Our Community Includes Everyone

The Town of Aurora is committed to improving opportunities for people with disabilities. We are committed to reducing and eliminating the barriers to equal access for all residents of Aurora.

The Multi-Year Accessibility Plan 2022-2026 is a road map that describes how we will continue to prevent and remove accessibility barriers to Town services and in our facilities.

If you require content in an alternate format or communications support, please Email the Town's Accessibility Advisor or call 905-727-3123 ext. 4212.

Diversity and Inclusion

The Town of Aurora is committed to creating an inclusive environment with equality for all who work, live and play here. Our Inclusion Charter, posted in all Town facilities, demonstrates our commitment to this goal.

Alongside our partners, we share the vision of York Region as a welcoming and inclusive community where diversity is celebrated and where everyone can develop to their full potential, participate freely in society and live with respect, dignity and freedom from discrimination.

Please visit The Regional Municipality of York for more information. 

Let Us Know How We're Doing

The Town of Aurora is committed to providing customer service to all of our community members. We value all of our customers and strive to meet everyone's needs. 

Please take a moment and share your comments with us to help better improve our services and your experience.

Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA)
In 2008, the Government of Ontario launched the accessible customer service standard under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act. Its goal is to ensure that people with disabilities get the same level of customer service as everyone else.

The law requires that all public and private sector organizations in Ontario, including Town of Aurora, identify, remove and prevent barriers to accessible customer service.

Take a moment to read more about how Aurora is working toward access for everyone.

Accessibility Map
Not sure what accessible features are available in our Town buildings and facilities? Check out our Accessibility Map for a full list of where to find: 
  • Accessible parking
  • Accessible playgrounds 
  • Wheelchair accessible trails 
  • Accessible washrooms 
  • Audible traffic signals 
Compliance Statement

The Town of Aurora ensures that training is provided on the requirements of the accessibility standards referred to in the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, the Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation, and on the Human Rights Code as it pertains to persons with disabilities to,

  1. all persons who are an employee of, or a volunteer with, the Town;
  2. all persons who participate in developing the Town’s policies; and
  3. all other persons who provide goods, services or facilities on behalf of the Town.

The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act Compliance Statement acknowledges that the work/services being performed on behalf of the Town of Aurora will be in accordance with the provisions and regulations of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (AODA).

Accessibility Advisory Committee
The Town of Aurora and its Accessibility Advisory Committee (AAC) are committed to making sure people of all ages and abilities have the same opportunities as they live, work or visit our town.

The AAC advises Town Council in the preparation, implementation and effectiveness of its Accessibility Plan. The AAC provides a forum for persons with disabilities to raise issues and concerns and provides advice and guidance to Town Council concerning policies, practices, services and programs.

Assisted Recycling and Garbage Application

The Town of Aurora recognizes that some residents may require special consideration with respect to the collection of recycling and garbage material.

If you are unable to place your recycling or garbage material at the curb, or require additional collection for dialysis waste you may qualify for the Town of Aurora’s assisted collection service.

Accessibility for Businesses

The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (AODA) requires businesses with one or more employees to meet a number of accessibility requirements in the areas of customer service, information and communications, employment, and the built environment. The AODA Design of Public Spaces (DOPS) does not only apply to a building’s physical structure and businesses are not required to do retrofits. However, there are many ways businesses can be more accessible and inclusive of all customers.

This handbook offers no cost and low cost suggestions, gathered from those with first-hand experience, to inspire businesses to become more inclusive of people with access needs.

2022 Town of Aurora Accessibility Design Standards

The Town of Aurora Accessibility Design Standards outline Town-wide standards that build a universally-designed and accessible community for residents, visitors and employees.

These standards are a key component of the Town’s vision for accessibility to make Aurora a great place to live, work, travel and play for everyone. They reflect our corporate values of Trust, Quality and Excellence and ensure Aurora is a place where everyone belongs.

Inclusive Language Guideline

Introduction

The Town of Aurora celebrates its growing and diverse population as a source of strength, vitality and economic opportunity, and is committed to creating an inclusive organization. An important piece of inclusivity is the way that the Town writes and speaks about persons of differing abilities. The following guideline has been built to assist with ensuring that respectful language is used when speaking with persons with disabilities.

Language Changes

It is important to acknowledge that language norms can change at any time. This guideline should be changed in the event where social norms have altered. Language referred in this guideline should always reflect what is currently accepted in The Town of Aurora and the greater community.

