Accessibility Plan, 2012-2013


Table of Contents

ISSN #1708-4636

The complete report is available as a PDF. (187 KB)

Introduction

Each year, the Ontario Public Service (OPS) sets a course to prevent, identify and remove barriers for persons with disabilities. Every ministry participates through the preparation of its annual accessibility plans, as required under the Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2001 (ODA).

The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (AODA) is Ontario's roadmap to become accessible by 2025. It includes accessibility standards in:

  • customer service
  • information and communications
  • employment
  • transportation
  • built environment
  • procurement
  • other.

This year, the accessibility plans must also address the Integrated Accessibility Regulation (IASR) under the AODA enacted June 2011. The IASR required the OPS to develop a multi-year accessibility plan (MYAP) to prevent and remove barriers for persons with disabilities. It published the OPS MYAP on January 1, 2012. This included a statement of commitment for the OPS to demonstrate leadership for accessibility:

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.

Building on the OPS Statement of Commitment, the OPS Multi-Year Accessibility Plan, and the Ministry's 2011-2012 former Accessibility plan, the new 2012-13 accessibility plan will continue moving the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities and the OPS to the goal of demonstrating leadership in becoming an accessible province for all Ontarians.

This plan outlines the specific steps the government is taking to improve opportunities for persons with disabilities.

To view every ministry's Accessibility Plans, visit Ontario.ca.

Section One: Report on Measures to Identify, Remove and Prevent Barriers in 2011-12

The Government of Ontario is working to achieve be the most accessible province by 2025.

Since 2001, the OPS has been complying with the obligations of the ODA and prepared an annual accessibility plan, which it has made available to the public through the Government of Ontario's public website.

During the last ten years, the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities has been a leader in accessibility. Some of its memorable moments were:

  • In 2001, Ontario launched the Apprenticeship Enhancement Fund (AEF) to help the province's colleges of applied arts and technology update training equipment and facilities to industry standards and invests $10 million annually. AEF funding has been used to assist colleges in purchasing equipment to assist persons with disabilities who are receiving apprenticeship training. In 2004-05, Fanshawe College used AEF funding to purchase laptop computers with specialized software. The laptops were loaned to apprentices with learning disabilities or text-based related learning problems to support apprenticeship in-classroom training. Specialized work benches have also been purchased.
  • In 2006 – 07, the ministry provided more than $41.1 million to help students with disabilities succeed in postsecondary studies — an increase of 23 per cent since 2003-04. More than $31 million of this funding was provided to colleges and universities; the remaining $10 million was provided to individuals and other organizations.
  • In 2008 – 09, the ministry established $1.8 million in direct funding to support apprentices with disabilities. This funding gave apprentices with disabilities attending colleges in Ontario access to additional supports so they can participate in apprenticeship training programs including the Pre-apprenticeship Program and the Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program.
  • Institutions used these funds to accommodate training to the specific needs of an individual—for example, through large print text and special services such as interpreters—as well as for disability assessment and modifying equipment to train apprentices with disabilities.
  • In 2004-05, the ministry demonstrated continued leadership in improving accessibility to education and training programs by establishing the Postsecondary Advisory Committee on Disability Issues. PACDI has the mandate of providing advice to the Minister on:
    • education-related disability issues affecting publicly-funded postsecondary students with disabilities to ensure impact of ministry's funding can be maximized, and;
    • priority disability-related research initiatives.

In 2011-12, the government continued to comply with the Accessibility Standards for Customer Service regulation. As well, it had begun applying initiatives to meet compliance of some of the requirements of the Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation in the areas of employment, information and communications, transportation and procurement. The government continues to implement initiatives to enhance accessibility in other areas such as the built environment.

The following is a summary of the accessibility initiatives the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities implemented last year, as a result of the 2011-2012 annual accessibility plan.

