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Disability has no single harmonious definition; it is a term fraught with complexity. As such there are different approaches to understanding disability and there are various types of disabilities. Some are gradual and severe in their appearance; others can be fleeting and nearly undetectable by untrained individuals. It is thus crucial to be educated in the manner in which our society defines persons with disabilities and what such a definition can be expanded to include.

In Canada disabilities are grouped under a number of headings: pain, flexibility, mobility, mental/psychological, dexterity, hearing, seeing, learning, memory, developmental, and unknown. Many conditions fall under a number of headings. For instance fibromyalgia involves chronic pain, usually spread throughout the body. However it also involves symptoms of fatigue, the inability to sleep, problems with bowels and varying forms of cognitive dysfunction.

Physical disabilities involve impairments or limitations on an individual’s motor skills, dexterity, endurance, stamina, and generally any physical attributes. These disabilities range from blindness to problems breathing.

Mental disabilities may be either psychological in nature, or purely behavioural, as such their symptoms may arise from the brain itself or from the nervous system in general. Consideration as to how an individual feels, acts, and thinks are crucial in determining a mental disability. There is a plethora of mental disorders, each with potentially unique symptoms and causes.

Stress can both be seen as a disability that is psychological in nature and physical. In fact the Canadian Human Rights Act lists stress as a physical disability. The law addresses stress both in the context of mental disabilities and physical. Stress, particularly in situations involving work-related stress, has been found in to be a mental disability.

Depression is also considered a mental disability as the affected individual’s decision making process can be severely altered making working or living a difficulty unto itself. Depression is a disability because of the intensity with which it can affect an individual’s ability to function.

Alcoholism and other drug related dependencies are also considered disabilities under the Canadian Human Rights Act. Under Canadian human rights legislation employers must treat all disabilities and illnesses alike – that means there shouldn’t be a sliding scale of care or respect afforded to different disabilities. All disabilities warrant equal attention, care, and access to accommodations where necessary.

The varying definitions and levels of treatment can be a difficult landscape to navigate unassisted – especially in their legal context. That is precisely why you require the services of a firm that is well versed in all the intricacies of disability law, this is why you need Zeilikman Law. Individuals dealing with disabilities and are at the risk of being denied disability insurance can rest assured that they will be treated with respect and professionalism from the moment they step into our office and throughout the litigation process.