Ottawa, Ontario Municipal Accessibility Plan
Status: Adopted on 11/28/07
People with disabilities represent a significant and growing part of our population. According to Statistics Canada, 15% of the City of Ottawa's population has identified itself as having a permanent disability - physical, sensory, mental health related, developmental, learning and/or other health related disabilities. An additional 9% of Ottawa's population reported having a temporary disability of some form. As the aging population increases, Ottawa residents will be affected with increased mobility, sight and hearing impairments.
The City of Ottawa has taken great strides in promoting a barrier-free city for both its employees and residents. The City is progressively moving towards becoming a fully inclusive community. Accessible, affordable programs and services, facilities and infrastructure are integral to the economic and social inclusion of residents with disabilities. The City recognizes that inclusion means all citizens regardless of the type of disability, visible or non-visible.
Based on the Ontarians with Disabilities Act (ODA) of 2001, the City developed its first Municipal Accessibility Plan in 2003. The Plan identified existing barriers and reported on strategies to remove existing barriers and prevent creation of new ones. The 5th City of Ottawa Municipal Accessibility Plan (COMAP) was approved in November 2007. The creation of a full time Accessibility Specialist and a full time Transit Specialist in 2005 has put the City in a good position to address future accessibility requirements from the new accessibility law, Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005, (AODA), became law in the summer June of 2005. The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (AODA) is provincial legislation that aims to achieve full accessibility throughout the province by the year 2025. This legislation requires accessibility of goods, services, facilities, accommodation, employment, buildings, structures, and premises. It applies to private, public, and voluntary sectors.
Through the AODA, provincial standards are being developed for Customer Service, Information and Communications, the Built Environment, and Employment, as well as sector-specific groups, such as Transportation. The City of Ottawa is committed to the AODA goals of full accessibility.
The City of Ottawa Municipal Accessibility Plan 2008 was unanimously approved by City Council on November 28, 2007. The City of Ottawa Municipal Accessibility Plan 2008 (COMAP) describes the status of work undertaken during 2007 to identify, remove, and prevent barriers that limit the participation of residents and visitors who have disabilities. COMAP also describes 2008 projects and multi-year initiatives that will be undertaken to bring the City of Ottawa closer to its goals of being inclusive and fully accessible. This is Ottawa's fourth Municipal Accessibility Plan.