2010 Monitoring the Human Rights of People with Disabilities in Canada: Toronto Monitoring Site Fact Sheet



Monitoring the Human Rights of People with Disabilities in Canada: Toronto Monitoring Site Fact Sheet

Publication Date

February 2010

      Report Content

Click here to download a PDF of this report (PDF – 125 KB)

February 2010

Disability Rights Promotion International Canada (D.R.P.I. Canada) is a community-university alliance that works to build capacity and systems for monitoring the human rights of people with a disability in Canada.

D.R.P.I. Canada coordinates work among four monitoring themes: systemic (laws and policy), individual experiences (personal experiences), media (coverage of disability), and survey datasets (information collected by population surveys). Persons with disabilities and their organizations are involved at all levels of the project.

Key Findings

  • Reports of denial and violation of human rights were more prevalent than access to and exercise of rights. This was true for all the areas examined in this study – education, work, income security and supports, privacy and family life, social participation, information and communication, health, habilitation and rehabilitation, access to justice.
  • Rights related to Social Participation were the most discussed and frequently violated, with interviewees reporting a high incidence of discrimination (70%), exclusion (70%), disrespect for difference (67%), and lack of dignity (67%).
  • Women were more likely to report discrimination and exclusion in social participation and men more likely to report lack of autonomy; women were also more likely than men to report experiences of discrimination, exclusion and disrespect at work
  • A large proportion of interviewees (70%) reported or took legal action when faced with disability-based discrimination. This outcome may be related to characteristics of the sample (largely an educated and mature group).

Figures and voices: A snapshot of the human rights experiences of Torontonians with disabilities

Exclusion (male)
Exclusion (female)
Lack of Dignity (male)
Lack of Dignity (female)
Lack of Autonomy (male)
Lack of Autonomy (female)
Disrespect for Diff. (male)
Disrespect for Diff. (female)
Discrimination (male)
Discrimination (female)


When I looked at being a speech therapist, the universities that offered the program were not accessible… (Female, n.a. age)

Just the other week, I was denied access to a restaurant at a major mall … because they considered me a fire hazard with all the half booths so I would sit on the end of the booth so I'm a fire hazard so they asked me and my fiancé to leave. Ah that just happened a couple of weeks ago. (Male, 43 years old)

It makes me feel sad because a lot of times I have, I make plans with friends and I wanna go out and my ride's an hour, an hour and half late and then I only have 20 minutes with my friends. And it ruins your whole day because you know, it's something totally out of your control. (Female, 39 years old)

When I've applied for director positions I'm not getting interviews and I'm not sure why. … I suspect that there may be some things, that there's some perceptions about whether I have the stamina or whether I'm energetic enough or whatever.(Woman, n.a. age)