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Our premises are not wheelchair accessible, will we need to accommodate wheelchair users?

This question comes up frequently, especially with employers that are simply leasing space and do not own their buildings. Under accessibility legislation that exists in some provinces (such as the AODA in Ontario), businesses are legally required to comply with certain accessibility standards. However, like other areas of accommodation, there is an undue hardship standard if accommodation would not be financially or technically feasible, or if it would compromise health and safety. 

When it comes to wheelchair usage for example, there may be some accommodations that are readily feasible, and others that might reach that undue hardship threshold. If the only inaccessible area of a business is a single step, for example, there are several services that can provide and install accessible ramps at a reasonable cost. Renovating a washroom to make it accessible may also be considered a reasonable expense to accommodate an individual. 

However, if full wheelchair accessibility would require the installation of an elevator, and the business either could not afford it or it would simply not be reasonable given the age and structure of the building, that would likely be considered an undue hardship.

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Rudner Law
15 Allstate Parkway
Suite 600
Markham, ON
L3R 5B4

Phone: 416-864-8500
Text: 416-864-8500


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