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CCD intervenes in test cases so that the judge/judges hearing cases will have the opportunity to benefit from the collective experiences of the disability rights community and the analysis of human rights by legal experts fully informed by disability experience. (A test case is one which is likely to lead to a legal precedent and alter a law or practice.) CCD has been involved in many of the landmark cases that helped to bring down barriers that were preventing the full and equal participation of Canadians with disabilities. For example, CCD has used the Canadian legal system to advance jurisprudence on the following issues:
- the accommodation of people with disabilities in employment (Bhinder, O'Malley, and Grismer cases)
- access to long term disability benefits (Gibbs case)
- how equality is defined under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms (the Andrews case, the Lovelace case)
- inclusive education (Eaton case)
- the right of deaf people to have interpreters in medical settings (Eldridge case)
- the application of the proscribed legal penalties when the victim of a killing is a person with a disability (Genereux and Latimer), and
- the equal protection of the law (Latimer case)
Jim Derksen views inaccessible York Street Steps in Ottawa. CCD intervened in the Brown Case, which challenged an inadequate accommodation developed for the Steps.
The Latimer case directly concerned the rights of persons with disabilities. Mr. Latimer's view was that a parent has the right to kill a child with a disability if that parent decides the child's quality of life no longer warrants its continuation. CCD explained to the court and to the public how that view threatens the lives of people with disabilities and is deeply offensive to fundamental constitutional values. Learn more.