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Accessible Information in Housing

Currently, no AODA standards require houses and apartments to be accessible. However, the Third Review of the AODA recommends the creation of standards mandating accessibility in housing. In this article, we will outline the need for accessible information in housing.

Accessible Information in Housing

AODA housing standards should mandate that people with disabilities have access to the information they need to buy or rent housing. For instance, listings of houses to buy and apartments to rent should be available in accessible formats, such as:

Similarly, potential buyers or renters should be able to request access to any documents involved in the process of buying or renting, such as:

  • Rental applications
  • Forms and contracts for working with reel estate firms
  • Lease agreements
  • Purchase agreements
  • Home appraisals
  • Title searches
  • Mortgage information, such as loan estimates and closing disclosures
  • Deeds
  • Checklists for moving in or out, including inspection forms or reports
  • Property surveys
  • Sublet agreements
  • Lease renewal or move-out letters

Realters or landlords should consult each potential buyer or tenant to determine what formats work best for them.

In addition, homeowner’s or renter’s insurance information and paperwork should also be available in accessible formats. Finally, potential renters may need to adapt any print information on appliances. For example, a tenant may need to place Braille or large-print labels on the:

  • Oven
  • Washing machine
  • Dryer

Communication Supports for Potential Home Owners or Tenants

Moreover, communication supports should also be available for conversations and meetings with realters or landlords. For instance, tenants or buyers may use supports such as:

  • Sign language interpretation
  • Communication boards
  • Assistive listening systems

Alternatively, buyers or tenants may do some of their business in writing or by email, and use communication supports only for the most important conversations. Realtors or landlords should work with each buyer or tenant to find out which supports are most appropriate.

All these formats and supports will give buyers and tenants access to the information they need to make decisions about where to live, and to continue living in their own homes independently.