Accessibility Services

Multi-year Accessibility Plan 2013 to 2017

The City of Hamilton is currently working on updating the Multi-year Accessibility Plan. A revised plan will be available shortly.

Multi-year Accessibility Plan 2013 to 2017

Establishing, implementing and maintaining a multi-year accessibility plan is a key requirement under the AODA Integrated Accessibility Standards. Progress and updates on accessibility initiatives and activities will be reported and reflected in the multi-year accessibility plan. The multi-year plan will be updated at least once every five years and shall be made available to members of the public in an accessible format, upon request.

The multi-year plan contains the following sections:

There are six strategic goals outlined in the multi-year plan, demonstrating the City’s commitment to fulfilling the requirements of the AODA, 2005, Customer Service Standard and Integrated Accessibility Standards.  Each strategic goal addresses a key aspect of how we plan to design, deliver and implement policies, programs, services, resources and opportunities to persons with disabilities in an equitable manner that respects their dignity and independence, as well as takes into account the person’s disability. 

The strategic goals are as follows:

Strategic Goal One

Persons with disabilities receive equitable, inclusive and accessible customer service that meets their needs when accessing and utilizing City’s services, programs, resources and opportunities.

View the Multi-year Accessibility Plan 2013 to 2017: Stategic Goal One (PDF, 379 KB)

Strategic Goal Two

Persons with disabilities who are potential employees will be accommodated and supported throughout the recruitment, assessing, selecting and hiring process and when they are seeking advancement opportunities as employees.

View the Multi-year Accessibility Plan 2013 to 2017: Stategic Goal Two (PDF, 448 KB)

Strategic Goal Three

Information and communication and supports including the City’s website and self-service kiosks are fully accessible and available in accessible formats.\

View the Multi-year Accessibility Plan 2013 to 2017: Stategic Goal Three (PDF, 367 KB)

Strategic Goal Four

Persons with disabilities access barrier free services and programs when using Hamilton Street Railway (HSR) and Accessible Transit System (ATS).

View the Multi-year Accessibility Plan 2013 to 2017: Stategic Goal Four (PDF, 505 KB)

Strategic Goal Five

City facilities are fully accessible and or will provide accessibility measures to meet the needs of persons with disabilities when accessing program, services, resources and opportunities.

View the Multi-year Accessibility Plan 2013 to 2017: Stategic Goal Five (PDF, 372 KB)

Strategic Goal Six

Through training and experimental learning, staff is knowledgeable and able to recognize and identify barriers to accessibility when designing, planning, delivering and implementing services, programs and opportunities to the public as well as when procuring or acquiring goods, services or facilities.

View the Multi-year Accessibility Plan 2013 to 2017: Stategic Goal Six (PDF, 370 KB) 

This section outlines compliance activities detailing the initiatives, consultations and actions staff will undertake to ensure each strategic goal is achieved.  The compliance activities are outlined with sections numbered to correspond with the Regulation requirements.  

This section outlines the departmental resources, anticipated cost and budget amount allocated towards achieving each goal.  

This section states the anticipated implementation timeframe for each initiative or activity. Compliance timelines have been established to foster accountability, efficiency and ensure that the strategic goals are achieved within a considerable timeframe.  

A status update is also provided for each initiative or activity, outlining what has been achieved and any plans for future initiatives.


The City of Hamilton lies within an area of 1,117.21 square kilometres on the western end of Lake Ontario and currently has a population of 504,559 people. Hamilton is currently the fourth most populated urban center in the Province of Ontario after Toronto, Ottawa-Gatineau and Mississauga; the third one in the Golden Horseshoe Area and the ninth in the national rank. The City of Hamilton 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.

The Council for the City of Hamilton is comprised of a Mayor elected at large and 15 ward Councillors, each with a specific area in the City to represent. Bob Bratina is Hamilton’s 61st Mayor and has been elected for the period of 2011 to 2014. The administration of the City is guided by a City Manager and a Senior Management Team composed of the department heads of each of the City departments as follows:

  • City Managers Office
  • Community Services
  • Corporate Services
  • Emergency Services
  • Planning & Economic Development
  • Public Health
  • Public Works

There are some key definitions in the ODA, 2001 and the AODA, 2005 which are important to keep in mind when developing and implementing the City of Hamilton Annual Accessibility Plan.

The Acts define a disability as: 

  • 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 one or more of 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; (“handicap”)

In addition, the Act defines a barrier as:  

  • anything that prevents a person with a disability from fully participating in all aspects of society because of his or her disability, including a physical barrier, an architectural barrier, an information or communications barrier, an attitudinal barrier, a technological barrier, a policy or a practice; (“obstacle”).

Making an organization accessible requires you to have regard for visible and invisible barriers to participation. Some of these barriers are:

  • Architectural or structural barriers may result from the design of a building such as stairs, doorways, the width of hallways and even room layout.
  • Information and communications barriers can make it difficult for people to receive or convey information. Things like small print size, low colour contrast between text and background, confusing design of printed materials and the use of language that is not clear or plain can all cause difficulty.
  • Technology, or lack of it, can prevent people from accessing information. Everyday tools like computers, telephones and other aids can all present barriers.
  • Systemic barriers can occur through policies and procedures. These are any practices or rules that restrict people with disabilities – for example, denying access to a person with a service animal.
  • Attitude is perhaps the most difficult barrier to overcome. Some people don’t know how to communicate with those who have visible or non-visible disabilities or they simply discriminate against them because of stereotypes and myths and misconceptions that perpetuate. Some people may feel that they could offend the individual with a disability by offering help or they ignore or avoid people with disabilities altogether.