Accessibility Plan, 2013-2014

 

ISSN # 1708-4598

The complete report is available as a PDF. (650 KB)


Table of Contents


Introduction

For over ten years, every ministry has set a course to prevent, identify and remove barriers for persons with disabilities. Ministries achieve this through the preparation of their annual Accessibility Plan (Plan) as required under the Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2001.

Recently, the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act established Ontario's roadmap to become accessible by 2025. It includes standards in areas such as: customer service, information and communications, employment, transportation and the built environment.

In 2010 the Ministry of Education complied with the requirements of the first standard on customer service.

In 2011, all ministries began to meet the requirements of the other four standards found in the Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation .

On January 1, 2012, the Ontario Public Service (OPS) published a single Multi-Year Accessibility Plan (MYAP). The MYAP included the following commitment:

“The OPS endeavours to demonstrate leadership for accessibility in Ontario. Our goal is to ensure accessibility for our employees and the public we serve in our services, products and facilities.”

This Plan will build on these laws and the Multi-Year Accessibility Plan. It will outline how the Ministry of Education will contribute to a barrier-free Ontario by 2025.

To access this and other ministries' 2012-13 Accessibility Plans, visit Ontario.ca.


Section One: Report on Measures Taken in 2012-2013

The following is a summary of the accessibility initiatives the Ministry of Education implemented between November 2012 and October 2013.

Customer Service

  • In fall 2012 staff was informed about the requirement to complete all relevant training modules under the Accessibility Standards for Customer Service.
  • Various feedback channels and methods continued to be available for clients and staff to provide feedback through phone, TTY, fax, e-mail and mail. This also included the use of surveys and evaluations for internal clients and the opportunity to provide anonymous feedback. Response mechanisms were put in place to ensure feedback informs continuous improvement in the way the ministry conducts its business.
  • The Communications Branch purchased software to create accessible electronic formats of emergency and public safety information.
  • All current ministry intranet and internet websites were tested and found to conform to current compliance requirements.
  • The Learning Environment Branch (LEB) provided additional information in their new employee orientation binder about mandatory Customer Service training modules, including step-by-step directions on how to access the online modules.
  • Accessibility workshops were provided at the Curriculum and Assessment Policy Branch Learning Day by the Accessibility Directorate of Ontario and an additional training meeting about ODA and AODA requirements was held in April 2013, as a follow-up to the initial orientation.

