Staff Report #5
September 25, 2019
To All Commissioners
Re: Accessibility Plan Update
That the report be NOTED and FILED.
Consistent with the requirements of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) regulations, the Commission’s Accessibility Plan is scheduled for update. There are a number of specific requirements set out in the AODA regulations regarding Accessibility Plans, those which apply to the Commission are set out below.
Excerpts from Regulation 191 – Integrated Accessibility Regulation
- (1) The Government of Ontario, Legislative Assembly, designated public sector organizations and large organizations shall,
(a) establish, implement, maintain and document a multi-year accessibility plan, which outlines the organization’s strategy to prevent and remove barriers and meet its requirements under this Regulation;
(b) post the accessibility plan on their website, if any, and provide the plan in an accessible format upon request; and
(c) review and update the accessibility plan at least once every five years. O. Reg. 191/11, s. 4 (1).
(2) The Government of Ontario, Legislative Assembly and designated public sector organizations shall establish, review and update their accessibility plans in consultation with persons with disabilities and if they have established an accessibility advisory committee, they shall consult with the committee. O. Reg. 191/11, s. 4 (2).
(3) The Government of Ontario, Legislative Assembly and designated public sector organizations shall,
(a) prepare an annual status report on the progress of measures taken to implement the strategy referenced in clause (1) (a), including steps taken to comply with this Regulation; and
(b) post the status report on their website, if any, and provide the report in an accessible format upon request. O. Reg. 191/11, s. 4 (3); O. Reg. 413/12, s. 3 (1).
(3.1) An upper-tier municipality and any lower-tier municipalities that form part of it for municipal purposes may prepare a joint accessibility plan and a joint annual status report. O. Reg. 413/12, s. 3 (2).
(3.2) A joint accessibility plan and a joint annual status report prepared in accordance with subsection (3.1) are deemed to be the accessibility plan and annual status report of each municipality to which they apply and subsections (2) and (3) apply, with necessary modifications, where municipalities prepare a joint accessibility plan and a joint annual status report. O. Reg. 413/12, s. 3 (2).
Accessibility plans, conventional transportation services
41.(1) In addition to the accessibility plan requirements set out in section 4, in their accessibility plan, conventional transportation service providers shall identify the process for managing, evaluating and taking action on customer feedback. O. Reg. 191/11, s. 41 (1).
(2) Every conventional transportation service provider shall annually hold at least one public meeting involving persons with disabilities to ensure that they have an opportunity to participate in a review of the accessibility plan and that they are given the opportunity to provide feedback on the accessibility plan. O. Reg. 191/11, s. 41 (2).
(3) If the provider of conventional transportation services also provides specialized transportation services, the transportation service provider shall address both types of transportation services in its accessibility plan. O. Reg. 191/11, s. 41 (3).
Accessibility plans, specialized transportation services
- (1) Specialized transportation service providers shall, in their accessibility plans,
(a) identify the process for estimating the demand for specialized transportation services; and
(b) develop steps to reduce wait times for specialized transportation services. O. Reg. 191/11, s. 42 (1).
Accessibility plans, conventional and specialized transportation services
- (1) Conventional transportation service providers and specialized transportation service providers shall, in their accessibility plans, describe their procedures for dealing with accessibility equipment failures on their respective types of vehicles. O. Reg. 191/11, s. 43 (1).
As set out in Communication #1, dated September 25, 2019, the Accessible Public Transit Service Advisory Committee received a report providing an overview of the various initiatives included in the previous multi-year accessibility plan in an effort to begin discussion with the Committee on initiatives that should be included in the next plan. The following provides a brief overview of the topics that were included in the previous plan.
Conventional Transit Initiatives in the last Accessibility Plan included:
- Accessible bus stops
- Accessible bus fleet
- Accessible bus routes
- Smart Bus technology (next stop announcements, external route announcements, real-time bus information, etc.)
- Bus stop sign update
- Compliance with specific requirements relating to conventional transit services
Specialized Transit initiatives in the last Accessibility Plan included:
- Process for Estimating Demand for Specialized Services
- Eligibility Criteria (to include Temporary)
- Steps to Reduce Wait Times
- Procedures to Address Equipment Failures
- Compliance with specific regulatory requirements relating to specialized services
In addition, the previous Accessibility Plan included a copy of the Commission’s Accessible Customer Service Policy, consistent with AODA requirements.
At the Accessible Public Transit Service Advisory Committee meeting, it was suggested that an online survey be prepared to allow members of the public to provide input into the Accessibility Plan update process. The survey is anticipated to be available online by the end of September.
One of the specific requirements in the AODA standards (see section 41.2 above) requires obligated organizations to hold an annual public meeting at which members of the public, specifically persons with disabilities, are provided with the opportunity to provide feedback on the organization’s accessibility plan. Compliance with this regulation has been achieved through the annual Commission drop-in session, at which materials regarding the Accessibility Plan are made available and attendees are encouraged to provide feedback. This year’s annual Commission drop-in session has been scheduled for Thursday October 17, 2019 at the Central library in the Stevenson & Hunt A room, with an afternoon session (2 – 4pm) and an evening session (6 – 8pm), noting it is desirable for members of the Commission to be in attendance for both of the sessions.
Subsequent to compiling the survey feedback, a draft Accessibility Plan will be tabled for consideration with the Accessible Public Transit Service Advisory Committee and finally tabled with the Commission for approval.
Kelly S. Paleczny