Ontarians with Disabilities Act

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Download the Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2001 (ODA)

The ODA describes a Disability as:

  • any degree of physical disability, infirmity, malformation or disfigurement that is caused by bodily injury, birth defect or illness and without limiting the generality of the foregoing, includes diabetes mellitus, epilepsy, a brain injury, any degree of paralysis, amputation, lack of physical co-ordination, blindness or visual impediment, deafness or hearing impediment, muteness or speech impediment, or physical reliance on a guide dog or other animal or on a wheelchair or other remedial appliance or device
  • a condition of mental impairment or a developmental disability;
  • a learning disability, or a dysfunction in one or more of the processes involved in understanding or using symbols or spoken language;
  • a mental disorder, or
  • an injury or disability for which benefits were claimed or received under the insurance plan established under the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act, 1997; ("handicap")

"Accessible" means removing all barriers - "anything that prevents a person with a disability from fully participating in all aspects of society because of his or her disability, including a physical barrier, an architectural barrier, and information or communcations barrier, an attitudinal barrier, a technological barrier, a policy or a practice; ("obstacle")."

The ODA requires that Municipalities with a population of 10,000 or more have an Accessibility Advisory Committee and that all public sector organizations including Government ministries, municipalities, hospitals, public transportation organizations, school boards, colleges and universities prepare, and to continue to upgrade, annual Access Plans outlining the steps taken, or to be taken, to make buildings accessible