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Accessibility Policy

Classification number LCG 1103
Framework category Legal, Compliance and Governance
Approving authority Board of Governors
Policy owner University Secretary
Approval date January 2013
Review date November 2022
Last updated November 28, 2019
Supersedes Accessibility Policy, June 2010


This policy affirms the OntarioTech University’s commitment to promoting an accessible environment for work, study and in an effort to meet the requirements as set out in the Ontario Human Rights Code and the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) and associated regulations.


For the purposes of this Policy the following definitions apply:
“Accessible Formats” may include, but are not limited to, large print, recorded audio and electronic formats, braille and other formats usable by persons with disabilities.
“Accommodation” means an adaptation or adjustment made to enable a person with a disability to demonstrate the essential competencies of their program/profession or fulfill the essential requirements of a particular course and/or program. The requirement, qualification or factor must be reasonable and bona‐fide in the circumstances. Accommodations are specific to each individual and may include, but are not limited to:
  • Human support services such as sign language interpreters, readers, classroom assistants etc.
  • Assistance obtaining class notes
  • Books and materials in an accessible format
  • Disability related counselling and support
  • Test and exam accommodations (e.g., extra time, technology, software)
  • Access to specialized software, such as text-to-speech or speech-to-text
  • Specialized support from a Learning Strategist and/or Assistive Technologist (i.e. technical aids and assistive devices)
    • Workstation and/or office modifications
    • Job redesign
    • Flexible or alternative work schedules
    • Temporary re‐assignments
“Barrier” means 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.
“Communication Supports” may include, but are not limited to, captioning, alternative and augmentative Communication Supports, plain language, sign language and other supports that facilitate effective communications.
“Disability” means:
  1. 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, including diabetes mellitus, epilepsy, and any degree of paralysis, amputation, lack of physical coordination, blindness or visual impediment, deafness or hearing impediment, or physical reliance on a guide dog or on a wheel chair or other remedial appliance or device;
  2. A condition of mental impairment or developmental Disability;
  3. A learning disability, or a dysfunction in one or more of the processes involved in understanding or using symbols or spoken language;
  4. A mental disorder; or
  5. An injury or disability for which benefits were claimed or received under the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act.
“Disability” should be interpreted in broad terms. It includes both present and past conditions, as well as a subjective component, namely, one based on perception of disability.
“Disability” covers a broad range and degree of conditions, some visible and some not visible. A disability may have been present from birth, caused by an accident, or developed over time.
There are physical, mental and learning disabilities, mental disorders, hearing or vision disabilities, epilepsy, mental health disabilities and addictions, environmental sensitivities, and other conditions.
Disability is an evolving concept; a disability may be the result of combinations of impairments and environmental barriers, such as attitudinal barriers, inaccessible information, an inaccessible built environment or other barriers that affect people’s full participation in society.
“Employee” means all paid full and part-time staff, temporary, seasonal, contract, faculty, student employees at Ontario Tech.
“Essential Competencies” means the knowledge, skills, judgement, values, beliefs etc. that are essential to the course/program/degree/profession that a student must be able to demonstrate.
“Essential Requirements” means the knowledge and skills that must be acquired or demonstrated in order for a student to successfully meet the learning objectives of a particular course and/or program.
“Undue Hardship” as defined in the Ontario Human Rights Code prescribes three considerations in assessing whether an accommodation could cause undue hardship: Cost; Outside Sources of Funding; and Health and Safety Considerations. Additional information is available on the Ontario Human Rights Commission website (URL:


OntarioTech University is committed to creating a campus community that is inclusive of all individuals and ensures equal opportunity among its members to achieve success in their academic and/or employment endeavours. The university recognizes that successful learning and employment outcomes are the result of a shared responsibility and commitment on the part of students, faculty and staff, and expects that all members of the community will advance the ongoing development of an environment that is accessible and inclusive, while actively working to identify, remove and prevent barriers to persons with disabilities up to the point of undue hardship.

To that end, OntarioTech University is committed to achieving the following accessibility goals as required by the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) and associated regulations:

  1. Access to Goods and Services: Providing access to goods and services in a manner that respects the dignity and independence of persons with disabilities, integrated to the extent possible with services provided to others, and offered in a way that gives persons with disabilities an opportunity to benefit from these services that is equal to service that is given to others. For further information please refer to the University’s Accessible Customer Service Policy.

  2. Information and Communications: Providing university information and communications to persons with disabilities upon request in Accessible Formats, or with communications supports, in a timely manner that takes into account their accessibility needs, at a cost that is no more than the cost to other persons, and in consultation with the person making the request to determine its suitability.

  3. Websites and Web Content: Ensuring that the internet websites that are accessible to the public, and the web content on those sites, conform to the World Wide Web Consortium Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 in accordance with the AODA standards.

  4. Educational Resources: Providing educational or training resources offered by the university to persons with disabilities in an accessible format that takes into account their accessibility needs, where notification of need is given.

