TORONTO – A university in Ontario discriminated against an aspiring student with a brain injury and bad grades when they refused admission The provincial supreme court ruled on Monday

In its ruling, the appeals court also ruled that the Ontario Human Rights Court should determine how best to resolve the situation

“Nothing for these reasons is intended to discourage or belittle the university’s grade-based admission standards,” said the appeals court, “(but) the university has failed to meet its express obligation to provide accommodation”

The case involves Roch Longueepee, a survivor of severe institutional child abuse who received a high school diploma in Nova Scotia in 1999, court records show.He left Dalhousie University after getting marginal grades in two semesters

Years later, doctors diagnosed Longueepee as having mild to moderate traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress disorder

In July 2013, he applied for full-time admission to the University of Waterloo, explaining that his poor grades were due to his previously undiagnosed and unaccomodated disability.He also provided letters of reference, wrote samples, and provided information about his volunteering

The university found that Longueepee did not meet the eligibility criteria after the school investigated his extenuating circumstances and dismissed him as unlikely

Longueepee turned to the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario, claiming discrimination on the basis of disability.Although the tribunal found that the school’s minimum standard was discriminatory, it denied its complaint, ruling that the school had an obligation to enforce academic standards, and dealt with it the applicant with compassion

On the first appeal, the Divisional Court overturned the tribunal’s decision, finding that the university had indeed not admitted Longueepee during its admission process, the school, ruled the court, relied too heavily on its grades instead of considering all the factors. p>

The university filed another appeal and found the tribunal’s decision to be correct. The Divisional Court did not adequately take into account the academic standards of the school

Longueepee countered that the tribunal was wrong to find that the university had accounted for his disability as the school relied only on bad grades before knowing he had a disability. He also said the admissions did not include his volunteering and references would have taken into account

The appeals court agreed, took the side of the lower court, and accused the tribunal of having found the university, had fulfilled its duty to take in longueepee. This finding was “obviously unreasonable” “

“There was no indication that the admissions committee made any effort to understand how Mr. Longueepee’s disabilities may have affected his Dalhousie grades or to analyze whether his grades, interpreted in the light of his disabilities, contributed could demonstrate his ability to succeed in college, “said the appeals court

“The finding was inappropriate as the university failed to fulfill its express obligation to provide accommodation”

However, the higher court differed from its lower counterpart in the next steps. Ultimately, the appellate court ruled that it should be for the tribunal to develop an appeal in line with the human rights code

For common reasons, the judiciary warned Peter Lauwers not to compromise the independence of the universities and their ability to set academic standards. But in this case the tribunal was “too cautious”

“Other cases will be different and we will be clear about how these tensions of respect for university decisions in the core areas of their mandates and the duty of on-site accommodation are resolved,” said Lauwers

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World news – CA – University discriminates against man with brain injury, bad grades, court rules