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Moving towards barrier-free services: Final report on the restaurant accessibility initiative

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July 2006


For the past five years, the Ontario Human Rights Commission (“the OHRC”) has been working closely with the restaurant industry to improve accessibility for persons with disabilities, older individuals, and families with young children. This is the OHRC’s final public report on this initiative.

Persons with disabilities have a right, under the Ontario Human Rights Code (“the Code”) to equal treatment with respect to services, goods and facilities. This means that they have the right to access premises and services in the same manner as others, with dignity and without impediment. Despite this right, persons with disabilities continue to face daily obstacles in going about their lives, including when they are accessing restaurant services. The OHRC has hoped that, through this initiative, significant change could be effected in the accessibility of the restaurant industry, and a model could be developed for promoting change in other industries.

The purpose of this Report is to:

  • Fulfil the commitment the OHRC made in its previous report on this initiative, Dining Out Accessibly, to report back on the status of activities and advancements respecting restaurant accessibility;
  • Recognize advancements towards full accessibility and showcase best practices in the restaurant industry;
  • Point the way for continued advancement towards full accessibility in the restaurant industry.

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