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Accessibility Plan 2006-2007: Report on Achievements

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Minister's Message
  3. Report on Achievements:

The Ministry of Children and Youth Services (MCYS) was successful in achieving, and in some cases, surpassing, planned commitments outlined in its 2005-2006 accessibility plan. This section provides a status report.

2005 - 2006 Accessibility Improvement Initiatives

 

Customer Service

Commitment: The ministry will continue to meet the accessibility planning requirements of the Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2001 (ODA).
Status: Completed for the 2005-2006 accessibility planning cycle
Action: In October 2005, the Accessibility Ontario website for Ontarians with Disabilities was expanded and access included on the ministry public website. This expanded, fully-accessible web page has a link from the ministry public website for use by the public and ministry staff.
Information from the Accessibility Directorate of Ontario (ADO) was incorporated into this site detailing the accessibility features of the public website, tips, and TTY (telephone teletype) and printer friendly information.
Timeframe: October 2005

Commitment: The 2005-2006 results-based planning training package will include information for staff on the ODA and the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (AODA).
Status: Completed
Action: In October 2005 the Accessibility Impact Checklist for Results-based Planning was updated to include information on the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (AODA). The information was distributed in November 2005 by the Human Resources Branch (HRB) to policy staff involved with results based planning for 2006-07.
In addition, the Children, Youth & Social Services Cluster (CYSSC) included information on accessibility obligations and considerations in the information and information technology package for the results-based planning process in November 2005.
Timeframe: October-November 2005

Commitment: Training on preparing cabinet submissions for ministry staff will include information on accessibility obligations.
Status: Completed
Action: In May 2005 a training session on the Cabinet decision-making process including accessibility obligations was provided by the Corporate Policy and Intergovernmental Affairs Branch; all program areas attended
Timeframe: May 2005

Commitment: The ministry will continue to fulfill the guidelines for implementing the procurement provisions of the Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2001 (ODA).
Status: Completed
Action: On October 26, 2005 and December 14, 2005 two full day training sessions on procurement provisions were provided to staff. Procurement training continues to be provided on an as-needed basis. An ODA checklist was provided at the training sessions and is available on the ministry intranet site.
Children, Youth & Social Services Cluster (CYSSC) and HRB staff worked together to develop a list of web sites related to various aspects of accessibility requirements (e.g. regulatory procurement, policies and guidelines for developing accessible information solutions, current assistive devices, etc.) The links to these websites were targeted to be available to MCYS staff through the CYSSC intranet site as of September 2006.
Timeframe: 2005-06

Commitment: Help ensure ministry-sponsored events will include pre-planning for accessibility.
Status: Completed
Action:

  • The Human Resources Branch (HRB) developed a quick tips sheet on accessible event planning for trainers and facilitators based on the more extensive policy developed by the ADO.
  • Detailed resources for planning accessible events continue to be available through the accessibility web page.
  • HRB led ministry events included pre-planning for accessibility.

Timeframe: 2005-06

Commitment: MCYS will establish the York Simcoe Children’s Treatment Centre to deliver local services to the 3800 children requiring specialized treatment services and their families in York Region and Simcoe County.
Status:Completed
Action:The business plan and infrastructure for services for the Children’s Treatment Network (formally the York Simcoe Children’s Treatment Centre) was developed in September 2006.
Clinical service provision began in September 2006.
Timeframe: September 2006

Commitment: MCYS will continue to play an active role on the Inter-Ministerial Provincial Advisory Committee (IMPAC), a provincial, community-led committee that addresses the needs of children and youth including those with disabilities or multiple disabilities.
Status:Completed
Action: The Coordinator of Mental Health and Specialized Services sits on the Inter-Ministerial Provincial Advisory Committee for the Youth Justice Services Division (YJSD) and represents all of the regions.
Timeframe: 2005-06

