Sarnia Accessibility Advisory Committee

The City of Sarnia Accessibility Advisory Committee (SAAC) was formed in 2002. The goal of the committee is to advise City Council on matters pertaining to persons with disabilities in the community, as defined in the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) and the Integrated Accessibility Standard Regulation (IASR). The committee strives to improve the identification, removal and prevention of barriers faced by people with disabilities. SAAC is responsible for monitoring federal and provincial government directives and regulations, conducting research on accessibility, public education, and liaising with local stakeholder groups on accessibility matters. Meetings are held on every third Wednesday of the month from 3:00 to 4:30 at City Hall. All meeting are open to the public. For more information about SAAC, please contact the Accessibility Coordinator at 519-332-0330 ext. 3307 or


Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA)

The AODA was established in 2005 and was created to address discrimination against persons with disabilities in Ontario. The purpose of the act is to “develop, implement and enforce accessibility standards in order to achieve accessibility for Ontarians with disabilities in respect to goods, services, facilities, accommodation, employment, buildings, structures, and premises on or before January 1, 2025.” (Service Ontario, 2006)

Integrated Accessibility Standard Regulation (IASR)

The IASR standards were created as part of the AODA. These standards are rules that businesses and organizations in Ontario have to follow to identify, remove and prevent barriers so that people with disabilities have more opportunity to participate in everyday life.
The IASR is broken down into five standards

  • General Requirements
  • Customer Service
  • Information and Communication
  • Employment
  • Transit
  • Design of Public Spaces

The IASR is currently going through a review by the provincial government with additions being considered under each standard.

Highlights of Achievements

This section is organized under the standards and additional work be completed by City Staff.

Information, Community & Public Awareness

What is required/plannedWhat was accomplished
Provincial Accessibility Award The City of Sarnia received a Provincial Accessibility award for the Charge n’ Go Program in partnership with the County of Lambton
International Day of People with DisabilitiesNot Complete – Cancelled due to the strike at Lambton College
Closed Captioning of streaming of Sarnia City Council meetingsAccomplished January 2017
City of Sarnia Accessibility AwardsEight local businesses received accessibility awards

Breaking Barriers to Business

What is required/plannedWhat was accomplished
City of Sarnia has applied for two grants (5 in total since 2016) unfortunately no grants have been approvedNot Completed: City staff wrote the Breaking Barriers to Business program into the Age-Friendly Sarnia Action Plan with the hopes of implementing similar programming in 2019


What is required/planned What was accomplished
Accessible Conventional Transit Purchased 8 new accessible conventional buses and 4 new Care-A-Van buses
Bus shelters and pads 115 concrete accessible pads throughout Sarnia to improve the accessible infrastructure of our transit system

Design of Public Spaces

What is required/planned What was accomplished
Installation of accessible washrooms at both Clearwater and Sarnia Arena Construction of the accessible washrooms at Clearwater and Sarnia Arenas were completed in Summer 2018 using $43,500 obtained through the Enabling Accessibility Fund
Accessibility renovations to arenas Added an additional row of accessible seating to Sarnia Arena
City Hall and Strangway Improvements – Replacement of Accessible Door at the Christina Street Entrance at City Hall and the Strangway Centre
– Installation of accessible doors in the political wing of City Hall  
Parks and Beaches  – Addition of ramp at the Suncor Agora
– Creation of drafts of accessible bench and playground standards
– Addition of accessible parking, curbing, beach matting and a second beach wheelchair at Canatara Beach
Sidewalks Installation of 75 sidewalk ramps throughout the City of Sarnia
Charge N’ Go (charging stations for mobility devices) Program – Presentations to Ontario Network of Accessibility Professionals (ONAP) regarding the program with a number of other Cities implementing similar programs all over Ontario
– Accessibility Directorate of Ontario is promoting the City of Sarnia at presentations all over Ontario by endorsing the Charge N’ Go program
– Partnered with Bluewater Health to add charging stations to the Sarnia and Petrolia hospital
– Promoted the program to local businesses using a municipal grant to assist with the costs by partnering with the Sarnia Lambton Chamber of Commerce, Sarnia Lambton Workforce Development Board, social media and by being interviewed by CTV London, the Observer, Blackburn Radio and the Sarnia Journal

Accessibility Reviews

What is required/planned

What was accomplished
Complete Accessibility Reviews of Canatara and Germain Park – Completed accessibility review of Canatara, Germain, and Tecumseh Parks
– Created accessible playground standards for all new and planned renovated parks
– Worked with Parks and Recreation in planning of designating 10 local parks that will be focused on to be accessible and inclusive

Creating Age-Friendly Community

What is required/planned

What was accomplished
In the Implementation Stage of the Age-Friendly Action Plan Formed seven working committees in the following areas consisting of 73 volunteers and over 30 community agencies:
– Outdoor Spaces and Buildings
– Housing
– Transportation
– Communication and Information
– Community and Health Services
– Respect and Social Participation
– Civic Participation and Employment

Each group is in the process of implementing 42 priority action steps over the three year timeline
– Applied for $98,800 through the Senior Community Grant to complete the following objectives
– Hire an Age-friendly Coordinator
– Create an Age-friendly web portal as an online resource
– Develop and distribute a community resource booklet
– Promote transportation options in Sarnia
– Build a Tiered Exercise Program (TEP) program in Sarnia that supports exercise in people’s homes using partnering agencies
– Promote Age-Friendly volunteerism and employment in Sarnia
– Host an Age-Friendly Summit in November, 2018

Sarnia Building Standard

What is required/planned What was accomplished
Create Accessible Building Standard – Worked with building department to focus using Ottawa Accessibility Design Standards
– Age-Friendly: Outdoor Spaces and Buildings Sub-committee will be creating Sarnia specific standards by using Ottawa Accessibility Design Standards and Design of Public Spaces Standard

Trained Employees on AODA and Human Rights

What is required/planned ? What was accomplished
Continue to train new employees and existing employees on AODA and Human Rights – Discussions with Lambton College to develop e-training
– Conducted eight orientations that include AODA and Human Rights for new staff members including students
– Conducted five “Creating Accessible Documents and Websites” training in the community

Priorities for 2018

  • Host an event that will showcase local accessible recreation and leisure options in Sarnia (Access to Rec)
  • Continue to implement Age-Friendly Sarnia
  • Complete renovations to Sarnia Public Library to include accessible washrooms on the 2nd floor and accessible entrances
  • Plan to offer accessibility and human rights in different formats (e-training etc.) in the future
  • Support the creation of and support the Stopgap referral program
  • Add more mobility charging stations throughout Sarnia
  • Plan to create 10 accessible playgrounds throughout Sarnia
  • Continue to promote accessible conventional transit in Sarnia