Office of Human Rights, Equity and Accessibility (OHREA)
The Office of Human Rights, Equity and 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.
OHREA provides services for students, staff, and faculty. The office also provides support in resolving unit-wide issues and/or concerns involving multiple parties. If you are contacted by OHREA, know that its purpose is to engage all parties in a remedial process that results in an increased awareness about a sensitive situation or issue. OHREA’s focus is always on education and fostering an environment of respect and inclusion.
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 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 four federally designated groups: Aboriginal peoples, persons with disabilities, visible minorities, and women. In addition, the University includes sexual/gender minorities as a fifth designated group within the employment equity program.
What types of considerations are included under accessibility?
Accessibility includes, but is not limited to, the physical environment, technology, service delivery, communication considerations, workplace needs, education and awareness, and 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 professional development 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 online training options and assists in engaging external presenters.
Is OHREA training mandatory?
The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) mandates that all employees, volunteers, and third-party service providers complete certain training requirements. OHREA is happy to help you determine which format works best for your needs (online, in-person, or hard copy).
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 OHREA website "Forms" page.)
Where can I find information concerning religious accommodation?
Consult the OHREA 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.
Where can I find information concerning accessible amenities?
Information regarding accessible amenities, such as accessible entrances and facilities, is available on the OHREA website in the “Maps” section. There is also a “Building Information” page that provides more in-depth information on accessible features and services for specific buildings on campus. Hard copies and copies in alternative formats of the maps are available through OHREA.
OHREA is located in Chrysler Hall Tower Room 325.
A message from OHREA:
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!
To self-identify, access the University of Windsor Employment Equity Survey.