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News and Events

AccessAbility Day 2021

On Thursday, May 27, the City hosted its 18th annual AccessAbility Day, virtually over Zoom. The event is held each year as part of National AccessAbility Week.

This year’s theme was: Barriers, and benefits to participation in a virtual world. The event featured a community panel discussion on how people with disabilities have navigated living in a virtual world during the COVID-19 pandemic. Residents had an opportunity to discuss:

  • new barriers that were created due to COVID 19 and moving to a virtual service;
  • benefits, if any, technology had on accessing services; and,
  • recommendations for the City, businesses or other services to be more inclusive.

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

  • American Sign Language (ASL)
  • Langue des signes québécoise (LSQ)
  • Continuous real-time captioning in English and French
  • Simultaneous French translation

If you missed the event or would like to watch it again, you can access the recording on YouTube.

Ottawa joins the Canadian Accessibility Network

On May 27, 2021, during the City’s AccessAbility Day virtual celebrations, Mayor Jim Watson announced that the City was joining the Canadian Accessibility Network, part of Carleton University’s READ Initiative (Research, Education, Accessibility and Design).

If you missed the event or would like to watch it again, you can access the recording on YouTube.

The Canadian Accessibility Network focuses on five overarching domains:

  • Community engagement
  • Education and training
  • Employment
  • Policy
  • Research, design and innovation.

Screenshot of Mayor Watson and Councillor Luloff presenting the day's proclamation to CAN leadership and AAC members.

As a member of CAN, the City will choose an area of focus and partner with organizations interested in the same work. The City will benefit from collaborating and exchanging knowledge with organizations like postsecondary institutions, not-for-profit organizations, service providers, associations and foundations, and public and private industry.

The City hopes to work towards the following goals with fellow Canadian Accessibility Network partners:

  • Improve service through innovation to meet the needs of the community;
  • Invest in the professional development of the City’s current and future leaders;
  • Attract talent from across Canada;
  • Position the City as an inclusive employer of choice;
  • Improve the safety, accessibility, culture, social and physical well-being for vulnerable residents, creating an inclusive city for all; and,
  • Be a leader in accessible and sustainable designs.

AccessAbility Day is celebrated annually by the City during National AccessAbility Week. It’s an opportunity to connect with residents, share successes and get feedback on emerging issues.


“Joining CAN will position the City as a leader in Accessibility and benefit our residents. This partnership will broaden the knowledge and expertise of our employees on accessibility-related issues and advance our efforts of creating an inclusive City for all.” – Mayor Jim Watson

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

COVID-19 Vaccination Forum

On March 23, the Ottawa Disability Coalition, Ottawa Public Health and the City of Ottawa Accessibility Office held a joint presentation on COVID-19 vaccination for people with disabilities in Ottawa.

The recording of the event can be found on both the City’s and Ottawa Public Health’s YouTube pages using the following links:

City YouTube page 

Ottawa Public Health YouTube page 

We would also like to share the Ministry of Health Guidance for the Prioritization of Phase 2 Populations for COVID-19 Vaccination. Information will continue to be shared on the Ottawa Public Health webpage.Should you have ongoing questions or feedback, please contact the Accessibility Office at

Para Transpo Customer Service Working Group

As part of the City’s Customer Service Improvement initiative, OC Transpo has established the Para Transpo Customer Service Working Group to meet with Para stakeholders and customers to ensure the concerns of persons with disabilities are understood and considered in OC Transpo’s service delivery.The benefits of the Working Group include:

  1. increased customer engagement
  2. providing additional opportunities for customer participation
  3. ensuring Para Transpo customer needs are reflected in communications, and
  4. strengthening the relationship with Para customers.

The Group’s current membership is comprised of OC Transpo staff, members of the public who are or who represent registered Para Transpo customers and representation from the City of Ottawa Accessibility Advisory Committee. If you have any questions or comments about the Para Transpo Customer Service Working Group, please contact