2007–2008 Accessibility Plan

Table of Contents

Introduction

The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (AODA) was passed into law in June 2005.  This Act, the first of its kind in Canada, lays out a comprehensive road map to make Ontario accessible to all people through the development, implementation and enforcement of new, mandatory accessibility standards for some of the most important aspects of people’s lives. 

Five key areas have been identified for the first accessibility standards: customer service, transportation, information and communications, the built environment, and employment. 

After carefully considering input received through a public review, the Accessible Customer Service Standards Development Committee drafted a proposed customer service standard.  Regulations were approved by the Lieutenant Governor and will come into force on January 1, 2008. 

An initial proposed standard on accessible transportation has been developed by the Transportation Standards Development Committee. It was posted for public review on June 27, 2007 and will be available for public comment until September 28, 2007.  The Committee will review the public’s input before finalizing the proposed standard and submitting it to the Minister of Community and Social Services. 

The Accessible Information and Communications Standards Development Committee was established and began meeting in April 2007.  The committees developing the accessible built environment and accessible employment standards have been selected and will begin meeting in the fall of 2007. 

This document is the fifth annual accessibility plan developed by the Ministry of the Attorney General.  It reports on achievements made in 2006-2007 and outlines commitments for 2007-2008. 

The Ministry of the Attorney General intends to build on its achievements by implementing initiatives that support the government's commitment to achieve accessibility for all Ontarians with disabilities. 

To learn more about each of the accessibility standards, visit:  http://www.mcss.gov.on.ca/mcss/english/pillars/accessibilityOntario/

Message from the Minister

The Honourable Michael Bryant PhotoThe McGuinty government is committed to enhancing the accessibility of Ontario’s justice system.  In this, the Ministry of the Attorney General’s fifth accessibility plan, I am very pleased to report on our progress and to outline our plans for continuing to improve our programs, services and facilities. 

In December 2006, former Chief Justice McMurtry released his report on accessibility in the justice system for persons with disabilities.  In response to this report, a new Ontario Courts Accessibility Committee has been established to help promote barrier free courts in Ontario.  The committee comprises representatives from the judiciary, the bar, the Ministry of the Attorney General and the province’s Accessibility Directorate.  It is co-chaired by Justice Susan Lang of the Court of Appeal and Ann Merritt, Assistant Deputy Attorney General of the ministry’s Court Services Division.  This committee will also provide a forum for consultation with court system users, disability service providers, and advocacy organizations, all of which will inform the committee’s advice.

I am very pleased that this permanent committee has been set up and for all the hard work undertaken on this important issue. 

The ministry has also set up a central body to oversee accessibility related matters, guide accessibility planning, and provide strategic advice to the ministry on accessibility related initiatives.  This central body comprises senior executives across the ministry.  In addition to their mandate for oversight of all accessibility related planning and programs, they will provide a link to the other accessibility related committees, including the Ontario Courts Accessibility Committee and the Ontario Public Service central agencies. 

And, earlier this year, I announced that the McGuinty government was enhancing access to justice by investing an additional $3.7 million to improve 18 courthouses in communities across the province.  The funding has been allocated to the Ministry of the Attorney General's Facilities Renewal Program for small-scale courthouse projects that cost less than $1 million.  The money will be used to help maintain safety and security standards and retrofit facilities to meet the requirements of the Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2001, for example, by improving wheelchair access in some courthouses. 

Across this ministry, we have also continued to increase staff awareness, knowledge and understanding of accessibility issues.  We are incorporating accessibility awareness into staff orientation programs, and we have introduced a learning component on accessibility at all divisional conferences and annual training events. 

In 2007-2008, the ministry will continue to improve accessibility through identifying, removing and preventing barriers.  We have developed, piloted, and begun delivering accessibility education for managers and front-line court services staff, and this training will be ongoing. 

In this year’s report, you will also read about how the ministry will incorporate and address accessibility as a component of its annual Infrastructure Plan requests and in-year planning process for accommodation and capital projects.  The ministry will also continue to apply the most effective barrier-free design principles to all capital and accommodation projects where feasible and appropriate; and each time a lease renewal is reviewed, accessibility requirements are considered and communicated to the Ontario Realty Corporation. 

