As an individual with epilepsy, it’s important to know your rights and to defend them if you feel they are being violated. Unfortunately, on a day-to-day basis, people with epilepsy do face discrimination in Canada and worldwide.
As an individual with epilepsy, you are protected under the Human Rights Act as a person with a disability. This fully protects you against discrimination. The Act states that “all individuals should have an opportunity equal with other individuals to make for themselves the lives that they are able and wish to have and to have their needs accommodated, consistent with their duties and obligations as members of society, without being hindered in or prevented from doing so by discriminatory practices based on race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, family status, disability or conviction for an offence for which a pardon has been granted or in respect of which a record suspension has been ordered.”
In the workplace, discrimination may occur as a result of a lack of knowledge about epilepsy and a misunderstanding about the impact that your condition will have on your job performance. This can result in unnecessary anxiety and fear among employees and employers.
If you feel like you've experience discrimination or harassment, contact your Provincial Human Rights Organization. These organizations investigate complaints and have experienced personnel who can help guide you through the process.
Click here to read our E-Action® Magazine feature story on epilepsy in the workplace: