipt of nursing services. The primary source of funding for the nursing services is his local Community Care Access Centre (CCAC). The maximum funding for nursing services is set out in a regulation made under the Home Care and Community Services Act, 1994.  At the time the application was filed, funding was available for nursing services to a maximum of four visits per day.


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