Report #288

DATE: December 16, 2003
PARTIES: Mr. Y. (the Student) v. UTSC


Hearing Date(s): November 28, 2003

Committee Members:
Professor Ed Morgan, Chair
Mr. Sachin Aggarwal
Dr. Alice Dong
Professor John Furedy
Professor Jake Thiessen

Secretary:
Mr. Paul Holmes, Judicial Affairs Officer

Appearances:

For the Student:

Mr. Y. (the “Student”)
Ms. Erica Toews, Downtown Legal Services
Ms. Marisa Wyse, Downtown Legal Services

For UTSC:
Professor Ian McDonald, Associate Dean, UTSC

UTSC – request to write deferred examination – illness – fourteen prior medical petitions – history of complaints used to assess credibility of claim of illness – claim of illness not credible – no evidence of chronic ailment –medical certificates from different doctors – University heath facilities not visited – minor ailment – could have attended and written exam – de minimis type of illness not sufficient to be considered a disability within Ontario Human Rights Code – appeal dismissed

Request for a deferred examination. The Student missed both term tests. The final exam was reweighted to constitute 100% of the course grade. The Student did not attend the examination and failed the course. The Student claimed that allergic rhinitis suffered the day of the final examination prevented him from attending and writing the exam. The Student had submitted fourteen prior medical petitions during the course of his four years at UTSC. The Faculty claimed that the Student’s recurrent pattern of behaviour should be taken into account by the Committee. The Committee found that, while each petition must be evaluated on its own merits, the Student’s history of complaints could be looked at in order to help assess the credibility of his claim of illness. The Committee found that the Student’s record of complaints showed no evidence of a single, chronic ailment, that the medical certificates supporting the different petitions came from a variety of doctors, and that the Student had never visited the UTSC Health Centre or the University’s AccessAbility Services. The Committee considered the Student’s medical certificates and the Faculty regulations on deferred examinations and found that the Student suffered from symptoms of a relatively minor ailment and that he could have attended at and should have written the exam on the scheduled date. The Student claimed that his medical condition was a “disability” as defined in the Ontario Human Rights Code, and that the failure of the Faculty to agree to a deferred examination represented a failure to accommodate a person with a disability as required by the Code. The Committee found that there was no evidence that the Student suffered anything beyond a de minimis type of illness and that the ailment was not sufficient to be a disability within the meaning of the Code. Appeal dismissed.