  5. Individualized Accommodations: For students with disabilities, the university provides reasonable academic accommodations in accordance with the University’s Procedures on Academic Accommodation for Students with Disabilities. For employees with disabilities, the university provides individualized accommodation in accordance with the Procedures for Accommodation for Employees with Disabilities. Each person with a disability will be considered individually, on a case-by-case basis and every attempt will be made to provide disability-related accommodation up to the point of Undue Hardship.

  6. Library Resources: Providing, procuring or acquiring by other means upon request print, digital or multimedia resources or materials in an accessible or conversion ready format for a person with a Disability.

  7. Public Information: Making emergency procedures, plans and public safety information available to the public and upon request providing that information in an accessible format or with appropriate Communication Supports.

  8. Accessibility Training: Requiring the completion of accessibility training for all employees, volunteers and others who deal with members of the public or other third parties and every person who participates in developing the policies, practices and procedures governing the provision of goods or services to members of the public or other third parties. For further information please refer to the University’s Accessible Customer Service Policy.

  9. Education and Awareness: Providing educational programs to employees appropriate to their duties that support the goals of the AODA and the Human Rights Code as it pertains to persons with disabilities, including accessible program or course delivery and instruction.

  10. Procurement: Incorporating accessibility criteria and features when procuring or acquiring goods, services and facilities. For more information, please refer to the University’s Procurement of Goods and Services Policy, Procedures and Guidelines.

  11. Transportation: Providing accessible vehicles or equivalent services upon request where transportation services are provided.

  12. Accessibility Plan: Establishing and implementing a multi-year accessibility plan that outlines OntarioTech University’s strategy to prevent and remove barriers to meet the requirements of the AODA regulations within the specified timelines. In developing the plan, the university will broadly consult with members of the university community, including persons with disabilities. The plan will be posted on the university website. The university’s progress in achieving its goals will be monitored and documented on an annual basis, and reviewed and updated every five years.

  13. Feedback process: Encouraging individuals to provide feedback to the university on its efforts to meet goods and service delivery expectations while responding to the requests of individuals with disabilities. Feedback about this Policy or its implementation can be submitted by telephone, in person, in writing or in electronic format (See the Feedback Accessibility Form).
    The Office of the University Secretary and General Counsel (USGC) is responsible for tracking and monitoring all feedback, relaying any comments/concerns to the respective departments and detailing resulting actions, as applicable.
    The University will ensure the feedback process is accessible to persons with disabilities by providing, or arranging for the provision of, accessible formats and communication supports, on request.
    Note: For policy or legislative inquiries, please contact
    Privacy will be respected and all feedback will be reviewed for possible action that can be taken to improve University services. Feedback received will be redirected to the appropriate contact person within the relevant unit of the University, as appropriate.
  14. Where possible, complaints will be addressed immediately. However, some complaints may require more effort to address, and must be reviewed for action, possibly involving a number of elements within the University. Every effort will be made to provide the acknowledgement of feedback in a timely and effective manner. The acknowledgement will indicate how the matter will be addressed and when the individual will be notified of the outcome. The University will follow up on any actions arising from the feedback and the timeframe for implementation will be provided as part of the notification of outcome. Feedback/responses will be in a format that is accessible to the individual.
  15. Accessibility Working Group: Establishing and supporting a working group to monitor the university’s progress in achieving the goals set out in the multi-year accessibility plan and to identify and recommend changes to remove or prevent barriers to persons with disabilities.
  16. Policies, Procedures and Communication Methods: Reviewing the university’s policies, procedures and methods of communication on a regular basis to ensure that they continue to take into account the needs of persons with disabilities.

Scope and Authority

This policy applies to all members of the OntarioTech University community, including students, faculty, staff, volunteers, governors, contractors, consultants and visitors to the campus who share in the responsibility to foster an environment that is accessible and inclusive, and to identify, remove and prevent barriers to persons with disabilities. Unit heads are additionally responsible for providing support, guidance and education while ensuring compliance with this policy.
The Office of University Secretary and General Counsel is the Policy Owner and is responsible for overseeing the implementation, administration and interpretation of this Policy.
The Office of University Secretary and General Counsel is responsible for the interpretation and administrative direction of this policy and its associated policies and procedures to ensure their compliance with the broader regulatory requirements.


The University will continue to review and develop policies, procedures and regulations to promote the ongoing creation of an accessible environment for work and study and to meet the requirements as set out in the Ontario Human Rights Code and the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) and associated regulations.

Monitoring and Review

These Policy will be reviewed as necessary and at least every three years. The Office of University Secretary and General Counsel is responsible to monitor and review this Policy.

Relevant Legislation

Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005, S.O. 2005
Human Rights Code, R.S.O. 1990, c. H.19
Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation, O. Reg. 191/11
Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, R.S.O. 1990, Chapter F.31

Relevant Policies, Procedures and Resources

OntarioTech Feedback Accessibility Form
OntarioTech University Academic Accommodations for Students with Disabilities Procedures
OntarioTech University Procedures for Accommodation of Employees with Disabilities
OntarioTech University Accessible Customer Service Policy
OntarioTech University Procurement Policy and Procedures