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Queen's University

Harris v Camosun College

A student in a criminology program alleged she was suffering from multiple allergies to environmental elements like paint, varnishes, gas fumes, plastics and carpets. She filed a complaint alleging harassment on the basis of disability (the College kept asking her for medical documentation) and discrimination on the same basis (the College would not allow her to tape one of her classes).

The Tribunal ruled that the College had neither harassed nor discriminated against the student on the basis of disability. Its requests for medical documentation was valid; the only evidence she had presented to them pointed to an allergy to house mites and cat hair, which had nothing to do with the academic environment.  Furthermore, its refusal not to allow her to tape one of her classes was justified; this was a class in which personal interaction with fellow students was a fundamental academic requirement which could not be met through a tape recorder.

Although students have the right to privacy and dignity, they must  provide personal medical information if they wish to be accommodated.

Kingston, Ontario, Canada. K7L 3N6. 613.533.2000