Appendix E: Definitions and Acronyms

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Regulation Reference: General
80.2 - Definitions

Note: This includes defintions that are not in the Standard.


accessibility plan
means a written document which outlines how an organization plans to improve accessibility for people with disabilities to the organization and its business practices.
means a site, building, and its facilities that can be approached, entered, and used by people, including those with physical, sensory, cognitive, or other disabilities.
accessible seating
is a space in the seating area where an individual using a mobility aid can wait.
means items that provide conveniences or services for use by the public, examples of which include drinking fountains, benches and garbage receptacles.
means a small slope that helps an individual negotiate an elevation change.
means any object or a change in surface texture that falls within the range of a white cane.
clear floor area
means an area of a floor surface which is not obstructed by any element, up to a height of 2,100 mm.
clear ground area
means an area of a ground surface which is not obstructed by any element, up to a height of 2,100 mm.
cross slope
means the slope of a surface that is perpendicular to the direction of travel.
curb cut
see curb ramp
curb ramp
means a ramp that is cut through a curb or that is built up to a curb. Also referred to as a curb cut.
depressed curb
means a seamless gradual slope at transitions between sidewalks and walkways and highways, and is usually found at intersections.
designated public sector organization
means every municipality and every person or organization listed in Column 1 of Table 1 of Ontario Regulation 146/10 (Public Bodies and Commission Public Bodies - Definitions) made under the Public Service of Ontario Act, 2006 or described in Schedule 1 of the Regulation. Exception: In Section 80.39 of the Standard, “designated public sector organization” means every municipality and every person or organization described in Schedule 1 to this Regulation, but not persons or organizations listed in Column 1 of Table 1 to Ontario Regulation 146/10 (Public Bodies and Commission Public Bodies - Definitions) made under the Public Service of Ontario Act, 2006.
edge protection
means an element along the edge of a pedestrian walkway which limits the likelihood of a pedestrian walking or wheeling off the path.
means the reflection from a surface.
means the intensity of light, as measured in lux.
means activities that are intended to keep existing public spaces and elements in existing public spaces in good working order or to restore the spaces or elements to their original condition, examples of which include painting and minor repairs.
mobility aid
means a device used to facilitate the transport, in seated posture, of a person with a disability.
mobility assistive device
means a cane, walker or similar aid.
obligated organization
means only the organization building or redeveloping the site only.
off-street parking facilities
includes open area parking lots and structures intended for the temporary parking of vehicles by the public, whether or not the payment of a fee is charged and includes visitor parking spaces in parking facilities.
on-street parking
includes parking spaces located on highways, as defined in subsection 1 (1) of the Highway Traffic Act, that provide direct access to shops, offices and other facilities whether or not the payment of a fee is charged.
recreational trails
means public pedestrian trails that are intended for recreational and leisure purposes.
means planned significant alterations to public spaces, but does not include maintenance activities, environmental mitigation or environmental restoration.
rest area
means, in respect of recreational trails and exterior paths of travel, a dedicated level area that is intended for public use to allow persons to stop or sit.
running slope
means the slope of a surface that is parallel to the direction of travel.
service animal
means an animal that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability.
slip resistant
means the frictional force opposing movement of an object across a surface, usually with reference to the sole or heel of a shoe on a floor.
species at risk
means a species listed in Schedules 1, 2, 3 or 4 to Ontario Regulation 230/08 (Species at Risk in Ontario List) made under the Endangered Species Act, 2007.
means an object that can be perceived using the sense of touch.
tactile walking surface indicators
means a standardized surface, detectable underfoot or by a long white cane, to assist persons with low vision or blindness by alerting or guiding them.
tonal contrast
means the difference in the light reflective value (LRV) between two adjacent surfaces. To be effective tonal differerence of at least 70% LRV is required. Refer to Figure for additional information on measuring LRV.


The following acronyms are frequently encountered when researching accessibility issues and solutions. To enhance readability and understanding, this Guide generally does not use acronyms.

Accessibility for Ontarians with Disability Act
Canada-Wide Standard of the Canadian Standards Association
Communication Access Realtime Translation
Canadian Standards Association
Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation
National Building Code
Ontario Building Code
Tactile Warning Surface Indicator


Illustrated Technical Guide to the Design of Public Spaces