On an ongoing basis, the ministry’s Facilities Management Branch will develop and review barrier-free best practices to support the Provincial Architectural Design Standards for Courthouses.  In 2007-2008, the Branch will continue to develop best practices for courtrooms, including such components as the judges’ dais, the witness box and the jury box, as well as develop a barrier-free best practice for public counters. 

The ministry has also continued its work on the development of an asset management plan that includes inventory and facility condition ratings for all the ministry’s courthouses.  I am pleased to report that assessment studies have been completed for all courthouses in all seven regions of the province.  Accessibility was an important criterion on which all facilities were evaluated.  This information informs infrastructure planning requests and guides future investment decisions. 

The ministry has endeavoured to make significant progress.  I know there is more to be done.  Here at the Ministry of the Attorney General we will continue to work together, with our stakeholders and across government to make Ontario a more accessible province for people with disabilities.

The Honourable Michael Bryant
Attorney General

Report on Achievements

2006 - 2007 Accessibility Improvement Initiatives

The Ministry of the Attorney General was successful in achieving planned commitments outlined in its 2006-2007 accessibility plan. These commitments included identifying, removing and preventing barriers to people with disabilities. This section provides a status report.

Customer service

Commitment

In making staff aware of and preparing them for the imminent implementation of Customer Service Accessibility Standards and the transition from the Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2001 (ODA), to the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (AODA), the ministry committed to the following:

  • Support the development of standards – a ministry representative is a voting member of the Customer Service Standards Development Committee;
  • Communicate the process and outcomes of the Customer Service Standards Development Committee within the ministry;
  • Participate in a pilot of the e-learning module of customer service training; and
  • Incorporate customer service training for front-line staff into divisional training plans.

Status

Complete.

Action and Timeframe

  • The ministry’s representative is a voting member of the Customer Service Standards Development Committee, and consulted broadly throughout the ministry during the standard development process.
  • As the recommended standard becomes regulation, the ministry has supported the process for development of standards and communicated its outcomes.
  • Ministry managers and supervisors received a number of bulletins and updates regarding the process of Customer Service Standards Development, and the future role of these standards in providing customer service to the ministry’s clients.
  • The ministry participated in a review of the new e-learning course about serving people with disabilities, developed by the Accessibility Directorate of Ontario, and provided a diverse contingent of evaluators and detailed feedback to help improve the course.
  • Presentations and accompanying information about the standards were delivered to divisional program staff and managers during 2006-2007 in the Family Justice Services division and Court Services Division.
  • An Accessibility Directorate subject matter expert and trainer conducted accessibility learning sessions on behalf of Court Services Division.

Commitment

The ministry will ensure that the Emergency Management Unit will communicate emergency preparedness planning parameters, including the necessity of taking into account persons with disabilities, to ministry emergency management building leads as they review and update their localized business continuity plans and emergency evacuation plans.

Status

Complete.

Action and Timeframe

The Emergency Management Unit developed an Employee Evacuation Assistance Self-Identification Program. 

In the development of the program, several jurisdictions’ practices related to the emergency evacuation of persons with disabilities were reviewed, including: the emergency evacuation guide Ready New York: For Seniors and People with Disabilities (2005), Emergency Management Ontario’s Emergency Preparedness Guide for People with Disabilities/Special Needs (2007)and the Ministry of Government Services’ Emergency Evacuation Planning Directive (1991)and Emergency Evacuation Planning Guideline (1991).  Feedback received from the Ministry’s ODA Committee was incorporated into the development of the program. 

The program facilitates and documents the identification of staff support(s) for persons with disabilities who have self-identified their need to management for assistance during an emergency evacuation.

Commitment

To continue to promote and educate ministry employees on the Common Service Standards and review any areas of concern, particularly where communications systems and individual circumstances prevent full adherence to ODA requirements.  The Quality Service Project Team will work within the ministry, as requested, to deliver awareness information sessions concerning the increased obligations of meeting the needs of persons with disabilities under the new legislation.

