Multi-year Accessibility Plan

The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) is the first law of its kind in Canada. Under the AODA, the Province is developing, implementing and enforcing accessibility standards. The goal of the act and the standards is to make the province accessible for all people with disabilities by 2025.

Our plan is based on requirements under the AODA. You can read our plan below, or download the official document in a print-friendly format: Multi-Year Accessibility Plan (PDF, 12 pages)

Introduction and Statement of Commitment

Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health (WDGPH) is committed to meeting the needs of everyone in our community. We will deliver programs and services in a manner that respects the dignity and independence of persons with disabilities. WDGPH will make every reasonable effort to ensure that:

  • Persons with disabilities are provided equal opportunity to obtain, use and benefit from our programs and services.
  • Programs and services provided to persons with disabilities are the same, or similar, to those offered to others, unless an alternate measure is necessary to enable a person with a disability to benefit from them. 
  • Persons with disabilities may use a personal assistive device to access our programs and services. Personal assistive devices may include, but are not limited to: service animals, support person, communication, cognition, mobility and medical aids.
  • Persons with disabilities will be offered alternative communication and information formats, where necessary. This multi-year accessibility plan outlines our statement of commitment, our achievements to date and our next steps to fulfill our commitment and meet the requirements of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA).

This multi-year accessibility plan outlines our statement of commitment, our achievements to date and our next steps to fulfill our commitment and meet the requirements of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA).

Obligations

The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) is a complex and evolving multi-year piece of legislation (1). The goal of the Act and the standards is to make the province accessible for all people with disabilities by 2025 (2).

The AODA sets out the roadmap for an accessible Ontario by 2025. It contains standards in the following areas that are relevant at WDGPH:

  • Customer Service
  • Information and Communications
  • Employment

Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health’s Strategy

The Multi-year Accessibility Plan describes how we have become an accessible organization and how we will continue to do so through 2021. WDGPH is classified as a non-profit employer in the 50+ employee category. So far, we have focused on the following areas:

  • Policies, processes and practices
  • Communications and awareness
  • Technology
  • Infrastructure
  • People
  • Procurement

Key Outcomes

  • People with disabilities have access to the services of WDGPH in a timely manner.
  • People with disabilities have access to information and communications in alternate formats upon request.
  • People with disabilities can participate fully in services and employment at WDGPH.
  • People with disabilities experience greater accessibility in WDG Public-Health facilities. 

Our Approach (2013-2015)

In this time period, we:

Included accessibility requirements in purchasing and human resources policies and procedures.
Made it standard to train current and new staff.
Identified and removed barriers to employment.
Ensured access to information and communications.
Continued to identify and remove and prevent barriers.

Our Approach (2015-2021)

Over the next five years, we will:

  • Review and revise policies, procedures and processes to confirm they support accessibility considerations.
  • Continue to include accessibility training in New Hire Orientation.
  • Update training for existing staff when indicated.
  • Encourage ongoing requests for public feedback.
  • Update our accessibility plan at least every five years
  • Post the plan on our website.
  • Continue to identify, remove and prevent barriers. 

Regulatory Requirements and Proposed and Completed Actions

Accessible Customer Service

WDGPH is committed to providing programs and services in a way that respects the dignity and independence of people with disabilities. Wherever possible, persons with disabilities will benefit from the same services, in the same place and in the same or similar way as other clients. Programs and services provided to persons with disabilities and others shall be integrated, unless alternative measures are required to enable a person with a disability an opportunity equal to that of persons without disabilities to obtain, use or benefit from WDGPH programs and services. 

WDGPH shall use reasonable efforts to ensure that its policies, practices and procedures are consistent with the following principles:

  • Programs or services will be provided in a manner that respects the dignity and independence of persons with disabilities;
  • Persons with disabilities will be given an opportunity equal to that given to others to obtain, use and benefit from the program or services;
  • Persons with disabilities may use assistive devices and/or support persons in the access of programs and services; and
  • When communicating with a person with a disability, employees shall do so in a manner that takes into account the person’s disability in a respectful manner.

Customer Service Standards

1. Develop accessible customer service policies

Required compliance date: January 1, 2012
Status: Completed
Planned Action: Review and revise policy as required. 

2. Provide accessible customer service training

Required compliance date: January 1, 2012
Status: Completed
Action: Training provided for all existing employees and new employees.  

Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation

Part I - General Requirements

The Information and Communications, Employment, and Transportation Standards requirements under AODA, were combined under O. Reg. 191/11: Integrated Accessibility Standards (4). This regulation requires WDGPH to develop accessibility policies, incorporate accessibility into procurement, train staff, and create a multi-year accessibility plan.

1. Develop accessibility policies

  • Develop accessibility policies, including a statement of organizational commitment and make the policies publically available. 

Required compliance date: January 1, 2014
Status: Completed
Action: Revised and simplified accessibility policies and our statement of commitment 

2. Develop multi-year accessibility plans

  • Develop a multi-year accessibility plan that outlines what will be done to implement the IASR requirements.
  • Post the plan on the Agency’s website and provide it in an accessible format, upon request.

Required compliance date: January 1, 2014
Status: Completed
Planned Action: Review and revise multi-year accessibility plan as required

3. Incorporate accessibility in procuring goods, services or facilities

  • Incorporate accessibility criteria and features when procuring goods, services or facilities, except where it is not practicable to do so.

Required compliance date: January 1, 2014
Status: Completed
Action: Incorporated into existing RFP process and procurement policy. 

4. Training as required under the Accommodation in Employment (ISAR) for employees

  • All current and new employees will be required to take additional training on ISAR as required by the standard. 