Reporting on 2011-2012 AODA obligations

Customer Service

In 2011-12 our ministry…

  • Remained in compliance with the Accessibility Standards for Customer Service Standard under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005.
    • The ministry, through the Corporate Coordination Office, sent email reminders in fall 2012 to staff about the requirement to complete training modules under the Accessibility Standards for Customer Service.
  • Remained in compliance with the 2011 and 2012 requirements of the Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005.
    • The ministry incorporated accessibility features into procuring or acquiring goods, services or facilities by adding a section considering accessibility to the Procurement Request Information Gathering Template.
    • The Communications branch has conversion software to create electronic formats of emergency and public safety information upon request. Capacity exists to provide conversion to other accessible formats when requested.
    • All current ministry intranet and internet websites were tested and conform to current compliance requirements under the IASR.
  • Various feedback channels and methods continue to be available for clients and staff to provide feedback through phone, TTY, fax, e-mail and mail. This also includes the use of surveys and evaluations for internal clients and the opportunity to provide anonymous feedback. Response mechanisms are in place to ensure feedback informs continuous improvement in the way the ministry conducts its business.
  • The Employment and Training Division (ETD) offices continued to educate staff on ministry requirements under the Customer Service Regulation and the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disability Act (AODA).
  • All ETD offices continued to promote OPS accessibility training to employees by embedding the training requirements, where necessary, in employees' learning plans.
  • New hires were reminded of the requirement for staff to complete the OPS Accessibility training modules such as "May I Help You?" and "ODA: Maximizing the Contributions of Employees with Disabilities".
  • ETD and the Strategic Policy and Programs Division (SPPD) responded to recommendations of the Literacy and Basic Skills (LBS) Evaluation. A number of the recommendations emerging from the LBS Program Evaluation had implications for people with disabilities. Action has been taken to respond to these recommendations:
    • LBS guidelines have been revised for 2012 and eligibility and suitability for services have been defined.
    • Development of the Deaf e-channel was completed (April 2011 - March 2012) and the Deaf e-channel was launched in April 2012.
    • As part of the Deaf Literacy Initiative (DLI), the following Ontario Adult Literacy Curriculum Framework (OALCF) documents were translated into American Sign Language (ASL):
      • Curriculum Framework
      • Glossary
      • Conceptual Foundation
      • Introduction to Conceptual Foundation
      • Foundation Papers
        • Transition-Oriented programming
        • Assessment
        • Learning materials
      • Practitioner Guide
    • In 2012, the OALCF began capturing measures of progress towards the completion of Learner Goal Paths using:
      • Milestones & Culminating Tasks
        • Accessibility issues were observed for blind or low vision learners. The development of milestones and culminating tasks into large print and Braille formats are being researched for resource impact.
      • Learner gain measure (fall 2012)
        • Accessibility issues were gathered through the project conducted by Colaition Ontarienne de Formation des Adultes(COFA) (fall 2012).
  • ETD continued to support and work closely with the Deaf Literacy Initiative (DLI). Recent projects and supports conducted by DLI include:
      • Funding to provide capacity building support to LBS service providers.
      • $95,000 for the LBS Sign Language Pool
      • Various research and development including camera and signposts, translation materials, and OALCF Spring Implementation Training
    • The focus on service coordination and referrals in the OALCF and Employment Ontario Information System (EOIS) will revive the working partnership between the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities (MTCU), The Ministry of Community and Social Services (MCSS), and Ontario Works clients.
    • Service Coordination between LBS providers is now a performance measure. It is a clearly defined field of reporting in the Employment Ontario Information System (EOIS). The 2012 guidelines describe expectations for literacy services planning and coordination.
    • The October 2011 document Supporting Learners through Service Coordination and Referrals supports LBS providers in this effort. The document is:
