Working to make our city accessible for everyone

A person with service dog testing a new delineator plate.

This feature story is part of the City of Ottawa Service Reviews: an initiative aimed at ensuring our services are meeting your needs. Visit ottawa.ca/YourIdeas today.

Feature story

Building a city where everyone can navigate, participate in, and enjoy their community is essential to our quality of life. That is why we are committed to ensuring accessibility for those living with disabilities and to fostering an environment where all residents can thrive.

Did you know that the City of Ottawa has an Accessibility Office? Accessibility is an important commitment for the City, and this group is dedicated to ensuring that projects, services, programs and facilities not only meet the requirements under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA), but also meet the needs of people with disabilities and older adults.

Keep reading to learn about the important work they do, including new projects and ongoing initiatives that you can get involved with.

The new City of Ottawa Municipal Accessibility Plan

This year, the Accessibility Office is updating the City’s Municipal Accessibility Plan. The new City of Ottawa Municipal Accessibility Plan(link is external) (COMAP) will determine the accessibility status and identify any existing barriers within the City’s programs, services, goods, and facilities for people with disabilities. It also helps us consider ways to increase accessibility.

The Accessibility Office will be looking for your engagement and participation as we update the COMAP, with in-person consultations beginning during the 2024 AccessAbility Day event on Thursday, May 30.

Further opportunities to engage, including more in-person consultations, virtual consultations, an online survey, and a community toolkit, will take place in the coming months so residents can help inform the development of the 2025-2029 COMAP.

Ongoing work

Built environment projects

The Accessibility Office collaborates with project teams working on various City projects to ensure they meet AODA standards. Teams will consult with the Accessibility Office when feedback is needed, or for clarification on the requirements under the AODA. Some projects the Accessibility Office ensures are accessible include:

  • exterior paths of travel, such as sidewalks and multi-use pathways
  • accessible pedestrian signals and pole placement
  • pedestrian crossings and the required accessibility features, such as Tactile Walking Surface Indicators and depressed curbs

Training initiatives

The City is required to provide training on the requirements of the accessibility standards, as per the AODA and the Ontario Human Rights Code. The Accessibility Office works hard to ensure that staff receive the mandatory training that is appropriate for their duties and offers several different AODA-related training opportunities. Additionally, the Accessibility Office ensures that all City volunteers complete AODA training as part of their onboarding.

Accessibility Spotlight

To stay up-to-date on all the work that the Accessibility Office is doing to help make Ottawa more accessible, sign up(link is external) for their Accessibility Spotlight newsletter to receive a monthly e-newsletter straight to your inbox.

Have feedback or an accessibility-related service inquiry? Visit this webpage to find out how to submit your feedback.

Your City, your ideas!

Now that you have learned about some of the projects that the Accessibility Office works on, we want to hear from you! Do you have any ideas for improving these or other City services while potentially making them more cost efficient? Your input can help shape our efforts to enhance accessibility across the city. Share your ideas at engage.ottawa.ca/ConnectedCity(link is external).

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