Commitment: The ministry will provide additional funding to nine regional service providers for the School Support Program. This will increase the number of autism professionals available to support teachers and educators of school aged children with autism spectrum disorder in the public school system.
Status: Completed
Action: Through the School Support Program there are now 188 Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) Consultants hired by the nine regional autism service providers to help teachers and educators better support students with autism spectrum disorders. There were 170 ASD Consultants in October 2005 which increased to 188 by September 2006.
Timeframe: 2005-06

Employment

Commitment: Continue to communicate the need for all new managers and supervisors to complete ODA online training.
Status: Completed
Action: In February 2006 the new location of the on-line ODA computer/based training for managers/supervisors was communicated to staff, and new managers were reminded of the need to complete the training.
In September 2006, the Human Resources Branch (HRB) asked all new managers, supervisors and human resources staff to verify they had completed the ODA computer-based training that addresses accommodation of employees and applicants with disabilities.
Timeframe: 2005-06

Commitment: Provide managers and supervisors with additional information on how to provide accommodation to applicants with disabilities in the recruitment process.
Status: Completed
Action: A tip sheet for managers and supervisors on providing accommodations in the recruitment process was drafted by the Human Resources Branch (HRB).
Timeframe: 2005-06

Commitment: Facilitate the exchange of information between employees with disabilities using assistive devices.
Status: Completed
Action: Between April and June 2006, the Human Resources Branch (HRB) and the Children, Youth & Social Services Cluster (CYSSC) conducted research to identify technical requirements for information exchange using assistive technology. Though several software programs were evaluated, the result was that the existing email system was the best tool for information exchange using assistive technology.
Timeframe: April-June 2006

Commitment: Identify any barriers that may exist in the Human Resources Branch (HRB) career development programs or processes.
Status: Completed
Action: HRB consulted with Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU) and Association of Management, Administrative and Professional Crown Employees of Ontario (AMAPCEO) bargaining agent representatives in June, 2006.
Timeframe: June 2006

Additional Achievements

Achievementment: Ministry job advertisements include consistent wording to reflect the Ontario Public Service (OPS) Equal Opportunity Policy.
Status: Completed
Action:  CPIA will continue to pursue initiatives for persons with disabilities as the co-chair of the Federal/Provincial/Territorial (FPT) Benefits and Services for Persons with Disabilities Working Group. The Canada-Ontario Labour Market Agreement for Persons with Disabilities was extended to March 31, 2008. This Agreement helps to improve employment outcomes for persons with disabilities. Discussions on the proposed federal National Disability Act are ongoing and could help establish federal accessibility standards.

Commitment: Front-line reception staff with the Youth Justice Services Division will be provided with training on how to effectively communicate with people who are deaf, hard-of hearing and/or visually impaired. This training will be mandatory for all new front-line reception staff.
Status: Deferred
Action: Training sessions will focus on appropriate protocols when providing reception services to person with disabilities. New reception staff will be provided with this training in their orientation.

Employment

Commitment: Continue to communicate the need for all new managers and supervisors to complete ODA online training.
Status: Completed for 2005-06
Action: In February 2006 the new location of the on-line ODA computer/based training for managers/supervisors was communicated to staff, and new managers were reminded of the need to complete the training. In September 2006, the Human Resources Branch (HRB) asked all new managers, supervisors and human resources staff to verify they had completed the ODA computer-based training that addresses accommodation of employees and applicants with disabilities.
Timeframe: 2005-06

Commitment: Provide managers and supervisors with additional information on how to provide accommodation to applicants with disabilities in the recruitment process.
Status: Completed
Action:A tip sheet for managers and supervisors on providing accommodations in the recruitment process was drafted by the Human Resources Branch (HRB).
Timeframe: 2005-06

Commitment: Facilitate the exchange of information between employees with disabilities using assistive devices.
Status: Completed
Action: Between April and June 2006, the Human Resources Branch (HRB) and the Children, Youth & Social Services Cluster (CYSSC) conducted research to identify technical requirements for information exchange using assistive technology. Though several software programs were evaluated, the result was that the existing email system was the best tool for information exchange using assistive technology.
Timeframe:: April-June 2006

