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Accessibility and Inclusion

A woman in a wheelchair smiles at another woman

The City of Waterloo is committed to offering people of all ages with a disability in our community the opportunity to pursue healthy, balanced lifestyles.

With advice and support of the Grand River Accessibility Advisory Committee (GRAAC), and through facilitation and delivery of leisure programs, volunteer opportunities and barrier-free consultation in accordance with our accessibility plan, we offer support for participation in courses and community programs. Services are available for both Waterloo and Kitchener residents.

We also work hard to ensure we meet or exceed the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities standards established by the Ontario government. Accessibility standards are the rules that businesses and organizations in Ontario will have to follow to identify, remove and prevent barriers to accessibility.

Ontario has developed standards in many important areas of life:  

  • Built environment (design of public spaces)
  • Customer service
  • Employment
  • Information and communications
  • Public transportation

The corporate accessibility policy guides the actions of the Corporation in fulfilling the requirements of the Standards developed under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005.

This brochure outlines some of the inclusion programs we offer people with disabilities.

National Access Awareness Week 

We are  celebrating National Access Awareness Week (NAAW) from May 28 to June 3, 2017. 

Each of us has a role in accessibility and we are working hard to ensure we meet or exceed the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities standards established by the Ontario government. 

On June 5, the Independent Living Centre of Waterloo Region will partner with the City of Kitchener, City of Waterloo and Dancing with DisAbility to celebrate Independent Living Across Canada Day.

This day is dedicated to celebrating the achievements in community accessibility and programs/services dedicated to improving the lives of people with disabilities. Our theme this year is Life Without Limits. We are focusing on the recreation and leisure activities available to people with different abilities in our community. There will be a few short presentations, followed by a dance performance, live music and an opportunity to learn about inclusive recreation and leisure activities available in Waterloo Region. 

The celebration will take place at Kitchener City Hall, on Monday, June 5 from 1 - 3 p.m. in the Rotunda. This is a free community event.

National Access Awareness Week was established in 1987 following Rick Hanson's 40,000 km Man in Motion World Tour. 

"As part of the legacy of the Man In Motion World Tour, the Rick Hansen Foundation provided strategic leadership to create and implement National Access Awareness Week (NAAW) in partnership with federal and provincial governments across the country. The purpose of the program was to promote better community access for people with disabilities."   - Rick Hansen Foundation. 

National Access Awareness Week is an opportunity to highlight accessibility awareness at the local level, educate staff, and further the City of Kitchener's commitment to access and full participation for people with disabilities.