Status

Complete

Action and Timeframe

  • The ministry continues to enforce telephone service standards through promotional material and annual audits; the last audit was completed in early March 2007. When the Customer Service Standards come into effect as a result of the AODA, action will be taken to ensure that existing common service standards reflect the new requirements.
  • The ministry continues to update training material for the strategic planning cycle to include reference to accessibility requirements and any impacts that new initiatives may have on persons with disabilities.
  • The following activities were undertaken on behalf of the Ministry of the Attorney General:
    • ODA requirements and links to the appropriate documents were emphasized when training sessions were conducted in the area of procurement practices and guidelines;
    • The Ministry Intranet Controllership Unit web page contains several links to the ODA-related guidelines, checklists, practices and Questions and Answers;
    • ODA requirements are now included in the ministry’s Financial Delegation of Authority Framework document, which is available on the ministry’s Intranet site; and
    • ODA requirements are highlighted as part of general procurement advice given to program areas.

Employment

Commitment

In order to enhance accessibility for people with disabilities through information sharing and skill development of ministry employees, the ministry will:

  • Include a learning component regarding accessibility for all divisional conferences and annual training events; and
  • Incorporate accessibility awareness into staff orientation.

Status

Complete.

Action and Timeframe

  • The ministry has hired a dedicated Accessibility Lead, whose responsibilities include:
    • Meeting with divisional representatives, education and training committees regarding accessibility awareness and information sessions, divisional training plans and customer service training;
    • Developing and delivering awareness, information and educational sessions; and
    • Developing and delivering learning modules that can be incorporated into conferences and learning events, or as stand-alone lunch and learn sessions.
  • In 2007, the Ontario Victims Services Secretariat provided training to all Managers at a Province-Wide managers’ Conference in Toronto. The presentation included a special focus on Customer Services Standards. Detailed participant feedback from the session will inform future sessions across the ministry.
  • The ministry’s intranet site includes information on accessibility within its Employee Orientation pages, including a link to the ministry’s Accessibility Plans, published on the ministry’s internet site.

Communications and information

Commitment

  • Continue to train or refresh training of public inquiry staff to use TTY equipment and provide ministry-specific TTY service to clients; and
  • Advertise the ministry's TTY telephone number in various telephone directories, on the ministry Internet, and on communication materials.

Status

Complete.

Action and Timeframe

All public inquiry staff are trained in the proper use of TTY equipment.  TTY service is provided to any caller who telephones the TTY line. 

The TTY number is clearly indicated in the “Contact Us” section of the ministry website.  The number is also published in various directories.

Built environment

Commitment

The ministry will continue to incorporate accessibility as a component of its annual Infrastructure Plan requests and planning process for accommodation and capital projects.

Status

Ongoing

Action and Timeframe

Accessibility requirements are currently factored into the Infrastructure Plan in two ways: 

  1. The scope and cost estimates for all proposed new projects factor in accessibility.  This means that no new project is planned without ensuring that the improvement is accessible and barrier-free. 
  2. Proactive individual requests for AODA projects that specifically address the improvement of accessibility in our existing courthouses, e.g. entrance ways, judge’s dais, washrooms, public counters.

Commitment

Each time a lease renewal is reviewed, accessibility requirements will be considered and communicated to the Ontario Realty Corporation (ORC).

Status

Ongoing

Action and Timeframe

As part of the lease renewal process, clients identify accessibility issues/deficiencies in their current space to be – in some cases – included as part of the lease negotiation with the landlord (i.e. as part of the new contract, the landlord must address identified issues/deficiencies).  The ongoing practice of facilitating this communication between the client and ORC continues to take place.

Commitment

As part of the implementation of capital and accommodation projects, the ministry will complete the Facilities Management Branch ODA Review Chart against the scope of the project, where appropriate.

Status

Complete

Action and Timeframe

Facilities Management Branch originally designed the ODA Review Chart for consultants retained for facility projects at a time in which ODA requirements were not mandatory.  However, the Ontario Building Code was revised to capture ODA requirements and was effective as of December 31, 2006.  Now, by law, consultants retained for facility projects must comply with the new Building Code.  Prior to the revisions to the Building Code, consultants retained for facility projects were mandated by ORC to capture ODA requirements and it was included as part of the consultant’s contract. 

Note that the ministry will continue to use the ODA Review Chart for internal assessment of facilities, where required.

Commitment

When conducting building condition assessments, feasibility assessments, or facility planning studies, Facilities Management Branch will review accessibility requirements through the ODA Review Chart. 

Status

Complete

Action and Timeframe

Facilities Management Branch originally designed the ODA Review Chart for consultants retained for facility projects at a time in which ODA requirements were not mandatory.  However, the Ontario Building Code was revised to capture ODA requirements and was effective as of December 31, 2006.  Now, by law, consultants retained for facility projects must comply with the new Building Code.  Prior to the revisions to the Building Code, consultants retained for facility projects were mandated by ORC to capture ODA requirements and it was included as part of the consultant’s contract. 

Note that the Ministry will continue to use the ODA Review Chart for internal assessment of facilities, where required.

Commitment

The Facilities Management Branch will engage in developing a best practice bulletin for barrier-free dais requirements for courthouse facilities. 

Status

In progress

Action and Timeframe

Development of barrier-free dais requirements for courthouse facilities is almost complete.  For the Durham Consolidated Courthouse project, ODA requirements were interpreted in conjunction with standard dais requirements per Architectural Design Standards.  Facilities Management Branch then used the model developed for Durham to inform a courtroom retrofit project in London.  ORC has approved the barrier-free dais plan for the London Courthouse. 

Next step for this commitment is to prepare best practice bulletin for review and approval.  Durham (new courthouse) and London (retrofit of existing facility) will be used as the basis for the bulletin. 

Acts and regulations

Commitment

In assessing its emergency evacuation plans the ministry will:

  • Take into account the varied needs of people with disabilities at all levels of their planning and response activities, and actively involve members of this community in planning efforts; and
  • Raise the awareness of people with disabilities of what they can do to prepare for their own safety and survival during times of evacuation.

Status

Complete

Action and Timeframe

The Emergency Management Unit developed an Employee Evacuation Assistance Self-Identification Program. 

In the development of the program, several jurisdictions’ practices related to the emergency evacuation of persons with disabilities were reviewed, including the emergency evacuation guide Ready New York:  For Seniors and People with Disabilities (2005 ); Emergency Management Ontario’s Emergency Preparedness Guide for People with Disabilities / Special Needs (2007 ); the Ministry of Government Services’ Emergency Evacuation Planning Directive (1991) and Emergency Evacuation Planning Guideline (1991).  Feedback received from the Ministry’s ODA Committee was incorporated into the development of the program. 

The program facilitates and documents the identification of staff support(s) for persons with disabilities who have self-identified their need to management for assistance during an emergency evacuation.

Commitment

Acts or regulations currently under review or going forward will be reviewed for issues of accessibility and barrier removal.  Officials will periodically be reminded of the Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2001 (ODA) requirement to review acts and regulations for barriers. 

Status

Ongoing

Action and Timeframe

During 2006-2007, as acts or regulations were drafted or reviewed, counsel reviewed for accessibility and barrier issues.  Acts or regulations are reviewed for accessibility and barrier issues as part of the ongoing legislative/regulatory and policy development process.

Commitment

The ministry will review ORC’s Standards for Barrier-free Design of Government Facilities in conjunction with the Provincial Architectural Design Standards for Courthouses to identify accessibility barriers for judges’ daises in court facilities.

Status

In Progress

Action and Timeframe

For 2007-2008, the ministry has decided to expand the scope of this commitment to include all barrier-free design best practices, such as for the witness box, jury box, and public counter.  The ministry is also committing to a continuous review of these barrier-free best practices on an ongoing basis. 