Commitment: Identify any barriers that may exist in the Human Resources Branch (HRB) career development programs or processes.
Status: Completed
Actions: HRB consulted with Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU) and Association of Management, Administrative and Professional Crown Employees of Ontario (AMAPCEO) bargaining agent representatives in June, 2006.
Timeframe: June 2006

Achievement: Developed and distributed information to staff on the effects of scented products on indoor air quality and on individuals with fragrance sensitivity
Status: Completed
Actions: In April 2006, the Human Resources Branch (HRB) released “Scented Products: Information for All Staff” on the HRB website. The document was designed to increase the awareness of air quality and fragrance sensitivity issues by ministry staff. It complements a previous document for managers and supervisors entitled “Fragrance Sensitivity in the Workplace: An Employment Accommodation Guide for Managers and Supervisors".

Communications and Information

Commitment: The Communications and Marketing Branch (CMB) will research methods to increase access to MCYS news releases and other communication products by people with disabilities who may not rely on mainstream media because of barriers.
Status: Completed
Action: CMB met with representatives of VoicePrint, a national radio service for people with disabilities, and explored potential communications opportunities.
Timeframe: 2005-06

Commitment: The ministry will continue measures to improve TTY (telephone teletype) services.
Status: Completed
Action:

  • In October 2005, the Human Resources Branch (HRB) added the branch TTY telephone number to its letterhead.
  • Program Management Division regional offices have added TTY numbers to their letterhead as a further means of promoting the availability of this service to their clients and members of the public.

Timeframe: 2005-06

Commitment: Establish a Children, Youth & Social Services Cluster (CYSSC) responsibility centre on information and information technology accessibility standards.
Status: Completed
Action: The Children, Youth & Social Services Cluster (CYSSC) identified a coordinator function to maintain and communicate up-to-date information on accessibility standards and accessibility issues relating to software, hardware, networks, etc.

Achievement: The Children, Youth & Social Services Cluster (CYSSC) will share information on assistive technology solutions to staff and members of the public through Showcase Ontario.
Status: Completed
Actions: The Children, Youth & Social Services Cluster (CYSSC) coordinated a demonstration at Showcase Ontario, September 25-27, 2006, of assistive technology devices used by ministry employees and members of the public with disabilities. The purpose of the demonstration was to increase awareness of the importance of providing accessible I&IT solutions and the various assistive technology devices that are available.
Timeline: September 2006

Built Environment

Commitment: Funded capital program projects will continue to meet the accessibility standards of the 1997 Ontario Building Code.
Status: Completed
Action:

  • The Capital and Accommodation Services Branch (CASB) continues to ensure capital projects meet accessibility standards and released the following:
    • Requirements for Developing Best Start Infrastructure Projects for Consolidated Municipal Service Managers and District Social Services Administration
    • Guidelines for Developing Infrastructure Projects with Service Providers
  • In January 2006, CASB released the revised Planning and Design Guidelines for Child Care Centres. The original document was created in 1995. A chapter in the Guidelines is dedicated to barrier-free design.
  • CASB also held training sessions for each regional office and for corporate staff highlighting the Infrastructure Funding and Partner Facility Renewal Funding process. Accessibility issues and incorporating barrier-free design were highlighted in each session.

Ongoing Accessibility Improvement Initiatives

 

The Ministry of Children and Youth Services was successful in achieving its commitments described in the accessibility plans it issued before 2005 - 2006. This section provides a status report.

