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

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Queen's Printer for Ontario, 2012

ISSN 1710-5625

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