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2009-2010 Accessibility Plan: Report on Other Accessibility Commitments

Accessibility Improvement Initiatives to Identify, Remove or Prevent Barriers in preparation for AODA standards currently under development.

The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (AODA) builds on the foundation of the Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2001 (ODA). Through the development, implementation and enforcement of accessibility standards, the province is making progress towards its goal of an accessible Ontario by 2025.

The AODA applies to the Ontario Public Service (OPS) and the broader public sector, as well as the private sector and not-for-profit sector.

In the near future, the OPS will be obligated to comply with the four remaining accessibility standards in the areas of transportation, information and communication, employment and the built environment.

This section identifies new initiatives and provides a status report on completed or multi-year initiatives that are currently underway.

Focus Area: Employment
Commitment: On-going
The Financial Planning and Business Management Branch of the Business Planning and Corporate Services Division will explore methods of tracking accessibility expenditures by using IFIS Chart of Accounts coding. Such information could assist in future evaluation of efficient methods of providing accessible services.
Implementation Timeframe: Sept 07 – March 10
Results Achieved: A memo was sent from the Controller's Office to the Ministry's Human Resources Strategic Business Unit outlining the business requirements and various options available to track accessibility expenditures in IFIS. As a response to this memo remains outstanding the required updates to IFIS in order to track accessibility expenditures have yet to be made. The Controller's Office and Financial Planning and Business Management Branch is following up and will continue to work with the ministry's Strategic Human Resouces Branch.

Focus Area: Employment
Commitment: Complete
The ministry will demonstrate its commitment to an accessible customer service experience by promoting its accommodations policy and supporting clients in accessing its services.
Implementation Timeframe: Sept 08 – Feb 09
Results Achieved: In February 2009, a majority of direct human resources services provided to ministry employees were transferred to the Regional Service Delivery Centres, Ministry of Government Services. The Centre for Employee Health, Safety and Wellness, MGS was established in April 2008 to promote the health, safety and well being of OPS employees. Key activities for the Centre include: developing programs and services that promote the health, safety and wellness of OPS employees; assisting ministries with legislative compliance and implementing policies and best practices relating to health, safety and wellness in OPS workplaces; and fostering collaborative relationships between managers, staff and their representatives in securing the health, safety and wellness of employees at work. To support these initiatives, the Centre through the OPS Wellness intranet site, posts all OPS policies related to accessibility for employees. The Ministry's Human Resources Strategic Business Unit liaises with Human Resources partners to promote applicable accommodations policies and support their executive clientele in accessing services.

Focus Area: Employment
Commitment: On-going
The ministry will promote the on-line Ontarians with Disabilities Act (ODA) Maximizing the Contributions of Employees and Applicants with Disabilities training for managers and supervisors.
Planned Action: The ministry will inform new managers and supervisors of their obligation to take the training and will monitor their compliance.
Implementation Timeframe: Sept 07 – Mar 10
Results Achieved: In 2009, the ministry has actively encouraged all ministry managers and supervisors to complete the ODA online training. As of October 2009, 92 percent of ministry managers and supervisors had completed the training.

Focus Area: Employment
Commitment: On-going
The ministry will promote the availability of training related to accessibility awareness and managers and supervisors will use the learning streams to support staff development.
Planned Action: The ministry will continue to require all staff to take both May I Help You? e-learning modules. The ministry will include information about these e-learning modules in the orientation material that are being developed.
Implementation Timeframe: Sept 07 –Mar 10
Results Achieved: As of October 2009, 89 percent of ministry staff had taken the “May I Help You?” e-learning module and 80 percent of ministry staff had taken the “May I Help You? Supplementary” e-learning module.

The ministry also hosted eight group sessions intended to provide a deeper understanding of accessibility issues. These sessions benefited over 150 ministry staff.

Focus Area: Employment
Commitment: On-going
The ministry will provide information to staff on new technology, including exploring the option of using a read aloud function on computers.
Planned Action: The Information and Information Technology Accessibility Centre of Excellence will continue to work with staff to provide information on new technology that can be used to enhance their ability to perform their jobs. The pilot of the tool to read website contents aloud will be evaluated and the findings will be reported to Information and Information Technology senior management in early 2010.
Implementation Timeframe: Sept 08 – Mar 10
Results Achieved: A pilot of a tool that will read contents out loud was implemented on the ministry’s website.