Customer Service

Commitment: The ministry will continue to meet the accessibility planning requirements of the Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2001.
Status: Completed for the 2005-2006 accessibility planning cycle and ongoing
Action:

  • The ministry maintained its commitment to accessibility planning and reviewed progress at mid-year in preparation for the 2006-07 accessibility plan development. The confidential electronic mailbox that allows staff to identify barriers or make suggestions on accessibility continued to be available throughout the year.
  • The ministry through the Human Resources Branch (HRB) consulted with the ADO and other ministry ODA leads throughout the year on accessibility planning.
  • The Human Resources Branch (HRB) researched and identified the new Accessibility Directorate of Ontario (ADO) on-line training, on welcoming customers with disabilities, as an effective method of increasing staff awareness.
  • HRB staff provided comments on the development of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (AODA) Initial Proposed Customer Service Standard as well as on future government-wide accessibility planning initiatives.

Timeframe: 2005-06 and ongoing

Commitment:The Office of Child and Family Service Advocacy, which advises the Minister of Children and Youth Services, will continue to provide child advocacy services for children who are deaf, deafened or hard of hearing in Ontario in a manner that is sensitive to the needs of the Deaf community. The Office will also continue to make special accommodation for children and youth with other disabilities, special needs or medical issues.
Status: Completed and ongoing
Action:

  • The Advocacy Officer working with children with hearing loss visits all the Provincial and Demonstration Schools to provide child advocacy.
  • This Advocacy Officer has a TTY in his office and at the schools.
  • There is a TTY in the general reception area.
  • There are two staff in the office with basic American sign language skills.
  • The physical building is barrier free.
  • The Office of Child and Family Service Advocacy also has an Advocacy Officer who provides advocacy for children and youth who are visually impaired or deaf/blind. Her business card is written in Braille to inform these children and youth of their right to contact the Office of Child and Family Service Advocacy

Timeframe:2005-06 and ongoing

Commitment:Make TTY services available in MCYS Youth Justice Services Division (YJSD) regional offices and directly operated youth justice custody and detention facilities. Probation Offices will access TTY through the Regional Office, as needed. This will facilitate confidential communication, as required by the Youth Criminal Justice Act, between clients, family and community partners who require the use of a TTY.
Status: In progress
Action:

  • Northern Regional Office purchased and placed a TTY unit at the Sudbury Probation Office in Feb 2006. Cecil Facer Youth Centre will get and implement TTY services. All other Northern Probation Area Offices receive TTY support from the Regional Office.
  • In the Eastern Region, Brookside Youth Centre and Ottawa-Carleton Detention Centre Youth Unit now have access to TTY equipment. Eastern Probation Area Offices receive TTY support from the Regional Office, as needed.
  • Eastern Regional Office has also purchased specialized amplification equipment for a staff member who requires it.
  • Western Regional Office has TTY service. Sprucedale and Bluewater Regional Centres also have TTY service available. All Western Probation Area Offices receive TTY support from the Regional Office, as needed.
  • YJSD will purchase TTYs and implement effective services in Central region. All Central Probation Area Offices will receive TTY support from the Regional Office, as needed.

Timeframe:2005-06 and ongoing

Commitment: The Management Support Branch’s Integrated Services for Children Unit will undertake several initiatives in 05-06 to increase accessibility.
Status: Completed
Action:

  • The unit assigned a staff member who researched best practices criteria for an accessibility checklist for the unit in May 2006 and with ADO, the unit developed in August 2006 an accessibility checklist to review policies, programs and services
  • Staff training on accessibility was provided in August 2006.
  • The unit worked with ADO and HRB to develop a survey of stakeholders to help identify accessibility issues in policy, programs and services.

Timeframe:2005-06 and ongoing

Commitment: Corporate Policy and Intergovernmental Affairs Branch (CPIA) will continue to consider the accessibility needs of Ontarians with disabilities in federal/provincial/territorial relations.
Status: Completed for 2005-2006 and ongoing
Action:

  • CPIA continues to pursue initiatives for persons with disabilities as the co-chair of the Federal/Provincial/ Territorial (FPT) Benefits and Services for Persons with Disabilities Working Group. Key achievements include the following:
    • In October 2005, FPT Ministers released a public communiqué that reaffirmed their commitment to the objective of the full inclusion of Canadians with disabilities in society.
    • The Canada-Ontario Labour Market Agreement for Persons with Disabilities, extended to March 31, 2007, helps improve employment outcomes of persons with disabilities.
    • Discussions of the proposed Federal National Disability Act are ongoing and could help establish national accessibility standards; scope of the proposed Act is yet to be determined.