      • Intended for reference by practitioners
      • Discusses a range of learner supports and service coordination
      • Teaches practitioners how to develop a learner plan
      • Teaches practitioners how to work with community partners and make referrals
  • ETD consulted with organizations that serve different disability types and participated in learning opportunities to keep current on information pertaining to the needs of the persons with disabilities.
  • In the ETD Northern Region, the ministry continued to work with Ontario March of Dimes to serve clients with disabilities through the Ontario Employment Assistance Service agreement (OEAS).
  • In the ETD Eastern Region, the ministry organized a workshop session with all 4 service providers for people with disabilities. The providers were able to review each other's mandates and discuss efforts to work with Employment Service providers in Ottawa.
  • Renfrew County's Employment and Training Consultants sit on the County's Social Safety Net in the Eastern Region. Participating members include but are not limited to: Ministry of Community and Social Services (MCSS), Ontario Works (OW), Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP), community police, and legal. The group meets twice per year.
  • The Service Delivery Branch (SDB) participated in a variety of meetings to ensure appropriate connections were being made and to strengthen relationships with community stakeholders. The branch attended College Committee on Disability Issues (CCDI) in November 2011 to provide a Second Career (SC) overview in relation to people with disabilities and available supports. SDB responded to questions to help clarify policy and operational matters.
  • The local Service Delivery Managers (SDM) in the Central Region sat on various disability working groups with Community Partners, looking at opportunities to develop and implement best practices.
  • ETD staff have attended several conferences and met with stakeholders to obtain a greater understanding of the accessibility needs of persons with disabilities. Examples of some conferences and events staff have attended include: Accessibility Expo 2011, Deaf Literacy Initiative 2011 Conference, Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders Focus Group.
  • All ETD Regional Offices have participated in various forms of discussion regarding people with disabilities. The varying discussions have included community forums, focus groups with service providers for people with disabilities, and various people with disabilities working groups.
  • For Second Career clients in the Eastern Region, Employment and Training Consultants (ETC) are working closely with the public and private schools to ensure that clients with disabilities are receiving the supports they need to be successful in school.
    • The Service Delivery Branch updated information within the Second Career Guidelines to bring clarity and consistency to Employment Services' service providers and ministry staff in the administration and support of people with disabilities.
    • The decision was made to extend agreements funded through Ontario Employment Assistance Service (OEAS) to fund ‘stand-alone' agreements that support people with disabilities for an additional year. This will provide appropriate time for consultations and community level planning to ensure employment services for people with disabilities are delivered in a way that makes sense for clients.
    • Through Second Career in the Central Region, the ministry program staff ensured that people with disabilities clients in training had full access to required additional supports. Ministry staff assisted with their learning to help clients achieve their employment goals.
    • ETD continually reviewed employment supports, taking into consideration the needs of people with disabilities.
  • ETD continued to pursue opportunities to provide support to persons with disabilities through the Employment Ontario (EO) programs.
    • In the Northern Region, Sault Ste Marie and Thunder Bay have an agreement to provide Literacy and Basic Skills (LBS) services to persons with hearing impairments. This site is a satellite office associated with the Sudbury office.
    • Sault Ste Marie management area oversees an agreement to serve persons with disabilities through an Ontario Employment Assistance Service Agreement (OEAS).
    • Thunder Bay management area oversees an agreement to serve persons with disabilities through an OEAS agreement.
    • The Northern TCU office provides a work experience placement for a client of the Association for Community Living.
