Accessibility Planning


The Region of Waterloo is committed to, and working towards ensuring that all Regional programs and services are accessible to everyone. Policies and programs are designed to respect the dignity, independence, integration and equal opportunity for all members of our community.

2013 Accessibility Status Update

We encourage you to learn about what the Region of Waterloo did to identify, prevent and remove barriers to programs and services.

Multi-Year Accessibility Plan (2013-2017)

At the Region of Waterloo, we adopt a coordinated approach to making our programs and services more accessible. We have two main priorities related to accessibility:

  • To meet the requirements of the AODA (2005) Integrated Accessibility Standard Regulation.
  • To build awareness with Region of Waterloo staff to support identifying, removing, and preventing barriers for people with disabilities.

To learn more about the Region's strategy for meeting its priorities related to accessibility, please a summary of our Multi-Year Accessibility Plan.

The Plan summary and complete Multi-Year Accessibility Plan is available in alternate formats upon request.

Standards for Accessibility Policy

To learn more about what our customers can expect from us read our Standards for Accessibility Policy.

Standards for Accessibility Policy in rich text format.

Accessibility Matters: Dialogue on Diversity

On October 18, 2012, the Region of Waterloo organized its fourth Dialogue on Diversity in collaboration with various community partners. The Dialogues on Diversity are part of the Region's Diversity and Inclusion Strategy, a three year plan with short and long term activities to increase the inclusiveness of our programs and services. The Dialogue in October, entitled Accessibility Matters, focussed on topics that are important in the lives of people with disabilities, caregivers, and service providers. The purpose of the session was to facilitate a conversation about how we all can make our community more inclusive and supportive.

Some of the key messages that came out of the Dialogue on Diversity include:

  1. It is important to put the person first, not their label. See what is possible: the skills, abilities, resilience, and strength.  
  2. We need to increase awareness and address our attitudes if we want a truly accessible society.
  3. The responsibility for ensuring accessible services lies with the service provider, not the person accessing the service.
  4. Creating an accessible and inclusive event or meeting can mean bringing in specialized equipment and resources to ensure everyone can participate.

Here are a few Meeting Etiquette Tips to keep in mind that can help make your event more inclusive and welcoming.

Meeting Etiquette Tips in Rich Text Format.

Creatures with Careers: Service Animals Save Lives!

If you have a service animal, own a business that serves the public, or just want to learn more about service animals, take a look at our Guide to Service Animals.  This is also available as a text-only Guide to Service Animals. 

Service animals are important for many people with disabilities. The Region of Waterloo welcomes service animals at Regional facilities.

If you have a service animal, and the animal does not wear a noticeable vest or harness saying that it is a service animal, you may be asked to show identification that the animal is needed for reasons of a disability. 

Accessibility Advisory Committee

The Region seeks the advice of the Grand River Accessibility Advisory Committee (GRAAC) to ensure its sites and services are accessible.To learn more about the committee:

Provincial Accessibility Standards

The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (AODA) is provincial legislation designed to ensure that Ontario is fully accessible by the year 2025.Through the legislation, accessibility standards are developed for the private and public sectors to ensure high-quality service delivery in the areas of customer service, information & communication, transportation, employment, and the built environment.

Our commitment to Accessible Customer Service

Under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005, the Region of Waterloo is committed to providing accessible customer service, including:

  • Personal assistance.
  • Your guide dog, service animal or support person is welcome on Regional premises to help you access our services.
  • Alternative formats, if you need our publications in a different format, just ask. Our staff will be happy to help you.
  • Training & communications.  Our staff are specially trained to provide services and goods to persons with disabilities. We are prepared and willing to meet your needs.
  • Notice of temporary service disruptions.
  • The Region will provide notice of temporary disruptions to services or facilities used by people with disabilities. Notices will be placed in the facility and on the internet as appropriate. Advance notice will be given where possible.

For current information, please click on service disruption notices.

Contractors, volunteers, and other parties can access free online accessibility training modules by selecting the links below:

How are we doing on accessibility?

We welcome comments on the accessibility of our services. Contact Us to share your feedback.

Website Accessibility



The Region of Waterloo strives to make this website accessible to people with disabilities and aims to reach the WCAG 2.0 standard. To learn more about using the accessibility features of this site visit the website accessibility page.

Alternate Formats

All of the Region of Waterloo's documents required under the AODA are available in accessible formats upon request. To request documents related to accessible customer service, our Multi-Year Accessibility Plan, or to request an alternate format of our Accessibility Policy, please contact:




Email: Vanessa Lopak, Service Planning Associate
Telephone: 519-575-4757 ext. 3861
TTY: 519-575-4608


Customers who use TTY can access all Region of Waterloo services with a single TTY number.  People who are Deaf, deafened, hard of hearing, or with speech disabilities can call 519-575-4608.