Understanding Accessibility

What is accessibility? It simply means giving people of all abilities opportunities to participate fully in everyday life. 

The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (AODA) is a Provincial Act with the purpose of developing, implementing and enforcing accessibility standards in order to achieve accessibility for persons with disabilities with respect to goods, services, facilities, accommodation, employment, buildings, structures and premises by the year 2025.

Its goal is to make Ontario accessible for people with disabilities by 2025.

Why?

One in seven people in Ontario have a disability (that’s 1.85 million Ontarians).  By 2036, that number will rise to one in five as the population ages.  

In the next 20 years, an aging population and people with disabilities will represent 40% of the total income in Ontario ($536 billion).  A more accessible Ontario is good for our economy and our communities.  Improved accessibility in Ontario can help generate up to $9.6 billion in new retail spending and $1.6 billion in new tourism spending.  

In Highlands East

Council for the Corporation of The Municipality of Highlands East has adopted policies that includes all legislated accessibility standards (as set out below) to ensure that a fully accessible environment is available for all persons with disabilities and continue the commitment to providing exceptional and accessible goods and services in a timely manner, for its customers and employees guided by the four principles of dignity, independence, integration and equal opportunities. 

Information and Communication Standards

The Information and Communication Standard of the IAS requires that the Municipality to create, provide and receive information and communications in ways that are accessible for people with disabilities.  Policies, information and communications shall be made available, upon request in an accessible format suitable to the requesters or employee’s needs, in a timely manner, and consulting with the requester to determine the suitability of the accessible format or communication support at a cost that is no more that the regular charge for the provision of the document on a regular basis.  

Employment Standards

The Employment Standard requirements of the IASR requires that the Municipality will identify, prevent and remove barriers and shall take every reasonable effort to provide individual accommodation plans upon request for people for disabilities.    

Transportation Standards

The Municipality of Highlands East currently does not provide public transportation nor licence taxi cabs.

Procuring or acquiring goods, services or facilities

The Municipality of Highlands East shall incorporate accessibility criteria and features when procuring or acquiring goods, services or facilities, except where it is not practicable to do so.

Emergency procedure, plans or public safety information

The Municipality of Highlands East shall provide information on municipal emergency procedures, plans or public safety information that is available to the public in an accessible format or with appropriate communication supports, as soon as practicable, upon request. 

Training

The Municipality of Highlands East shall ensure that appropriate training is provided on the requirements of the Integrated Accessibility Standards and on the Humans Rights Code as it pertains to persons with disabilities accessibility standards to:  all employees, and volunteers, all persons who participate in developing the Municipality’s policies; and all other persons who provide goods, services or facilities on behalf of the Municipality.  The Municipality shall keep a record of the training provided.

Feedback

The Municipality of Highlands East will continue to ensure that the process for receiving and responding to feedback is accessible to persons with disabilities as outlined in the Municipality’s Customer Service Policy and requirements under the IASR.

Exclusions

This Integrated Accessibility Standard Policy shall not apply during any period where Council has declared a “State of Emergency” as defined under the Emergency Management Act.  

Documentation

The Municipality of Highlands East shall upon request, give a copy of the policies, practices and procedures required under the Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation 191/11 to any person and shall make every reasonable effort to provide said documents in accessible format if requested. 

For further information or to request copies of the policy please contact:

Robyn Rogers, Clerk
705-448-2981 Ext. 422
rrogers [at] highlandseast [dot] ca