Disabilities, Statement of Commitment Regarding Persons with [November 1, 2004]

University of Toronto Governing Council

Statement of Commitment Regarding Persons with Disabilities

November 1, 2004

To request an official copy of this policy, contact:

The Office of the Governing Council
Room 106, Simcoe Hall 27 King’s College Circle University of Toronto Toronto, Ontario
M5S 1A1

Phone: 416-978-6576
Fax: 416-978-8182
E-mail: governing.council@utoronto.ca
Website: http://www.governingcouncil.utoronto.ca/

Statement of Commitment Regarding Persons with Disabilities

It is the University's goal to create a community that is inclusive of all persons and treats all members of the community in an equitable manner. In creating such a community, the University aims to foster a climate of understanding and mutual respect for the dignity and worth of all persons.

In working toward this goal, the University will strive to provide support for, and facilitate the accommodation of individuals with disabilities so that all may share the same level of access to opportunities, participate in the full range of activities that the University offers, and achieve their full potential as members of the University community. The University will work to eliminate or minimize the adverse effects of barriers, including physical, environmental, attitudinal, communication and technological barriers, that may prevent the full participation of individuals with disabilities in the University community. The University will provide the members of its community with opportunities for education and access to information regarding disability and the University's policies on disability.

At the same time, the University will endeavour to protect the individuals' privacy, confidentiality and autonomy.

The University re-affirms that all individuals are expected to satisfy the essential requirements of their program of studies or employment, while recognizing that students and employees with disabilities may require reasonable accommodations to enable them to do so. The University is, as always, committed to preserving academic freedom and its high level of academic standards.

The achievement of the University's goal depends on the participation of each and every member of the University community, including students, faculty, staff and alumni, as well as their respective representative organizations. Each of these parties has a role in creating an equitable and inclusive environment, as well as in the accommodation process and the identification, removal, and/or reduction of barriers. The consultative relationship among the members of the University community is based upon a shared desire for an open, supportive learning and working environment, and a shared respect for individual rights and dignity.

In working toward its goals under this Statement, the University is committed to acting conscientiously and in keeping with its own policies and existing legislation related to disability. These include:

  • University of Toronto policy on Access to Information and Protection of Privacy
  • University of Toronto policy on Employment Equity
  • University of Toronto Statement on Human Rights
  • University of Toronto Statement of Institutional Purpose
  • University of Toronto Statement on Prohibited Discrimination and Discriminatory Harassment
  • University of Toronto procedural guidelines for the accommodation of students, staff and faculty with disabilities
  • Ontario Ontarians with Disabilities Act
  • Ontario Human Rights Code

For ease of reference, the statutory definition of the term "disability" is appended to this Statement. The application of this definition in a larger context will be addressed in procedural guidelines.

Appendix [to statement]

The term "disability" is defined as follows in the Ontario Human Rights Code, R.S.O. 1990, c.H.19, as amended from time to time.

  1. any degree of physical disability, infirmity, malformation or disfigurement that is caused by bodily injury, birth defect or illness and, without limiting the generality of the foregoing, includes 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,
  2. a condition of mental impairment or a developmental disability,
  3. a learning disability, or a dysfunction in one or more of the processes involved in understanding or using symbols or spoken language,
  4. a mental disorder, or
  5. an injury or disability for which benefits were claimed or received under the insurance plan established under the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act, 1997.

Approved by Governing Council on November 1, 2004, replacing the Services to Disabled Persons Policy approved by the Committee on Campus and Community Affairs on December 9, 1987.