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Accessibility Plan 2007-2008: Commitments -- Barriers to be Addressed

A review of the ministry’s program and services was conducted to identify barriers to accessibility. The ministry is committed to addressing these barriers over the coming year. This section summarizes these commitments.

Customer service

Barrier: There may be barriers to persons with disabilities who are interested in careers in the children’s services sector.
Commitment and Responsibility: As the Labour Market Policy Unit develops within the Strategic Planning Branch (SPB), the unit will consider how best to support the participation of service providers with disabilities, including youth with disabilities who may be interested in careers in the children’s services sector. As part of its efforts to understand the demographic make-up of the staff in MCYS funded agencies, the extent of participation of persons with disabilities will be included.
Timeline: If an agency survey on demographics is completed in 2007-08, this question will be included.

Barrier: There may be barriers to child care for children and youth with disabilities.
Commitment and Responsibility: Strategic Planning Branch (SPB) is undertaking a research initiative, Ontario’s Growth Chart, that will report on the success and well-being of children and youth using a number of indicators in the domains of health, education, social inclusion and economic opportunity. The status of children and youth with disabilities will be tracked to inform policy development to improve services and outcomes where these lag behind the general child and youth population. SPB will develop a Profile of Ontario’s Children and Youth in Fall 2007 that will include the status of children with disabilities. Initiatives that could improve outcomes for this group will be considered once the profile has been developed.
Timeline: 2007/08

Barrier: Program descriptions and interventions for youth to address specific disabilities/needs
Commitment and Responsibility: The ministry’s Youth Justice Services Division (YJSD) will review the Youth Admission Interview Tool implemented in July 2007 across the province in both open and secure youth justice residential services, which may support early identification and subsequent planning of care for clients with disabilities/needs. YJSD will communicate CFSA and Ministry requirements for service provider responsiveness to provision of appropriate services for clients with specific disabilities/needs through contract Service Description Schedules and Standards in the Youth Justice Services Manual.
Timeline: April 2008

Barrier: There are some barriers in providing effective customer service to clients with disabilities.
Commitment and Responsibility: YJSD reception staff will receive the Accessibility Directorate of Ontario’s on-line training, “May I Help You - Welcoming Customers with Disabilities” which is available on the website of the Centre for Leadership and Learning. Consideration will be given to installing signs about service provision to people with disabilities.
Thistletown Regional Centre will also facilitate the training of all staff on providing effective customer service to people with disabilities.
Timeline: April 2008

Employment accommodation

Barrier: Lack of knowledge of the OPS Employment Accommodation & Return to Work Policy (EA & RTW) requiring the provision of resources and ongoing support for implementation of best practices in this field.
Commitment and Responsibility: Toronto Region will commit to the following activities:

All new employees (management, staff, classified and unclassified) are to receive a mandatory orientation shortly upon hire, which includes an overview of the EA & RTW policy. The Manager will provide the employee with the orientation reading material during the first week of hire.

The Human Resources Branch (HRB) in consultation with the Youth Justice Services Division (YJSD) will also continue to support managers to appropriately apply the OPS policies and processes related to employment accommodation of staff in regional offices and dedicated youth facilities. The health and productivity project is looking at developing a best practice approach in this area. Session(s) delivered by HR may be considered.
Timeline: Spring 2008 and ongoing

Barrier: Address accessibility needs which could present barriers to employment for people with disabilities
Commitment and Responsibility: The ministry will continue to accommodate employees and applicants with disabilities, for work-related barriers, by implementing the Ontario Public Service policies on employment accommodation and workplace discrimination and harassment prevention.
Toronto Region will build on its current practice of using assistive software (e.g. JAWS) and devices to accommodate candidates in the recruitment process, (e.g. pre-employment testing).
The Research and Outcome Measurement Branch will continue to accommodate staff and future applicants with disabilities by following the principles outlined in the ODA as well as the OPS policies on employee accommodation and Workplace Discrimination and Harassment Policy (WDHP). The Branch does not create any accommodation barriers for new or existing employees.
The Hamilton Niagara Regional Management Team will allot time on meeting agendas to discuss employment of individuals with disabilities, and what accommodations it can provide. Meetings will include general information on some disabilities from the individual’s perspective.
The South West Region will continue to provide accommodation supports to staff with work space that is free of barriers. The Region will implement the recommendations received as a result of the review conducted by the Ontario March of Dimes in January 2007 at 217 York Street, London.
Timeline: April 2008

Communications and information

Barrier: Communications materials may not always be accessible to the public.
Commitment and Responsibility

Communications materials for the Ontario Child Benefit will be available in alternate formats (e.g. Braille).
Timeline: 2007/08

Barrier: Signage in Regional offices needs to be updated and improved.
Commitment and Responsibility: Both South West and Hamilton-Niagara Regional Offices are committed to improving signage across the Region. This includes improved signage for the visually impaired.
Timeline: Spring 2008

Barrier: TTY machines are beginning to deteriorate.
Commitment and Responsibility: North East Region will upgrade TTY machines in the South Porcupine Office to improve communications for hard of hearing clients.
Timeline: August 2007

Barrier: The ministry’s Youth Justice Services Division’s pages on the ministry Intranet website may not be completely accessible for Youth Justice Services Division staff with disabilities.
Commitment and Responsibility: YJSD Integration Branch will consult with the Communication and Marketing Branch (CMB) to determine if any barriers exist on the YJSD pages of the ministry intranet website.
Timeline: April 2008

Built environment

Barrier: Some of the ministry’s locations may not be completely accessible to staff and clients with disabilities
Commitment and Responsibility:

Timeline: 2007-08 and ongoing

Barrier: YJSD youth facilities are not fully compliant with the ODA.
Commitment and Responsibility: Capital and Accommodation Services Branch and YJSD Northern and Central Region will plan for the construction of three new youth centres as well as for programming that will include consideration of the accessibility needs of people with disabilities and will be compliant with the ODA.
Timeline: April 2009

Barrier: Improvements need to be made to the Children’s Treatment Centres so that the facilities will be more accessible.
Commitment and Responsibility: Specialized Services and Supports Branch, Policy Development and Program Design Division will continue to work with Children’s Treatment Centres to identify their facility needs and plan for infrastructure update, including improvements to accessibility as needed.
Timeline: 2007-2008 and ongoing

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Message from the Minister
  3. Report on Achievements: 2006 - 2007 Accessibility Improvement Initiatives
  4. Commitments — Barriers to be Addressed
  5. For More Information