The months of lobbying, demonstrating, and meeting with government officials had paid off for those who worked hard on the campaign to include mental and physical disability in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Not only were the lives of Canadians with disabilities influenced by the inclusion of disability in the Charter, but the disability rights movement was also affected by the efforts and success of this campaign.
The most important impacts from this victory were the entrenchment of the rights of Canadians with disabilities in the Constitution and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
The inclusion of disability in Section 15 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms allowed Canadians with disabilities to use the Charter to fight for their rights in court.
An example of such a challenge is the case of Eldridge V. B.C. Attorney General. The B.C. government refused to provide deaf persons with sign language interpreters so that they could communicate effectively with their health care providers. The Supreme Court of Canada said that the government's failure to provide such services was discriminatory and a violation of the equality guarantee of the Charter.
EXTERNAL LINK: See factum of the Eldridge case
See other examples of Charter challenges initiated by equality-seeking groups at the Court Challenges web site.
EXTERNAL LINK: Court Challenges Program
The fight to include disability rights in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms impacted the Canadian disability rights movement. Their success in convincing the government to include disability in the Charter gave the Canadian disability rights movement a great deal of momentum and is seen as a pivotal event in its history.