The Honorable Ted Arnott, Speaker of the Legislative Assembly
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.
Honourable Ted Arnott
Speaker of the Legislative Assembly
Accessibility Achievements, 2012-2015
In September 2014 a Manager of Accessibility was hired for the Assembly. Her role is to coordinate the Assembly's initiatives and projects to ensure our compliance with the AODA. She also provides leadership and advice to the Assembly in the area of accessibility.
Achievements: Information and Communication, 2012-2015
The Assembly met the legislated requirement that the content on its internet site is accessible. This included making accessible:
- 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 were trained on making electronic documents accessible using standard and best practices.
The Assembly made its emergency procedures, plans and public safety information accessible. This included 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, 2012-2015
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. Barrier-free shower stalls were installed as part of the North Wing Basement renovations.
- New signage was installed to improve accessibility in the Main Legislative Building.
- Accessible tables 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, 2012-2015
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, 2012-2015
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.
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.
This update indicates any action taken on the 2016-2020 commitments and any new commitments that have been identified to be completed in that time period.
Commitments: Information and Communication, 2016-2020
The Assembly will ensure that the content that it adds to its websites is compliant with WCAG 2.0 Level AA standards.
Timeframe: January 1, 2020 and ongoing.
Quality Assurance processes and methods established by the Web and Digital Publishing Team ensures that all new content developed for the Legislative Assembly meets regulatory requirements.
An accessibility site will be launched on the Assembly intranet to provide information to Assembly staff on accessibility policies, plans, standards and techniques.
The Assembly's Accessibility Working Group will consult with people with disabilities as it plans for future commitments.
The Assembly's Accessibility Working Group will survey select Assembly staff on the adequacy of the customer service training that they receive.
The Assembly's Accessibility Working Group will continue to educate and update Assembly staff and management on the requirements under the AODA.
We will develop an accessible version of the print-based Chamber Seating Plan.
Implementation Timeframe: Fall 2020
The broadcast of committee hearings in the Amethyst Room (main committee room) will be close-captioned.
The Assembly's new intranet for staff will be designed and built with accessibility as a primary requirement.
Timeframe: Fall 2020
Commitments: Customer Service, 2016-2020
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, 2016-2020
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.
Electronic templates and forms used by staff will be redesigned for accessibility. Timeframe: January 2020
Commitments: The Built Environment, 2016-2020
Barrier-free door operators will be installed on the North Wing north stairwell and washroom doors.
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.
A feasibility study was completed to identify any needed barrier-free upgrades to the Legislative Chamber.
Study complete. Work on needed renovations is pending approval.
Comments about the Legislative Assembly's accessibility plan are always welcome.
For more information please contact:
Information and Technology Services Division
Legislative Assembly of Ontario
Queen's Printer for Ontario, 2019
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