Human Rights Commissioner's Office

The Human Rights Commissioner's Office (HRCO) is the Board's arms-length office for addressing matters specific to Ontario's Human Rights Code and the Board's Human Rights Policy #240.


The two primary goals of the HRCO are:

  1. To act upon complaints confidentially, fairly and in a timely manner; and

  2. To support the prevention of discrimination and harassment through human rights and accessibility education, learning and professional development.

An Arms-Length Office

We address all concerns and complaints in an impartial and independent manner. The HRCO operates independently or arms-length from the formal administrative structure and all other areas of YRDSB.


Confidentiality​ governs all communications with the HRCO. The HRCO is intended to be a safe, neutral and confidential space for all members of the Board community to bring forward concerns related to discrimination and harassment. All communication with the HRCO is considered private and confidential.

Our Commitment to Human Rights

The HRCO is committed to building learning and working environments that are free from discrimination and harassment. Our responsibilities to the YRDSB community include (but are not limited to):

  • ​Receiving and responding to​ human rights ​complaints​, concerns and/or matters brought forward by a member of the Board community;

  • Overseeing the Board's compliance with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA);

  • Supporting preventative actions through developing and delivering human rights and accessibility education, training and outreach;

  • Providing leadership on Board policies and procedures specific to human rights (​Policy #240) and accessibility (Policy #407);

  • Managing the Barrier Buster electronic reporting tool t​hat allows members of our Board community to formally communicate any barriers within the learning and/or working environments of YRDSB; and

  • Advising the Board's senior leadership team on its strategic goals and actions through a human rights and accessibility lens.

HRCO's Governing principles

  • The law in Ontario that gives equal rights and opportunities without discrimination is the Human Rights Code, 1990. We refer to Ontario's Human Right Code as "the Code".

  • The Code is law in Ontario and gives everyone equal rights and opportunities in certain areas of society. The Code is meant to prevent discrimination and harassment based on the 17 protected grounds (Code grounds) within 5 social areas.

  • The Board's Human Rights Policy #240 is aligned with the Code.

  • The government of Ontario passed the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) in 2005.​ The AODA was created in response to a history of barriers and discrimination against people with disabilities in Ontario, and with the following purpose:

    • "To benefit all Ontarians by developing, implementing and enforcing accessibility standards in order to achieve accessibility for Ontarians with disabilities..."

  • The AODA applies to all private and public sector organizations, including all school boards.​ The Board's Accessibility Policy #407 is aligned with the AODA.

  • Policy #407.0, Accessibility (Accessibility Policy #407) is aligned with the AODA in order to carry out the Board’s commitment to accessibility.

  • The Board is committed to providing accessible programs, services and environments for people with and who experience disabilities.

  • A Plain Language Guide to Accessibility Policy#407 is available online as a more reader-friendly version of the full policy.

Report a Human Rights Issue

The HRCO Reporting Form is available for anyone in the Board community to report a human rights violation.
HRCO Reporting Form