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Ontario Human Rights Commission

Ontario Human Rights Code (OHRC) Definition of Disability

Section 10 (1) of the Code defines “disability” as follows:

…means for the reason that the person has or has had, or is believed to have or have had, any degree of;

  • physical disability, infirmity, malformation or disfigurement that is caused by bodily injury, birth defect or illness,
  • diabetes mellitus, epilepsy,
  • a brain injury,
  • any degree of paralysis, amputation, lack of physical co-ordination,
  • blindness or visual impediment, deafness or hearing impediment, muteness or speech impediment, or physical reliance on a guide dog or other animal or on a wheelchair or other remedial appliance or device,
  • condition of mental impairment or a developmental disability,
  • learning disability, or a dysfunction in one or more of the processes involved in understanding or using symbols or spoken language,
  • mental disorder, or
  • an injury or disability for which benefits were claimed or received under the insurance plan established under the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act, 1997

“Disability” should be interpreted in broad terms. It includes both present and past conditions, as well as a subjective component based on perception of disability. Although sections 10(a) to (e) set out various types of conditions, it is clear that they are merely illustrative and not exhaustive. Protection for persons with disabilities under this subsection explicitly includes mental illness,[8] developmental disabilities and learning disabilities.

See more at the Ontario Human Rights Commission website