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The Commission has a broad mandate to deal with issues of discrimination. Under section 29 of the Code, the Commission is specifically empowered to forward human rights policy; promote an understanding, acceptance of and compliance with the Code; provide public information, education and research aimed at eliminating discrimination; examine and review statutes, regulations, programs and policies and make recommendations on any provision, programs or policy that may be inconsistent with the Code; initiate investigations into problems and encourage and co-ordinate plans, programs and activities to reduce or prevent such problems; and, encourage public and private organizations to undertake programs to alleviate discrimination.

It is pursuant to this mandate that the Commission has undertaken this review.

This Report is intended to be a comprehensive examination of issues that affect the right of students with disabilities to access education without discrimination. While all comments and input received were given equal consideration in the preparation of this Report, we regret that we were not able to address or make a recommendation on every issue raised. In keeping with the Commission’s mandate, this document focuses on the human rights aspects of educational services, and what can properly be considered “discrimination” within the meaning of human rights law and policy.

The Report provides an in-depth picture of human rights issues relating to disability and education in the province of Ontario. It outlines “Actions Required” of key players in the education system to address the practices and attitudes that limit the ability of students with disabilities to access education equally. It also includes specific Commission commitments which are steps that the Commission will take to help combat discrimination against students with disabilities. The Commission’s analysis and recommendations are informed by the comprehensive input received from stakeholders throughout the course of the consultation.

The first part of the Report deals with issues at the primary and secondary school levels. The second part focuses on issues at the post-secondary level of education. Both of these sections examine access to education, negative attitudes and stereotypes, appropriate accommodation and undue hardship, roles and responsibilities in the accommodation process, discrimination against persons with disabilities on multiple grounds, and funding issues. The primary and secondary section also looks at human rights issues arising out of practices and procedures governed by the Education Act and its regulations. These issues include the identification and placement process, individual education plans, and the Intensive Support Amount funding scheme.

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