Human Rights Tribunal – service dogs not automatic right in schools

2017 9/7 | Accessibility, Connects Page, Education Policy, Education Program and Policy

Miller Thomson LLP has posted an important update regarding service dogs in schools in its September 2017 Education Law Newsletter.

The authors, Kennedy MacDonald and Nadya Tymochenko, write, “In a recent decision, J.F. v. Waterloo Catholic District School Board, the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario (Tribunal) denied an application of discrimination based on a decision by the Waterloo Catholic District School Board (Board) denying the applicant’s request to attend school with a service dog.

The applicant, a student in grade three diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), sought to attend school with an Autism Service Dog. The applicant argued that, pursuant to the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA), the Board was obligated to allow him to attend school with his service dog. The Tribunal, however, found that schools are not public spaces, pursuant to the Education Act (Act) and its regulations, and that the AODA therefore did not apply to give the applicant an unfettered right to attend school with his service dog.”

To read more, visit the Miller Thomson Education Law Newsletter.