Information and Communications

  • The Communications Branch revised the Ministry website to ensure all information is accessible, and alternative formats are made available upon request.
  • The Communications Branch developed training materials and provided training on making emails, Word and PowerPoint documents accessible to program areas.
  • The Communications Branch secured conversion software to create electronic formats of emergency and public safety information.
  • Evacuation procedure videos are made available in alternate format through accessible transcription for all ministry staff on the staff internal website.
  • The Community Services I&IT Cluster worked with its partners to launch a number of sites for OPS staff that contain Web 2.0-like collaborative features. These sites, on both the SharePoint and OPSpedia platforms, meet or exceed accessibility requirements.
  • A link to “Access OPS” was highlighted in the “Features” menu on the Community Services I&IT Cluster's intranet home page. All updated information related to OPS accessibility standards and policies can be found there.
  • Resources produced by the Student Achievement Division (Capacity Building Series, What Works monographs, professional learning resources related to Differentiated Instruction Professional Learning Strategy, Transitions and Pathways, etc.) were converted into Accessible formats for posting on the Internet.
  • Webcasts and videos produced by the Student Achievement Division included captioning or accessible transcripts.
  • The Field Services Branch ensured the Private Schools Policy and Procedures manual was accessible when it was released in September 2013.
  • The Special Education Policy and Programs Branch developed a comprehensive and integrated guide entitled Special Education in Ontario: Kindergarten to Grade 12 (working title). It will update and clarify current special education regulations and policy. The guide is currently targeted for electronic release in 2014.
  • Provincial Schools Branch made Skype available to staff at Ernest C. Drury to enable them to communicate with each other using American Sign Language.
  • Curriculum and Assessment Policy Branch created “Accessibility checklists” (e.g., for venues, presentations, procurement, and website content) to assist staff in incorporating accessibility requirements into ongoing initiatives. Results include:
    • All sites used for meetings and presentations provided accessible services. Meeting participants were informed of the opportunity to request additional accommodations as required.
    • All Learning Sessions' participants were offered information in a variety of formats.
    • As part of ongoing regular operations accessible communications materials (e.g., pdf and Word versions of attachments) were offered.
    • Accessibility requirements were applied in the procurement of video production (with transcripts, captioning, etc.), including for videos used in the 21st Century Pilots for System Learning local innovation projects and the Paying Attention to Proportional Reasoning.
  • In spring of 2013 curricula was revised, for Social Sciences and Humanities/Sciences humaines et sociales curricula (Grades 9-12) and Social Studies/Études sociales (Grades 1-6) and History and Geography/Histoire et géographie curricula (Grades 7-8), to include learning expectations and examples which address the teaching and learning needs of all learners, including students with special education needs.
  • It is anticipated that the following curricula will be released in fall 2013/winter 2014; it will also include learning expectations and examples which address the teaching and learning needs of all learners, including students with special education needs:
    • Anglais pour débutants curricula (Grades 4-8 and Grades 9-12)
    • Canadian and World Studies, Grades 9-12
    • French as a Second Language, Grades 1-8 (Core, Immersion and Extended)
    • French as a Second Language, Grades 9-12 (Core, Immersion and Extended)
    • Classical Studies and International Languages, Grades 9-12
    • First Nations, Metis and Inuit Studies, Grades 9-12
  • Interpreters were provided during a focused writing session for the American Sign Language/Langue des Signes Québécoise (LSQ) curriculum. Interpreters were offered during the implementation training sessions for this particular curriculum.
  • All policy and resource documents developed in 2012-13 include accessibility requirements. Examples include:
    • Communiqués to the education sector on 21st Century Pilots for System Learning Initiative.
    • Adolescent Literacy Guide and accompanying materials.
    • Mathematics Digital Resources incorporated standards of presentation that support students with learning disabilities.
    • Assessment for learning digital resources incorporated standards of presentation that support accessibility (e.g., pictures in Video Viewing Guides and posted on the EduGAINS website have descriptive captioning for use by e-readers).
  • Videos produced for posting on EduGAINS have available transcripts. New video resources on the EduGAINS website were reformatted to include captioning and PowerPoint presentations included audio-recorded support.
  • E-Learning Ontario webinars created for the Ministry of Education website and/or e-Community now include accessible transcripts.

Employment

  • The Learning Ministries completed their second Diversity Mentoring Partnership Program on September 30, 2012. Forty-two mentoring partners were enrolled in the program. The program is designed to provide an inclusive environment for reciprocal learning in which mentors and employee partners engage in honest, open and meaningful dialogue about diversity, accessibility and inclusion.
  • Partnerships are between Deputy Ministers, Assistant Deputy Ministers, directors and managers as mentors, and staff from the five groups currently under-represented in senior management: Aboriginals, Francophone, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) employees, persons with disabilities, and visible minorities.
  • The 2013-2014 Diversity Mentoring Partnership Program launched on October 1, 2013.

Design of Public Spaces (Built Environment)

  • Provincial Schools Branch continued to work with the ministry's facilities unit to improve accessibility of the Built Environment and comply with Infrastructure Ontario's Guidelines for Barrier-free Design of Ontario Government facilities. Initiatives undertaken this year include:
    • Installing automatic door operators and Closed Circuit Television at each of its schools' entrances.
    • Testing and commissioning of the Mass Notification System was completed for many buildings. The system includes strobe lights, speakers, video displays with American Sign Language messaging and closed captioning.
    • Underground passages so the students who are blind do not need to walk outside in the snow during winter months, as well as special formation/markings on the floor, so students can identify and know where they are in the building. The completion date of the new residence is tentatively targeted for April 2014. However the W. Ross Macdonald campus is slated for tentative completion in April 2014.
  • The 13th floor of Mowat Block at 900 Bay Street was renovated to provide an accessible and barrier-free workplace, including offices, cubicles, washrooms and public spaces.

Procurement

  • The ministry incorporated an accessibility section into the Procurement Request Information Gathering Template which staff are required to consider and address when procuring goods, services or facilities.
  • The Community Services I&IT Cluster's intranet site added “AccessOPS” to the home page to assist staff with information on procuring goods, including software and hardware.
  • For every I&IT procurement, the Community Services I&IT Cluster project managers and senior management were provided with links to the Ontario Human Rights Code, Ontarian with Disabilities Act, and Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act.
  • Mandatory for every  I&IT procurement is the submission of a completed Accessibility Checklist (Meeting Accessibility Obligations in Procurement), which signifies understanding of and compliance with the above code and acts. No I&IT procurement may proceed without the submission of a completed checklist.
  • For every  I&IT procurement, a completed checklist is kept on file in order to fulfill audit requirements.

