In 2017, more than half of all of the complaints that the Commission worked to resolve involved discrimination against people with disabilities.

These complaints reflect the stark reality that people with mental and physical disabilities continue to be prevented from fully participating in Canadian society. Negative attitudes, inaccessible buildings, outdated policies or rules and ever-changing communication technology continue to create barriers – barriers that impede people’s involvement in the workforce, the classroom, and limit or prevent access to services.

The government’s upcoming accessibility legislation is an opportunity to make broad changes to how we treat people with disabilities. The Commission has participated in the government’s consultation process. Its recommendations drew from discrimination complaints, recent studies and research, as well as its work with various groups representing people with disabilities. The Commission has called for legislation that includes oversight provisions and stiff penalties for organizations that do not comply with the law.

Guidance and Research

The Commission released Impaired at Work: A guide to accommodating substance dependence. The guide provides employers with five clear steps to accommodation and outlines the rights and responsibilities of the employee, job applicants, the employer, unions and/or employee representatives.

The Commission published Left Out: Challenges faced by persons with disabilities in Canada’s schools. The report is part of the Commission’s efforts to monitor Canada’s implementation of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. The report confirmed that many people with mental or physical disabilities are not able to fully participate in Canada’s education system.