You are here

Accessibility policy

Revised: April 2024


OPL is committed to providing equal treatment to people with disabilities. OPL commits to identifying and removing existing barriers, and to preventing new ones, so that all library users – both Ottawans and visitors— can take full advantage of library spaces, tools, expertise, programs, and collections. Please see Appendix for definitions for key terms consistent with the AODA standards. These definitions include, but are not limited to: disability, accessible formats, communication supports, service animal, support person.

Client Supports

OPL is committed to providing clients with:

  • Inclusive and accessible service from Library employees, volunteers, and third parties who provide goods and services on the Library’s behalf.
    • Employees, volunteers, and contractors all undergo appropriate training on the requirements of the AODA standards and on the Human Rights Code as it pertains to persons with disabilities.
    • Employees also receive training in providing customer service to people with disabilities.
  • Accessible formats and communication supports. This includes providing, by request:
    •  access to accessible formats and/or communication supports for persons with disabilities. The details of this are outlined in the Accessible Formats and Communication Supports Policy.
    • any public document created by the Library in accessible formats and/or with communication supports. This includes all existing public emergency procedures, plans and safety information. 
  • Library material in a variety of formats (e.g. print, audio, visual, digital, etc.) as described in the Content Services Framework
    • The Library may provide access to, or arrange for access to, accessible materials where they exist.
  • A website ( which is continually working to conform to standards set out in the AODA Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation. 
  • A feedback process where persons with disabilities may offer comments and suggestions on the provision of library services. 
  • Goods, services, facilities, and self-service kiosks that are procured with the incorporation of accessibility criteria and features, unless it is not feasible (practicable) to do so. If it is not practicable, OPL shall provide an explanation upon request.
  • Notice when facilities or services that people with disabilities rely on are temporarily disrupted.
  • The option to bring a support person to a library program. Advance notice must be provided at the time of registration, to ensure sufficient space is available. Support persons must be registered participants for library programs


Accessible Formats – May include, but are not limited to, large print, recorded audio, electronic formats, Braille and other formats.

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 – Defined as per Section 2 of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005, S.O. 2005, c. 11 and the Human Rights Code, R.S.O. 1990, c. H.19, as follows:

“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.”
Kiosk – An interactive electronic terminal, including a point-of-sale device, intended for public use that allows users to access one or more services or products or both.

Service Animals – As per Section 80.45(4) of the IASR:

“An animal is a service animal for a person with a disability if: the animal can be readily identified as one that is being used by the person for reasons relating to the person’s disability, as a result of visual indicators such as the vest or harness worn by the animal; or
the person provides documentation from one of the following regulated health professionals confirming that the person requires the animal for reasons relating to the disability:

  • A member of the College of Audiologists and Speech-Language Pathologists of Ontario.
  • A member of the College of Chiropractors of Ontario.
  • A member of the College of Nurses of Ontario.
  • A member of the College of Occupational Therapists of Ontario.
  • A member of the College of Optometrists of Ontario.
  • A member of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario.
  • A member of the College of Physiotherapists of Ontario.
  • A member of the College of Psychologists of Ontario.
  • A member of the College of Registered Psychotherapists and Registered Mental Health Therapists of Ontario. (O. Reg. 165/16, s. 16).”

Support Person – As per Section 80.4(3) of the IASR:

“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 or medical needs or with access to goods or services.”

Unconvertible – Information or communications are unconvertible if it is not technically feasible to convert the information or communications, or the technology to convert the information or communications is not readily available.

Practicable – As defined under Procurement and the Design of Public Spaces, used in relation to websites and built environment. For example, see sections 80.15 and 80.38 of the IASR.