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Human rights

Disability: prohibited ground of discrimination and harassment | CDPDJ

Disability

Disability

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You believe you have been a victim of discrimination or harassment based on this ground?

Disability is an actual or presumed disadvantage that limits you physically, mentally or psychologically such as being paraplegic, suffering from a mental illness, from visual or hearing difficulties, epilepsy, or addiction to drugs and alcohol. There are means to palliate a disability, such as a wheelchair, a guide dog or service dog, and prosthesis.

Disability or the means to palliate a disability are prohibited grounds of discrimination and harassment. This means that you cannot be treated differently because you are disabled or use a means to palliate a disability. As well, you cannot be the target of offensive and repeated remarks or behaviour because you are disabled. These situations are contrary to the Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms This link will redirect you to an external Website in a new window..

For example, you cannot be denied access to a business because you are accompanied by a guide dog.​​​

Douglas uses a wheelchair and has a service dog. He goes to the restaurant with his girlfriend. The waiter tells them that the dog must stay outside because animals are not allowed in the restaurant. Douglas explained that it is a service dog trained by the Mira Foundation. The manager, who took part in the discussion, concludes that since Douglas is not blind, his dog must stay outside. The couple decides to leave the restaurant.

 

Nabil's physician recommends that he take a three-month leave of absence from work to treat his depression. His employer fires him.

 

The following judgments are examples related to this ground of discrimination. The complete list of judgments issued by Canadian Courts are available on the Canadian Legal Information Institute’s website This link will redirect you to an external Website in a new window.. You can do a search by grounds of discrimination.

Here are some of our publications related to this ground of discrimination. You can find all our publications on this ground of discrimination using a keyword on the Publications' page.

English language translations are provided when available.

Here are some news releases published by the Commission over the years. You can find all our news releases on this ground of discrimination using a keyword on the Media room’s page.

English language translations are provided when available.

Please note: These answers are to be used for information purposes only, and do not constitute legal advice.

  1. I am physically disabled. I’ve been working for the same employer for 10 years. I recently got a service dog from the Mira Foundation. My employer is not happy and told me that the office was not made for dogs. He has asked me to leave my dog at home. Does he have the right to deny my service dog access to the workplace?

    No, your employer does not have the right to refuse because the service dog constitutes a means to palliate your disability.

  2. On a job application form, they ask if I take any medication, or if I am undergoing any medical treatment. Is that allowed?

    No. A hiring application form can only include questions needed to assess the candidate’s qualifications and skills required for the job.

  3. I am a high-school student. I have attention deficit with hyperactivity. I could do well in school if I benefited from adaptive measures. Am I allowed to request an accommodation?

    Yes, your school has the obligation to accommodate you in order to provide you with conditions that will support your academic achievement.

  4. I am an employer and one of my employees suffers from depression. Do I have the obligation to keep him or am I allowed to fire him?

    As an employer, you have the obligation to take steps to accommodate this person because depression is considered a form of disability and therefore, a prohibited ground of discrimination.

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The following video is in American Sign Language (ASL) and is not accessible with a screen reader.

This video presents the topic of disability in American Sign Language (ASL)  This link will redirect you to an external website which may present barriers to accessibility..

 

Did you know?

In 2016-2017, 39% of all complaints received at the Commission involved discrimination based on disability or the means to palliate a disability, for a total of 288 files.

 

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