By AUTISM CANADA
Autism Canada is saddened to hear about the treatment of autistic artist Niam Jain following a 2020 incident. The incident occurred at a private athletics club in Toronto, prompting the club to conduct a review and conclude that Niam be under constant supervision while using the facility. There is work required by all of us, the changing of beliefs, attitudes, and behaviours, if we are to move toward acceptance and social inclusion. This decision created a barrier between Niam and his ability to access those things and demonstrates that there is much work to be done. Niam and his family challenged the club’s decision through the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal, where they were awarded the case. While we are proud of Niam for asserting his dignity and thankful that Niam’s rights were confirmed, we are deeply sorry that he had to go through this process.
This incident is another in a series of recent examples of autistic people experiencing discrimination and underscores the importance of awareness and acceptance-based advocacy and education. Autism Canada recognizes that these efforts have been occurring for many years and continues to advocate through its Family Support and Autism Literacy program.
Link to the court case: