2016-2020 Accessibility Plan

The Honorable Dave Levac, Speaker of the Legislative Assembly

ISSN 1710-5625

Introduction from the Speaker

All public sector and broader public sector organizations are required by law to have an annual accessibility plan and to make it available to the public.

The Legislative Assembly remains committed to improving accessibility through identifying, removing and preventing barriers in key areas of customer service, employment, communications and information, and the built environment.

At the Assembly we continue to build on our success and to look for ways to better meet the needs of people with disabilities who come into contact with the Assembly, regardless of whether they are staff, members of the general public or Members of the Provincial Parliament. This plan is regularly reviewed and updated.

If you have any comments or concerns, I encourage you to send them using the contact information located at the end of this document.

Sincerely,
Honourable Dave Levac
Speaker of the Legislative Assembly

Accessibility Achievements, 2012-2015

A Manager of Accessibility was hired for the period September 2014 to September 2016 to lead the Assembly’s work to ensure that its internet sites and the content on them are fully accessible by January 2016. Other projects undertaken by the Manager include the development of an accessibility resource for Assembly staff and providing advice on accessibility projects and planning.

Achievements: Information and Communication

The Assembly met the legislated requirement that the content on its internet site is accessible. This included making accessible:

  • Hansard
  • Votes and Proceedings,
  • Order Paper and Notices,
  • Sessional Papers Index,
  • House and Committee Hansard indexes and Hansard Search
  • Government and Members Motions
  • Committee reports
  • Committee meetings weekly notice
  • Committee agendas
  • Procedures for Applying for Private Legislation
  • all public fillable forms

Accessible interfaces were also created for the Legislative Gift Shop and Library Catalogue.

The Assembly now includes closed captioning on the video streaming of the House broadcast on the Assembly's internet site.

More than 50 staff members from across the Assembly have been trained on making electronic documents accessible using standard and best practices.

The Assembly made its emergency procedures, plans and public safety information accessible. This includes fire exit signage and written plans.

Legislative Library staff were trained on making the Library’s print documents accessible on demand. The Library harvests electronic documents for its catalogue in accessible format.

Achievements: Built Environment

Completed projects include:

  • The desks at all security posts are now accessible.
  • Voice notification has been installed in all elevators in the main Legislative building.
  • The East Wing Basement Men’s Washroom and the washrooms in the North Wing Basement were renovated to bring them up to current building code and accessibility standards with barrier free stalls and doors.
  • New signage was installed to improve accessibility in the Main Legislative Building.
  • Accessible tables and chairs were installed in the cafeteria.
  • The Library Circulation Desk and reception areas in Technology Services and Administrative Services were equipped with barrier free desks.

Achievements: Customer Service

The Assembly continued to train new staff and contractors in serving customers with disabilities as part of its orientation training and responded to feedback received.

T-Loop hearing systems were installed at main security desks and at the main Legislative entrance to assist those with hearing impairment.

Regular testing continued of the TTY telephone systems.

Achievements: Employment Standards

The Assembly reviewed its accommodation policies for all employees and advised all staff of its current policies and any changes or amendments to those policies. New employees are advised of accommodation policies upon hiring.

The Assembly’s recruitment notices include information on the availability of accommodation for applicants with disabilities. Upon request, applicants selected for participation in an assessment or selection process are accommodated in their need for materials or changes to the process used.

New Commitments for 2016 to 2020

The Legislative Assembly's overall goal is to ensure that all staff are able to anticipate and respond appropriately to accommodate requests from the public, staff (or potential staff), MPPs and others. This is ongoing and may require revision/creation of policies and procedures as well as additional training.

Commitments: Information and Communication

The Assembly will ensure that the content that it adds to its websites is compliant with WCAG 2.0 Level AA standards.
Implementation Timeframe: January 1, 2020 and ongoing.

Quality Assurance processes and methods established by the Web and Digital Publishing Team ensure that all new content developed for the Legislative Assembly meets regulatory requirements.
Implementation Timeframe: Ongoing

An Assembly intranet site will be launched to provide information to Assembly staff on accessibility policies, plans, standards and techniques.
Implementation Timeframe: Spring 2016

House documents will be made more accessible.
Implementation Timeframe: Fall 2016

The Assembly's Accessibility Working Group will consult with people with disabilities as it plans for future commitments.
Implementation Timeframe: Ongoing

The Assembly’s Accessibility Working Group will survey select Assembly staff on the adequacy of the customer service training that they receive.
Implementation Timeframe: 2016-2017

The Assembly’s Accessibility Working Group will continue to educate and update Assembly staff and management on the requirements under the AODA.
Implementation Timeframe: Ongoing

Commitments: Customer Service

The Assembly will continue to train staff and contractors in serving customers with disabilities as part of its orientation training and respond to feedback received.
Implementation Timeframe: Ongoing

Regular testing will continue of the TTY telephone systems.
Implementation Timeframe: Annual

Commitments: Employment Standards

The Assembly will review and revise its policies and templates for:

  • Return to Work Process
  • Return to Work Individualized Plan
  • Accommodation Process
  • Individual Accommodation Plan
  • Individualized Employee Emergency Response Plan
  • Training and/or communication of any changes will be provided to Assembly Management and staff.

Implementation Timeframe: 2016/2017

Commitments: The Built Environment

Barrier free door operators will be installed on the North Wing north stairwell and washroom doors.
Implementation Timeframe: 2016/2017

An accessible multicultural monument will be installed on the Assembly grounds. The landscaping will permit wheelchair access. The information kiosk and its content will be barrier-free.
Implementation Timeframe: 2016/2017

Comments about the Legislative Assembly's accessibility plan are always welcome.

For more information please contact:

Vicki Whitmell
Executive Director
Information and Technology Services Division and
Legislative Librarian
Legislative Assembly of Ontario
416-325-3939
vwhitmell@ola.org

Website: http://www.ontla.on.ca

Queen's Printer for Ontario, 2016

ISSN 1710-5625

Ce document est disponible en français

2012-2013 Accessibility Plan

The Honorable Dave Levac, Speaker of the Legislative Assembly

ISSN 1710-5625

Introduction from the Speaker

All public sector and broader public sector organizations are required by law to have an annual accessibility plan and to make it available to the public.

The Legislative Assembly remains committed to improving accessibility through identifying, removing and preventing barriers in key areas of customer service, employment, communications and information, and the built environment.

At the Assembly we continue to build on the success of our previous plans and are continuing to look for ways to better meet the needs of people with disabilities who come into contact with the Assembly, regardless of whether they are staff, members of the general public or Members of the Provincial Parliament.

If you have any comments or concerns, I encourage you to send them using the contact information located at the end of this document.

Sincerely,
Honourable Dave Levac
Speaker of the Legislative Assembly

Report on Accessibility Achievements for 2010-2011

Focus Area: Information and Communication

Commitment: The Assembly will investigate how to capture closed captioning (rich media) from its television broadcasts onto the video streaming on the Assembly's internet site in order to improve the accessibility of the internet video stream.

Achievement: Not completed this year, but work is ongoing to find the right technological solution to make video streaming accessible.

Commitment: The ODA Committee and the Assembly Information Management Office will develop and prepare a workshop on making electronic documents more accessible on the Assembly's website.

Achievement: Workshops and a 'show and tell' at the Assembly's professional development days were made to advise Legislative staff on how to make their documents accessible.

Commitment: The Assembly will continue to work to ensure that the content on its website is accessible.

Achievement: The Assembly has completed a through review of the content on its site and is making needed adjustments to it in order to ensure compliance with WCAG 2.0 Level AA web standards. The interface and design meets these standards, with work ongoing in ensuring that all content added to the site is compliant. Beginning in January 2012 job posting on the Assembly's websites will be fully accessible. A new education site planned for release in 2012 will also be fully accessible.

Focus Area: Built Environment

Achievements

  • An accessibility railing was installed in the Speaker's Gallery in the Legislative Chamber.
  • A new lightweight portable stage with an accessibility ramp was designed and purchased for the centre staircase in the Legislative Building. It is being used for special events and gatherings.
  • Additional entry point security desks were installed at building entrances to allow proper access to those with disabilities.
  • Voice notification was installed in the elevators in the west wing of the Legislative Building
  • Accessible way-finding signs were installed in the Legislative Building.

Report on Accessible Customer Service Requirements

The Assembly continued to train new staff and contractors in serving customers with disabilities as part of its orientation training and responds to feedback received.

New Commitments for 2011-2012

Focus Area: Information and Communication

  • The Assembly will make its emergency procedures, plans and public safety information accessible. This includes fire exit signage and written plans.
    • Implementation timeframe: January 2012
  • Where the Assembly websites are not yet compliant with WCAG 2.0 Level AA web standards the Assembly will develop, and make public, information on how people can get the information that they require in accessible format.
    • Implementation Timeframe: September 2012
  • The Assembly will continue toward making the content that it adds to its websites compliant with WCAG 2.0 Level AA standards. Beginning in January 2012 job postings on the Assembly's websites will be fully accessible. A new education site planned for release in 2012 will also be fully accessible.
    • Implementation Timeframe: Ongoing, with established goals in 2012

Focus Area: Customer Service

  • The Assembly's Accessibility Working Group will consult with people with disabilities as it works to complete its first multi-year accessibility plan.
    • Implementation Timeframe: Summer/Fall 2012
  • The Assembly's Accessibility Working Group will survey select Assembly staff on the adequacy of the customer service training that they receive.
    • Implementation Timeframe: March 2012
  • The Assembly's Accessibility Working Group will continue to educate and update Assembly staff on the requirements under the AODA.
    • Implementation Timeframe: Ongoing

Focus Area: Employment Standards

  • The Assembly's recruitment notices will include information on the availability of accommodation for applicants with disabilities. Upon request, applicants selected for participation in an assessment or selection process will be accommodated in their need for materials or changes to the process used.
    • Implementation Timeline: January 2012
  • The Assembly will review and add to or amend its accommodation policies for all employees and advise all staff of its current policies and any changes or amendments to those policies. New employees will be advised of accommodation policies upon hiring.
    • Implementation Timeline: September 2012

Focus Area: The Built Environment

  • Funding has been requested to complete the project to ensure that the desks at all security posts are accessible. The final areas scheduled for completion are the security areas in the Whitney building.
    • Implementation Timeframe: March 2013
  • Voice notification will be installed in the east and centre elevators in the main Legislative building.
    • Implementation Timeframe: March 2013
  • Funding has been requested to renovate the East Wing Men's Washroom to bring it up to current building code and accessibility standards.
    • Implementation Timeframe: March 2013
  • Funding has been requested to install new exterior signage to introduce and improve accessibility to the Main Legislative Building
    • Implementation Timeframe: March 2013.

Multi Year Planning

With much work having been completed over the last 7-8 years in making make the main legislative building accessible for the public, we must now also ensure that we our staff work areas are accessible. This will require some changes to the built environment such as, for example, making sure that our reception areas are accessible. This will be planned and budgeted for in year 2 (2013-2014).

The key area where we can most clearly identify long-term plans is information and communication, where much work needs to be completed on making the content accessible on our websites. This will take place over the next three to four years.


Comments about the Legislative Assembly's accessibility plan are always welcome.

For more information please contact:

Vicki Whitmell
Executive Director
Information and Technology Services Division and
Legislative Librarian
Legislative Assembly of Ontario
416-325-3939
vwhitmell@ola.org

Website: http://www.ontla.on.ca

Alternate formats of this document are available free upon request from:

ServiceOntario Publications
777 Bay Street, Suite M212, Market Level, Toronto, Ontario 5G 2C8
Tel: (416) 326-5300
Out of town customers, except Ottawa, call: 1-800-668-9938
In Ottawa, call (613) 238-3630 or toll-free 1-800-269-8758
TTY Service 1-800-268-7095

Queen's Printer for Ontario, 2012

ISSN 1710-5625

Ce document est disponible en français

2011-2012 Accessibility Plan

The Honorable Steve Peters, Speaker of the Legislative Assembly

ISSN 1710-5625

Introduction

This annual accessibility plan has been developed by the Legislative Assembly of Ontario to outline its commitments for 2011-2012 to ensure that no new barriers are created and that, over time, existing ones are removed.

The Legislative Assembly continues to build on its achievements by implementing initiatives to make Ontario an inclusive and accessible province where people of all abilities have a chance to fully achieve their potential.

Message from the Speaker

All public sector and broader public sector organizations are required by law to have an annual accessibility plan and to make it available to the public. This is the seventh year in which plans have been written and are being implemented by organizations such as ours across the province.

The Legislative Assembly is committed to improving accessibility through identifying, removing and preventing barriers in key areas of customer service, employment, communications and information, and the built environment.

At the Assembly we continue to build on the success of our previous plans and are continuing to look for ways to better meet the needs of people with disabilities who come into contact with the Assembly, regardless of whether they are staff, members of the general public or Members of the Provincial Parliament.

If you have any comments or concerns, I encourage you to send them using the contact information located at the end of this document.

Sincerely,
Hon. Steve Peters
Speaker, Legislative Assembly of Ontario

Report on Accessibility Achievements for 2009-2010

Focus Area: Built Environment:

Commitment: A plan will be developed to modify the design of the Assembly's entry point security desks to ensure that those with disabilities have proper access to the desks.

Achievement: Completed, with a number of the new desks already installed and operating.

Focus Area: Built Environment:

Commitment: There will be a review of the washrooms in the Pages' quarters in the Legislative Building to ensure that they meet the needs of those with disabilities.

Achievement: The review of the washrooms was completed and the work was done to make them completely accessible.

Focus Area: Built Environment:

Commitment: An elevator will be installed in the west wing of the Legislative Building housing the Office of the Lieutenant Governor.

Achievement: The elevator was completed and installed within a new entrance area that is fully accessible.

Focus Area: Built Environment:

Commitment: Signage throughout the main Legislative Building will continue to be reviewed to ensure that it is appropriate for those with disabilities.

Achievement: New signage formats have been adopted for the interior of the building and new signage is being installed in key areas. The ODA Working Group has provided input into the accessibility requirements for new signage on the Legislative grounds.

Focus Area: Information and Communication:

Commitment: The Assembly will continue to upgrade its intranet and internet sites and review their content to ensure that they meet accessibility standards.

Achievement: Ongoing. The work continues as the Assembly revamps and redesigns the sites and adds new and additional content.

Focus Area: Information and Communication:

Achievement: Installation of a closed captioning reader in the Speaker's Gallery. All public galleries in the Legislative Chamber now have access to closed captioning.

Report on Accessible Customer Service Requirements

Focus Area: Customer Service

Commitment: The Assembly will establish and publish its policies, practices and procedures relating to the provision of goods and services.

Achievements: The Assembly established and published its policies, practices and procedures relating to the provision of goods and services to people with disabilities and posted them on the front page of the Assembly's website: www.ontla.on.ca. This page also includes information for the public on how to provide feedback on how well the Assembly is doing in meeting its customer service requirements.

Focus Area: Customer Service

Commitment: The Assembly will establish policies, practices and procedures for people to provide feedback on how the Assembly provides goods or services to people with disabilities and how it will respond to any feedback and take action on any complaints.

Achievements: Feedback can be provided to the Assembly in person, via telephone or via email (accessibility@ontla.ola.org) to the Chair of the Assembly's Ontarians with Disabilities (ODA) Working Group. When feedback and/or complaints are received, receipt is acknowledged and the requestor is given a time frame for response if action or information is needed. The proper Assembly staff person is advised and the appropriate response is made.

Focus Area: Customer Service

Commitment: The Assembly will train staff, volunteers and contractors who interact with the public on a number of topics as outlined in the customer services standard.

Achievements: The Assembly established a training program for its staff on providing customer service to people with disabilities. All Assembly staff received this training and a training program has been put into place that ensures that all new Assembly staff members, and any volunteers and contractors, receive customer service training.

Information and Communication Commitments

Focus Area: Information and Communication

The Assembly will investigate how to capture closed captioning (rich media) from its television broadcasts onto the video streaming on the Assembly's internet site in order to improve the accessibility of the internet video stream.

Commitment: New

Planned Action: The Assembly will make recommendations on how best to include the closed captioning feed now available on its television broadcasts on its web broadcasts, with a goal of including it in both the live and archived versions of the broadcasts.

Implementation Timeframe: October 2011.

Focus Area: Information and Communication

The ODA Committee and the Assembly Information Management Office will develop and prepare a workshop on making electronic documents more accessible on the Assembly's website.

Commitment: New

Planned Action: The program will be developed based on the types and formats of documents now made available on the Assembly's intranet site.

Implementation Timeframe: Winter 2011.

Focus Area: Information and Communication

Planned Action: The Assembly will continue to work to ensure that the content on its website is accessible. To do this, it will use tools such as HiSoftware Compliance Sheriff.

Commitment: Ongoing. The work continues as the Assembly revamps and redesigns the sites and adds new and additional content.

Implementation Timeframe: Ongoing

Other Accessibility Commitments

Focus Area: Built Environment

Planned Action: Accessibility railing will be installed in the Speaker's Gallery in the Legislative Chamber.

Commitment: New

Planned Action: The railing has been designed and will be installed.

Implementation Timeframe: January â€" February 2011

Focus Area: Built Environment

Planned Action: A new portable stage will be designed and purchased. This stage is used for special events and gatherings. It will include an accessibility ramp.

Commitment: New

Planned Action: Working with a vendor a lightweight portable stage will be designed and fitted to the unique features of the centre staircase in the Legislative Building.

Implementation Timeframe: March 2011

Focus Area: Built Environment:

Planned Action: Additional entry point security desks will be installed that ensure proper access to those with disabilities.

Commitment: Completing work begun in 2010-2011.

Implementation Timeframe: 2011-2012


Comments about the Legislative Assembly's accessibility plan are always welcome.

For more information please contact:

Vicki Whitmell, MLS
Executive Director Legislative Library
Legislative Assembly of Ontario
416-325-3939
vicki_whitmell@ontla.ola.org
Website: www.ontla.on.ca

Alternate formats of this document are available free upon request from:

Publications Ontario
880 Bay Street, Toronto, Ontario M7A 1N8
Tel: (416) 326-5300
Out of town customers, except Ottawa, call: 1-800-668-9938
In Ottawa, call (613) 238-3630
or toll-free 1-800-269-8758
TTY Service 1-800-268-7095

© Queen's Printer for Ontario
ISSN 1710-5625

2010-2011 Accessibility Plan

The Honorable Steve Peters, Speaker of the Legislative Assembly

ISSN 1710-5625

Introduction

This annual accessibility plan has been developed by the Legislative Assembly of Ontario to outline its commitments for 2010-2011 to ensure that no new barriers are created and that, over time, existing ones are removed.

The Legislative Assembly continues to build on its achievements by implementing initiatives to make Ontario an inclusive and accessible province where people of all abilities have a chance to fully achieve their potential.

Message from the Speaker

All public sector and broader public sector organizations are required by law to have an annual accessibility plan and to make it available to the public. This is the seventh year in which plans have been written and are being implemented by organizations such as ours across the province.

The Legislative Assembly is committed to improving accessibility through identifying, removing and preventing barriers in key areas of customer service, employment, communications and information, and the built environment.

At the Assembly we continue to build on the success of our previous plans and are continuing to look for ways to better meet the needs of people with disabilities who come into contact with the Assembly, regardless of whether they are staff, members of the general public or Members of the Provincial Parliament.

If you have any comments or concerns, I encourage you to send them using the contact information located at the end of this document.

Sincerely,
Hon. Steve Peters
Speaker, Legislative Assembly of Ontario

Report on Status of Customer Service Requirements

1. The Assembly will establish policies, practices and procedures relating to the provision of goods and services to people with disabilities.

  • Commitment: Ongoing
  • Planned Action: The Assembly's current policies, practices and procedures are being reviewed for appropriateness and new policies are being developed and put into place as needed.
  • Implementation Timeframe: January 2010.

2. The Assembly will use reasonable efforts to ensure that the Assembly's policies, practices and procedures are consistent with the core principles of independence, dignity, integration and equality and opportunity.

  • Commitment: Ongoing
  • Planned Action: The Assembly's current policies, practices and procedures are being reviewed for appropriateness and new policies are being developed and put into place as needed.
  • Implementation Timeframe: January 2010.

3. The Assembly will continue its practice of allowing people to use their own personal assistive devices to access its goods and use its services. This practice is being formalized into a policy.

  • Commitment: Ongoing
  • Planned Action: The current practice is being reviewed for appropriateness and formalized in a policy.
  • Implementation Timeframe: January 2010.

4. Assembly staff will communicate with a person with a disability in a manner that takes into account his or her disability.

  • Commitment: Ongoing
  • Planned Action: All staff will be trained, retrained or refreshed in the appropriate method of communicating with a person with a disability.
  • Implementation Timeframe: December 2009.

5. The Assembly will continue its practice of allowing people with disabilities to be accompanied by their guide dog or service animal in the Legislative Building.

  • Commitment: Ongoing
  • Planned Action: The current practice is being reviewed for appropriateness and formalized in a policy.
  • Implementation Timeframe: January 2010

6. The Assembly will continue its practice of permitting people with disabilities who use a support person to bring that person with them while accessing the Assembly's goods or services in the Legislative Building.

  • Commitment: Ongoing
  • Planned Action: The current practice is being reviewed for appropriateness and formalized in a policy.
  • Implementation Timeframe: January 2010

7. The Assembly will provide notice of any admission fee that may be charged for a support person of a person with a disability.

  • Commitment: Ongoing
  • Planned Action: The current practice is being reviewed for appropriateness and formalized in a policy.
  • Implementation Timeframe: January 2010

8. The Assembly will provide notice when facilities or services that people with disabilities rely on to access or use the Assembly's goods or services are temporarily disrupted.

  • Commitment: Ongoing
  • Planned Action: The current practice is being reviewed for appropriateness and formalized in a policy.
  • Implementation Timeframe: January 2010

9. The Assembly will train staff, volunteers and contractors who interact with the public on a number of topics as outlined in the customer service standard.

  • Commitment: To be completed by December 2009.

10. The Assembly will train staff involved in developing Assembly policies, practices and procedures on the provision of Assembly goods and services on a number of topics as outlined in the customer service standard.

  • Commitment: Ongoing
  • Planned Action: The Working Group and the appropriate staff have received proper updates and needed training and will continue to upgrade their knowledge as needed.
  • Implementation Timeframe: November 2009 to March 2011

11. The Assembly will establish a process for people to provide feedback on how the Assembly provides goods or services to people with disabilities and how it will respond to any feedback and take action on any complaints. The information about the Assembly's feedback process will be made readily available to the public.

  • Commitment: Ongoing
  • Planned Action: The Assembly is considering how best to provide an avenue for feedback and response and how to make that feedback process available to the public.
  • Implementation Timeframe: January 2010.

Report on Commitments

Focus Area: Built Environment: The design of the Assembly's security desks will be modified to ensure that those with disabilities have proper access to the desks.

  • Commitment: Ongoing
  • Results Achieved: Three of the security stations in the Legislative Building have been redesigned and will be built and installed by March 2010.
  • Planned Action: The remaining security stations that are located at other entry points in the Legislative Building and Whitney Block will be reviewed to determine if modifications are needed to ensure that they do not act as a barrier to those with disabilities who approach them or who work in them.
  • Implementation Timeframe: Completion of three new desks by March 2010. Other desks to be reviewed and/or redesigned during fiscal year 2010-2011.

Focus Area: Built Environment: There will be a review of the washrooms in the Pages' quarters in the Legislative Building to ensure that they meet the needs of those with disabilities.

  • Commitment: Ongoing
  • Results Achieved: The washrooms in the Pages' quarters in the Legislative Building have been redesigned.
  • Planned Action: If funding is approved, the washrooms will be modified to meet current barrier-free standards.
  • Implementation Timeframe: April 2010 to March 2011.

Focus Area: Built Environment: Consideration will be given to installing hand railings on the stairs behind the grand staircase.

  • Commitment: Ongoing
  • Planned Action: This would be the completion of the project to install a new accessibility elevator behind the grand staircase.
  • Implementation Timeframe: April 2010 to March 2011.

Focus Area: Built Environment: An elevator will be installed in the west wing of the Legislative Building housing the Office of the Lieutenant Governor.

  • Commitment: Completed.

Focus Area: Built Environment: Signage throughout the main Legislative Building will continue to be reviewed to ensure that it is appropriate for those with disabilities.

  • Commitment: Ongoing
  • Planned Action: The review is continuing and sign changes are made as needed.
  • Implementation Timeframe: April 2010 to March 2011.

Focus Area: Information and Communication: The Working Group will organize an accessibility awareness event tied in with the Assembly's Health Fair to inform Assembly staff about the new AODA regulations and to make them more aware of the needs of the disabled.

  • Commitment: Ongoing
  • Results Achieved: The ODA Working Group created a brochure and a display at the Assembly's Health Fair to keep staff informed about the Assembly's progress in reducing barriers and the impact of the new ODA regulations. Members of the committee also made a presentation on these topics to the Assembly's management team of Executive Directors and Directors.
  • Planned Action: The Working Group will continue to look for the best ways to inform Assembly staff about the new AODA regulations and to make them more aware of the needs of the disabled.

Focus Area: Information and Communication: As part of its efforts to make all of its publications fully accessibility, the Assembly will review the current standards that it uses to create, capture and preserve information. The goal is to make the materials available on its website in a fully accessible format.

Commitment: Ongoing

  • Achieved Results: The Assembly's new intranet site was completed and launched in August 2010. The site meets accessibility design standards. Remediation work continues on the content of the site.
  • Planned Action: A review will be made of the best standards for making accessible electronic data and information through the Assembly's webiste. Procedures will be revised as needed based upon the review.
  • Implementation Timeframe: November 2009 to March 2011.

Focus Area: Information and Communication: Improve accessibility to the proceedings of the Legislature for those seated in the Speaker's Gallery, the public area of the Chamber with barrier-free access.

  • Planned Action: A monitor displaying closed captioning of the proceedings of the Legislature will be installed in the Speaker's Gallery.
  • Implementation Timeframe: January 2010

Comments about the Legislative Assembly's accessibility plan are always welcome.

For more information please contact:

Vicki Whitmell, MLS
Executive Director Legislative Library
Legislative Assembly of Ontario
416-325-3939
vicki_whitmell@ontla.ola.org
Website: www.ontla.on.ca

Alternate formats of this document are available free upon request from:

Publications Ontario
880 Bay Street, Toronto, Ontario M7A 1N8
Tel: (416) 326-5300
Out of town customers, except Ottawa, call: 1-800-668-9938
In Ottawa, call (613) 238-3630
or toll-free 1-800-269-8758
TTY Service 1-800-268-7095

© Queen's Printer for Ontario
ISSN 1710-5625

Ce document est disponible en français 

2009-2010 Accessibility Plan

LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY OF ONTARIO
2009-2010 ACCESSIBILITY PLAN

THE HONORABLE STEVE PETERS
SPEAKER OF THE LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY

ISSN 1710-5625

This document is the sixth annual accessibility plan developed by the Legislative Assembly of Ontario, outlining the Assembly's commitments for 2008-2009 to ensure that no new barriers are created and, over time, existing ones are removed.

The Legislative Assembly continues to build on its achievements by implementing initiatives to make Ontario an inclusive and accessible province where people of all abilities have a chance to fully achieve their potential.

Message from the Speaker

All public sector and broader public sector organizations are required by law to have an annual accessibility plan and to make it available to the public. This is the sixth year in which plans have been written and are being implemented by organizations such as ours across the province.

The Legislative Assembly is committed to improving accessibility through identifying, removing and preventing barriers in key areas of customer service, employment, communications and information, and the built environment.

At the Assembly we continue to build on the success of our previous plans and are continuing to look for ways to better meet the needs of people with disabilities who come into contact with the Assembly, regardless of whether they are staff, members of the general public or Members of the Provincial Parliament.

If you have any comments or concerns, I encourage you to send them using the contact information located at the end of this document.

Sincerely,
Steve Peters
Speaker of the Legislative Assembly

Report on Status of Customer Service Requirements

1. The Assembly will establish policies, practices and procedures relating to the provision of goods and services to people with disabilities.

Commitment: New

Planned Action: The Assembly's current policies, practices and procedures will be reviewed for appropriateness and new policies will be developed and put into place as needed.

Implementation Timeframe: January to December 2009.

2.The Assembly will use reasonable efforts to ensure that the Assembly's policies, practices and procedures are consistent with the core principles of independence, dignity, integration and equality and opportunity.

Commitment: New

Planned Action: The Assembly's current policies, practices and procedures will be reviewed to ensure that they are consistent with the core principles.

Implementation Timeframe: January to December 2009.

3. The Assembly will continue its practice of allowing people to use their own personal assistive devices to access its goods and use its services. This practice will be formalized in a policy.

Commitment: New

Planned Action: The current practice will be reviewed for appropriateness and formalized in a policy.

Implementation Timeframe: January to December 2009.

4. Assembly staff will communicate with a person with a disability in a manner that takes into account his or her disability.

Commitment: New

Planned Action: Front line staff will be trained, retrained or refreshed in the appropriate method of communicating with a person with a disability.

Implementation Timeframe: January to December 2009.

5. The Assembly will continue its practice of allowing people with disabilities to be accompanied by their guide dog or service animal in the Legislative Building.

Commitment: New

Planned Action: The current practice will be reviewed for appropriateness and formalized in a policy.

Implementation Timeframe: January to December 2009.

6. The Assembly will continue its practice of permitting people with disabilities who use a support person to bring that person with them while accessing the Assembly's goods or services in the Legislative Building.

Commitment: New

Planned Action: The current practice will be reviewed for appropriateness and formalized in a policy.

Implementation Timeframe: January to December 2009.

7. The Assembly will provide notice of any admission fee that may be charged for a support person of a person with a disability.

Commitment: New

Planned Action: The current practice will be reviewed for appropriateness and formalized in a policy.

Implementation Timeframe: January to December 2009.

8. The Assembly will provide notice when facilities or services that people with disabilities rely on to access or use the Assembly's goods or services are temporarily disrupted.

Commitment: New

Planned Action: The current practice will be reviewed for appropriateness and formalized in a policy. Procedures will be set into place.

Implementation Timeframe: September to December 2009.

9. The Assembly will train staff, volunteers and contractors who interact with the public on a number of topics as outlined in the customer service standard.

Commitment: New

Planned Action: An appropriate training program will be put in place that meets the needs of the Assembly, its staff and members of the public.

Implementation Timeframe: September to December 2009.

10. The Assembly will train staff involved in developing Assembly policies, practices and procedures on the provision of Assembly goods and services on a number of topics as outlined in the customer service standard.

Commitment: New

Planned Action: The Assembly has added additional staff to the Working Group responsible for the development of the Assembly policies, practices and procedures in this area. They will receive proper updates and needed training.

Implementation Timeframe: January to March 2009.

11. The Assembly will establish a process for people to provide feedback on how the Assembly provides goods or services to people with disabilities and how it will respond to any feedback and take action on any complaints. The information about the Assembly's feedback process will be made readily available to the public.

Commitment: New

Planned Action: The Assembly will consider how best to provide an avenue for feedback and response and how to make that feedback process available to the public.

Implementation Timeframe: January to December 2009.

Report on Commitments

Focus Area: Built Environment: A plan will be developed to modify the design of the Assembly's security desks to ensure that those with disabilities have proper access to the desks.

Commitment: New

Planned Action: The Assembly's security stations that are located at the entry points in the Legislative Building and Whitney Block will be reviewed to determine if modifications are needed to ensure that they do not act as a barrier to those with disabilities who approach them or who work in them.

Implementation Timeframe: January to December 2009.

Focus Area: Built Environment: There will be a review of the washrooms in the Pages' quarters in the Legislative Building to ensure that they meet the needs of those with disabilities.

Commitment: New

Planned Action: The washrooms will be assessed and plans put into place as needed to modify the washrooms to meet current barrier-free standards.

Implementation Timeframe: January to December 2009.

Focus Area: Built Environment: Railings will be installed on the stairs behind the grand staircase.

Commitment: New

Planned Action: This will be the completion of the project to install a new accessibility elevator behind the grand staircase.

Implementation Timeframe: January to December 2009.

Focus Area: Built Environment: An elevator will be installed in the west wing of the Legislative Building housing the Office of the Lieutenant Governor.

Commitment: Ongoing

Planned Action: This project is underway and will be completed in 2009.

Implementation Timeframe: January to December 2009.

Focus Area: Built Environment: Signage throughout the main Legislative Building will continue to be reviewed to ensure that it is appropriate for those with disabilities.

Commitment: Ongoing

Planned Action: New signage was installed in 2008 to denote the barrier free entrance on the south basement entrance. Signage will be reviewed in the other exterior and interior areas of the building, including the south steps and entrance to the tunnel between the Legislative Building and the Whitney Block.

Implementation Timeframe: January to September 2009.

Focus Area: Information and Communication: The Working Group will organize an accessibility awareness event tied in with the Assembly's Health Fair to inform Assembly staff about the new AODA regulations and to make them more aware of the needs of the disabled.

Commitment: New

Planned Action: An event will be organized by the Working Group that suits the educational needs and interests of those attending the Health Fair.

Implementation Timeframe: January to December 2009.

Focus Area: Information and Communication: The Assembly will continue to upgrade its intranet and internet sites and review their content to ensure that they meet accessibility standards.

Commitment: Ongoing

Planned Action: The work continues as the Assembly revamps and redesigns the sites and adds new and additional content.

Implementation Timeframe: January to December 2009.

Comments about the Legislative Assembly's accessibility plan are always welcome.

For more information please contact:

Vicki Whitmell, MLS
Executive Director Legislative Library
Legislative Assembly of Ontario
416-325-3939
vicki_whitmell@ontla.ola.org
Website: www.ontla.on.ca

Alternate formats of this document are available free upon request from:

Publications Ontario
880 Bay Street, Toronto, Ontario M7A 1N8
Tel: (416) 326-5300
Out of town customers, except Ottawa, call: 1-800-668-9938
In Ottawa, call (613) 238-3630
or toll-free 1-800-269-8758
TTY Service 1-800-268-7095

2007-2008 Accessibility Plan

The Honorable Michael A. Brown, Speaker of the Legislative Assembly

ISSN 1710-5625

Introduction

This document is the fifth annual accessibility plan developed by the Legislative Assembly of Ontario. It highlights achievements of the fourth year plan and outlines commitments for 2007-2008 to ensure that no new barriers are created and, over time, existing ones are removed.

The Legislative Assembly intends to build on its achievements by implementing initiatives that support the government's commitment to make Ontario an inclusive and accessible province where people of all abilities have a chance to fully achieve their potential.

Message from the Speaker

All public sector and broader public sector organizations are required by law to have an annual accessibility plan and to make it available to the public. This is the fifth year in which plans have been written and are being implemented by organizations such as ours across the province.

The Legislative Assembly is committed to improving accessibility through identifying, removing and preventing barriers in key areas of customer service, employment, communications and information, and the built environment.

Here at the Assembly we are building on the success of our previous plans and continuing to look for ways to better meet the needs of people with disabilities who come into contact with the Assembly, regardless of whether they are staff, members of the general public or Members of the Provincial Parliament.

If you have any comments or concerns, I encourage you to send them using the contact information located at the end of this document.

Sincerely,

Michael A. Brown

Speaker of the Legislative Assembly

Report on Achievements

Much of the work in year four focused on planning for future improvements in communications and information, customer service and the built environment. As a result of the planning undertaken in year three, we have seen changes to our internet site, improved accessibility in the Legislative building, and increased awareness of accessibility issues among our staff.

2006-2007 Accessibility Improvement Initiatives

Commitment
To make the paper passes required for special admission to the public galleries in the Chamber available in alternate formats (large print and Braille).
Status
Complete.
Commitment
Gather feedback from staff on employment barriers that exist in the Assembly.
Status
In progress.
Timeframe
Expected completion date November 2007.
Commitment
Provide more information to staff on the issues around all types of barriers and the activities being taken to reduce these barriers. This would include an article in an upcoming issue of the Assembly's staff newsletter.
Status
In progress.
Timeframe
An article will be published in Fall 2007 in the Assembly staff newsletter.
Commitment
Installation of a new elevator to the north wing of the Legislative Building and the removal of the ramps from behind the grand staircase.
Status
In progress.
Timeframe
Expected completion date January 2008.
Commitment
Installation of an intercom system at the entrance to the south basement.
Status
In progress.
Timeframe
Expected completion November 2007.
Commitment
Improve accessibility signage in all public and staff areas in the Legislative Building.
Status
In progress. Plans are being developed to review the signage and identify best new designs.
Timetable
Expected completion Spring 2008.

Ongoing Accessibility Improvement Initiatives

Commitment
To increase the number of non-managerial/non-supervisory staff completing accessibility training. Focus is on ensuring that all new staff members have completed the online training module.
Status
Ongoing. The commitment has been broadened, with all staff now required to complete the online accessibility training module. All new staff will also be required to take this training.
Commitment
Increase the Accessibility Committee's knowledge of assistive technologies with visits to best practice institutions. For example, a site visit is planned to the University of Toronto Centre for Adaptive Technologies in September 2007.
Status
Ongoing
Commitment
Review of the content of the Assembly's internet site to meet accessibility standards. The information architecture, information design, navigation, organization and all data-driven pages has been completed and the new site was launched in February 2007. Work continues on content improvements.
Status
Ongoing.

Commitments -- Measures to Prevent New Barriers

Customer Service

We will require all Legislative Assembly staff to undertake the Accessibility Directorate's training module on customer service for people with disabilities.

Employment

We will continue to provide training to all new staff and all management staff on accommodating employees and job applicants who have disabilities.

Communications and Information

We will continue to improve access to legislative committee meetings (on and off-site) for people with disabilities.

We will continue to make available alternative communication systems, e.g. TTYs, closed captioning, alternate formats, to facilitate access to the Legslature's services and its activities.

Built Environment

We will continue to review the Legislative Building to identify areas that restrict access to people with disabilities. Every reasonable effort will be made to remove the barriers to ensure premises comply with the requirements of the new Barrier-Free Guidelines.

Commitments -- Barriers to be Addressed

Customer Service

Barrier
Barriers may exist for those who are deaf, deafened, and hard of hearing when telephoning the Legislative Assembly
Commitment
Additional training will be given to all staff manning TTY and VCO telephones to ensure that a high quality of service is being provided to callers of these lines
Responsibility
Telecommunications staff
Timetable
November 2007.

Employment

Barrier
Barriers may exist for people with disabilities working in the Legislature.
Commitment
The staff will be surveyed in the Fall of 2007 to identify any barriers. Comments and concerns will be evaluated and considered.
Responsibility
Accessibility Working Group and Human Resources.
Timeline
Spring 2008.

Built Environment

Barrier
The Lieutenant-Governor's suite will be upgraded as required to meet current accessibility standards.
Commitment
Needed improvements will be made based on the requirements of the Office.
Responsibility
Precinct Properties Branch
Timeline
Expected completion Summer 2008 pending any funding approval needed.

Questions or comments about the Legislative Assembly's accessibility plan are always welcome.

For more information please contact:

Vicki Whitmell, MLS
Executive Director Legislative Library
Legislative Assembly of Ontario
416-325-3939
vicki_whitmell@ontla.ola.org
Website: www.ontla.on.ca

Alternate formats of this document are available free upon request from:

Publications Ontario
880 Bay Street, Toronto, Ontario M7A 1N8
Tel: (416) 326-5300
Out of town customers, except Ottawa, call: 1-800-668-9938
In Ottawa, call (613) 238-3630
or toll-free 1-800-269-8758
TTY Service 1-800-268-7095

© Queen's Printer for Ontario
ISSN 1710-5625

Ce document est disponible en français 

2006-2007 Accessibility Plan

The Honorable Michael A. Brown, Speaker of the Legislative Assembly

ISSN 1710-5625

Introduction

This document is the fourth annual accessibility plan developed by the Legislative Assembly of Ontario. It highlights achievements of the third year plan and outlines commitments for 2006-2007, the fourth year, so that no new barriers are created and, over time, existing ones are removed.

The Legislative Assembly intends to build on its achievements by implementing initiatives that support the government's commitment to continue to make Ontario an inclusive and accessible province.

Message from the Speaker

All public sector and broader public sector organizations are required by law to have an annual accessibility plan and to make it available to the public. This is the fourth year in which plans have been written and are being implemented by organizations such as ours across the province.

The Legislative Assembly is committed to improving accessibility through identifying, removing and preventing barriers in key areas of customer service, employment, communications and information, and the built environment.

Here at the Assembly we are building on the success of our previous three plans and continuing to look for ways to better meet the needs of people with disabilities who come into contact with the Assembly, regardless of whether they are staff, members of the general public or Members of the Provincial Parliament.

If you have any comments or concerns, I encourage you to send them using the contact information located at the end of this document.

Sincerely,

Michael A. Brown
Speaker of the Legislative Assembly

Report on Achievements

Much of the work in year three focused on planning for future improvements in communications and information, customer service and the built environment. The work in year four builds on the planning undertaken in year three and we will see changes to our internet site, improved accessibility in the Legislative building, and increased awareness of accessibility issues among our staff.

2005-2006 Accessibility Improvement Initiatives

Communications and Information

Commitment
Increase the Assembly's Accessibility Committee's knowledge of assistive technologies.
Status
Complete.
Action
The Committee visited and toured the new CNIB building to review and learn about state-of-the-art facilities.
Commitment
Create awareness of the Assembly's Accessibility Committee by publicizing its activities within the Assembly.
Status
Complete.
Action
The Committee hosted a display on its activities at an Assembly-wide technology fair in September 2005.

Built Environment

Commitment
Implement ORC Standards for Barrier-Free Design of Ontario Government Facilities in capital and renovation projects.
Status
Complete.
Action taken
These standards were met on capital and renovation projects in 2005-2006, including the renovation of the Journals Branch in the summer of 2006.

Ongoing Accessibility Improvement Initiatives

Customer Service

Commitment
Widen accessibility training among Assembly staff.
Status
Ongoing.
Action
Training on accessibility was incorporated into the Assembly's Respect in the Workforce training program that is mandatory for all new hires.
Rationale
This is a multi-year program necessary to reach all current Assembly staff and new staff.

Communications and Information

Commitment
The redesign of the Assembly's internet website will include posting international symbols on the website to indicate accessibility, the availability of alternate formats and TTY equipment, and the use of plain language to ensure that content developed for the Assembly's website is accessible. Guidelines will be developed for both the internet and intranet sites to take into account best practices, research completed to date, and available technologies.
Status
Ongoing.
Action taken
Consideration of accessibility issues was built into the project plan for the Assembly's site redesign project, carried out during 2006.
Rationale
The new site will be launched early in 2007.
Commitment
Install a television set with closed captioning in the Speaker's Gallery.
Status
Incomplete.
Action taken
Logistics have necessitated a review of this commitment.

Built Environment

Commitment
Refitting of the platform lift behind grand staircase in Legislative building.
Status
Ongoing.
Action taken
The design for a new elevator to replace the platform lift has been completed. If funding is approved, a new elevator will be installed in 2008-2009, improving accessibility to the north wing of the Legislative building.
Rationale
This is a two-year design and construction project.
Commitment
Improve accessibility signage in all public and staff areas in the Legislative Building.
Status
Ongoing.
Action taken
Plans are being developed to review the signage and identify best new designs.
Rationale
Funding is required to plan for, design and install appropriate signage to meet the needs of the Assembly's historical building.

Commitments - Measures to Prevent New Barriers

Customer Service

Barrier
Although all managers and supervisors have completed the online accessibility training course, other Assembly staff have not been asked to complete the training. New staff members are introduced to accessibility training through Respect in the Workforce Training, however completion of the online course has not been monitored.
Commitment
To increase the number of non-managerial/non-supervisory staff completing accessibility training. The focus this year will be in ensuring that all new staff complete the online training module.
Responsibility
Human Resources
Timetable
Follow-through after three months of completion of Respect in the Workplace training to ensure that online accessibility training has been completed.
Barrier
The paper passes required for special admission to the public galleries are unavailable in alternate formats.
Commitment
To make these passes available in large print and Braille.
Responsibility
Assembly Security Service
Timetable
To be completed March 2007.

Employment

Barrier
Assembly staff have not been asked for feedback as to employment barriers that may exist in the Assembly.
Commitment
The Accessibility Committee will ask Assembly staff for their input and feedback.
Responsibility
Accessibility Committee.
Timeline
Fall 2007.

Communications and Information

Barrier
The current internet site was not developed with accessibility issues in mind, although the site complied with the W3C Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (May 1999).
Commitment
The re-design of the Assembly's internet website is underway and will launch early in 2007. At that time, the information architecture, information design, navigation, organization and all data-driven pages (including Bills and Members' information) will be developed and tested to meet WCAG 1.0 AA standards of accessibility.
Responsibility
Assembly Internet Redesign (AIR) Team
Timelines
Early 2007.
Barrier
The Accessibility Committee needs to continue to explore new technologies and new and retrofitted facilities in order to increase its knowledge of possible barriers.
Commitment
Increase the Accessibility Committee's knowledge of assistive technologies with visits to best practice institutions, e.g. University of Toronto Adaptive Technology Centre
Responsibility
Accessibility Committee
Timeline
Spring-Summer 2007.
Barrier
There needs to be greater awareness among Assembly staff of the Assembly's Accessibility Committee's activities
Commitment
Provide more information to staff on the issues around all types of barriers and the activities being taken to reduce these barriers. This would include an article in an upcoming issue of the Assembly's staff newsletter.
Responsibility
Accessibility Committee
Timeline
Spring 2007

Built Environment

Barrier
The platform behind the grand staircase that provides the only accessible means to access the north wing from the south, east and west wings is no longer functioning properly and is out-of-date. Ramps on the stairs are too steep for proper maneuverability.
Commitment
Installation of new elevator to the North wing and removal of ramps from behind the grand staircase.
Responsibility
Precinct Properties Branch
Timeline
The design for a new elevator to replace the platform lift has been completed. If funding is approved, the tender for the new elevator will be put out in 2007-2008 a new elevator will be installed in 2008-2009.
Barrier
An intercom system is not in place in the public entrance at the accessible south basement door of the Assembly. This impedes access to the Legislative building in off-hours.
Commitment
Installation of an intercom system, so that entry to the accessible basement is available 24/7.
Responsibility
Precinct Properties Branch
Timeline
December 2007.
Barrier
The accessibility signage in the building is of low contrast and is difficult to see.
Commitment
Improve accessibility signage in all public and staff areas in the Legislative Building.
Responsibility
Precinct Properties Branch
Timelines
Plans are being developed to review the signage and identify best new designs. Completion September 2007.

Questions or comments about the Legislative Assembly's accessibility plan are always welcome.

For more information please contact:

Vicki Whitmell, MLS
Executive Director Legislative Library
Legislative Assembly of Ontario
416-325-3939
vicki_whitmell@ontla.ola.org
Website: www.ontla.on.ca

Alternate formats of this document are available free upon request from:

Publications Ontario
880 Bay Street, Toronto, Ontario M7A 1N8
Tel: (416) 326-5300
Out of town customers, except Ottawa, call: 1-800-668-9938
In Ottawa, call (613) 238-3630
or toll-free 1-800-269-8758
TTY Service 1-800-268-7095

2005-2006 Accessibility Plan

THE SPEAKER, HON. MIKE BROWN

ISSN 1710-5625

Introduction

The recent passage of the landmark Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (AODA) marks a new era of accessibility in Ontario.

While the government is moving forward to implement the new legislation, there will be a transition period during which government and parts of the broader public sector will continue to have planning and other obligations under the Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2001 (ODA). These obligations will remain in effect until they are repealed and replaced by standards under the new act.

Under the ODA, Ontario government ministries, municipalities, hospitals, school boards, colleges, universities and public transportation organizations are required to develop annual accessibility plans to make policies, practices, programs, services and buildings more accessible to people with disabilities. These plans must be made available to the public. Accessibility planning efforts to date have developed a strong foundation for the development of accessibility standards that will ensure real and effective change.

This document is the third annual accessibility plan developed by the Legislative Assembly of Ontario. It highlights achievements of the second year plan and outlines commitments for 2005-06, the third year, so that no new barriers are created and, over time, existing ones are removed.

Year Two (2004-2005) Achievements

In 2004-05, the Assembly made special arrangements to support the Legislative Assembly’s Standing Committee on Social Policy during its consideration of Bill 118, the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005.

In preparing for the Committee’s hearing, the Committee Clerk consulted with the Ontario Government’s Accessibility Directorate and with people with disabilities on the suitability of proposed venues for the hearings held in Toronto, Niagara Falls, London, Thunder Bay and Ottawa. Detailed surveys of accessibility were completed on the accessibility of each building being considered as a venue before sites were chosen.

At each Committee hearing there were simultaneous American Sign Language (ASL) interpretation and closed captioning on screens mounted in the rooms. Two support service attendants were at each meeting to assist attendees. Large print agendas were made available.

Each Committee meeting was broadcast on the Ontario Parliamentary Channel and webcast on the internet. (Live for meetings in Toronto and taped and later aired for meetings outside of Toronto.) All broadcasts were closed captioned. The webcasts remained accessible on the Assembly website until the end of May 2005.

One hundred and sixty-seven (167) individuals and groups made presentations during the six days of the Committee’s public hearings. Three hundred and fifty-eight (358) exhibits were received by the Committee. They came in a wide variety of formats, including compact discs (one contained radio announcements advertising the Committee hearings), floppy diskettes, audio cassettes, Braille documents, video cassettes, pamphlets, comic books, a novel, maps, newspapers (plus articles from newspapers), magazines, briefing binders, newsletters and information binders.

Report on Achievements of 2004-2005

Planning Commitments and Strategies

Facility Improvements

Commitment:

Install a family washroom in the public area of the Assembly and upgrade female/male public washroom areas.

Status:

Completed March 2005.

Action:

The female/male public washroom and family washrooms are now fully equipped and accessible.

Commitment:

Redesign of Chamber lobbies (Government and Opposition) to improve accessibility for those who work in them.

Status:

Completed Fall 2005.

Commitment:

Improve signage and other navigational aids to highlight paths of travel for people with disabilities to all public areas in the Legislative Building.

Status:

In progress.

Action:

Signage to be installed by March 2006.

Website Improvements

Commitment:

Ensure that all content developed for the Assembly’s website is accessible.

Status:

In progress.

Action

Research has been completed on the needs and preferences of people with disabilities using the Assembly’s website. A redesign of the website (home page and content) and a review of available technologies is underway. Guidelines are under development for the Assembly’s website taking into account best practices and completed research.

Commitment:

Post international symbols of accessibility on the Assembly website to indicate accessibility, and the availability of alternate formats and TTY equipment. Similar symbols should be included in notices of both on and off-site committee meetings.

Status:

In progress.

Action:

Work underway as part of website redesign.

Purchasing Procedures

Commitment:

Develop written guidelines for the purchase of equipment and services for the Assembly to ensure that the needs of people with disabilities are considered when specific goods and services are purchased.

Status:

Completed.

Action:

Procedures have been developed for the purchase of goods and services to ensure that the needs of people with disabilities are considered in purchasing.

Accessibility Training

Commitment:

Expand  accessibility  training  to include supervisors and managers of the Office of the Assembly.

Status:

Completed

Action:

100% of the managers and supervisors in the Assembly have completed the Accessibility Directorate’s online training.

Special Events

Commitment:

Provide ASL interpreters for special events in the Chamber, e.g. the Speech from the Throne, budget, special visits, etc. (This would assist those who are viewing the event via television or in the Chamber).

Status:

In progress.

Action:

Interpreters  were  made  available  to  those  attending  the Legislative Assembly Committee Hearings on the AODA in 2005.

Closed Captioning

Commitment:

Install a television set with closed captioning in the Speaker’s Gallery.

Status:

In progress.

Action:

Feasibility study has been completed.

Increase Committee Knowledge

Commitment:

Increase Accessibility Committee’s knowledge of assistive technologies.

Status:

Continuing.

Action:

Committee members visited the Bloorview MacMillan Children’s Centre in October 2004. Future visits to similar sites planned.

Publicize Accessibility

Commitment:

Publicize Assembly accessibility on the Assembly’s Internet site.

Status:

Continuing as part of website’s redesign.

Action:

To be completed September 2006.

Commitment:

Publicize accessibility of the Legislative Building in Access Guide Canada website.

Status:

Completed June 2005.

Action:

Available at: http://www.enablelink.org/agc/fassessment.php?pid=9&cid=1325&atype=entertainment&aid=1022

Create Awareness

Commitment:

Create awareness of Accessibility Committee by publicizing its activities within the Assembly.

Status:

In progress.

Action:

Assembly intranet site completed to make Assembly staff more aware of the committee and its work.

Identify Barriers

Commitment:

Identification of remaining barriers.

Status:

In progress.

Action:

Committee members are working with others in the Assembly to identify remaining barriers and to work to eliminate them.

Commitments and Actions for 2005-2006

Facility Improvements

Commitment:

Implemention of the ORC Standards for Barrier-Free Design of Ontario Government Faciliites.

Action:

These standards will be met in all future capital/renovation projects in the Legislative building.

Commitment:

Refitting of the platform lift behind grand staircase in Legislative building.

Action:

The retrofit will improve accessibility to the north wing of the Legislative building. Design to be completed by March 2006.

Commitment:

Improve accessibility signage in all public and staff areas in the

Legislative Building.

Action:

New signage is being designed.

Website Improvements

Commitment:

Redesign of Assembly’s internet website is underway. The redesign will include posting international symbols on the website to indicate accessibility, the availability of alternate formats and TTY equipment, and the use of plain language to ensure that content developed for the Assembly’s website is accessible. Guidelines will be developed for both the internet and intranet sites to take into account best practices, research completed to date, and available technologies.

Action:

To be completed by September 2007.

Closed Captioning

Commitment:

Install a television set with closed captioning in the Speaker’s Gallery.

Action:

Planning is continuing.

Accessibility Training for Staff

Commitment:

Widen accessibility training among Assembly staff.

Action:

Training on accessibility will be incorporated into the Assembly’s “Respect in the Workforce” training program that is mandatory for all new hires. In addition, all front line staff and staff in the purchasing office will be asked to complete accessibility training.

Increase Committee Knowledge

Commitment:

Increase Accessibility Committee’s knowledge of assistive technologies.

Action:

Members of the Committee will continue to visit facilities that use assistive technologies.

Create Awareness

Commitment:

Create awareness of Accessibility Committee by publicizing its activities within the Assembly.

Action:

The Committee hosted a display on its activities at an Assembly-wide technology fair in September 2005.

Identify Barriers

Commitment:

Identification of remaining barriers.

Status:

Continuing.

Action:

Committee members are working with others in the Assembly to identify remaining barriers and to work to eliminate them.

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

For more information please contact:

Vicki Whitmell, MLS
Executive Director Legislative Library
Legislative Assembly of Ontario
416-325-3939
vicki_whitmell@ontla.ola.org
Website: http://www.ontla.on.ca

Alternate formats of this document are available free upon request from:

Publications Ontario
880 Bay Street, Toronto, Ontario M7A 1N8
Tel: (416) 326-5300
Out of town customers, except Ottawa, call: 1-800-668-9938
In Ottawa, call (613) 238-3630 or toll-free 1-800-269-8758
TTY Service 1-800-268-7095

Queen’s Printer for Ontario, 2005
ISSN 1710-5625

Ce document est disponible en français

2004-2005 Accessibility Plan

THE SPEAKER, HON. ALVIN CURLING

ISSN 1710-5625

Introduction

In December 2001, the Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2001 (ODA) was passed into law. Its purpose is to improve opportunities for people with disabilities and to provide for their involvement in the identification, removal and prevention of barriers to their full participation in the life of the province.

One of the requirements under the ODA is that Ontario government ministries, municipalities, hospitals, school boards, colleges, universities, and public transportation organizations develop annual accessibility plans to make programs, services and buildings more accessible to people with disabilities. The plans must be made available to the public.

This document is the second annual accessibility plan for the Legislative Assembly of Ontario1. It highlights achievements of the 2003-04 plan and outlines commitments for 2004-05 so that no new barriers are created and existing ones are removed over time.

The Legislative Assembly intends to build on its achievements by continuing to make the Legislative Precinct inclusive and accessible.

1 As required under the Legislative Assembly Act, the Speakers' has responsibility for the Legislative Assembly building at Queen's Park.

Reports on Achievements of Year One Planning Commitments

1. Commitment

Creation of a working group to identify disability issues and barriers within the Assembly

Status:

Complete. Representatives on the working group come from all divisions within the Assembly. This is an active group with assigned responsibilities. The working group is accountable to Senior Management.

2. Commitment

Identification of remaining barriers.

Status

Once work is ongoing on commitments for year two, activities to date will be reviewed with Assembly staff and input sought on additional work that needs to be done. See below.

3. Commitment

Develop written guidelines for the purchase of equipment and services for the Assembly to ensure that the needs of people with disabilities are considered when specific goods and services are purchased.

Status

Accessibility considered in the selection and design of a new library system, and in the design of a new administrative services system. Other work carried forward to year two. See below.

4. Commitment

Develop written guidelines and I or policies to accommodate those with physical disabilities to attend off-site committee hearings.

Status

Completed. To be posted on Assembly's intranet site.

5. Commitment

Ensure that all new content developed for the Assembly's website will be accessible.

Status

Ongoing with research on needs and preferences of people with disabilities being included in upcoming market research on redesigning the Assembly's Internet site. Research will include demand for information in plain language by people with low literacy, intellectual or learning disabilities. Carried forward to year two. See below.

6. Commitment

Continue to work with Publications Ontario to ensure that the Assembly's official publications are made available in alternative formats upon request.

Status

Ongoing. Journals Branch will continue to respond to requests for alternative formats.

7. Commitment

Expand accessibility training to include all staff of the Office of the Assembly.

Status

Carried forward to year two. Focus now placed on training of supervisors and managers. See below.

8. Commitment

Install a family washroom in the public area of the Assembly and upgrade female I male public washroom areas.

Status

Work to begin January 2005 for completion by March 31, 2005.

9. Commitment

Provide ASL interpreters for special events in the Chamber, e.g. the Speech from the Throne, budget, special visits, etc. (This would assist those who are viewing the event via television or from the floor of the Chamber).

Status

Ongoing.

Timetable

Based on holding of special events. See below.

10. Commitment

Install a television set with closed captioning in the Speaker's Gallery.

Status

Carried forward to year two. Feasibility study being conducted that will include costing options. See below.

11. Commitment

Improve signage and other navigational aids to highlight paths of travel for people with disabilities to all public areas in the Legislative Building.

Status

Proposal being prepared that will take into consideration security issues and user needs regarding development of a map showing key accessibility features of the Legislative Building such as elevators, handicapped parking, and ramps. Improved illumination completed for North Parking Lot.

12. Commitment

Post international symbols of accessibility on the Assembly website to indicate accessibility and availability of alternate formats and TTY equipment. Similar symbols should be included in notices of both on and off-site committee meetings. Accessibility symbols will be added as part of the upcoming design of the Assembly website.

Status

Carried forward to year two. See below.

Commitments and Strategies for Year Two

1. Commitment

Develop written guidelines for the purchase of equipment and services for the Assembly to ensure that the needs of people with disabilities are considered when specific goods and services are purchased.

Status

Carried over from year one.

Action

Written guidelines will be developed for the purchase of equipment and services for the Assembly and where applicable, the specifications in the procurement document will clearly articulate all the accessibility requirements for immediate acquisition or provide for the acquisition of goods and services to meet accessibility requirements should there be a determination that accessible goods or services will be needed in the future.

Timeframe

June 2005

2. Commitment

Ensure that all content developed for the Assembly's website is accessible.

Status

Replaces previous commitments to make new content accessible and to develop plain language content.

Action

Web Management Team will include research on needs and preferences of people with disabilities in upcoming market research, in preparation for redesigning the Assembly's Internet site. Research will include demand for information in plain language by people with low literacy, intellectual or learning disabilities.

Timeframe

Market research to be completed by March 31, 2005. Note: Extent and timing of introduction of plain language content depends on outcome of market research

3. Commitment

Expand accessibility training to include supervisors and managers of the Office of the Assembly.

Status

Replaces previous training commitments which were limited to staff in frequent contact with the public.

Action

Human Resources Branch will develop a training plan. Staff will be asked to provide input into the training plan and identify areas and individuals to be included.

Timetable

March 2005

4. Commitment

Install a family washroom in the public area of the Assembly and upgrade female|male public washroom areas.

Status

Carried over from 2003 | 2004

Action

Precinct Properties is overseeing the planning and installation.

Timetable

To begin January 2005 for completion by March 31, 2005

5.  Commitment

Provide ASL interpreters for special events in the Chamber, e.g. the Speech from the Throne, budget, special visits, etc. (This would assist those who are viewing the event via television or from the floor of the Chamber).

Status

Ongoing

Action

Responsibilities for arranging for interpreters at needed special events to be clarified.

Timetable

March 2005

6.  Commitment

Install a television set with closed captioning in the Speaker's Gallery.

Status

Carried over from 2003I2004

Action

Prepare a feasibility study with costing options being undertaken for closed captioned TV and other technologies. The study will be prepared in consultation with Broadcast and Recording Branch and Hansard Branch.

Timetable

January 2005

7. Commitment

Improve signage and other navigational aids to highlight paths of travel for people with disabilities to all public areas in the Legislative Building.

Status

Action   Combines previous commitments to develop a map and signage for paths of travel within the public areas of the Legislative Building. Proposal for signage improvements that will incorporate recognized standards for signs and input from people with disabilities being prepared.

Analyze security issues and user needs regarding development of a map showing key accessibility features of the Legislative Building such as elevators, handicapped parking, and ramps.

Timetable

Signage proposal to be completed by December 31, 2004.

Analysis of map issues to begin after security planning meetings (currently underway) are complete.

8. Commitment

Post international symbols of accessibility on the Assembly website to indicate accessibility and availability of alternate formats and TTY equipment. Similar symbols should be included in notices of both on and off-site committee meetings.

Status

Carried over from 2003 | 2004

Action

Web Management Team will add accessibility symbols as part of upcoming redesign.

Timetable

Implementation of redesigned site is planned for 2005I2006.

9. Commitment

Increase Accessibility Committee's knowledge of assistive technologies.

Status

New

Action

Visit local resource centres such as the Adaptive Technology Resource Centre at the University of Toronto and the Bloorview MacMillan Children's Centre.

Timetable

November 2005

10. Commitment

Redesign of Chamber lobbies (Government and Opposition) to improve accessibility for those who work in them.

Status

New

Action

Complete construction

Timetable

Work to be completed by March 31, 2005

11. Commitment

Publicize Assembly accessibility on the Assembly's Internet site.

Status

New

Action

Publish a web page describing features and services available to visitors to the Legislative Building and users of Assembly publications and other services.

Timetable

January 2005

12. Commitment

Publicize accessibility of the Legislative Building in Access Guide Canada website.

Status

New

Action

Investigate whether a suitable category exists for the Legislative Building. If so, write up and submit an entry.

Timetable

January 2005

13. Commitment

Create awareness of Accessibility Committee by publicizing its activities within the Assembly.

Status

New

Action

Publish committee mandate, membership, minutes, reports, resource material on the Assembly intranet.

Timetable

November 2005

14.  Commitment

Identification of remaining barriers.

Status

New

Action

Once work underway on commitments for year two, activities to date will be reviewed with Assembly staff and input sought on additional work that needs to be done.

Timetable

March 2005


For more information on the Legislative Assembly's Accessibility Plan, please contact:

Vicki Whitmell, MLS Executive Director Legislative Library

Legislative Assembly of Ontario

416-325-3939 vicki_whitmell@ontla.ola.org