Other

  • In June 2012, the government released a discussion paper Modernizing Child Care in Ontario: Sharing Conversations, Strengthening Partnerships, Working Together  to seek input on how to strengthen the child care sector. Feedback from submissions was considered to inform changes to foster inclusive practices across all regulated child care settings.
  • Policy and program development, capacity building initiatives, and resources related to child care and full-day kindergarten continued to maintain a focus on the needs of children with special needs and their families. All ministry policy memoranda, guidelines and directives included the principles of independence, dignity, integration and equality of opportunity.
  • The ministry, in implementing full-day kindergarten,  worked with service agencies and organizations working with children with special education needs and their families in order to better understand the supports and interventions which would be beneficial within the school setting.
  • The Ministry continued to update and support regional licensing offices on any Accessibility requirements which, in turn, supported licensed child care operators throughout the province.
  • The Ministry continued to fund and support Special Needs Resourcing services and supports, which are used primarily to support the inclusion of children with special needs in regulated child care settings and approved recreation programs at no additional cost to parents/guardians.
  • A new child care funding formula and framework for municipalities was released in 2013 that better meets the needs of municipalities, operators and families and responds to feedback received on the Modernizing Child Care in Ontario discussion paper. Funding allocations for Special Needs Resourcing prior to 2013 were based on historical data. Now, under the 2013 funding formula, Consolidated Municipal Service Managers (CMSMs) and District Social Services Administration Boards (DSSABs) are required to spend a minimum of 4.1 per cent of their total child care Special Needs Resourcing allocation. CMSMs and DSSABs are encouraged to consider local community needs when determining their Special Needs Resourcing expenditure and may wish to spend a larger percentage of their total allocation as required. As a result, many CMSMs and DSSABs will exceed this minimum expenditure.
  • Responsibility for Ontario Early Years Centres, Child Care/Family Resource Centres, and Better Beginnings, Better Futures was transferred to the Ministry of Education from the Ministry of Children and Youth Services. These programs, along with Parenting and Family Literacy Centres, will be integrated for the creation of Best Start Child and Family Centres to support increasingly integrated early years programs and services that contribute to healthy child development for all children, including those with special needs, and their families.
  • One of the core objectives of Best Start Child and Family Centres will be to provide access to information and referral to help family's access screening, assessment and other specialized services.
  • The Minister's Advisory Council on Special Education identified accountability, student achievement, and the impact of Bill 13: The Accepting Schools Act, 2012 on students with special education needs as focus areas for the year.
  • Province-wide consultations on “Building the Next Phase in Ontario's Education” Strategy were held in the fall of 2013. Participants included accessibility community groups and both consultation documents and sessions were made accessible. Consultations included questions relating to:
    • Closing gaps and increasing equity to support all children and students in reaching their full potential.
    • Student well-being and the role of the school.
    • More effective use of technology in teaching and learning.
    • How to better support all learners in their development.
  • The ministry in partnership with district school boards continued to work on closing achievement gaps, including a focus on differentiating instruction to meet the needs of students with special education needs. In addition, all School Board Improvement Planning Teams included representation from the Special Education Policy and Programs Branch.
  • A component which focused on differentiated instruction and meeting the needs of students with special education needs was  included in all of the ongoing initiatives:
    • Ontario Focused Intervention Partnership, Schools in the Middle, Early Primary Collaborative Inquiry, Collaborative Inquiry for Learning – Mathematics, Student Work Study Teachers and Student Work Sample Study, Collaborative Inquiry and Differentiated Instruction (grades 7-12), the School Support Initiative, Reengagement Initiative (12&12+), Student Success School and Cross Panel Teams.
  • The ministry funded diverse education, parent and equity stakeholders to support implementation of the Equality and Inclusive Education Strategy, including parent engagement.
  • The ministry provided $3.5 million dollars for Parent Reaching Out grants (totalling 2094 projects) to address barriers and promote parent engagement in children's learning.
  • The ministry continued to support school boards and schools in embedding the principles of equity and inclusiveness into all operations and learning environments. All school boards now have an equity and inclusive education policy in place.
  • The ministry provided funding to seven Equity and Inclusive Education Networks to support school and school board implementation of the Equity and Inclusive Education Strategy.
  • The ministry visited each of the 12 French-language school boards in November and December 2012 to review their Board Improvement Plans for Student Achievement. The measures for special education students were discussed with each school board, which are using a variety of supports and resources to help special education students achieve success. School boards reported that they use ministry's resources and strategies such as the differentiated instruction and the Learning for All guide. Their plans also include measures such as training teachers about special education, providing assistance technologies for exams, screening for learning disabilities in kindergarten, and planning the transition between grades.
  • The ministry hired an Education Officer who will be working on a formally recognized Langue des Signes Québécois curriculum as a first language for deaf students and as a second language for hearing students.
  • The Centre Jules-Léger completed the creation of a Langue des Signes Québécois curriculum, from kindergarten to Grade 12. This resource is currently being used in the French provincial school for the deaf and allows deaf students to access French written literacy (reading and writing). One of the components of this resource is to provide a writing system (Sign-Writing), which allows the transfer of the otherwise spatial signed language into an iconic written version of that sign.
  • The Grades 9 to 12 segment of the Langue des Signes Québécois curriculum was submitted to the ministry's regional office for approval as locally developed credited courses. Students from the French provincial school have been granted credits under that option.
  • The ministry worked with local committees, technicians from the Centre franco-ontarien des ressources pédagogiques on developing a viable format for the supporting documents in mathematics. This will benefit deaf students as well as all students with a preference for visual cues.
  • The ministry began work on exploring e-learning to better serve French learners who are deaf.
  • A Langue des Signes Québécois summer institute was held in 2013 at the Centre Jules Léger.
  • Content of the online course for the Teacher for the Blind Certification has been provided by teacher experts. Part I of the Blind Certification has been delivered twice since September 2012. Consultants worked on approval of Part II of the Blind Certification by the Ontario Teachers College.
  • An Intra-Ministerial Mental Health and Addictions Working Group was created to provide resources to make schools safe, inclusive and accepting places where all students, parents, staff and other members of the school community are welcomed and respected, and where every student is supported and inspired to learn, as necessary conditions for student success.
  • The working group developed video resources and viewer guides to support educators' implementation of the curriculum related to mental health and addictions. The development of two more resources was also under consideration: Getting Connected in Schools, and Strategic Transformation for Student Well-Being.
  • The ministry has established a Provincial Applied Behaviour Analysis Expertise Professional Working Group consisting of school board representation from rural, urban, Catholic, and public and French Language school boards. The Working Group will be responsible for, but not limited to:
    • Reviewing current practices, identifying gaps, and setting targets to enhance local processes of use for Applied Behaviour Analysis in supporting students with Autism Spectrum Disorder.
    • Identifying resources that have proven to be effective in improving the outcomes of students with Autism Spectrum Disorder at both elementary and secondary levels.
    • Supporting the development of a repository of relevant resources on Applied Behaviour Analysis and Autism Spectrum Disorder that can be available to all school boards.
    • Designing and supporting continuous development of an Applied Behaviour Analysis expert e-community.
    • Informing the development of provincial learning modules for educators and administrators that support Autism Spectrum Disorder, Applied Behaviour Analysis and behaviour needs of students.
    • Developing a framework and participating in a provincial Applied Behaviour Analysis Professional Learning Day.
    • Acting as a liaison for all Applied Behaviour Analysis expertise professionals within their respective regions.
    • Participating and leading professional learning communities at the regional level to collect and share effective Applied Behaviour Analysis practices.
  • The objective of this initial accessibility commitment has been met without producing provincial guidelines. School boards were encouraged to share locally developed resources that support monitoring and reporting on the achievement of students who do not access the provincial curriculum.
    • The resources developed by lead school boards were finalized and shared with all school boards. Funding was provided to one board in each region to further enhance board capacity to collect, analyze and use data to report on the progress and achievement of students with special education needs who do not access the Ontario curriculum and do not participate in the Education Quality and Accountability Office assessments.
  • A provincial e-community was developed to share resources related to the Assessing Achievement in Alternative Areas (A4) projects with all school boards. School boards were encouraged to use the e-community to share locally developed resources that support monitoring and reporting on the achievement of students with special education needs who do not access the provincial curriculum.
  • The ministry began to revise The Guidelines for Programs and Services for Students Who are Deaf and Hard of Hearing, and the Guidelines for Programs and Services for Students Who are Blind or Have Low Vision. Planning was put in place to consult with relevant stakeholders prior to their release and to work with leadership networks and other stakeholders when the guidelines are released.
  • Provincial Schools Branch hosted an American Sign Language Immersion camp for Provincial Schools Branch staff. The camp was held in Milton at Ernest C. Drury School for the Deaf in 2013.
  • The ministry continued to work with the Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) on the development and release of a resource to support bias free progressive discipline in schools for school and system leaders.
  • The ministry offered Sign Language interpreters for training sessions and meetings such as regional meetings with school boards and school staff.
  • Career Cruising, the Ministry-licenced software for students' use included Accessibility features.
  • The Individual Pathways Plan was edited to include the Community Living pathways for students with special needs.
  • School board and Ontario School Information System data for the 2011-2012 academic year show that 26% of the approximately 35,500 Grade 11 and 12 Specialist High Skills Major students (SHSM) have Individual Education Plans (IEP). (An IEP is provided for exceptional pupils who's behavioural, communicational, intellectual, and physical or multiple exceptionalities are such that he or she is considered to need placement in a special education program). This shows that there are a higher proportion of students with IEPs in the SHSM when compared to the general secondary school population; as a result students with Individual Education Plans were exempted from the thirty-four credit threshold as of September 2013.

Section Two: Measures Planned for 2013-2014 and Beyond

Last year, the OPS published a Multi-Year Accessibility Plan (MYAP) that outlines how the government will identify, prevent and remove barriers for persons with disabilities.  In this section, although we highlight the MYAP deliverables and timelines until 2016, the Ministry of Education is only reporting on measures it will take or initiate during the 2013-14 reporting period.

Customer Service and Procurement

Multi-Year Accessibility Plan (MYAP) Outcomes

People with disabilities who are OPS customers receive quality goods and services in a timely manner.

MYAP Deliverables and Timelines

2013

New staff trained on accessibility

  1. Accessibility criteria built into decision-making, project management, procurement, technology, infrastructure, I & IT and training
  2. Increased awareness in OPS of accessibility best practices in customer service and the workplace

2014-2016

  1. Staff and customer feedback sought on accessibility innovations and improvements
  2. Inclusion Lens applied to all policies and practices
  3. Accessibility is part of all OPS business

Ministry Proposed Measures for 2013-2014

  • Managers will be provided an overview of Accessibility requirements and ministry commitments in the 2013-2014 Accessibility Plan and be encouraged to develop branch strategies to meet the commitments.
  • The ministry will promote the use of the OPS Inclusion Lens when reviewing internal policies, decision-making processes and administrative procedures, to ensure that accessibility is considered whenever OPS business is conducted.
  • The ministry will continue to liaison and consult with key stakeholders (both internal and external) and promote the needs of persons with disabilities to ensure accessibility within ministry programs and services.
  • The ministry is committed to continue consulting with organizations representing persons with disabilities and will participate in learning opportunities to keep current on the needs of persons with disabilities, for example sending staff, including those with disabilities, to future Expo/JOIN conferences.
  • The Education Research and Evaluation Strategy Branch will analyze feedback received from branch events to encourage continuous improvement in Accessibility supports.

Accessibility Training

  • The ministry will continue to promote OPS training modules and communicate training requirements to employees to ensure that staff is trained as required under the Accessibility legislation.
  • The ministry will continue to promote the mandatory online Accessibility training modules to new employees as part of their orientation.
  • The Corporate Management and Services Division and the Communications branch will provide guides and hands on training to program areas on how to make e-mail, Word, Excel and PowerPoint documents accessible.
  • The French-Language, Aboriginal Learning and Research Division will require its entire staff to have taken OPS Inclusion Lens training by December 31, 2015.
  • The ministry Diversity and Accessibility Leads will complete the OPS Inclusion Lens train-the-trainer sessions by December 31, 2014.

Procurement

  • The ministry will continue to inform employees of the requirement to purchase goods and services that meet or exceed accessibility requirements. Accessibility considerations in procurement will continue to be part of the ministry's evaluation criteria. Potential suppliers will be asked to identify accessibility features in their proposals.

Information and Communications

MYAP Outcomes

Information and Communications are available in accessible formats to all OPS staff and customers.

MYAP Deliverables and Timelines

2013

  1. Accessibility criteria built into decision-making, project management, procurement, technology, infrastructure, I & IT and training.
  2. Accessibility Expo.

2014-2016

  1. Communications, websites, technology solutions and documents employ accessibility best practices
  2. Accessibility Expo continues annually

Ministry Proposed Measures for 2013-2014

  • The ministry will continue to communicate to staff the legal requirements to provide accessible documents upon request and to clients the availability of accessible formats and communication supports by January 1, 2014.
  • The Community Services I&IT Cluster will develop, implement or enhance cluster learning and development plans that support accessibility.
  • The Community Services I&IT Cluster will assess all business applications for Accessibility requirements and develop remediation plans where necessary.
  • The ministry will send staff to the Expo/JOIN conference in 2014.
  • The ministry will continue to accommodate persons with disabilities at meetings (e.g., interpreters, special equipment, and software, note takers).
  • The ministry will update accessible format standards and templates based on best practices (e.g., business card templates require braille e-mail address and TTY listing).
  • The ministry will continue to meet Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) standards, and ensure that staff responsible for web content and webmasters will continue to be trained on accessible websites.
  • The ministry will train staff about protocols, the hiring process, budgets and account codes for addressing requests for alternate formats and communication supports request, and to how to plan and create accessible events.
  • The ministry will modernize its information and technology platforms for regional Child Care Quality Assurance and Licensing Branch staff. Accessibility criteria will be built into the decision-making, project management, and software development stages to ensure the user interface design meets all Accessibility standards.
  • The French Language, Aboriginal Learning and Research Division will continue its efforts to meet the WCAG standards for the e-learning courses and digital resources posted on the Banque des ressources éducatives de l'Ontario (BREO) and will report how many of the e-learning courses and digital resources on the BREO meet those guidelines in 2014.
  • Learning expectations and examples in the revised curricula address the teaching and learning needs of all learners.

Employment

MYAP Outcomes

People with disabilities who are OPS employees participate fully and meaningfully in services and employment.

MYAP Deliverables and Timelines

2013

  1. Conduct management review on accommodation for employees with disabilities.
  2. Increased awareness in OPS of accessibility best practices in customer service and the workplace.
  3. Senior managers have accessibility performance commitments.

2014-2016

  1. Best practices on employment accommodation and return to work implemented.
  2. Better accommodation for employees with disabilities resulting from management review.
  3. Managers and staff have accessibility performance commitments.

Ministry Proposed Measures for 2013-2014

  • The ministry is committed to fair and accessible employment practices that attract and retain talented employees with disabilities.
  • The ministry will continue to provide information to managers and staff to increase awareness of employment accommodation directives, policies and plans, including the availability of accessible formats and communication supports for employees.
  • The ministry will continue to support the Diversity Mentoring Partnership Program and a new group will launch October 1, 2013.
  • Ministry senior management will share accessibility performance commitments with staff.
  • The Community Services I&IT Cluster will continue to collaborate with the Disability Advisory Council (DAC) to develop the DAC Registry, which will:
    • Collect the names and contact information of people who want to be part of the Disability Network, and
    • Collect basic information on the access needs of people with disabilities.
  • The Community Services I&IT Cluster will support the I&IT Accessibility Support Services initiative launched in 2013-14, which addresses the I&IT side of employee accommodation.
  • The French Language, Aboriginal Learning and Research Division will survey its employees to assess their needs regarding accommodations and follow up with appropriate measures.
  • French Language, Aboriginal Learning and Research Division will work with Human Resources to revise the performance plan template to include accessibility commitments for staff and managers and senior managers will share their accessibility performance commitments with staff.

Design of Public Spaces (Built Environment)

MYAP Outcomes

There is greater accessibility into, out of and around OPS facilities and public spaces.

MYAP Deliverables and Timelines

2013

  1. Continue to develop strategies for addressing infrastructure barriers.

2014-2016

  1. OPS ready to implement requirements of Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act built environment regulation.

Ministry Proposed Measures for 2013-2014

  • The ministry is committed to greater accessibility in, out of and around the buildings it uses.
  • The Corporate Management and Services Division will provide information to managers to increase their awareness of built environment obligations in the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act's Design of Public Spaces Standards, Ontario Building Code and Guidelines for Barrier-free Design of Ontario Government Facilities.
  • Regular meetings will be scheduled between the Accessibility Lead and Facilities Director to discuss accommodation issues within existing ministry infrastructure.
  • An accessible unisex washroom is being proposed as part of the 3rd floor renovation of 777 Bay St. in Toronto.

Leadership and Other Outcomes

MYAP Outcomes

The OPS endeavours to demonstrate leadership for accessibility in Ontario.