Required compliance date: January 1, 2015
Status: Completed
Action: Training provided for all existing employees and new employees.  

IASR Part II - Information and Communications

Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health is committed to meeting the communication needs of people with disabilities. When asked, we will provide information and communications materials in accessible formats or with communication supports. This includes publicly available information about our goods, services and facilities, as well as publicly available emergency and safety information.

1. Feedback processes

We will provide opportunities for people with disabilities to provide feedback in order to address concerns and improve the level of service that we provide to people with disabilities. 

Required compliance date: January 1, 2015
Status: 
Completed
Action: Information on feedback options is available on website and upon request.  Individuals can provide feedback through paper forms, email, mail and phone. 

2. Accessible formats and communication supports

We will consult with people with disabilities to determine their information and communication needs.

Required compliance date: January 1, 2016
Status: Completed
Action: Information on different communication options is available on our website and upon request. Individuals can request accessible formats and communication support through paper forms, email, mail and phone.  We will review and refine our public forms in our website redevelopment project.

3. Emergency procedures, plans or public safety information

We will provide emergency procedures, plans and public safety information in an accessible format or with appropriate communication supports, upon request.

Required compliance date: January 1, 2012
Status: Completed

4. Accessible websites and web content (January 1, 2021)

We are committed to ensuring that our website and online content conforms to the World Wide Web Consortium Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 in order to make content accessible for the public.

Required compliance dates:
January 1, 2014 – 
WCAG 2.0 Level A for new Internet websites and web content
Status: Completed
January 1, 2021 – 
WCAG 2.0 Level AA for all Internet websites and web content
Status: In Progress
Planned Action: We 
are currently developing a new website that will meet WCAG 2.0 level AA technical requirements. 

IASR Part III - Employment

WDGPH is committed to making the process of finding, obtaining and keeping a job as inclusive as possible in order to build an effective workforce. 

Employment Standards

  1. Recruitment

General, selection process, notification to successful applicants

We will notify employees and the public of the availability of accommodation for applicants with disabilities in the recruitment process.

Recruitment, assessment and selection

When job applicants are selected to participate in an assessment or selection process, they will be notified that accommodations to materials and processes are available upon request.

Notice to successful applicants

When making offers of employment, we will notify the successful applicant of our policies for accommodating employees with disabilities.

Required compliance date: January 1, 2016
Status: Completed

2. Informing employees of supports

Inform employees of policies to support employees with disabilities.

Required compliance date: January 1, 2016
Status: Completed
Planned Action: Develop and implement revised new hire orientation program in 2016 to reinforce available employee supports.

3. Accessible formats and communication supports for employees

Provide or arrange for accessible formats and communication supports when:

  • It is requested by an employee with a disability; and
  • The information is needed to perform the employee’s job; and
  • Is generally available to employees in the workplace.

Required compliance date: January 1, 2016
Status: Completed
Planned Action: Develop and implement revised new hire orientation program in 2016 to reinforce available employee supports.

4. Workplace emergency response information

Provide individualized workplace emergency response information to employees who have a disability, as required.

Required compliance date: January 1, 2012
Status: Completed
Planned Action: 
During the review of the 2016 Emergency Preparedness Response Plan, ensure ongoing compliance.     

5. Documented individual accommodation plans

Develop and have in place a written process for development of documented individual accommodation plans for employees with disabilities.

Required compliance date: January 1, 2016
Status: Completed

6. Return to work process

Develop a return to work process for employees who have been absent from work due to a disability and require disability-related accommodations to return.  

Required compliance date: January 1, 2016
Status: Completed

7. Performance management, career development and advancement, redeployment

We will take into account the accessibility needs of employees with disabilities, as well as individual accommodation plans:

  • When using the performance management process in respect of employees with disabilities
  • When providing career development and advancement to employees with disabilities
  • When reassigning employees with disabilities

We will:

  • Review, assess and as necessary, modify existing policies, procedures, practices and templates to ensure compliance with the AODA
  • Take the accessibility needs of employees with disabilities and, as applicable, their individualized accommodation plans, into account when:
    • Assessing performance
    • Managing career development and advancement
    • Reassigning as required

Required compliance date: January 1, 2016
Status: Completed

Conclusion

WDGPH recognizes that further steps need to be taken to become barrier-free. Therefore, the Multi-year Plan presented above reflects a commitment to engage in initiatives that will help WDGPH free of physical, attitudinal and social barriers by the year 2021 in accordance with AODA legislation. 

Contact Information

This plan exists in order to achieve service excellence to customers with disabilities. If anyone has a question about the plan, please contact us at:

Accessibility Coordinator
Human Resources Department
Fax: 519-846-3306
Email: access@wdgpublichealth.ca
Website: www.wdgpublichealth.ca 

References

  1. E-Laws Ontario. Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005, S.O. 2005, c. 11. [Online]. [cited 2016 04 28]. Available from: https://www.ontario.ca/laws/statute/05a11?search=Accessibility.
  2. County of Wellington. Accessibility. [Online].; 2016 [cited 2016 04 29]. Available from: http://www.wellington.ca/en/government/legislation.asp.
  3. County of Wellington. County of Wellington - Multi-year Accessibility Plan. [Online]. [cited 2016 04 27]. Available from: http://www.wellington.ca/en/government/resources/hrMultiyearAccessibilit….
  4. O. Reg. 191/11: INTEGRATED ACCESSIBILITY STANDARDS. [Online]. [cited 2016 05 02]. Available from: https://www.ontario.ca/laws/regulation/110191.