In Ontario and Durham Region, we are proud to say we are working towards barrier free communities to ensure equality for everyone and offer the following information to assist
In Durham Region there are approximately 70,000 residents living with a disability. This disability can be physical, visual, auditory, cognitive, mental health, developmental and/or a medical condition such as HIV/AIDS. The term ‘disability’ is often the preferred term used and we refrain from other language such as crippled or handicapped.
People with disabilities have the same rights and freedoms as other citizens and this is in accordance with our Ontario Human Rights Code.
This law stipulates that no person shall be discriminated against based on their disability. Further to this, we have laws in Ontario called Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2001 (ODA) and more recently, Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (AODA). The aim of this important legislation is to have a fully accessible province by 2025.
The term accessibility used in legislation is also used in communities as a way to describe services and/or facilities that take into account people with disabilities. Accessibility ensures dignity for persons with disabilities by ensuring equal access to employment, services and facilities. When something is accessible it generally means that there are no barriers preventing someone with a disability from accessing the needed service or facility. Examples of barriers for people with disabilities might be stairs, lack of accessible parking, signage that is too difficult to read or having negative attitudes about someone with a disability. Negative attitudes and stereotypes are the biggest barriers faced by people with disabilities as they can prevent an individual from living with dignity and independence.
To obtain more information on our accessibility laws in Ontario, please visit http://www.mcss.gov.on.ca/en/mcss/programs/accessibility/index.aspx.
Sometimes people with disabilities need assistance or support by way of a community service agency, assistive device or technology. Many of these services can be found in Durham Region see links on this page.