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Emergency Preparedness for Persons with Disabilities

Please join the City of Ottawa for a discussion on emergency preparedness for persons with disabilities.  

The City’s Office of Emergency Management, Accessibility Office and Ottawa Public Health will provide information and resources with a focus on key emergency preparedness considerations for those living with disabilities.  

The second portion of the session will be a facilitated discussion to learn about the needs, perspectives, concerns and questions shared by attendees, as well as explore opportunities for further collaboration with you.    

Topics include: 

  • Preparing for emergencies  

  • Making a plan 
  • Preparing a kit 
  • Staying connected 

When: Tuesday February 13, 2024 

Time: 1pm-3pm (EDT)     

Location: Virtual Event over Zoom   

Please register online.  

Registration will be open until 4:00 pm Monday February 12. A Zoom link will be shared with registrants the evening before the event. 

To promote the inclusion of all participants, the following supports are in place for the event:    

  • American Sign Language (ASL)    

  • Langue des signes québécoise (LSQ)    

  • Continuous real-time captioning in English and French    

  • Simultaneous English and French audio translation    

When registering, please let us know if you require any additional accommodations to participate.    

We hope you can join us.  

Highlights from the 2023 annual accessibility plan report

Under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA), the City is required to provide an annual update on its progress towards the goals of our multi-year accessibility plan, currently the 2020-2024 City of Ottawa Municipal Accessibility Plan (COMAP). The 2023 annual update report is the City’s 21st annual report and it was approved by Council on May 10.   

We would like to promote some of the accessibility work being done to remove barriers and become a better, more accessible and more inclusive City.  

Here are some highlights from this year’s annual report: 

  • Emergency situations, such as the convoy protests and the May 2022 derecho, required the Accessibility Office to work closely with other departments to ensure accessible communications were available to impacted residents. 

  • Public engagement with external partners and disability community stakeholders remained a key priority in 2022. Last year, City staff continued to meet with representatives from various agencies, including but not limited to persons with sight loss and the Deaf community, to answer questions, address concerns and receive feedback regarding City infrastructure, programs and services.   

  • The Elections team ensured the 2022 Municipal Election was accessible to everyone and included various accessibility supports. The Elections team also consulted with disability community stakeholders to ensure their feedback was incorporated. 

The Accessibility Office would also like to acknowledge the tremendous work done by the former members of the Accessibility Advisory Committee (AAC) in 2022 and welcome the new members of the AAC, who began their term in May. This group of resident volunteers continue to play a vital role in supporting accessibility initiatives and providing disability perspective to City programs, services and infrastructure.  

The City of Ottawa celebrates its 20th Annual AccessAbility Day 

Celebrating its 20th year, AccessAbility Day returned to the City of Ottawa as part of National AccessAbility Week (NAAW). The virtual Canada-wide event took place on May 31, in collaboration with the Canadian Accessibility Network (CAN) and the Institute of Public Affairs of Canada - National Capital Region (IPAC-NCR).   

The event began with Mayor Mark Sutcliffe, who officially proclaimed May 31, 2023, as AccessAbility Day in Ottawa. During his remarks, he emphasized the importance of collaboration between stakeholders and all levels of government, a theme echoed throughout the event.   

The keynote speaker was Stephanie Cadieux, Canada's first Chief Accessibility Officer. For the panel discussion, she was joined by Meenu Sikand, Assistant Deputy Minister from the Province’s Ministry of Seniors and Accessibility, and Lucille Berlinguette-Saumure, Program Manager of Accessibility from the City. Each speaker offered unique and valuable perspectives on the developments in accessibility policies and legislation at the federal, provincial, and municipal levels.   

In keeping with the 2023 NAAW theme, their discussion offered insights into how accessibility frameworks can begin moving "from possibilities to practice." The panelists highlighted the interconnected role of all levels of government in influencing a cultural transformation across the board.  

For those who wish to view the event, a recording is available on the City of Ottawa's YouTube page.  

Accessibility News

Keep in touch with the Accessibility Office and get accessibility-related updates through the Accessibility Spotlight. Sign up using the City's eSubscriptions sign up form to receive the monthly e-newsletter directly to your email.

For information on or to receive previous Accessibility Spotlight articles, contact:

Accessibility Office
City of Ottawa