Accessibility Service Policy

MaRS Guest Accessibility Package

Learn more about the MaRS accessible customer service policies, practices and procedures in our Guest Accessibility Package (GAP). You may request alternative formats of this package at any time by contacting Security at (416) 673-8101.

MaRS Guest Accessibility Package


MaRS Discovery District (“MaRS”) supports the full inclusion of persons with disabilities as set out in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, Ontario Human Rights Code, the 2001 Ontarians with Disabilities Act (ODA) and the 2005 Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA).

This policy has been prepared to outline what clients may expect of MaRS and ensures compliance within the AODA legislation. MaRS will make reasonable efforts and use all means at its disposal to ensure that the information or service requested is provided in a manner that is consistent with the principles of independence, dignity and equality. This policy applies to MaRS employees, volunteers, contractors and agents (“MaRS Staff”) that interact with members of the public on behalf of MaRS.

Communication with Persons with Disabilities

MaRS will communicate with people with disabilities in ways that take into account their disability. MaRS Staff will communicate in a means that enables persons with disabilities to communicate effectively for the purpose of using, receiving and requesting MaRS services and facilities.

Notice of Temporary Disruptions in Services and Facilities

In the event of a planned or unexpected disruption to services or facilities for clients with disabilities, MaRS Discovery District will notify clients promptly.

This notice will include the following information:

  • the reason for the disruption;
  • its anticipated length of time;
  • a description of alternative facilities or services, if available; and
  • contact information.

The notice will be placed at all public entrances and reception areas.

When possible, every effort will be made to reduce disruption to individuals with disabilities using MaRS services or facilities by contacting them and/or arranging alternate meeting/work locations or alternative means of accessing MaRS information.

Assistive Devices and other Measures that Assist with Accessibility

People with disabilities often use personal assistive devices to help them with daily living. They include any auxiliary aids such as communication aids, cognition aids, personal mobility aids and/or medical aids. Members of the public who are disabled usually bring these devices with them.

MaRS will ensure that its staff is trained and familiar with various assistive devices that may be used by clients with disabilities while accessing MaRS services. MaRS Staff will always ask before assuming assistance is required.

Service Animals

MaRS welcomes people with disabilities and their service animals. Service animals are allowed on the parts of MaRS premises that are open to the public.

Members of the public with varied disabilities utilize service animals as a way to overcome barriers. Service animals are not pets — they are working animals. A few examples of service animals include dogs used by people who are blind, hearing alert animals for people who are deaf or hard of hearing, and animals trained to alert an individual to oncoming seizure and lead them to safety.

MaRS will permit any person with a disability who is accompanied by a guide dog or other service animal to enter MaRS premises (those areas open to the public) with the service animal and keep the animal with him/her.

MaRS Staff may ask to see documentation to ensure that the animal brought on to the premises is a certified service animal.

Support Persons

A person with a disability who is accompanied by a support person will be allowed to have that person accompany them on MaRS premises (those areas open to the public) and MaRS will ensure that the individual needing the support person will have access to this person at all times.

Some individuals with disabilities rely on support persons in order to help with communication, mobility, personal care, medical needs, or access to services. A support person may be a paid professional, a volunteer, a family member or a friend of the person with a disability and does not necessarily need to have special training or qualifications.
Fees will not be charged for support persons for programs that are sponsored solely by MaRS.

Training for Staff

MaRS will provide appropriate training to MaRS Staff who deal with the public on their behalf.

This training will be provided to MaRS Staff as soon as practicably possible after he or she joins MaRS.

Training may include, as appropriate:

  • An overview of the Accessibility of Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 and the requirements of client service standards
  • MaRS Discovery District’s plan related to client service standards
  • How to interact and communicate with people with various types of disabilities
  • How to interact with people with disabilities who use an assistive device or require the assistance of a service animal or a support person
  • What to do if a person with a disability is having difficulty in accessing MaRS services.

Staff will also be trained when changes are made to this plan.

Feedback Process

Clients who wish to provide feedback on the way MaRS provides services to people with disabilities can do so through email, mail, in person or by telephone.

All feedback should be directed to Human Resources
MaRS Discovery District
South Tower, Suite 100
101 College Street
Toronto, ON M5G 1L7
Telephone: (416) 673-8100

Clients can expect to hear back in ten (10) business days from receipt of feedback.

Availability and Format of Documents (Alternative Formats)

MaRS is committed to providing accessible information and communication to all of its clients and recognizes that people with disabilities often use methods other than standard print to access information. MaRS will provide any publicly available correspondence, reports and other documentation in an alternative format where reasonably possible, upon request.

All reports and other documents distributed to the public will indicate that alternative format documents are available upon request.

Types of Alternative Formats available:

  1. Hard copy or email
  2. Large print
  3. If another type of format is requested, MaRS will do what is reasonably possible to ensure that information is shared within a reasonable time frame, no longer than twenty (20) business days.

MaRS Multi-year Accessibility Plan (2016-08-22)