Article from The Globe & Mail.

Half of Canadians accept job disability discrimination

Half of Canadians believe it’s understandable if an employer thinks it’s too risky to hire someone with a physical disability, according to a new survey by the Angus Reid Institute and the Rick Hansen Foundation.

At the same time, 90 per cent of Canadians say that accessibility for people with physical disabilities is a human right and not a privilege.

The survey reveals some ignorance on disability and accessibility issues, including that Canadians vastly underestimate the number of disabled people in the population although more than half say they know disabled people, or see a person with a physical disability every day in their workplace or socially.

Thirty years ago, Mr. Hansen embarked on his Man in Motion world tour to fight for accessibility for the disabled, and he says there has been progress, but he still constantly runs into physical barriers – a small space he can’t manoeuvre into with his wheelchair, a public washroom that isn’t accessible or that Thai restaurant in Toronto he couldn’t get into recently because it was down two flights of stairs.

“There seemed to be a split intuitively between how people were thinking about disability and where sometimes we thought we were,” said Mr. Hansen about the need for this new survey. “I am always asked everywhere I go, ‘So, how accessible is Canada?’ ‘What are Canadians thinking?’ And so the notion started to emerge that we needed to do more research on this issue ….”