Timeframe: 2005-06 and ongoing

Commitment: The needs of people with disabilities will be considered in emergency management planning.
Status: Completed for 2005-2006 and ongoing
Action: The Emergency Management Unit (EMU) is participating in a multi-ministry initiative to develop an emergency preparedness guide for people with disabilities.
Timeframe: 2005-06 and ongoing
Rationale: The release of the guide for people with disabilities was expected by June 2006, but has been delayed by the lead, Emergency Management Ontario (EMO), until fall 2006.

Achievement: The Youth Justice Services Division (YJSD) of the MCYS reviewed its practices and procedures for assessing and identifying young people with special needs.
Status: Completed for 2005-2006 and ongoing
Action: YJSD is developing a standardized comprehensive intake/assessment tool for young people, including those with special needs, and disability related needs, to be used at all direct operated and transfer payment residential youth justice facilities. Youth factors such as emotional, mental and physical considerations will be incorporated into the standards for intake processes and the intake assessment tool.
Timeframe: 2005-06 and ongoing

Employment

Commitment: The ministry will continue its strong commitment to meeting the individual accommodation needs of employees and applicants with disabilities.
Status: Completed for 2005-06 and ongoing
Action: MCYS continued to accommodate employees and applicants with disabilities, for work-related barriers, by implementing the Ontario Public Service (OPS) policies on employment accommodation, and workplace discrimination and harassment prevention. A wide variety of individualized accommodations are provided to employees and applicants. The following is a selection of accommodations provided in the past year:

  • Voice recognition software was purchased to assist an employee who has a learning disability
  • An employee with a severe neck injury was provided with an ergonomic assessment and modifications to the employee’s workstation
  • Installation of ceiling track lift in washroom
  • Provision of sign language Interpreter services.
  • Purchase, installation and training on use of emergency evacuation chairs.
  • Temporary relocation of an employee with an allergy to an alternate office.
  • Installation, customization and training on a voice recognition assistive device system for operating the computer
  • Provision of ongoing workplace attendant care services
  • Modification of office workstations and tasks based on assessments conducted by registered occupational therapists

The Human Resources Branch (HRB) developed a guide for managers and supervisors on the evacuation of employees requiring assistance in the event of an emergency. The guide provides practical advice on how best to support employees requiring assistance and how to develop individual evacuation plans for these employees.
On September 12, 2005 a new Electronic Manual of Ministry Administration (EMMA) intranet site for staff was launched which is compliant with the accessibility requirements of the ODA.
Timeframe: 2005-06 and ongoing

Communications and Information

Commitment: The ministry will continue to provide official ministry publications in alternate formats upon request.
Status: Completed
Action: There were no requests received in 2005-06.

Commitment: The MCYS public website will continue to meet the accessibility requirements of the Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2001 (ODA).
Status: Completed for 2005-06 and ongoing
Action: The Communications and Marketing Branch webmaster continued to monitor and verify that all new material posted to the MCYS public website meets accessibility standards.
All new material posted to the MCYS internal intranet website also continued to meet accessibility standards.
Timeframe: 2005-06 and ongoing

Commitment: The Children, Youth & Social Services Cluster (CYSSC) which provides information and information technology services to MCYS will continue to track and provide timely solutions to information and information technology accessibility problems when they arise.
Status: Completed for 2005-06 and ongoing
Action: CYSSC business consulting managers continue to respond to accessibility issues related to information and information technology that are raised by MCYS staff.
Timeframe: 2005-06 and ongoing