    • The ministry continues to work with the Canadian Hearing Society to support Literacy and Basic Skill programs. Support for LSB includes lower level literacy training to form a comprehensive and integrated adult learning service to the Deaf community in the Sudbury area.
    • Northern Region staff have exercised and will continue to exercise as much flexibility as permitted under Second Career to provide financial supports to persons with disabilities. The Timmins management area oversees an agreement to serve persons with disabilities through an OEAS agreement.
    • In the Eastern Region, an Employment and Training Consultant from the Ottawa office was involved in the first meeting of the Deaf, Hard of Hearing Access Committee that started in the fall of 2012. This committee has members representing Alternative Learning Styles and Outlooks (ALSO), the Pinecrest Queensway Community Health Centre (who also have an ES site), an employer from the public sector, SLI NC (Sign Language Interpreters of the National Capital Region), and the Canadian Hearing Society.
    • In the Central Region, from January 15, 2011 – May 15, 2012, the Bracebridge Muskoka Lakes Rotary Trust launched and implemented a sustainable mentor project to assist unemployed individuals with disabilities to find and maintain employment.
    • Rotarians brought together post-secondary institutions, community agencies and business partners to develop a community based employment mentorship program specifically for persons with disabilities. MTCU funded this project for $381,418.
  • The needs of persons with disabilities continued to be assessed through policy and program design and by providing appropriate supports through the Employment Ontario network of programs.
    • Employment and Training Consultants (ETCs) administer Employment Assistance Services (EAS) contract agreements and Literacy and Basic Skills agreements with regional organizations serving persons with disabilities. (e.g. Canadian National Institute for the Blind). In the Western Region, these ETCs regularly meet with service organizations to ensure appropriate program and service delivery for this targeted clientele.
    • In the Northern Region, the local office has identified and is addressing issues with respect to policy for support to persons with disabilities under Second Career.
    • All regions of ETD and the Service Delivery Branch (SDB) continued to assess Employment Ontario programs. Various program working groups discuss and analyse the impact of changes to policy and program design to ensure the removal of barriers for persons with disabilities.
    • SDB provided an additional $2 million to non-college Training Delivery Agents (TDA) to remove accessibility barriers to persons with disabilities.
    • Funding under the Apprenticeship Enhancement Fund (AEF) will assist non-college TDAs to remove accessibility barriers and provide accommodation to persons with disabilities. This additional investment will allow non-college TDAs to enable accessible training for apprentices with disabilities.
    • The ministry's revised TDA policy requires that all new TDAs be accessible to persons with disabilities. Providing enhanced infrastructure funding will assist current non-college TDAs to upgrade their facilities to standards of the TDA policy.
    • Non-college TDAs are expected to spend 50% of their monies towards addressing accessibility. If no monies are spent on addressing accessibility, the non-college TDA is to explain why monies were not spent. (i.e.g. they are already AODA compliant).
  • ETD has an ongoing commitment to share information and work collaboratively with other branches in MTCU and across ministries, to ensure that people are obtaining appropriate and accessible services from the government.
  • Staff of the Ottawa and Renfrew County offices coordinated efforts with Ministry of Community and Social Services (MCSS)/ Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) and Ontario Works (OW) and other community agencies to support client needs and make effective referrals within the community.
  • SDB developed the Draft Second Career operational document. This document provides a consistent approach to be followed for individuals with a disability to be considered for additional funding, based on a determination of their specific need(s).
  • There has been ongoing work to provide information on participation and employment supports for persons with disabilities, as requested by other branches and ministries.
  • SDB and all regions of ETD continued to actively participate in inter- and cross-ministerial discussion groups and committees. These meetings enabled the sharing of varying program information and resources, helping to maximize the ability to assist persons with disabilities.

