Know Your Rights - Disability Legislation and Standards

We advocate on the premise that everyone should be able to participate in all aspects of society. There are laws and standards to ensure everyone can participate in society without discrimination. To advocate effectively, it helps to understand the legislation and standards that protect your rights to ensure the law is working for you.


    • This includes:
      • General accessibility policies and plans, staff training
      • Information and communications standards (e.g., information in alternate formats, library materials)
      • Employment standards (e.g., accommodations during recruitment and application process, employment and advancement)
      • Transportation standards (e.g., audible stop announcements, para transit, taxis)
      • Design of public spaces/built environment standards (e.g., exterior paths of travel, accessible pedestrian signals)
      • Customer Service Standards (e.g., support persons, service animals)
      • Standards for Healthcare and Education currently under development
    • This covers topics such as guide dogs in public areas and rental units.
      • The new requirements apply to most new construction and extensive renovations. Existing buildings, where no work is planned, are not affected by these new requirements. Houses, including semi-detached houses, townhouses and duplexes, are not affected by most accessibility requirements, with the exception of smoke alarm requirements.
      • Example: Barrier-free building design


    • This covers items such as Canadian transportation systems, telecommunication companies and banks.
    • This ensures equal protection of the law without discrimination based on disability.
    • While not enshrined in law, the Canadian Patient Charter for Vision Care is something every Canadian with sight loss should know about. Through research and firsthand interviews with Canadians who blind or partially sighted, we found serious gaps in both the awareness about vision health and the experience patients have while progressing through vision loss.
These gaps have prompted the Canadian Ophthalmological Society, the Canadian Association of Optometrists, the Opticians Association of Canada, and community organizations to come together with CNIB to ensure every Canadian receives high-quality, seamless care.

This commitment is symbolized by the signing of the Canadian Patient Charter for Vision Care. This is the first time CNIB and Canada’s leaders in vision health have come together to make a shared commitment to providing optimum patient-centred care across all stages of the vision loss journey – from prevention to diagnosis to treatment and rehabilitation.