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1662 words - 7 pages

It is very critical to establish a non-discriminatory environment at any institution or organization. People are afforded protection at the local, provincial, and federal government levels with specific laws which prohibit discrimination abuses and enforce current laws. Organizations must take specific steps to address diversity issues to protect those within them. Many institutions and organizations have taken comprehensive steps to prevent discrimination and harassment by developing specific departments and/or programs addressing diversity issues. Diversity programs and departments seek to focus the entire organization toward meeting diversity initiatives. However, despite these programs, many institutes may find themselves in a battle between people of different backgrounds and rights and a struggle may ensue over whose rights take precedent and who needs to be catered to more. In this case, one needs to look at the nature of the complaints of discrimination and harassment and how far one needs to go to accommodate the rights that are being infringed.Discrimination can be defined as the differential or less favourable treatment of a person on the grounds of a personal characteristic, such as sex, parental status, race, age or disability. On the other hand, harassment can be defined as actions that cause intense annoyance, and behaviours which may be intended to disturb or upset and/ or are found to be threatening or dangerous. Discrimination and harassment are often used together because often physical characteristics like the ones mentioned above are a cause for harassment (Ontario Human Rights Commission).In the following essay, we will be looking at a case in which two parties with different rights clash and an institution has to attempt to accommodate both without infringing on the other's rights. This can prove very difficult because of certain laws and regulations put in place to prevent human rights from being violated and which both parties can use to their advantage.The following dispute is between a racialized person and a person with a disability. A hearing impaired student is in a class in his final year of college with a professor of Sikh background. The professor has a thick beard and speaks with a heavy accent. The student relies on reading lips to understand people and does not prefer to depend on a sign language interpreter or a note taker. However, said student is having trouble in this class because he is finding it difficult to read the professor's lips due to the accent and the beard. The students requested the help of the program chair and asked if it is possible for another professor to teach the course or one that can be available for him privately. The chair asked the students if he could make an exception and use the help of a note taker or a sign language interpreter which could be arranged. However, the student refused and claimed that this is a failure to accommodate and an infringement of his rights. He threate...


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