If a project scope involves the retrofit of a courtroom or a new courtroom, accessibility requirements for the entire courtroom will be considered, and where feasible, addressed.  This includes reviewing the accessibility of the judges’ dais and ensuring that the project is in line with both current government policy on accessibility and the Architectural Design Standards for Courthouses (ADS). 

In 2006-2007 the branch also proactively designed a barrier-free jury box and witness box to be included in the Major Crime Courtroom under construction at 2201 Finch Avenue West Courthouse, Toronto.  On a go-forward basis, if a project scope involves the retrofit of a courtroom or a new courtroom, this prototype will be considered, and where feasible, included in the design.

Ongoing Accessibility Improvement Initiatives

The Ministry of the Attorney General was successful in achieving its commitments described in previous accessibility plans.  This section highlights specific achievements. 

Customer service

Commitment

In the 2005-2006 Accessibility Plan, the Courts Services Division (CSD) committed to the introduction of a Site Accessibility Information Coordinator in seven pilot sites. CSD deferred introduction of the pilot to 2006-2007 due to operational demands in 2005-2006. 

Status

In progress

Action and Timeframe

At seven pilot sites across the province (Newmarket, Hamilton, Brockville, Sudbury, Thunder Bay, Osgoode Hall, London), designated staff are available to provide information on the accessibility-related services and features currently available at the court location. 

The pilot initiative is providing the Division the opportunity to identify the specific accessibility-related needs of people accessing the court system as work continues to make Ontario’s court system barrier free.  The public can provide feedback to identify accessibility needs and improve customer service. 

The pilot undertaking commenced in March 2007 and will continue until approximately February 2008.

Employment

Commitment

The ministry will continue to promote the accessibility of the workplace for people with disabilities by providing relevant tools and supports for managers and supervisors in accommodating their staff. 

Status

Complete

Action and Timeframe

Support on employment accommodation issues continues to be provided by trained Ministry Human Resources staff.  ministry-specific employment accommodation tools for managers were developed and posted on the ministry intranet site.

Communications and Information

Commitment

The Ontario Human Rights Commission will prepare an Accessibility Plan that will ensure the services and materials provided by the Commission are in a form that is accessible to the citizens of Ontario.

Status

In progress

Action and Timeframe

An internal working committee has been formed to work on the plan and will be responsible for reviewing current services and materials, and consulting with the Accessibility Directorate of Ontario and stakeholders in 2007-2008. 

A review of the current services and materials indicates the following achievements: 

  • New commission website designed with accessibility features - to be tested on an ongoing basis to ensure system is fully accessible. 
  • All commission documents are available in an electronic format on the website. 
  • Commission produced the new disability rights brochure. 
  • Information about the Code and the commission to be available in a sign language format by mid-June 2007. 
  • Current commission facilities are accessible. 
  • Commission public meetings that occur before a large audience are located in accessible facilities and include real-time captioning and sign language interpretation services.  Braille version of the material and presentation are available upon request.

Rationale

Although agencies are not required to prepare an Accessibility Plan, the commission believes that it should lead by example, supporting the principles of the Ontario Human Rights Code regarding accessibility.

TOP

The ministry intends to build on its achievements in the coming year by increasing awareness of accessibility and integrating accessibility into its business practices in priority areas including customer service, employment, communications and information, the built environment, and acts and regulations.  This section summarizes these commitments. 

Customer service

  • The ministry will increase accessibility awareness and integrate accessibility into business practices, programs and services;
  • The ministry will ensure program managers and supervisors are given guidance on accessibility in all procurement activities, as required by Section 5 of the ODA;
  • Accessibility requirements will continue to be considered as part of the Results-based Planning process;
  • The ministry will support the implementation of Customer Service Accessibility Standards – Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (AODA), through ongoing communication and education;
  • The ministry will inform and educate staff to increase their level of disability awareness and knowledge, and how they can meet the needs of their customers with disabilities;
  • Divisional training plans will continue to include customer service training for front-line staff; and
  • Receptionist and public inquiry staff that work directly with the public will continue to participate in ODA training, including refresher training for answering the ministry’s TTY line.

