• Denise Paglinawan

Ontario Human Rights Commission opens inquiry on students' reading disability issues

Ontario's human rights watchdog said the inquiry will assess how school boards support students with reading disabilities, such as dyslexia

OHRC chief commissioner Renu Mandhane spoke at a news conference on Oct. 3. (Photo: Denise Paglinawan)

The Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) has launched a public inquiry into issues students with reading disabilities face in Ontario schools.


The human rights watchdog said the inquiry will assess “whether school boards use scientific evidence-based approaches” to support students with reading disabilities.


More than a quarter of Grade 3 students and 53 per cent of students with special education needs did not meet the provincial standard for reading, recent data from the Education Quality and Accountability Office found, according to OHRC.


“Many would be surprised to learn that Canada and Ontario ranked below Russia, China and the United States in reading,” OHRC chief commissioner Renu Mandhane told a news conference on Thursday.


“This is not acceptable. Learning to read is not a thrill. It is not a privilege,” said Mandhane. “It is a basic and essential skill, and learning to read is a human right.”


The Right to Read inquiry will hear from parents, students and educators across the province and will release its findings in 2020.

© Denise Paglinawan 2020

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