Recently a teenage girl represented by the Human Rights Legal Support Centre reached a settlement with a well-known roller-skating business in the Greater Toronto Area. The settlement was reached after the teen was prevented from skating on their rink in her wheelchair.

The respondent, Scooter’s Roller Palace Inc. agreed to change its policies to comply with the Ontario Human Rights Code’s (the Code) accessibility requirements. The settlement agreement requires that the respondent change the rink’s safety policies to better accommodate customers of varying abilities, publicly share the availability of accommodations for people with disabilities and post Code cards throughout the business to signal the respondent’s commitment to Code compliance.

The event leading to this settlement was a youth skate event at Scooter’s in August of 2017. The applicant’s mother (referred to as M.B. in the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario’s decision on this case) had planned the afternoon outing for her daughter (S.B.) and two of S.B.’s friends. However, when M.B. called ahead to Scooter’s, she was told on the phone by staff that while the building was accessible, S.B. would not be allowed on the rink due to safety issues.

“Opportunities for my daughter to do things like skating to engage with her friends are so valuable,” says M.B. “It can be difficult for teenagers with multiple disabilities to develop and maintain friendships; roller-skating was a chance for my daughter to easily participate with her friends.”

Following this disagreement, M.B. filed a human rights application on behalf of S.B. against Scooter’s Roller Palace. The day before the scheduled hearing, Scooter’s Roller Palace was able to reach a settlement with the applicant.

This settlement agreement includes:

  • An individual accommodation plan for S.B. by the respondent;
  • The respondent’s recognition that its existing policy was not Code-compliant and their agreement to change some of its business practices and policies to better accommodate customers of varying abilities;
  • A plan for enhanced human rights training for management, current and future employees of the respondent, along with a new accessibility policy that follows the requirements of the Code; and
  • Cards posted in a number of locations at the respondent’s business, noting the business’s commitment to adhere to the Code.