Employment

  • The ministry will promote accessibility of the workplace for people with disabilities by providing relevant tools and supports to managers and supervisors in accommodating their staff;
  • The ministry will accommodate the accessibility needs of employees and job applicants by providing manager and supervisor training regarding employment accommodation;
  • The ministry will communicate the need for all new managers and supervisors to complete on-line ODA e-learning training as part of the orientation process; and
  • A learning component regarding accessibility will be included in divisional conferences and annual training events to enhance skill development of ministry employees.

Communications and information

  • All new material posted to the ministry website will continue to be accessible by people with disabilities, including the availability of materials in alternative formats, as required by Section 6 of the ODA;
  • The ministry website will continue to meet or exceed requirements mandated by the internationally recognized Priority One and Two accessibility standards developed by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) and their Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI). The website will continue to incorporate accessibility with text reader technology, ease of navigation for people who rely on alternative pointing devices, graphics supported by alternative text, high-contrast colours and colour schemes to accommodate people with a visual impairment or who are colour-blind and a fully proportional site that allows users to enlarge or shrink font sizes. Ministry staff responsible for website development and maintenance are aware of changes and advances in technologies that support this commitment.

Built environment

  • The ministry will incorporate and address accessibility as a component of its annual Infrastructure Plan requests and in-year planning process for accommodation and capital projects;
  • In addition to meeting minimum standards for accessibility per the ORC Standards for Barrier Free Design, the ministry will continue to apply the most effective barrier-free design principles to all capital and accommodation projects where feasible and appropriate;
  • Each time a lease renewal is reviewed, accessibility requirements are considered and communicated to the Ontario Realty Corporation; and
  • On an ongoing basis, Facilities Management Branch will develop and/or review barrier-free best practices to support the Provincial Architectural Design Standards for Courthouses. In 2007-2008, Facilities Management Branch will continue to develop best practices for the requirements for judges’ dais, witness box and jury box as well as develop a barrier-free best practice for public counters.

Acts and regulations

  • Acts or regulations currently under review or going forward will be reviewed for issues of accessibility and barrier removal; 
  • The ministry will ensure that best practices pertaining to emergency preparedness for persons with disabilities are provided to the ministry’s Emergency Management building leads; and
  • The ministry will support the Accessibility Directorate of Ontario in meeting requirements under the AODA, including the province-wide standard (currently under development) for the Built Environment.

Other barriers

  • An Accessibility Plan will be prepared and posted as part of the ministry’s annual planning process, in consultation with the Accessibility Directorate of Ontario.  The ministry will use a best practice approach to plan development including stakeholder input; and
  • Build consideration of accessibility needs into all policy development/review and planning processes affecting court operations.

The Ministry of the Attorney General commits to identify, remove and prevent barriers to persons with disabilities in the coming year.  This section summarizes these commitments.

Customer service

Barrier

Managers and front-line court services staff would benefit from understanding how they can provide more accessible customer service in a court services environment.

Commitment

The ministry will develop, pilot and begin delivery of accessibility education for managers and front-line court services staff. 

Responsibility

Court Services Division

Timeline

The program will be developed in 2007, with the pilot and initial delivery of the program in 2008.

Barrier

People who use the court system cannot always find out about accessibility of court services, and do not always have a specific point of contact to identify accommodation needs.

Commitment

The Court Services Division will conduct an evaluation of its current pilot project to designate a Site Accommodation Coordinator in seven court locations across the province and develop strategy for expanding the initiative to all courthouses.  The division will also develop additional reference materials for coordinators on providing accommodation to people with a wide range of disabilities. 

Responsibility

Court Services Division

Timeline

2007-2008

Barrier

Managers and staff will need training and guidance on the application of the Customer Service Regulation.

Commitment

The ministry will assess the impact of the proposed customer service regulation and develop recommendations for implementation particularly regarding employee education and customer feedback mechanisms. 

The ministry will ensure that the existing Common Service Standards reflect the requirements of the new Customer Service Standards that will come into effect as a result of the AODA.

