Canadian Paralympian, Rick Hansen, started National Access Awareness Week after his Man-In-Motion World Tour to:
- raise public awareness of barriers
- encourage communities to assess the level of accessibility in their jurisdiction
- plan for the removal of barriers
Access means more than just removing physical barriers. It means changing attitudes and support that allows all people with visible or invisible disabilities to be part of community life.
What the numbers tell us
1 in 7 Canadians aged 15 years or older report having a disability.
15.4% of Ontarians report having a disability – that is, they have difficulty performing tasks as a result of a long-term condition or health-related problem, and experience a limitation on their daily activities.
The United Nations’ Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
In March 2010, the Government of Canada ratified this convention, which provides a framework for governments to address the exclusion and lack of access that persons with disabilities encounter.
Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005
The act aims to help all Ontarians by developing, implementing and enforcing standards so that Ontarians with disabilities have access to goods, services, facilities, accommodation, employment, buildings, structures and premises on or before January 1, 2025.
What can organization do to make their services more accessible?
- the use of teletypewriter if telephone communication isn’t suitable to someone’s communications needs
- compatibility with screen readers used by people with visual disabilities
- appropriate table markup and alternative text for screen readers
- features like screen and text magnification
- welcoming service animals
- accommodating assistive devices such as mobility devices i.e. wheelchair, scooter, walker, cane or amplification systems or assistive listening devices
What Legal Aid Ontario is doing
Legal Aid Ontario is committed to giving all clients equal access to our services – whether that’s through written, online, telephone-based, or in-person contact. All of our content on our website is available in alternative formats and requests can be made to firstname.lastname@example.org.
We have a number of projects underway to ensure that accessible services are available across the organization.
For more information about these projects, please visit our Accessibility Project Roadmap at
- Accessibility Directorate of Ontario.
- Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005.
- Statistics Canada. Canadian Survey on Disability, 2012.