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Accessibility Overview

Accessibility | Accessibility Legislation | Accessibility Links | Advisory Committee | Website Accessibility

The Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2001, (ODA)

The ODA is a Provincial statute that seeks to improve opportunities for persons with disabilities to their full participation in the life of the province. All municipalities with a population greater than 10,000 must appoint an Accessibility Advisory Committee. The Act also requires all municipalities to prepare annual accessibility plans to identify, remove (where possible), and prevent barriers to access for people with disabilities. To learn more about the ODA connect with the Accessibility Directorate at the Ministry of Economic Development, Trade and Employment website:

The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (AODA)

The purpose of the AODA is to achieve accessibility for citizens with disabilities with respect to goods, services, facilities, accommodation, employment, buildings, structures and premises on or before January 1, 2025 by developing, implementing and enforcing accessibility standards. For additional information please visit the Ministry of Economic Development, Trade and Employment website:

Human Rights Code

The Human Rights Code (the Code) provides for equal rights and opportunities and freedom from discrimination. The Code recognizes the dignity and worth of every person. It applies to the areas of employment, housing, facilities and services, contracts and memberships in unions, trade or professional associations. More information:

What is a "Disability"?

Under the Act, a disability includes:

  1. any degree of physical disability caused by bodily injury, birth defect, or illness. Examples are: diabetes mellitus, paralysis, epilepsy, vision or hearing loss;
  2. a condition of mental impairment or a developmental disability;
  3. a learning disability; or
  4. a mental disorder; or
  5. an injury or disability for which benefits were claimed or received under the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act, 1997.

What is a "Barrier"?

The Act defines a barrier as "anything that prevents a person with a disability from fully participating in all aspects of society because of his or her disability".

Barriers can be physical, architectural, communications, attitudinal, technological, or a policy or a practice ("obstacle").

Examples of a Barrier:


  • A door knob that cannot be operated by a person with limited upper-body mobility and strength


  • A hallway or door that is too narrow for a wheelchair or scooter


  • Typefaces that are too small to be read by a person with low-vision


  • A professor who talks loudly when addressing a deaf student


  • A receptionist who ignores a customer in a wheelchair


  • A paper tray on a laser printer that requires two strong hands to open


  • A practice of announcing important messages over an intercom that people with hearing impairments cannot hear clearly


Policy Advisor: Lynda Lawson
Location: 8th Floor, Rundle Tower, City Hall
50 Centre Street South
Oshawa, Ontario, L1H 3Z7
Phone: 905-436-3311 ext 2288
Toll Free: 1-800-667-4292
Fax: 905-436-5673
TTY: 905-436-5627