Focus Area: Employment
Commitment: On-going
The ministry will establish a Staff Assistive Technology User group so that employees who use the same or similar assistive devices can communicate withother employees using the same assistive technology products.
Planned Action: The Information and Information Technology Accessibility Centre of Excellence will encourage staff currently using assistive devices to communicatewith others who are using similar technology.
Implementation Timeframe: Sept 08 – Mar 10
Results Achieved: The ministry launched the Ontario Public Service Assistive Technology Group in January 2009. As of October 2009, there were 22 participants.

Focus Area: Employment
Commitment: On-going
The Youth Justice Services Division will support managers in appropriately applying Ontario Public Service policies and processes on employment accommodation for staff in regional offices and dedicated youth facilities.
Implementation Timeframe: Sept 08 – Mar 10
Results Achieved: Managers have all received training in the “ODA: Maximizing Contribution of Employees with Disabilities”e-learning. Accommodation processes are in place through the division to meet employee accommodation requirements as they are identified.

Focus Area: Employment
Commitment: On-going
The Renewal Strategies Office will promote and monitor the use of the Centre for Leadership and Learning’s online accessibility training on accommodating employees and applicants with disabilities.
Implementation Timeframe: Sept 08 – Mar 10
Results Achieved: As of October 2009,89 percent of ministry staff had taken the “May I Help You?” e-learning module and 80 percent of ministry staff had taken the “May I Help You? Supplementary” e-learning module.

Focus Area: Employment
Commitment: Complete
The Centre of Excellence for Information and Information Technology (I&IT) Accessibility will develop a pilot project to coordinate an employee user group for employees who use assistive technology to operate their computers.
Implementation Timeframe: Sept 08 – Mar 10
Results Achieved: A cross-ministry employee user group of assistive technology users was established. The I&IT Accessibility Centre of Excellence continues to provide administrative support and act as moderator for the employee user group.

Focus Area: Information and Communications
Commitment: On-going
The Child Welfare Branch of the Policy Development and Program Division will improve and increase the accessibility of communications with the child welfare sector.
Implementation Timeframe: Sept 07 –Mar 10
Results Achieved: Regular communiqués are provided tothe children’s aid societies in Ontario. Two web casts on the Ontario Child Benefit savings were held benefiting more than 150 people. 

Focus Area: Information and Communications
Commitment: Complete
The Capacity Development Office will seek input from employees with disabilities on the accessibility of the Ontario Public Service Employee Engagement Survey.
Implementation Timeframe: Sep 07 – Mar 09
Results Achieved: The Ministry of Government Services conducted focus testing with a number of designated groups re: survey accessibility prior to launching the survey in February 2009.

Focus Area: Information and Communications
Commitment: On-going
The Child Care Unit of the Strategic Policy and Planning Division will improve access to information on the Licensed Child Care Resource website and the Ontario Early Years Centres’ website.
Implementation Timeframe: Sept 07 – Mar 10
Results Achieved: The Licensed Child Care Resource website and the Ontario Early Years Centres’ website are available to the public through the ministry’s website which is accessible. The Division continues to enhance the accessibility of the sites.

Focus Area: Information and Communication
Commitment: Complete
The Financial Planning and Business Management Branch will modify the ministry’s procurement curriculum to increase awareness of accessibility considerations in procurement.
Implementation Timeframe: Sept 07 – Jan 2009
Results Achieved: The procurement curriculum was modified to increase awareness of accessibility considerations in procurement. Two training sessions on the new curriculum were held in December 2008 and January 2009.

Focus Area: Information and Communications
Commitment: On-going
The Communications and Marketing Branch (CMB) will continue to make the ministry website accessible by providing materials in alternative formats.
Implementation Timeframe: Sept 07 – Mar 09
Results Achieved: CMB continues to make the ministry site more accessible including:

Focus Area: Information and Communications
Commitment: Complete
Ministry program areas, in consultation with the Communications and Marketing Branch (CMB), will help make public education program materials available in alternative formats on request.
Implementation Timeframe: Sept 07 – May 09
Results Achieved: CMB considers alternative formats for public education materials in the development of public education communication plans or by request.