Commitment: The Children, Youth & Social Services Cluster (CYSSC) will research cost-effective methods to provide information in alternate formats and alternate media.
Status: Completed for 2005-06 and ongoing
Action: Research and evaluation of options for alternate formats has been conducted by cluster staff. The coordinator will complete the analysis in 06-07.
Timeframe: 2005-06 and ongoing
Rationale: Due to a number of issues related to cluster disentanglement, the coordinator was not identified until September 2006

BUILT ENVIRONMENT

Commitment: The ministry will continue to improve the accessibility of their facilities and offices where and whenever possible.
Status: Completed for 2005-06 and ongoing
Actions:

  • MCYS continued to improve the accessibility of offices and facilities wherever possible. Any project that involves either the renovation of space or the creation of new space is implemented using accessibility and barrier-free designs.
  • New leases and lease renewals continued to be negotiated to address the elimination of any barriers.
  • Management Board approval increased the space of 23 youth justice probation offices from the government standard of 200 square feet per person to 275 square feet per person to support program delivery and accessibility requirements.
  • Recent alteration projects in both field offices and corporate locations have focused on the creation of smaller, more efficiently designed workstations to permit improved staff and client circulation and accessibility.

Timeframe: 2005-06 and ongoing


Commitment: Improve the accessibility of MCYS youth justice probation offices through renovations or relocations where possible.
Status: Completed for 2005-06 and ongoing (multi-year project to 2007)
Actions:

  • Renovations completed in Western Region, with the exception of the Cambridge Probation Office which will move to a new location that will be barrier free by the end of the 2006-07 fiscal year.
  • In the Northern Region relocation planning was done in compliance with the ODA accessibility requirements for four probation offices which will relocate in 2006-07; Manitoulin Island, Bracebridge. Kirkland Lake and Huntsville
  • In the Eastern Region, all probation offices meet ministry accessibility requirements as relocations and retrofits were completed during the 2005/06 year.
  • Central Region is continuing with numerous probation office relocations and/or retrofits. Offices that have been completed are compliant with ODA requirements and incorporate barrier-free designs; future designs will continue to be barrier-free, in compliance with the ODA.

Timeframe: 2005-06 and ongoing

Commitment: MCYS will establish a flagship youth centre of excellence that is accessible to people with disabilities. The Greater Toronto Area (GTA) Youth Centre will provide a safe, secure and rehabilitative living environment for male and female young people in custody/detention.
Status: Completed for 2005-06 and ongoing (multi-year project to 2008)
Actions:

  • Planning for renovations and construction of this new GTA facility, as well as for programming, includes consideration of the accessibility needs of people with disabilities. For example, consideration was given to the need for accessible washrooms, showers and bedroom areas and all common areas open to public access.
  • Construction of the new GTA facility is scheduled to begin in the fall of 2006.

Timeframe: 2005-06 and ongoing

Achievement: Thistletown Regional Centre (TRC) and the Child and Parent Resource Institute (CPRI) continued to work towards the goal of providing barrier-free access to all areas and buildings on the grounds.
Status: Some work completed in 2005-06 and requests submitted for funding remainder of work (ongoing).
Action: At TRC and CPRI renovations to buildings, homes and grounds were made to increase barrier-free access for clients, families and staff.
Timeframe: 2005-06 and ongoing

ACTS AND REGULATIONS

Commitment: MCYS will continue to consider acts or regulations for a review for barriers to people with disabilities as work is planned.
Status: Completed for 2005-06 and ongoing
Action:

  • Senior management and staff who work with acts and regulations continue to be advised, through the results-based planning process and the accessibility planning process, to consider acts and regulations for a review of barriers to people with disabilities in any work they undertake.
  • The Capital and Accommodation Services Branch provided input on impact of changes regarding accessibility to the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing on the new Ontario Building Code.

Timeframe: 2005-06 and ongoing

Timeframe: 2005-06