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Plans & Policies

Where as the Ontario Human Rights Code requires that we "accommodate to undue hardship", the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) takes a proactive approach and requires that a standard of accessibility is put in place. At Ryerson we are striving to go beyond the minimum standards of the AODA in order that we may achieve the highest level of accessibility from the start, thereby reducing the need for accommodation.

About the AODA

Enacted in 2005, the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, external link aims to identify, remove and prevent barriers for people with disabilities. Based on the four principles of Dignity, Independence, Integration, and Equality of Opportunity; the AODA lays the framework for the development of province-wide mandatory standards on accessibility in all areas of daily life. It is comprised of various accessibility standards and general requirements that all public and private sector organizations must meet.

Accessibility Plans

Access Ryerson is Ryerson’s cross campus accessibility initiative with a goal to identify, remove and prevent barriers to the full inclusion of persons with disabilities. In 2012, as per AODA requirements, we moved to a multi-year accessibility plan format.

Ryerson Policies

  • Accommodation Policy for Persons with DisabilitiesThe policy applies to any Ryerson employee with a disability, and to job applicants that may require accommodation during the selection process at Ryerson.
  • PDF fileAcademic Accommodation of Students with DisabilitiesThis policy establishes guidelines for the academic accommodation of students with disabilities in order for them to access learning while maintaining the integrity of course content and objectives, and ensuring fairness for all students.
  • Accessibility Statement of CommitmentThe Ryerson University Statement of Commitment outlines the University's commitment to providing accessible goods and services that allow persons with disabilities to fully participate in community activities.
  • Animals on Campus PolicyThis policy outlines the use of animals on campus that are essential for service of persons with disabilities.
  • Ryerson University Library & Archives Accessibility for Persons with DisabilitiesThe RULA Accessibility for Persons with Disabilities Customer Service Policy outlines RULA's commitment to excellence in serving the Ryerson community, including persons with disabilities.
  • Discrimination and Harassment Prevention PolicyRyerson University's Discrimination and Harassment Prevention Policy and Procedures is informed and guided by the Ontario Human Rights Code. The Ontario Human Rights Code applies and prevails over all provincial legislation (with few exceptions), University policies and collective agreements.
  • Workplace Civility and RespectThis policy establishes the University's commitment to the maintenance of a civil workplace. Through this Policy, the Guide to Civility and the Discrimination & Harassment Prevention Policy, the University maintains a comprehensive harassment prevention policy and program as required by the Occupational Health and Safety Act.
  • Employment EquityThis policy is intended to outline the principles of equity and diversity in the workplace underlying Ryerson's employment equity program, to define the accountabilities the employment equity program, and to establish the policy framework within which the University's employment equity program will be managed and implemented.

Website Accessibility

All websites at Ryerson must adhere to Level AA of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0, external link as of January 1st, 2021. This is a mandatory legal requirement, external link stipulated by the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA). This law also applies to anything you upload to your website such as PDF documents, forms, and other media. These requirements are designed to make your website accessible for people with disabilities and people who use assistive technology.

  • Level AA: Guidelines are categorized into three levels of conformance in order to meet the needs of different people: A (lowest), AA (mid range), and AAA (highest). Level AA conformance is required in Ontario (excluding live captioning and audio descriptions for videos). Your website must satisfy all Level A and AA Success Criteria in order to be compliant. 
  • Websites at Ryerson: Any web page on the ryerson.ca domain, or any official Ryerson University website that is affiliated to the university’s programs, services, activities or employees.

Ryerson staff and faculty are encouraged to use the university-supported content management system, which includes an accessibility-ready template and built-in accessibility checker.

External Ryerson sites

If you are creating a website outside of the university-supported content management system, you must incorporate accessibility in the design and development process. If developing internally or with an external agency, you should specify WCAG 2.0 Level AA as a requirement. Here is some guidance on external content management systems:

  • WordPress: Use themes that are tagged as “accessibility ready” as a starting point for your website. Explore the WordPress Accessibility Handbook., external link
  • Drupal: Refer to Drupal’s accessibility page., external link
  • JavaScript frameworks: There are many considerations when using a JavaScript framework, including: focus management, routing, semantic HTML, unobtrusive motion, progressive enhancement, and more. Explore the accessibility documentation included with the framework you choose.
  • Static HTML & CSS templates: Use frameworks that are designed with accessibility in mind as a starting point, like Bootstrap., external link
  • (Caution ) Squarespace, Wix, Weebly, GoDaddy: These pre-built website templates and services are known to be problematic for accessibility, and sometimes do not follow accessible design patterns. It is not recommended to use these services for university related activities.

For more information on website accessibility, contact Adam Chaboryk, IT accessibility specialist at adam.chaboryk@ryerson.ca

Representation of persons with disabilities

12% of students at Ryerson

7% of full-time faculty at Ryerson

6% of employees at Ryerson