MYAP Deliverables and Timelines

2013

  1. Ongoing consultations with persons with disabilities.
  2. Ministries continue to publish annual accessibility plans.

2014 - 2016

  1. Accessibility continues as strong organizational commitment.

Ministry Proposed Measures for 2013-2014

  • Education in Ontario includes commitments regarding:
    • Closing gaps and increasing equity to support all children and students in reaching their full potential.
    • Student well-being and the role of the school.
    • More effective use of technology in teaching and learning.
    • How to better support all learners in their development.
  • The ministry will review the Day Nurseries Act to improve the safety, quality and access of child care programs for all children, including those with special needs, and their families.
  • The ministry will continue to champion the Ontario Early Years Policy Framework to the public and partners, including child care service system managers and Special Needs Resourcing service providers.
  • The ministry will continue to plan for an approach to Best Start Child and Family Centres by September 2014. A core feature of the program will be supporting families of children with identified or suspected special needs and providing inclusive programs for children and families.
  • The ministry will develop and distribute resources and materials (e.g., research briefs) regarding inclusive practices to support all children in participating in early years and child care settings and full-day kindergarten.
  • The Community Services I&IT Cluster will identify an Accessibility Lead and schedule regular meetings between ministry Accessibility Leads and the Cluster Accessibility Lead with the goal of building AODA alignment and support between both organizations.
  • The French-Language, Aboriginal Learning and Research Division will establish an internal accessibility advisory team that includes employees with disabilities.
  • The Connections for Students model is a joint strategy to support children transitioning from intensive behavioural intervention (IBI) therapy services provided through the MCYS' funded Autism Intervention Program to applied behaviour analysis (Applied Behaviour Analysis) instructional methods in publicly funded schools.
    • It is a model centred on multi-disciplinary, student-specific, school-based transition teams that are established approximately six months before a child prepares to transition from IBI services provided through MCYS' funded Autism Intervention Program and continue to support the child for six months after entry into or continuing of Applied Behaviour Analysis instructional methods in school.
    • To support this commitment in the coming year, the ministry will:
      • Establish an e-Learning community for Applied Behaviour Analysis to allow for the sharing of effective practices among professionals across the province.
      • Host a Behaviour Expertise Professional Learning Day in spring 2014 to provide school board level Applied Behaviour Analysis staff with an opportunity to share and develop effective practices that support students with special education needs, including students with Autism Spectrum Disorders.
      • Collaborate with the Public Health Agency of Canada to collect relevant data and information to support the development of a long term provincial Autism Spectrum Disorder surveillance tool for Ontario.
  • The Accessibility Lead will work with Ministry Inclusion and Diversity Leads to establish an internal advisory team that includes employees with disabilities, to develop strategies which promote simplified and coordinated communication that will assist the ministry meet its Accessibility requirements.
  • The Accessibility Lead will promote regular meetings of the internal advisory team and senior management team to provide ongoing input and advice and to solicit support on the roll-out of Accessibility in the ministry.

Section Three: Review of Acts, Regulations and Policies

In support of its commitment to improve accessibility for people with disabilities, the Ministry of Education will continue to review government legislation and policies, to identify, remove and prevent barriers to accessibility.

The OPS Diversity Office and the Ministry of the Attorney General have developed a coordinated approach to continue with the review of government legislation for accessibility barriers. In this next phase, high impact statutes that meet the following criteria will be reviewed:

  • Statutes that affect persons with disabilities directly;
  • Statutes that provide for the delivery of widely applicable services or programs;
  • Statutes that provide benefits or protections; or
  • Statutes that affect a democratic or civic right or duty.

This phase of the review will be completed by the end of 2014.  The government has decided to review areas that will have impact on Ontarians who have accessibility needs.  We will continue to report on the review in our ministry's annual accessibility plan.

Acts, Regulations and Policies Reviewed in 2012-2013

The Legal Services Branch reviewed new and existing acts, regulations, guidelines and standards and advised on whether the principles of Accessibility Legislation are reflected.

In addition, this year a multidisciplinary team, including the Legal Services Branch, used the Inclusion Lens to review a number of regulations for potential barriers to persons with disabilities, including:

  • Continuing Education (R.R.O. 1990, Reg. 285)
  • Letters of Permission (O. Reg. 142/08)
  • New Teacher Induction Program (O. Reg. 266/06)
  • Operation of Schools – General (R.R.O. 1990, Reg. 298)
  • Principal and Vice-Principal Performance Appraisal (O. Reg. 234/10)
  • Principals and Vice-Principals – Redundancy and Reassignment (O. Reg. 90/98)
  • School Councils and Parent Involvement Committees (O. Reg. 612/00)
  • Student Trustees (O. Reg. 7/07)
  • Supervisory Officers (R.R.O. 1990, Reg. 309)
  • Teacher Learning Plans (O. Reg. 98/02)
  • Teacher Performance Appraisal (O. Reg. 99/02)

Acts, Regulations and Policies to be Reviewed in 2013-2014

In support of the government's commitment to improve accessibility for persons with disabilities, the Ministry of Education will continue to:

  • Remain committed to ensuring that its acts and regulations are reviewed for potential barriers.
  • Continue to use the OPS Inclusion Lens to make policies, programs and legislation more accessible.
  • Ensure the Legal Services Branch continues to provide advice with respect to the assessment of new and existing acts or regulations on whether they are compliant with the Ontarians with Disabilities Act, and consistent with the regulations under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act.

