THUMBS UP to Terri-Lynn Garrie for winning her discrimination case at the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal. For 10 years, Garrie was paid a mere $1.25 an hour to package wine bottles for a local company in St. Catharines. Believed to be the first time the issue of paying less to intellectually disabled people has been legally addressed, the Ontario Human Rights Commission is now being urged to determine whether the practice is widespread and how to stop it. Garrie was awarded more than $140,000 in lost wages, almost $20,000 in lost income and $25,000 in compensation for her injured dignity, feelings and self-respect.
THUMBS UP to the Royal Ontario Museum for showcasing local Toronto fashion designer Izzy Camilleri’s accessible style in their new exhibit Fashion Follows Form: Designs for Sitting. The affordable, comfortable, but stylish outfits were inspired by the designer’s difficult time adapting a standing dress to fit a seated client. The challenges and creativity required to suit the particular needs of an “L-shaped body” have resulted in interesting shapes and forms, which are juxtaposed with historical fashions for side-straddled horseback riders from the 18th and 19th centuries. “I hope this exhibition generates greater awareness of the obstacles facing physically challenged people and invites conversation around the issues of inclusion, dignity, sense of empowerment, and embracing possibilities,” said Camilleri.
THUMBS DOWN to British airline EasyJet for forcing a French woman with a disability off its plane. Marie-Patricia Hoarau said she felt like a social outcast when the crew ordered her back to the check-in desk because she was without a helper, arguing that she could not reach an emergency exit without assistance. When a fellow passenger offered to take on the role of a helper, the crew refused because the pair had not checked in together. The company has been fined £50,000 (around $74,000), and Hoarau is still waiting for a personal apology from EasyJet.