Rising number of disability complaints tops list of discrimination beefs: CHRC

Accessible, accommodating workplaces ‘make good business sense’
By Amanda Silliker
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 05/06/2011

James Hughes has impaired mobility and uses a walker. During the federal election in 2008, he arrived at his polling station but a long flight of stairs blocked access to the voting booth. There was no ramp in sight. Determined to vote, Hughes went down the stairs on the seat of his pants.

This situation was one of the 372 complaints related to disabilities the Canadian Human Rights Commission (CHRC) received last year, according to its 2010 annual report. The commission received a total of 853 complaints last year and 44 per cent — up from 38 per cent in 2009 — were related to disabilities, more than any other ground in the Canadian Human Rights Act.

“It’s not surprising because people with disabilities continue to encounter barriers in Canadian society and many employers still fail to provide the accommodations that are necessary for people with disabilities to work and contribute to their full potential,” said David Gollob, director of communications at the CHRC in Ottawa.