The Instruction and Leadership Development Division will continue to support the ministry's review of all legislation and regulations from an inclusion perspective.

The ministry will continue to work with the Ontario College of Teachers to ensure that any revisions made as part of their ongoing review of legislation and regulations reflect current and acceptable language related to people with disabilities.


Glossary of Terms/Acronyms

Applied Behaviour Analysis – Applied Behaviour Analysis

Alternative Education Resources for Ontario – Alternate Education Resources for Ontario

AIP – Autism Intervention Program

AODA – Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005

AQ Course – Additional Qualification Course

Autism Spectrum Disorder – Autism Spectrum Disorder

American Sign Language – American Sign Language

BIPSA – Board Improvement Plans for Student Achievement

BREO – Banque de ressources éducatives de l'Ontario

Curriculum and Assessment Policy Branch – Curriculum and Assessment Policy Branch

CESBA – Continuing Education School Board Administrators

CODE – Council of Ontario Directors of Education

CSC – Community Services I&IT Cluster

DMPP – Diversity Mentoring Partnership Program

ECD – Ernest C. Drury School for the Deaf

EDU – Ministry of Education

Equality and Inclusive Education – Equality and Inclusive Education

ELD – Early Learning Division

ELL – English language learner

eLO – e-Learning Ontario

Education Quality and Accountability Office – Education Quality and Accountability Office

ESL – English as a Second Language

FDK – Full-day Kindergarten

French-Language, Aboriginal Learning and Research Division – French Language Education Policy and Programs Branch

the Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation – Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation

IEP – Individual Education Plan

ILDD – Instruction and Leadership Development Division

LDAO – Learning Disabilities Association of Ontario

LDB – Leadership Development Branch

LNS – Literacy and Numeracy Secretariat

LSQ – Langue des Signes Québécoise

MASCE – Minister's Advisory Council on Special Education

MCSS – Ministry of Community and Social Services

MNS – Mass Notification System

OCEA – Ontario Cooperative Education Association

OCT – Ontario College of Teachers

ODA – Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2001

OESC – Ontario Education Services Corporation

OHRC – Ontario Human Rights Commission

OLF – Ontario Leadership Framework

OnSIS – Ontario School Information System

OPS – Ontario Public Service

OS 2011 Ontario Schools, Kindergarten to Grade 12, Policy and Program Requirement, 2011

OSP – Ontario Skills Passport

PPM 140 – Policy/Program Memorandum No. 140, Incorporating Methods of Applied Behaviour Analysis (Applied Behaviour Analysis) into Programs for Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders (Autism Spectrum Disorder)

PSB – Provincial Schools Branch

RFP – Request for Proposal

SAD – Student Achievement Division

SAL – Supervised Alternative Learning

SCWI – School-College Work Initiative

SEPPB – Special Education Policy and Programs Branch

SHSM – Specialist High Skills Major

Special Needs Resourcing – Special Needs Resourcing

SWAC – School Within a College

SWST – Student with Study Teachers

WBTT – Web Based Teaching Tool

WCAG – Web Content Accessibility Guidelines from the World Wide Web Consortium

Web 2.0 – an umbrella concept encompassing a variety of technologies that facilitate collaboration and sharing on the web.


For More Information

Questions or comments about the Ministry of Education's accessibility plan are always welcome.

Phone:

General inquiry number: 416-325-2929 or Toll-free 1-800-387-5514

General Toll-free inquiry TTY number: 1-800-263-2892

E-mail: info@edu.gov.on.ca

Ministry website address: http://www.edu.gov.on.ca

Visit the Ministry of Community and Social Services Accessibility Ontario web portal. The site promotes accessibility and provides information and resources on how to make Ontario an accessible province for everyone.

Alternate formats of this document are available free upon request from:

ServiceOntario Publications

Phone: 1-800-668-9938

TTY: 1-800-268-7095

© 2013 Queen's Printer for Ontario

ISSN # 1708-4598