The City of St. Catharines is dedicated to providing high quality services for our community. In doing so, we recognize the diverse needs of our community and strive to provide services and facilities that are accessible for everyone. The City promotes accessibility through the development of its policies, procedures and practices that are consistent with the core principles of integration, independence, dignity and equal opportunity for persons with disabilities.
Provided free to City website users is BrowseAloud. BrowseAloud adds speech and reading support tools to online content to extend the reach of our website. This includes people with dyslexia, learning difficulties, cognitive disabilities, mild visual impairments and those with English or French as a second language.
The City of St. Catharines has been resourcing the expertise and perspective of people with disabilities since it established the Mayor's Advisory Committee on Accessibility (MACOA) in 1998, well before the Provincial Ontarians with Disabilities Act in 2001 mandated accessibility advisory committees.
The City of St. Catharines, like other municipalities in Ontario, prepares an Accessibility Plan to proactively address issues and plan for future accessibility to ensure equal participation for people with a disability in the life of the community. Ultimately, the Accessibility Plan is intended to identify, remove and prevent barriers that may impede residents and visitors with disabilities from accessing and using a municipal service. Accessibility planning has become embedded in the normal operating policies and procedures of the City of St. Catharines.
City facilities, new and old, continue to be built or renovated to a high level of accessibility. The guiding document used is the Facility Accessibility Design Standards (FADS). FADS was the benchmark used in an extensive access audit of various City facilities which exceeds requirements in the Ontario Building Code (OBC). MACOA also reviews City facility design and renovation plans and provides further advice.
In 2001, the Province of Ontario introduced the Ontarians with Disabilities Act (ODA), which, among other things, mandated the public sector to create an annual accessibility plan to identify, remove or prevent barriers to its goods, facilities, programs and services. It also required that an accessibility advisory committee be created in municipalities with populations greater than 10,000.
Subsequently, in June 2005, the Province introduced the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) to benefit all Ontarians by developing, implementing and enforcing a number of accessibility standards.
Accessibility Standards have been enacted in areas such as customer service, employment, information and communication, transportation, and public / outdoor spaces. Accessibility Plans have progressed from annual plans into longer-term planning requiring annual status reports.
The AODA and its Standards mandate both the public and private sectors with an objective of an accessible Ontario by the year 2025.
For more information about the province's accessibility legislation and these standards, please visit the website links below.
As part of its on-going support to improve customer service, accessibility training for City of St. Catharines employees, volunteers and third party compliance continues to recognize the requirements of the AODA Customer Service Standard (Ontario Regulation 429/07). Moving forward, the City continues to improve its practices in creating accessible information and communication.
The City of St. Catharines is committed to providing accessible information and communications to all of our customers. The City recognizes that people with disabilities often use methods other than standard print to access information. It is the policy of the City to provide documents in an accessible format or provide communication supports upon request.
The City welcomes your feedback on our accessible goods, services, programs and facilities.
Contact us in person, by mail, email, phone, fax, TTY, or contact the Accessibility Coordinator directly. This information is contained on the lower left side of this webpage.
When snow plows are actively clearing roadways this often places snow windrows across the end of driveways and sidewalks. Homeowners and building owners are responsible to shovel snow on the sidewalks in front of their property. The City does not clear snow from private property but recognizes that this causes some difficulty for seniors or people with a disability. For more information on a program for snow removal assistance please open the link below.