Monday, March 29, 2010

OHRT hearing

The hearing was short, and not very sweat for us. We new that we have very slim chances to succeed so the result is not a total surprise. We were told that I failed to prove that Sebastian was discriminated against. What surprised us was that they claimed that they did not use Continuation Criteria in case of Sebastian. Their lawyer admitted though that they are using the Continuation Criteria now - so be aware!
My friend simon and I spend a lot of time preparing the opening speech I did not eventually use, and shorter summary that I did use. We were reading through and trying to understand previous cases involving autism. I had help from a lawyer from ARCH Disability Law Centre. They were not able to take on our case but being able to consult was very helpful for us and allowed to understand a little bit better the legal differences.

I think though that nobody should feel discouraged. The policy of discharging kids because they made slower progress because they are low functioning is clearly discriminatory. We lost because some technicality I do not even understand at the moment, and because we did not have a lawyer who specialize in human rights code on our side. So we failed to prove the discrimination, and Dr Reitzel can now sharpen her pencils an sign discharges with much more ease and confidence. But I am sure that somebody who will come after us can learn from our mistakes and succeed.
I do not have available yet the official ruling but I will post it as soon as I get it.

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