The Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) recently released a new policy, Policy on ableism and discrimination based on disability. This policy is “intended to provide clear guidance on how to assess, handle and resolve human rights matters related to disability”.
Food Allergy Canada collaborated with the OHRC last year during the consultation process and provided our input on this new policy. We highlighted that individuals living with a potentially life-threatening medical condition should not be discriminated against or placed at undue risk because of their condition, including anyone at risk of anaphylaxis. No one should be unfairly treated because they are at risk of an anaphylactic reaction.
This new policy provides guidance on interpreting anaphylaxis as a disability, and on the duty of employers, schools, housing and service providers to provide appropriate accommodations “to the point of undue hardship”.
In practice, reasonable accommodations are regularly being developed across the province and throughout the country. When developing these accommodations, existing legislation such as Sabrina’s Law, public education, and individual and community advocacy are all important factors.
While we are pleased that there is more clarity on what it means to reasonably accommodate individuals at risk of anaphylaxis, we very much believe that the management of anaphylaxis continues to be a shared responsibility between individuals at risk and the broader community.
As always, we remain committed making the world a safer place for all Canadians living with food allergies.