Frequently Asked Questions
What does OHREA do?
The Office of Human Rights, Equity & Accessibility (OHREA) is responsible for education, human rights inquiries and complaints, ombuds functions related to human rights, equity and accessibility, government reporting, policy development, and other matters requiring accountability in these areas at the University.
Who uses OHREA services?
OHREA provides services for students, staff, and faculty. The office also provides support in resolving unit-wide issues and/or concerns involving multiple parties.
What grounds are included in the Ontario Human Rights Code?
The Ontario Human Rights Code (the Code) prohibits discrimination and harassment on the following grounds: race, ancestry, place of origin, colour, ethnic origin, sex, citizenship, creed (religion), disability, age, marital status, family status, sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression, receipt of public assistance (in accommodation only), and record of offences (in employment only).
What about non-Code related issues of discrimination and harassment?
OHREA does not normally deal with non-Code related issues, except to provide informal support as needed. General harassment or discrimination concerns that do not pertain to a human rights ground are typically addressed through the following channels:
- Students—the Associate VP, Student Experience;
- Staff and Faculty—Human Resources (Employee/Labour Relations);
- Faculty—Office of the Provost, specifically the Associate VP, Academic.
What are the employment equity designated groups at the University?
There are 4 federally designated groups: Aboriginal peoples, persons with disabilities, visible minorities, and women. In addition, the University includes sexual/gender minorities as a 5th designated group within the employment equity program.
What types of things are included under accessibility?
Accessibility includes, but is not limited to, the physical environment, technology, service delivery, communication considerations, workplace needs, education and awareness, providing and reviewing various needs for accommodation. Accessibility encompasses requirements for permanent, temporary, chronic, or episodic disabilities or disabling conditions.
What types of training and PD are available from OHREA?
OHREA facilitates in-person workshops for faculty, staff, and students on a variety of topics such as accessibility, cultural competency, implicit bias, homophobia, the politics of language, fair hiring practices, racism, sexual harassment, and many more. The office also provides some on-line training options, and assists in engaging external presenters.
What funding supports are available through OHREA?
- The OHREA Fund: A cost-sharing fund developed to support University diversity initiatives, and presence at related events in the wider community;
- The Employee Accommodation Fund: Designed to provide units with funding assistance for employee accommodation supports;
- The Women’s Campus Safety Grant: Funding is provided from an MTCU grant for projects intended to address the safety of women on campus.
(Please note: Application forms for the various funds are available on the website.)
Where can I find….?
Information concerning religious accommodation is available on the website. There is a form for employee requests along with guidelines. There is also a link to guidelines for student requests for religious accommodation, and a link to the Office of the Registrar’s form for Application for Alternative Final Examination(s) Due to Conflict with Religious Conviction. A Multi-Faith Calendar is available on the OHREA site, accessible by signing in, to assist with awareness regarding the occurrences of a variety of faith-based observances.
Information regarding accessible amenities, such as accessible entrances and facilities, is available on the website in the section called Maps. There is also a page in the site under Building Information that provides more in-depth information on accessible features/services for specific buildings on campus. Hard copies and copies in alternative formats of the maps are available through OHREA.
1-3 Things You Wish All Instructors Knew about Your Services…..
- That the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) has certain training requirements that are mandatory for all employees, volunteers, and 3rd party service providers—we’re happy to help you determine what format works best for your needs (online, in-person, hard copy).
- That completing the Self-Identification Survey, and updating it as needed, is critical to the development and attainment of University-wide and unit-specific employment equity goals in diversity and inclusion. Everyone Counts!
- That contact from our office is to engage all parties in a remedial process that results in an increased awareness about a situation or issue. The focus is on education and fostering an environment of respect and inclusion.