CATIE’s Policy Statement: Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (“AODA”)


The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (“AODA”) is provincial legislation designed for the purpose of developing, implementing and mandating accessibility standards in order to achieve accessibility for persons with disabilities, with respect to goods, services, facilities, accommodation, employment, buildings, structures and premises. 

  1. This policy applies to all employees, agents and volunteers of CATIE.
  2. The term "disability" is defined as follows in the Ontario Human Rights Code, as amended from time to time.
    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, 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,
    2. a condition of mental impairment or a 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 insurance plan established under the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act, 1997
  3. When communicating with a person with a disability, CATIE will do so in a manner that takes into account the person’s disability and, to the extent possible, will act on requests from an individual regarding communication needs and preferences.
  4. In the event of a service disruption (e.g.: elevator out of service, entrance blockage etc.) affecting employees, clients, volunteers, contractors or members of the general public who are disabled, CATIE will take reasonable steps to report such disruption to its employees and service users who are disabled in a timely fashion through appropriate information channels.  Notice of the disruption will include information about the reason for the disruption and its anticipated duration.
  5. Personal assistive devices are permitted in all areas of CATIE and locations where CATIE delivers its services when not otherwise excluded by provincial law to which employees and volunteers have access.  The provision, use and safety of personal assistive devices are the responsibility of the person with a disability.  
  6. Persons with a disability who are accompanied by a service animal may access the premises of CATIE and locations where CATIE delivers its services and the animal is not otherwise excluded by law.
  7. CATIE welcomes staff, volunteers, service users and visitors who are accompanied by a support person, when the support person has been hired or chosen by the person with a disability to accompany them in order to assist in accessing goods or services and/or for the purposes of providing support with mobility, personal assistance and/or communication. Individuals who are accompanied by a support person are encouraged to inform relevant persons of their participation.
  8. Where there are fees for admission, membership or participation in an event organized by CATIE, persons with a disability shall be expected to pay the same fee as other attendees, but no admission fee shall be charged to their support person.  Membership at CATIE would not be required for the support person however that individual would be considered a non-member for official purposes (e.g., no right to vote at AGM, etc.).
  9. CATIE will cover the cost of registration fees, transportation, accommodation and meals incurred by a support person when assisting a Board member working on CATIE’s behalf.
  10. CATIE shall provide training on AODA client/customer service to all new employees (within 3 months of their start date), current employees and volunteers. The training will include:
    1. Review of the policy included in CATIE’s Personnel Code, Policies and Procedures manual
    2. A PowerPoint presentation titled The Accessibility for Ontarians Disability Act (AODA) that includes specific guidance for supporting people with disabilities.
  11. Feedback about the delivery of services to persons with disabilities is welcomed, as it may identify areas that require change and assist in continuous service improvement. Such feedback may be by telephone, in person, in writing, or by email to the Executive Director (or designate).
  12. Any worker, volunteer or service user experiencing issues of concern related to this policy are encouraged to report such incident or concern by telephone, in person, in writing, or by email to the Executive Director (or designate).
  13. When feedback is received, CATIE will address the feedback in accordance with its customer complaint procedure and respond to the individual providing the feedback within 10 business days.
  14. CATIE will not tolerate any type of discrimination on the basis of disability or handicap within the workplace or at work related activities.
  15. A worker who subjects another worker, volunteer, service user or other person to discrimination on the basis of disability, or refuses to provide support in accordance with this policy may be subject to disciplinary action up to and including immediate termination for cause, depending on the severity of the conduct.
  16. CATIE will ensure that its offices and event locations are accessible to people with disabilities.
  17. All managers, supervisors and workers are equally responsible for complying with the terms of this policy in the workplace. 
  18. Every worker is responsible for promptly reporting to his/her supervisor or manager any issues of concern and/or opportunities for improvement related to this policy. 
  19. Every manager is responsible for promptly responding to and investigating any issues of concern in accordance with this policy. 
  20. This policy is not intended to discourage or prevent any worker from exercising any other legal rights pursuant to any law.
  21. This policy is available to any member of the public and is posted on CATIE’s website ( in both English and French. CATIE will, to the extent possible, provide the policy to an individual in a format that is accessible to them.