Accessibility – Related to this legislation, accessibility means giving people of all abilities opportunities to participate fully in everyday life. Accessibility refers to the ability to access and benefit from a system, service, product or environment.

Accessibility coordinator
– An accessibility point person who liaises with senior management and provides consultation services to staff in their organization.

Accessible Formats
– Information provided in a way that is accessible to people with disabilities. Examples: large print, recorded audio or Braille instead of standard printed material.

– Arrangements made to allow persons with disabilities to participate or benefit equally. There is no set formula for accommodating people with disabilities; the person involved must be consulted. Examples: healthy snacks at events accommodate individuals with dietary needs; flexible hours accommodate employees whose schedules are affected by homecare duties or medication.

Active Offer
– Offering the public the opportunity to request an accessibility.
Examples: inviting requests for disability accommodations in event advertisements; including the active offer on print materials: “this information is available in alternate formats on request” or advertising disability accommodations, for instance with a wheelchair access icon.

Alt Tags –
Also referred to as alt attributes, alt tags provide a verbal description of a visual or graph for individuals with visual impairments who use screen readers.

Alternate Formats
– Alternate ways of providing information beyond traditional printed material. Examples: large print, electronic text, CD ROMs, DVDs and Braille.

American Sign Language (ASL)
– Interpreters use hand gestures and physical expression to translate spoken words into “sign language” for persons who are Deaf. American Sign language is common to English-speaking North Americans. In Quebec another form of sign language is used (LSQ).

Barriers – Related to this legislation – obstacles that limit access and prevent people with disabilities from fully participating in society. Most barriers are not intentional. Barriers usually arise because the needs of people with disabilities are not considered from the beginning.

Braille Transcription – An alternative format that uses a combination of tangible dots to represent characters and letters. Persons who are blind use their fingertips to read Braille.

Built Environment – More than buildings, the built environment includes everything humans have changed in the natural environment, such as sidewalks, curbs, roadways and parks.

Captioning – Text at the bottom of the screen (television/video) allowing persons who are Deaf or hard-of-hearing to follow the spoken dialogue. It is also widely used in bars and sports facilities. Closed captioning is similar but the text must be decoded to appear on the screen.

Communications Access
– Various tools and methods used by people who work in businesses and organizations so that individuals who have speech and language disabilities can understand what is being said, have their messages understood, and use their preferred ways of communicating in face-to-face interactions, over the telephone, at meetings and events.

Communication Access Real Time Translation (CART)
– A professional CART writer transcribes the spoken word into written English or French text. The text is then displayed on a laptop or projected onto a large screen. This allows meeting or conference participants who are hard-of-hearing to follow a discussion or presentation.

Communication Intermediary – A Communication Intermediary is a Speech-Language Pathologist with additional training to assist people with speech and language disabilities to communicate in police, legal and justice situations.

Communication Methods – Picture, letter and speech output devices that people with speech and language disabilities may use to communicate their messages.
Computerized Note-Taker (Print Interpreter) – A note-taker provides a summary of spoken words, maintaining the spirit and intent of the speaker to allow participants who are hard-of-hearing to follow a presentation (not verbatim). Note-takers type into a notebook or laptop computer connected to an overhead screen or video monitor.

Descriptive Video Service (DVS) – Narration is added to visual media to describe actions, characters, locations, costumes and sets, without interfering with dialog or sound effects. DVS allows people who are blind or visually impaired to enjoy television programs, feature films, online videos.

Disability – A disability is a condition that limits a person’s daily activities. Persons with disabilities may have long-term physical, mental, intellectual or sensory impairments which, in interaction with various barriers, may hinder their participation on an equal basis with others. A disability, aging, an injury and other life events may temporarily or permanently affect mobility, dexterity (use of hands), vision, hearing, communication, understanding or mental health.

Duty to Accommodate – The requirement established by The Human Rights Code (Manitoba) to remove barriers up to the point of undue hardship.

Infrared Systems (IR Systems) – Assistive listening technology used in large settings such as conference rooms, theatres or classrooms. IR Systems transmit sound using infrared light waves to send signals to the listener’s receiver. Sound can be adjusted to a desired volume.

Interveners – People specially trained to communicate auditory and visual information to persons who are deaf-blind. Various methods are used depending on individual needs. These include visual sign language, tactile sign language, tactile finger spelling, Braille and large print notes.

Large Print
– Printed information provided in a large font size (14 points or larger) for people who have low vision. For easier reading, select “sans serif” fonts.

Oral Interpreters – An oral interpreter is a person that silently mouth interprets speech. This is done when a person who is hard-of-hearing or Deaf is able to lip read but does not use sign language.

Persons Disabled by Barriers – Individuals with a physical or mental impairment prevented from full participation by a factor in the environment.

Personal Care Attendants – Attendants who assist persons with disabilities with the care of their physical needs. Tasks may include assistance with dressing, management of bodily functions and eating.

Persons with disabilities – Persons with disabilities include those who have long-term physical, mental, intellectual, communication or sensory impairments which in interaction with various barriers may hinder their full and effective participation on an equal basis with others.

Reasonable Accommodations – A wide range of modifications or adjustments to meet the needs of persons in a respectful manner. Usually simple and inexpensive, reasonable accommodations consider the needs of persons or groups who have characteristics protected under The Human Rights Code (Manitoba), such as a disability.


Relay Services

    Internet Protocol Relay (IP Relay) – Online chat applications used by persons who are Deaf or have hearing and speech disabilities. IP Relay users connect to specially trained operators who place phone calls over the internet on their behalf and facilitate conversations. Calls are entirely confidential and operators follow a strict code of ethics; no record is retained.

    Video Relay Service (VRS)
    – Similar to IP Relay, VRS is the newest technology to facilitate communication for persons who are Deaf and use sign language. VRS uses internet-based video conferencing to communicate via relay operators using sign language.

Service animal – An animal (typically a dog) trained to provide assistance to a person with a disability.

Sign Language Interpreter – A person who translates from one language (English) to another language (American Sign Language) using gestures and physical expressions (sign language). Interpreter services are critical to ensure accurate communication between individuals who are Deaf and hearing persons who do not use sign language.

Support person – A person accompanying a person with a disability to help with communication, mobility, personal care or medical needs, or to access goods or services.

The Accessibility for Manitobans Act (AMA) – Provincial legislation introduced to identify, remove and prevent barriers to accessibility. Standards will be developed in five key areas of daily living. These standards will outline specific measures to be taken by public sector and private sector organizations. Changes will result in improved accessibility for all Manitobans, regardless of (dis)abilities.

Universal Design – Refers to making things safer, easier, and more convenient for everyone. It involves a broad range of design concepts – including design of products, spaces and environments – to provide access in a way that respects all (dis)abilities.