Monday, August 25, 2014

People with invisible Disabilities get a break

More equitable system for Handi-Transit users


A voluntary resolution of a human rights complaint has resulted in Handi-Transit’s application and assessment process and written materials undergoing a number of changes.  These changes acknowledge chronic episodic disabilities, specifically referencing pain and fatigue as impacting mobility. 


Modifications to the application form and website took place as a result of a shared effort to resolve a human rights complaint. Complainant Diane Driedger alleged that Handi-Transit did not adequately accommodate people with episodic conditions when they applied for Handi-Transit or appealed its decision.


The Manitoba Human Rights Commission, Handi-Transit and Diane Driedger reviewed the application and assessment process to ensure that this group of individuals was not disadvantaged. 


As a result of the voluntary settlement discussions with the Manitoba Human Rights Commission, the changes have made the process more transparent, equitable, and accessible than it was at the time when the complaint was filed.


“This is an important step for the transportation industry to acknowledge that pain and fatigue are symptoms of many invisible disabilities,” Executive Director Azim Jiwa says.  “A settlement like this increases awareness of episodic disabilities and their impact on society and individuals.”


Individuals with diagnosed intermittent pain have periods of good health which are interrupted by periods of illness or disability. Often it is difficult to predict when these “episodes” of disability will occur or how long they will last.  An increasing number of Canadians are living with lifelong episodic disabilities.


Examples of chronic intermittent pain disabilities are: HIV/Aids, multiple sclerosis, lupus, cancer, diabetes and fibromyalgia.


For more information please contact

Patricia Knipe

Manitoba Human Rights Commission



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