Accessibility: Accessibility refers to the design of products, devices, services, or environments for people who experience disabilities. Ontario has laws to improve accessibility for people with disabilities, including the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA), the Ontario Human Rights Code, and the Ontario Building Code.

AODA: The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) seeks to ensure that all Ontarians have fair and equitable access to programs and services and to improve opportunities for persons with disabilities. The Act address barriers in Customer Service; Information and Communication; Employment; Transportation; the Design of Public Spaces

Barrier: A barrier is a circumstance or obstacle that keeps people apart. For people with disabilities, barriers can take many forms including attitudinal, communication, physical, policy, programmatic, social, and transportation.

Disability: A disability is a physical or mental condition that limits a person’s movements, senses, or activities. The AODA uses the same definition of disability as the Ontario Human Rights Code.

IASR: The AODA has five Standards which are included in the Integrated Accessibility Standards (IASR). These include the Customer Service Standard; Employment Standard; Information and Communication Standard; Design of Public Spaces Standard; the Transportation Standard; as well as some general requirements.

OBC: The Building Code Act is the legislative framework governing the construction, renovation and change-of-use of a building. The Ontario Building Code (OBC) is a regulation under the Act that establishes detailed technical and administrative requirements as well as minimum standards for building construction. The Act was amended on January 1, 2015 to include requirements that enhance accessibility in newly constructed buildings and existing buildings that are to be extensively renovated.  

Standard: The Act operates by bringing accessibility standards into regulation. Accessibility standards are laws that individuals, government, businesses, nonprofits, and public sector organizations must follow in order to become more accessible. The accessibility standards contain timelines for the implementation of required measures and help organizations identify, remove, and prevent barriers in order to improve accessibility for people with disabilities.