OHRC Right to Read Inquiry

OHRC inquiry slider image 2 cropped

The Ontario Human Rights Commission is conducting an in-depth public inquiry into reading instruction in Ontario public schools.

"Reading is the foundation for success in school, work and life. Learning to read is not a privilege, it is a human right. This inquiry will assess whether school boards use evidence-based approaches to meet their human rights obligations.”
- OHRC Chief Commissioner Renu Mandhane

The OHRC has launched a year-long public inquiry to investigate how students with dyslexia may be facing systemic human rights violations in Ontario public schools.

The commission will be consulting with a range of experts, reviewing curriculum and instructional materials, teacher training, and school board policies and procedures.  The scope of the inquiry involves five areas of concern, as well as systemic and structural issues.

Parents, students, educators, and other professionals across the province are invited to share their experiences with OHRC before April 1st, 2020.


Scope of the Inquiry

Watch the Launch of the Inquiry (Oct 2019)

Renu Mandhane
OHRC Chief Commissioner

Lark Barker
President, Decoding Dyslexia

Alicia Smith
President-Elect, IDA Ontario

Get Involved- Make a Submission!

The Inquiry wants to hear about your experiences, challenges, and concerns faced by students learning to read in Ontario’s public education system.  You can complete a survey or make a written submission to legal@ohrc.on.caSubmissions are confidential.

We suggest you consider the Inquiry Terms of Reference and Scope (listed above) when making your submission.

OHRC is calling for student art, poetry, and media

The Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) is calling on students to submit art, poetry, and media on “what the right to read means to me” as part of its Right to Read inquiry.

The OHRC invites students to explore the experience of reading disabilities, literacy, the right to read and standing up for human rights, to create art, poetry, sound or video. The deadline for submissions is April 1, 2020.

Find more information on the OHRC website.

Public Hearings and Community Meetings

The OHRC held public hearings as well as community meetings to allow students with reading disabilities, parents and caregivers, and other stakeholders to share their stories and lived experiences. Recordings of these sessions can be found on the OHRC YouTube channel

School Board Reviews

The OHRC has selected eight public school boards from across the province to assess their compliance with their obligation to provide equal treatment to students with reading disabilities. This representative sample will allow the OHRC to assess whether systemic issues exist across Ontario’s English public elementary and secondary schools.*

The OHRC will request documents, data, and information from the following eight school boards:

  1. Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board
  2. Keewatin-Patricia District School Board
  3. Lakehead District School Board
  4. London District Catholic School Board
  5. Ottawa-Carleton District School Board
  6. Peel District School Board
  7. Simcoe Muskoka Catholic District School Board
  8. Thames Valley District School Board

PLEASE NOTE: your child does not need to attend one of these school boards to make a submission to the Inquiry. Likewise, if you are an educator or other professional, you do not need to work at one of the school boards to make a submission. 

Questions & Answers