Human Rights for Persons with Disabilities

A part of the Coalition’s mandate is to advocate for equity and justice in access and inclusion for persons with disabilities in Newfoundland and Labrador. Equity means that people have the resources they need to gain equal access and inclusion. Justice occurs when barriers no longer exist and everyone has equal access and inclusion as a result of good design.

3 people looking over a fence.
Image description

Equality: everyone gets the same size box. The little kid can’t see.

Equity: everyone gets a box big enough to look over the fence.

Justice: it’s a chain link fence. Everyone can see through it.

Information about the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

Below are excerpts from various legal documents on a provincial, federal and international level that outline the rights of persons with disabilities. When self advocating, or advocating for others, it can helpful to share these rights and laws with the person/s you’re addressing. There are links to the full documents for those who would like to read more.

United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UN CRPD) PDF

Canada has ratified the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. The UN Convention states that “to enable persons with disabilities to live independently and participate fully in all aspects of life…” countries must take measures to ensure persons with disabilities have access to buildings, transportation, information, communications and public services, on an equal basis with others, regardless of where they live.

Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms Charterpedia

Persons with disabilities have equality before and under law and equal protection and benefit of law.

“15 (1) Every individual is equal before and under the law and has the right to the equal protection and equal benefit of the law without discrimination and, in particular, without discrimination based on race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, sex, age or mental or physical disability.”

Accessible Canada Act

Most recently (2019) Canada has passed new laws under the Accessible Canada Act which states:

This Act is to be carried out in recognition of, and in accordance with, the following principles:

(a) all persons must be treated with dignity regardless of their disabilities;

(b) all persons must have the same opportunity to make for themselves the lives that they are able and wish to have regardless of their disabilities;

(c) all persons must have barrier-free access to full and equal participation in society, regardless of their disabilities;

(d) all persons must have meaningful options and be free to make their own choices, with support if they desire, regardless of their disabilities;

(e) laws, policies, programs, services and structures must take into account the disabilities of persons, the different ways that persons interact with their environments and the multiple and intersecting forms of marginalization and discrimination faced by persons;

(f) persons with disabilities must be involved in the development and design of laws, policies, programs, services and structures; and

(g) the development and revision of accessibility standards and the making of regulations must be done with the objective of achieving the highest level of accessibility for persons with disabilities.

NL Human Rights Act

“AND WHEREAS it is recognized in the province that every individual is free and equal in dignity and rights without regard to his or her race, colour, nationality, ethnic origin, social origin, religious creed, religion, age, disability, disfigurement, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, marital status, family status, source of income and political opinion.”

If you have resources that should be included, please let us know by emailing us at or calling 709 722 7011.