Supreme Court of Canada Hears Access to Education in Disabled Student's Case

March 22, 2012--The Supreme Court of Canada will hear the case of Jeffrey Moore, a student with a learning disability who has fought for years to ensure that students with disabilities have equal access to education.  This case is about ensuring that the legal duty to accommodate persons with disabilities is interpreted and applied in a manner that ensures that all students have full and equal access to education.  Education is a service that governments in Canada are required by law to make available to all students.  Just as the Deaf need sign language interpretation to allow them to communicate and access a variety of services, so too do students with learning disabilities require supports and accommodations to benefit equally from education.  When governments or school boards fail to adequately accommodate students with learning disabilities the discriminatory effect is to entrench the marginalization and isolation experienced by so many Canadians with disabilities.

Canada in March 2010 ratified the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.  Article 24 of the Convention requires States Parties “to recognize the right of persons with disabilities to education.  With a view to realizing this right without discrimination and on the basis of equal opportunity, States Parties shall ensure an inclusive education system at all levels….”

“Access to education, including effective accommodation, is fundamental to ensuring that persons with disabilities will become full and equal citizens, able to participate equally in the workforce and all aspects of Canadian society,” said Dean Richert, Co-chairperson of CCD Human Rights Committee.

“Effective individualized support measures must be provided in educational environments to ensure that students with disabilities are able to learn and participate equally with their nondisabled peers,” states Yvonne Peters.  Peters, Gwen Brodsky and Melina Buckley are co-counsel to CCD in the Moore case.

“Education is and must be a universally accessible service for all students and that includes students with disabilities,” states Anne Levesque Co-chairperson of CCD’s Human Rights Committee.

CCD, a national organization of persons with disabilities, is intervening in this case to ensure the right of students with disabilities to equal access to education is confirmed by Canada’s highest court.


For More Information Contact:

Dean Richert, Co-chair CCD Human Rights Committee - 204 - 989-2760
Anne Levesque, Co-chair CCD Human Rights Committee - 613 - 237-4740 Ext 3 (also available for interviews en Français)
Yvonne Peters, Legal Counsel - 204 - 832-0681
Laurie Beachell, National Coordinator - 204 - 947-0303