Focus Area: Information and Communication
Commitment: Completed
The Financial Planning and Business Management Branch will revise the ministry’s procurement policies to address accessibility considerations.
Implementation Timeframe: Sept 07 –Oct 09
Results Achieved: The ministry’s draft procurement policy has been revised to include a section on the Ontarians with Disabilities Act. The new procurement polices have been posted on the Electronic Manual of Ministry Administration for all ministry staff to access.

Focus Area: Built Environment
Commitment: On-going
The Youth Justice Services Division, in cooperation with the Capital and Accommodation Services Branch, will establish new youth secure custody facilities that are accessible to people with disabilities.
Implementation Timeframe: Sept 07 – Mar 10
Results Achieved: The Donald Doucet Youth Centre in Sault Ste. Marie was opened in July 2008. This new facility was designed and built to meet Ontario government barrier-free design guidelines and additional accessibility requirements identified by the Youth Justice Services Division. Justice Ronald Lester Youth Centre was opened March 26, 2008 and was designed to meet Ontario government barrier-free design guidelines and additional accessibility requirements identified by Youth Justice Services Division The design for the Roy McMurtry Youth Centre in Brampton also meets these accessibility requirements. For example it includes areas open to the public, secure washrooms, bedrooms and common areas which are designed to be accessible, including Telephone Teletype (TTY)

Focus Area: Built Environment
Commitment: On-going
The Youth Justice Services Division’s Northern Regional Office in North Bay will be renovated and will meet the accessibility requirements of the Ontario Realty Corporation’s Standards for Barrier-Free Design of Ontario Government Facilities.
Implementation Timeframe: Sept 07 – Mar 10
Results Achieved: Renovation has been completed and meets accessibility requirements of the Ontario Realty Corporation Standards for Barrier-Free Design of Ontario Government Facilities.

Focus Area: Built Environment
Commitment: On-going
The Youth Justice Services Division will work with the Capital and Accommodation Services Branch to review the accessibility requirements of the division’s guidelines for its offices.
Implementation Timeframe: Sept 07 – Mar 10
Results Achieved: The Division contiThe Division continues to with the Capital and Accommodation Services Branch.

Focus Area: Built Environment
Commitment: On-going
The Capital and Accommodation Services Branch (CASB) will develop a strategic approach for the accessibility assessment of ministry sites pending the development of the ministry’s barrier-free guidelines.
Implementation Timeframe: Sept 07 – Mar 10
Results Achieved: In anticipation of the approved Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act design guidelines and standards, the Capital and Accommodation Services Branch has reviewed a number of locations providing services to people receiving benefits under the Ontario Disability Support Program.

Focus Area: Built Environment
Commitment: On-going
Through the coordination of the Capital and Accommodation Services Branch, the ministry will identify barriers in its buildings and offices and will make plans to improve accessibility as offices move or are renovated.

In 2009-2010, the Ontario Realty Corporation (ORC) will begin accessibility audits of Ontario Public Service locations with the first 50 to be complete by March 31, 2010. Based on the findings of these audits work will be done to address accessibility.
Implementation Timeframe: Sept 08 – Mar 10
Results Achieved: The ministry worked with ORC Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act Pilot Accessibility Design Standard in considering improvements to its sites.

Focus Area: Other
Commitment: On-going
The Information & Information Technology Accessibility Centre of Excellence will be modeled as a source of accessibility information as it relates to Information & Information Technology (I&IT) across the Ontario Public Service (OPS) enterprise. The Centre will develop expertise of existing and emerging technologies to support people with disabilities (e.g., Assistive Technology Devices).
Planned Action: The Information & Information Technology Accessibility Centre of Excellence continues to provide advice and support to the OPS I&IT community on issues related to improving the accessibility of I&IT solutions.
Implementation Timeframe: Sept 07 – Mar 10
Results Achieved: The Information & Information Technology Accessibility Centre of Excellence developed the OPS Web Site Remediation Framework, which includes methods, checklists and guidebooks for OPS intranet and internet sites.

In addition, the Information & Information Technology Accessibility Centre of Excellence supported many enterprise accessibility initiatives such as the Accessibility Multi-Year Plan and Beyond eOntario I&IT Strategic Plan.


Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Report on Status of Customer Service Requirements
  3. Report on Other Accessibility Commitments
  4. For More Information