The Knowledge To Protect Your Rights And Freedoms
Community Living Windsor advocates for people who have an intellectual disability and their families to ensure they have access to the same rights and freedoms as others.
Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms
The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms is a law that protects the human rights of every Canadian citizen.
The Charter states that every Canadian has these freedoms:
- Believing what you want about the world and religion (freedom of conscience and religion)
- Thinking and saying what you want – as long as it doesn’t promote hate towards a group of people (freedom of thought, belief and expression)
- Getting together in groups to peacefully support or protest something that is going on (freedom of peaceful assembly)
- Belonging to whatever groups and organizations you want (freedom of association and membership)
The Charter guarantees certain rights for every Canadian:
- The right to vote
- The right to life, liberty and security
- The right not to be subjected to any cruel and unusual treatment or punishment
- The right to equality
The Charter says all people are equal. It is against the Charter to discriminate against anyone based on race, colour of their skin, religion, sex, age or mental or physical infirmity.
The Canadian Human Rights Commission
The Canadian Human Rights Commission is a group that ensures people are treated equally. They hear complaints from people who have had their rights and freedoms restricted or abused.
Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act
The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) states businesses and organizations must provide access for people with disabilities in the areas of transportation, customer service, information and communication, employment, and buildings and outdoor spaces. There are community committees around the province who identify, remove and prevent barriers for people with disabilities.
The Accessibility Directorate of Ontario is a government group that provides:
- Public education and training about accessibility
- Tools and resources to help communities become more accessible
- Increased public awareness about the importance of accessibility
For more information about the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act contact:
United Nations Convention on Disability Rights
The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities is an international treaty that describes the rights and freedoms of people around the world who have a disability. All countries that are part of the United Nations – including Canada – must promote, protect and ensure those rights.
The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities is guided by eight principles. These are:
- The freedom to make choices
- The freedom to be independent
- Freedom from discrimination
- The right to full and effective participation and inclusion in society
- Respect for difference and acceptance of persons with disabilities
- Equal opportunity for everyone
- Respect for children with disabilities
The purpose of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities is to:
- Protect and ensure the full and equal enjoyment of all human rights
- Ensure fundamental freedoms by all persons who have a disability
- Promote respect for persons who have a disability
This Convention will be of interest to people who have an intellectual disability and their families and staff. Some of the highlights are:
- People who have a disability have the right to have support they need to ‘exercise their legal capacity’. This means that instead of others making decisions for them; people who have a disability have the right to get help to make their own decisions.
- People who have a disability have the right to live independently, be included in the community, to choose where and with whom to live and to have access to supports they need.
- Students who have a disability have the right to be included in classrooms with other students, and not be segregated.
- People who have a disability can fully participate in political and public life on an equal basis with others.
- The Convention replaces the ideas of barriers, welfare and charity with new rights and freedoms. Canada signed the convention with other countries in March 2007.