Law Commission of Ontario Releases Consultation Paper on the Law as it Affects Persons with Disabilities
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
TORONTO, Sept 7, 2011 — The LCO is looking for feedback from the public, including persons with disabilities, service providers, policy-makers, lawyers and advocates, regarding its Consultation Paper about laws and policies affecting persons with disabilities. Responses to the Consultation Paper will be accepted until Friday, November 25, 2011, and will provide input into an Interim Report with a draft framework, that will be circulated. This will be followed by a Final Report in mid-2012.
The project will result in a Framework for the Law as it Affects Persons with Disabilities, which will assist in evaluating new or existing laws, policies and practices to ensure that they take into account the circumstances and experiences of persons with disabilities, and that they promote positive outcomes for these members of society within the context of society as a whole. The LCO anticipates that the final Framework will be of benefit to legislators, policy-makers, advocacy organizations, community groups and service providers that deal with issues affecting persons with disabilities.
Persons with disabilities make up a significant proportion of Ontario’s population – over 15 per cent, according to 2006 figures – and the number and percentage of Canadians with disabilities has been steadily increasing in recent years. While in recent years there has been significant movement towards acknowledging the experiences of persons with disabilities and recognizing their rights, persons with disabilities nevertheless remain disadvantaged compared to their non-disabled peers. “A comprehensive re-examination of current legal frameworks affecting persons with disabilities is both essential and timely,” said Dr. Patricia Hughes, Executive Director of the LCO.
The LCO released a Preliminary Consultation Paper for this project in 2009, and has conducted extensive research, including funding six research papers by noted academics and experts. In the spring and summer of 2010, the LCO conducted extensive consultations with persons with disabilities and with organizations that serve, represent or advocate for persons with disabilities, in order to better understand the experiences of persons with disabilities with the law.
Launched in September of 2007, the LCO operates independently of government to make recommendations that enhance access to justice and make laws more relevant and efficient.
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Law Commission of Ontario