(905) 546-2424 ext.6419
The Access and Equity Office collaborates with council, management, staff and community to develop and implement policies and initiatives, based on principles of access and equity that will enable the City to fulfill its commitment to provide accessible, equitable and inclusive services, programs, resources and opportunities to all Hamiltonians.
Hamilton at a Glance
The City of Hamilton lies within an area of 1,113 square kilometres on the western end of Lake Ontario. The City is strategically located about one hour from Canada's business and most populated urban centre, Toronto; and one hour from Niagara Falls and the United States/Canada border. Since January 2001, the six municipalities of Ancaster, Dundas, Flamborough, Glanbrook, Hamilton and Stoney Creek have been amalgamated into the new City of Hamilton. Hamilton is a highly urbanized region. In 2006, more than nine out of 10 Hamilton residents (92.7%) lived in urban areas, which is significantly higher than Ontario overall (85.1%). The Hamilton region has been famous due to its industrialization, reputable health care institutions and natural beauty.
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Focus Areas And Initiatives
The department of Access and Equity is currently working on several key focus areas including:
- Policy Development and Implementation
- Professional Development for staff
- Community Development
- Research Impact Analysis
- Community Human Rights Complaints Services
- Community Partnerships and Collaboration
- Empowerment of Citizens
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- Implementation of Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005
- Equity and Inclusion Policy Implementation
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Policies and Forms
Volunteer Advisory Committees
The advisory committees of Council were created to provide advice and recommendations to City Councilors and staff in order to address the specific issues and concerns facing particular communities. These recommendations and concerns are also taken into consideration when formulating policies, procedures and key directions and decisions that are aimed at improving the quality of life for all members in our community.
The Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2001 (ODA) sets out the requirements for the annual accessibility plan. The accessibility plan must address the identification, removal and prevention of barriers to people with disabilities in the City’s by-laws, policies, programs, practices and services. The ODA notes that the annual plan must include the following components:
- report on the steps taken to identify, remove and prevent barriers to people with disabilities
- detail how the City assesses its proposals for by-laws, policies, programs, practices, and services
- a list of the programs, policies, practices and services that will be reviewed in the following year to identify barriers
- detail how the City will identify, remove and prevent barriers in the coming year
- anything else covered in the regulations
The City continues to move forward in implementing its obligations under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (AODA). Moving forward, the City will be transitioning to a multi-year accessibility plan and progress will be reported and reflected in the multi-year plan updates.
Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (AODA) and Regulations
The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (AODA) passed on May 10, 2005 is a provincial law that recognizes the history of discrimination against persons with disabilities in Ontario and will require the “…development, implementation and enforcement of standards” for accessibility to goods, services, facilities, employment, accommodation, and buildings for persons with disabilities. These standards set out requirements that municipalities, businesses and organizations are legally required to comply with.
The Accessibility Standards for Customer Service (O. reg. 427/07)
Ontario’s first accessibility standard became law on January 1, 2008 and states what municipalities, businesses and other organizations in Ontario must do to make the provision of their goods and services more accessible to persons with disabilities.
Integrated Accessibility Standards (Information and Communication, Transportation & Employment)
The Integrated Accessibility Standards was enacted in June 3, 2011 under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005. This new regulation addresses barriers being faced by persons with disabilities in areas of transportation, employment and information and communications.
The Transportation Standard focuses on making transportation services accessible including buses, trains, subways, streetcars, taxis and ferries.
The Employment Standard will address barriers being faced by persons with disabilities in recruitment, workplace accommodations, performance management, career development, and communications.
The Information & Communication Standard focuses on providing accessible information and communications relating to the provision of goods and services.
Accessibility Standard for the Built Environment
The Accessibility Standard for the Built Environment, which only applies to new construction and extensive renovation, is currently being developed.
Below you can find more information on what an accessibility plan is, and our most recent accessibility plans presented in both PDF and word document formats.