A lawyer for a deaf man says her client has won a human rights victory after the British Columbia government’s failure to provide financial support meant he was nearly evicted for being unable to pay his rent.
Sarah Khan says 43-year-old Christopher Shay of Coquitlam filed for income assistance in September 2014 and had to withdraw from a computer science course after waiting five weeks for money. Khan says she and another lawyer at the BC Public Interest Advocacy Centre filed a human rights complaint against the province’s social development ministry, alleging discrimination and failure to accommodate their client’s disability.
She says the ministry settled with Shay, who received $3,000 for unspecified costs, though the ministry did not admit to any liability. Khan says the ministry has also agreed to improve accessibility, including changes to its online application form to specifically ask about communication barriers and whether clients need an interpreter.