ARCH provides a Summary Advice and Referral Service which is a free, confidential legal service directly to persons with disabilities from across Ontario on certain disability-related areas of law, including:
- Accessibility laws
ARCH can offer summary legal advice and legal information about the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act and the Accessible Canada Act as applicable.
- Attendant/PSW services
ARCH offers advice on matters related to home care and attendant services regarding the termination of services, insufficiency of services, and quality of services.
- Discrimination/human rights
If you have been discriminated against because of your disability in certain contexts, we may be able to give you legal advice on your rights.
We provide summary legal advice on your rights under Ontario’s Human Rights Code and the Canadian Human Rights Act, as applicable.
- Access to Services
ARCH can provide legal advice on your rights if you have been denied access to a service because of your disability.
ARCH can also give you legal advice if you experienced discrimination due to your disability by a service provider while you were using their service.
- Accommodation in the workplace
If you are an employee with a disability and you need accommodations at work, ARCH can give you legal advice on your rights. ARCH also offers summary advice if you believe you have been fired or let go for a reason related to your disability.
If you are looking for a job and you need accommodations for a job interview, ARCH can advise you of your rights to be accommodated during the interview process.
ARCH does not advise employees who are members of a union.
- Primary/secondary education
ARCH can offer summary advice in matters related to meaningfully accessing primary and secondary education which includes access to appropriate accommodations and supports in school, inclusive and appropriate placements, exclusions, expulsions, and suspensions.
- Post-secondary education
If you are a student with a disability in a post-secondary institution, such as a college or university, and you require accommodations at school, ARCH can advise you on your right to be accommodated.
- Service animals, Guide dogs
ARCH can explain your rights to have your service animal or guide dog accompany you when accessing services, going to school, or at work. ARCH also offers advice on the legal requirements of a service animal and guide dog.
ARCH offers summary advice on transportation-related legal issues which includes municipal, provincial, and federally-regulated transportation. This includes city buses, accessible transportation, greyhound buses, trains, and airplanes.
If you were denied access to any of these types of transportation in Ontario due to your disability, or experienced discrimination because of your disability while using their service, ARCH can advise you of your rights.
- Decision-making rights
Decision-making rights include your right to make your own decisions on important aspects of your life. ARCH can provide you with legal advice on your rights.
- Supported-decision making
Supported-decision making means making your own decisions with support. This is different from a substitute-decision maker, which means someone is making a decision on your behalf.
ARCH can advise you on what it means to have support when making your own decisions.
- Removing guardianship
If you are under court-ordered guardianship or someone is acting as your guardian under a power of attorney, the guardian may be making decisions on your behalf for things such as your property, finances, or personal/health care. If you need to remove or change guardianship, ARCH can advise you on your legal options.
- Public Guardian and Trustee
If the Public Guardian and Trustee (PGT) is controlling your finances, ARCH may be able to give you legal advice if you want to know how to regain control of your own finances from the PGT to make your own decisions on your finances, or if you believe the PGT is mismanaging your finances.
This service provides legal and non-legal referrals, legal information, and summary legal advice.
If you are calling when our office is closed and you require urgent legal advice, you may contact the Law Society Referral Service at 1-855-947-5255 or 416-947-5255 (within the GTA).
Who is eligible
All persons with disabilities who reside in Ontario can access ARCH’s Summary Advice and Referral service. For any additional legal services beyond ARCH’s Summary Advice and Referral service, Legal Aid Ontario’s financial eligibility criteria applies.
In some circumstances, parents, guardians, and support persons may participate in ARCH’s Summary Advice and Referral service with consent of the person with a disability.
How to make an appointment
When you call , ARCH staff will speak with you and take down the details of your problem. You will be asked for some information like your full name and available contact information so that we can ensure there is no conflict for us to help you. If your matter falls within ARCH’s areas of law, you will receive an appointment with ARCH staff or student.
If You Need Accommodations
Our Summary Advice and Referral service is a province-wide telephone service. If you require disability-related accommodations to access this service, please contact us to receive appropriate disability related accommodations.
Other places that can help
If you need legal assistance with landlord and tenant or ODSP matters contact your local community legal clinic. To locate your local community legal clinic, please use the Legal Aid Ontario legal clinic directory .
For information on community, social, health and government services in Ontario, see 211ontario.ca.
You may also wish to visit Steps to Justice website for legal information.