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Key Terms


ADO: Accessibility Directorate of Ontario

AODA: Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act

ASSISTIVE DEVICE: A technical aid, communication device or other instrument that is used to maintain or improve the functional abilities of people with disabilities. Personal assistive devices are typically devices that customers bring with them such as a wheelchair, walker or a personal oxygen tank that might assist in hearing, seeing, communicating, moving, breathing, remembering and/or reading.


ATTITUDINAL barriers are those that discriminate against people with disabilities. INFORMATION OR COMMUNICATIONS barriers happen when a person can't easily understand information. TECHNOLOGY barriers occur when a technology can't be modified to support various assistive devices. ORGANIZATIONAL barriers are an organization's policies, practices or procedures that discriminate against people with disabilities. ARCHITECTURAL AND PHYSICAL barriers are features of buildings or spaces that cause problems for people with disabilities.

DISABILITY: any degree of physical disability, infirmity, malformation or disfigurement that is caused by bodily injury, birth defect or illness and, without limiting the generality of the foregoing, includes diabetes mellitus, epilepsy, a brain injury, any degree of paralysis, amputation, lack of physical co-ordination, blindness or visual impediment, deafness or hearing impediment, muteness or speech impediment, or physical reliance on a guide dog or other animal or on a wheelchair or other remedial appliance or device,

  • a condition of mental impairment or a developmental disability,
  • a learning disability, or a dysfunction in the processes involved in understanding or using symbols or spoken language,
  • a mental disorder, or
  • an injury or disability for which benefits were claimed or received under the insurance plan established under the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act, 1997;

The definition includes disabilities of different severity; visible as well as non-visible disabilities; and disabilities the effects of which may come and go. People can have one or a combination of disabilities, including but not limited to: physical disabilities, vision loss, deafness or being hard of hearing, intellectual or developmental disabilities, learning disabilities, mental health disabilities.
GUIDE DOG: A highly-trained working dog that has been trained under the Blind Persons Rights Act, to provide mobility, safety and increased independence for people who are blind.

POLICIES: what you intend to do, including any rules for staff. Example: Policies on design and use of websites for communication and service.

PROCEDURES: how you will go about it or the steps staff will be expected to take. Example: Procedures for selecting sites for events and how meetings with clients are conducted

PRACTICES: what you actually do on a day-to-day basis; how staff actually offer or deliver services Example: Practices such as how customers must queue, how to arrange a customer waiting area.

SERVICE ANIMAL: As reflected in Ontario Regulation 429/07, an animal is a service animal for a person with a disability if:

  • it is readily apparent that the animal is used by the person for reasons relating to his or her disability; or
  • the person provides a letter from a physician or nurse confirming that the person requires the animal for reasons relating to the disability.

SERVICE DOG: As reflected in Health Protection and Promotion Act, Ontario Regulation 562, a dog other than a guide dog for the blind is a service dog if:

  • it is readily apparent to an average person that the dog functions as a service dog for a person with a medical disability; or
  • the person who requires the dog can provide on request a letter from a physician or nurse confirming that the person requires a service dog.

SUPPORT PERSON: As reflected in Ontario Regulation 429/07, a support person means, in relation to a person with a disability, another person who accompanies him or her in order to help with communication, mobility, personal care, medical needs or access to goods and services.


The Act


1: Nonprofits and The Act

2: Overview

3: Core Principles

4: Requirements

5: Context for Nonprofits





Key Terms

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