Accessibility and the Animal Law Movement: The Disconnect

By: Deborah Willoughby, Windsor Law MSW/JD Candidate ’21

“There are only two kinds of people in society: those who have a disability now, and people with disabilities in waiting—i.e. those who will get one later.”

This quote by disability advocate David Lepofsky highlights something I never gave much thought to until I recently became injured and had my mobility compromised for a few weeks. The timing of my injury could not have been worse as it coincided with an animal law conference in another part of the country that I had the opportunity to attend. My experience with how others treated me while I used assistive devices including a cane, wheelchair and crutches while travelling andattending the conference was quite eye-opening and, to my surprise, quite disappointing, especially in settings where one would assume folks would be more compassionate and helpful. 


Marijuana missteps – a taxing situation

By Rachel Herscovici, Windsor Law J.D. Candidate 2020

As with all good things, medical marijuana must be subject to a tax.

And taxes are an excellent way at evaluating what a country values.

Specifically, I am referring to the taxation of medical marijuana and the implications under the new Cannabis Act. In other words, another tax on disability.

Medical marijuana users represent a noteworthy proportion of people with disabilities in Canada.

As of September 2018, approximately 342,103 Canadians were registered with licensed marijuana producers and approximately 25,447 operations were licensed to grow their own supply of medical marijuana. Licensed providers have sold approximately 1,755 kilograms of dried cannabis to licensed users, providing a lot of medicine to a lot of people.

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One Mother’s Impact on the Ontario Family Law Act and the Enduring Challenges of Access to Disability Services

By Victoria Sorge, Windsor Law J.D. Candidate 2019  


Robyn Coates, mother to 22-year-old Joshua Coates, has helped spearhead a long overdue amendment to Ontario’s Family Law Act. This amendment allows all adult children with disabilities to be eligible for child support, regardless of their parents’ marital status.
Joshua Coates was born with a genetic abnormality known as Di George Syndrome. This serious condition causes various medical and psychiatric challenges, which have debilitating implications for Joshua’s day-to-day life and social interaction. Ms. Coates has worked tirelessly to provide her son with resources and access to community programs for adults with disabilities in order to help maintain his quality of life. These programs are fundamental for adult children with disabilities who are no longer eligible for school. They help to keep these adults healthy, happy, and active members of the community; However, they are also extremely costly. Although Ms. Coates was never married to Joshua’s father, Wayne Watson, his contribution of child support payments has enabled Joshua’s involvement in community programs such as yoga, pottery classes, and volunteer opportunities.

Continue reading “One Mother’s Impact on the Ontario Family Law Act and the Enduring Challenges of Access to Disability Services”

Accommodating Multiple Chemical Sensitivities In and Outside of the Workplace

By Ilija Dimeski, Windsor Law J.D. Candidate 2019     

What are Multiple Chemical Sensitivities?

Individuals who have Multiple Chemical Sensitivities (MCS) are harmed when exposed to common environmental chemicals at levels generally tolerated by the majority. MCS syndrome is also known as “environmental sensitivities”, “cerebral allergies”, “chemical-induced immune dysfunction”, “sick building syndrome”, “Gulf War syndrome”, and “20th century disease”. When no longer exposed to these chemicals, individuals with MCS generally see their conditions improve. There is a debate in the medical community as to whether or not MCS should be considered a disability, and this has translated to uncertainty as to whether MCS should attract protection under the human rights system in Ontario. If not, are these individuals to be left to endure the pain and suffering, without recourse against their employers, landlords, and/or service providers?

Continue reading “Accommodating Multiple Chemical Sensitivities In and Outside of the Workplace”

Message from the Director of the LDSC Project

As Director of the Law, Disability & Social Change Project, I am delighted to introduce BLAST, our new blog series. Via BLAST, Windsor Law students, and the occasional guest bloggers, will provide informative and thoughtful pieces that reveal how people with disabilities are interacting with the law. Some of these pieces will illustrate the limits of the law in providing equality for people with disabilities. Other legal cases and stories discussed on BLAST will show how individuals with disabilities are disrupting legal norms in order to realize equality rights, with far-reaching precedents.

Our first blog post is on the difficulties faced by people who experience Multiple Chemical Sensitivities(MCS), a syndrome that is currently contested within the medical community. In his blog, “Accommodating Multiple Chemical Sensitivities in and outside of the Workplace”, JD student Ilija Dimeski discusses some of the possibilities and challenges of obtaining human rights law protection for MCS in Ontario.

Laverne Jacobs, Director, Law, Disability & Social Change Project and Associate Professor, Windsor Law.