Person First

It is always a good idea to mention the person first, and then their condition. This keeps the wording focused on the person, not their situation. For example: “person with disabilities” is preferred to: “disabled person”.

Focus

Similar to person first, it is important to focus messages on the people they are about and not of their disability. In most cases, mentioning a person’s circumstance is unnecessary to include in messages. For example, “Dave, a committee member” is preferred to “Dave, a committee member who has disability”.

Ask, do not assume

There are many overlapping areas of inclusive language which can get confusing. Hence, it is always a good practice to ask people how they want to be portrayed. Many persons with disabilities have their personal preferences around their identity.

For example, when it is necessary to refer to a person’s disability, it is important to ask the person how they want their disability to be identified. A person with bipolar disorder may prefer to be referred to as a “person with a mental health condition” instead of a “person with bipolar disorder”.

Neutral Language

It is also important to use plain language when describing actions taken by a person with disabilities. A great way to take an unbiased approach is to portray persons in the same way, no matter their ability. Just think, what sentence is more neutral?

“Olivia motivated herself and persevered to wheel herself to the Library”. Or,

“Olivia wheeled herself to the library”.

Disability-Specific Language

In order to properly refer to disabilities, you should use language that correctly refers to the disability(s) and disability related terms you are communicating about. Please see the table below for terms that go with different disabilities. 

Disability-Specific Language

TermDefinitionExamples / Causes
Deafblind  Some degree of both hearing and vision loss. Usher syndrome and physical head injuries.
Mental health conditions An illness affecting the brain.  Bipolar disorder and Depression.
Intellectual Disabilities  Limitations to cognitive (thinking) skills. Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and Down Syndrome.
Acquired brain injury (ABI) Any type of brain damage that took place after birth Stroke and Tumor.
Physical Disabilities  A disability that affects physical function. Cerebral Palsy and Arthritis.
Neurological Disability  A Disability that affects the nervous system after birth. Epilepsy and Alzheimer’s disease.
Speech or Language Disabilities.  A disability causing a person to have difficulties to pronounce words or have slurred speech. Cerebral Palsy and Aphasia. 
Support Person. A person who helps persons with disabilities with daily tasks. Personal Support Worker, friend, family member, or volunteer. 
Support Animal. An animal who helps persons with disabilities with daily tasks and/or with emotional support.  Dog or cat.
Assistive Device. A device that can help a person with disabilities with daily tasks. Wheelchairs, hearing aids, ramps, computers, and computer software.

Disabled vs. Non-Disabled

In most cases, it is unethical to differentiate between “disabled” and “non-disabled” persons as the difference is not significant. In the case where the Town has to make this differentiation (e.g., recruiting Accessibility Advisory Committee members) the phrase “person who identifies with having a disability” should always be used to specify if a person is disabled. Just think, what sentence sounds more ethical?

“The AAC is made of 2 non-disabled and 4 disabled resident members”. Or,

“The AAC is made of 6 resident members with a majority identifying with having disability”.

Disability vs. Handicapped

The word “handicapped” should not be used since it highlights the limitations of persons with disabilities making it an offensive word. “Disability”, “person with disabilities”, or “universal” should always be used to replace “handicapped”. Consider the following definitions:

Disability - any degree of physical, developmental, learning, or mental impairment.

Universal - something that is accessible to everyone with a wide range of abilities.

Handicapped - a constraint a person has.

Accepted vs. Unaccepted Language

When it comes to disabilities, there are many words and phrases that are socially acceptable and unacceptable. Please see the following table to see the difference between accepted and unaccepted language.

Accepted vs. Unaccepted Language
AcceptedUnaccepted
“Person with Disabilities” “Crippled”, “handicapped”, or “handicapped person”
“Universal or barrier-free parking” “Handicapped parking”
“Universal washroom” “Handicapped washroom”
“Person with mental health conditions” or “person with intellectual disabilities” “Retarded”, “moron”, or “feebleminded”
“Able-bodied” or “able to walk” “Healthy” or “normal”
“Wheelchair user” or “walks with an aid” “Confined/restricted to a wheelchair”
“Mental health/emotional disability” “Crazy” or “insane”
“A person who is deaf/hearing impaired” “Deaf”, “dumb”, or “mute”
“A person with Epilepsy” “An epileptic”
“A person with Cerebral Palsy” “A person who is a Cerebral Palsy victim”
“A successful person” “A person who has overcome their disability”
“Transferring” or “transitioning” a person “moving” or “lifting” a person
AODA Compliance Reports
Inclusion Charter Progress Report
Annual Reports