TORONTO, December 10, 2012 – Marking International Human Rights Day, the Law Commission of Ontario (LCO) today released its Framework for the Law as it Affects Persons with Disabilities. The Framework enables policy-makers, legislators, courts, advocates, community organizations and others to understand and evaluate the effects of laws, policies and practices on persons with disabilities, and provides a foundation for law reform efforts in this area.

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. Despite 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. “Almost all of us will be personally affected by disability during our lifetimes – whether because we have or will develop a disability, or through the experiences of a loved one”, said LCO Executive Director Dr. Patricia Hughes. “All those involved in serving persons with disabilities or developing law and policy affecting them need to understand the diverse needs and circumstances of this group, and the Framework provides a clear and principled means of doing so”.

The Framework is the result of substantial research and public consultation, including the advice of an Ad Hoc Advisory Group. The LCO funded several expert research papers; released a number of consultation and discussion papers; and conducted extensive consultations across the province with organizations, experts and persons with disabilities.

The Framework is accompanied by an extensive Final Report which can be used to support the application of the Framework. The Report provides background about the lives of persons with disabilities on which the Framework is premised, sets out in detail the research and analysis on which the Framework is based, and provides extended examples of its potential application.

Launched in September 2007, the LCO is funded by the Law Foundation of Ontario, the Ministry of the Attorney General, Osgoode Hall Law School and the Law Society of Upper Canada, and is also supported by York University and Ontario’s law schools. Housed in the Ignat Kaneff Building, home of Osgoode Hall Law School, York University, it operates independently of government to recommend law reforms to enhance access to justice.


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Lauren Bates, Staff Lawyer      (416) 650-8406
Law Commission of Ontario