The ministry will undertake the following:

  • Conduct research, analyses and present options and recommendations to senior management regarding sector and ministry accessibility best practices and implementation;
  • Coordinate and facilitate stakeholder group input and feedback regarding accessibility plans, programs and policies;
  • Develop and deliver learning modules that can be incorporated into conferences and learning events, or as stand-alone lunch and learn sessions; and
  • Provide accessibility updates and overviews for divisional newsletters and intranet sites.

Responsibility

Management

Timeline

2007-2008

Employment accommodation

Barrier

Managers and supervisors may not be aware of the new Ontario Public Service Operating Policy on Employment Accommodation and Return to Work, as well as the accompanying tools available on the Ontario Public Service intranet and the ministry intranet.

Commitment

The ministry will communicate to managers and supervisors about the development of a new Ontario Public Service Employment Accommodation and Return to Work Operating Policy, along with accompanying tools, which are available on the Ontario Public Service intranet. This communication will also make managers and supervisors aware that supplemental tools on employment accommodation are available on the ministry intranet. Human resources staff will be available to answer questions from managers and supervisors regarding the policy or its application in specific situations.

Responsibility

Human Resources Branch

Timeline

2007-2008

Barrier

Job advertisements may unintentionally be written in a way that can impact applicants’ access and may result in inequitable treatment, thus limiting the Ontario Public Service’s ability to find the best candidate to fill positions.

Commitment

A guide to writing barrier-free employment advertisements has been written which will be communicated and made available to management and supervisors.  Human resources staff will be available to answer questions from managers and supervisors regarding the guide and its application.

Responsibility

Human Resources Branch

Timeline

2007-2008

Communications and information

Barrier

Accessibility education should be made available to the Judiciary and the Bar by organizations that normally provide education for these groups.

Commitment

The ministry will engage the Ontario Courts Accessibility Committee as well as organizations that provide education for the Judiciary and the Bar, and will promote and advise on the development of accessibility education. 

Responsibility

Court Services Division

Timeline

2007-2008

Built environment

Barrier

Remove physical accessibility barriers in facilities across the province. 

Commitment

As part of phase one in the development of the Asset Management Plan, the ministry completed regional courthouse assessment studies identifying high-level deficiencies, including compliance with the Ontario Disability Act and the ability of the facility to meet ODA requirements should a major renovation take place.  The Ministry will use the information gathered on accessibility deficiencies in these studies to inform infrastructure planning requests and go-forward strategies, beginning with the 2008-09 Infrastructure Plan. 

Responsibility

Facilities Management Branch

Timeline

Ongoing

Barrier

Prevent physical accessibility barriers in facilities across the province. 

Commitment

The Ministry will ensure that all Requests for Proposals (RFP) issued by the Ontario Realty Corporation for consultants retained to deliver capital and accommodation projects include a requirement for all proponents to demonstrate experience in the design and construction of barrier-free facilities. 

Responsibility

Facilities Management Branch

Timeline

Ongoing

Acts and regulations

Barrier

Consider the needs of persons with disabilities during an emergency evacuation. 

Commitment

The Emergency Management Unit will implement the Employee Evacuation Assistance Self-Identification program, including the development of a guide to assist managers to support the self-identified employees. 

Responsibility

Emergency Management Unit, Human Resources Branch and Facilities Management Branch

Timeline

2007-2008

For more information

Questions or comments about the ministry’s accessibility plan are always welcome. 

Please phone: 

General inquiry number: (416) 326-2220
Fax number: (416) 326-4007
TTY number: (416) 326-4012
1-800 number: 1-800-518-7901
E-mail: attorney.general@ontario.ca
Ministry Website address: www.attorneygeneral.jus.gov.on.ca

Visit the Ministry of Community and Social Services Accessibility Ontario web portal at: http://www.mcss.gov.on.ca/en/mcss/programs/accessibility/index.aspx.  The site promotes accessibility and provides information and resources on how to make Ontario a barrier-free province. 

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