Information and Communications

  • The Communications Branch continued to ensure that the ministry's internal intranet and public website are ODA and AODA compliant. Tests are being run to ensure website compliance with WCAG 2.0 Level AA (exempting captions (live) and audio-descriptions (pre-recorded)).
  • Ministry publications continued to be posted in HTML, PDF and/or plain text formats on the public website to ensure accessibility.
  • The Community Services I & IT Cluster fulfilled its commitment to post relevant ODA resource materials on ClusterNET. Specifically, links to current ODA standards and policies, as well as tools for ODA-compliancy were made available for all staff across the five ministries of the cluster.
  • Successful integration into the workplace for persons with disabilities requires a variety of support tools (i.e. software). The Community Services I & IT Cluster of the Learning Ministries continued its commitment to the maintenance and updating as required of the current list of software and applications designed to facilitate the integration of persons with disabilities in day-to-day work activities. This software list remained available to all OPS staff on ClusterNET.
  • The Community Services I&IT Cluster continued to promote collaboration tools (e.g. SharePoint and WebCenter) that provide interactive, accessible Web 2.0 features for all employees.
  • The ministry continued to comply with the service disruptions protocol by informing staff where alternate services may be obtained while repairs to existing services are being completed.
  • All communications from the Employment and Training Division (ETD) are produced and published in accessible formats.
  • The Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities established a pilot project through Alternate Education Resources for Ontario (AERO) to enhance the web-based repository which provides accessible format textbooks to colleges and universities to assist them in meeting their legal obligations to accommodate students with perceptual disabilities.
  • In 2011-12, the ministries worked with 5 Canadian publishers, 3 colleges and 3 universities to enhance and test the web based repository and recommend improvements. The 2 year pilot project led to significant improvements to AERO's ability to provide high quality accessible format textbooks to students in a timely manner.
  • The ministry's Student Financial Assistance Branch continued to provide ODA compliant applications for OSAP for Full-Time Studies and OSAP for Part-Time Studies. The branch will continue to make other applications accessible as required.
  • The ministry launched an ODA compliant application for the New 30% off Ontario Tuition Grant.
  • The ministry created an ODA compliant application form (html format) for the Ontario Bursary for Students with Disabilities application.
  • The ministry will continue to provide communications and resources in accessible formats through the Employment Ontario Partners Gateway website (EOPG).
  • ETD Northern Region shares corporate and North Region Branch information with the local Employment Service (ES) network on obligations under the ODA.
  • Local Employment Ontario network meetings include closed captioning to accommodate an employee from an EO funded site to participate in monthly agency meetings hosted by the local MTCU office. This service will continue to be available for as long as required.
  • ETD continues to ensure that ministry-initiated correspondence with stakeholders and service providers, including the Employment Ontario Partners Gateway (EOPG) website, is ODA-compliant. Information is also available in alternative formats upon request. The new re-launched EOPG site has been confirmed to be compliant with current AODA requirements.
  • ETD has continued to support people who are Deaf by providing interpreters, special equipment and software. Captioning is provided for Deaf individuals requiring this accommodation, upon request.
  • The Employment Ontario Information System-Case Management System (EOIS-CaMS) is used by organizations that deliver the Literacy and Basic Skills program.
  • The Business & Systems Management Branch (BSMB) reviewed the Employment Ontario Information System-Case Management System's (EOIS-CaMS) tools and resources for compliance with the AODA and applicable Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation (IASR). This review resulted in the following enhancements:
    • ETD amended the current closed captioning feature of EOIS-CaMS online training modules to better align with closed captioning standards and best practices.
    • ETD revised a variety of system support materials (i.e., user guides) and other training resource materials to ensure materials met current accessibility standards. Changes included improved formatting and tagging of images to improve the accessibility of the materials.
    • Various OPS stakeholders were consulted (i.e.g., the Diversity Office, CMSS, etc) to ensure this review reflected best practices.
  • ETD incorporated American Sign Language (ASL) in the EOIS-CaMS Release 3.0 Training, launched in March 2012. Significant changes were made to the EOIS-CaMS R3.0 Training Plan to accommodate the Literacy and Basic Skills Deaf Stream by:
    • Providing an extended version of the EOIS-CaMS classroom training to the LBS Deaf Stream organizations to accommodate the use of sign language interpreters; and
    • Providing ‘one-on-one' training to two individuals who required special visual and mobility accommodations on-site at the CNIB Toronto office.
  • ETD conducted enhanced system testing for EOIS-CaMS. Specialized EOIS-CaMS R3.0 testing was done using visual enhancement screen reading software known as JAWS Screen Reader and an expert user of the software from the CNIB Toronto. The testing identified the need for some modifications which required additional tagging of fields and images in EOIS-CaMS. The improved accessibility modifications were implemented with Release 3.0. in March 2012.

Employment

  • The Community Services I&IT Cluster continued to promote collaboration tools (e.g. SharePoint and WebCenter) that provide interactive, accessible Web 2.0 features for all employees.
  • In the Western Region, ETD continues to promote OPS accessibility training to employees by embedding the training requirements, where necessary, in employee learning plans.
  • All new hires in ETD are reminded of the requirements for staff to complete the OPS Accessibility training modules such as "May I Help You?" and "ODA: Maximizing the Contributions of Employees with Disabilities". Newly hired ETD staff were responsible for completing required Accessibility Training.
  • Hosted by the Diversity Office, the fifth Accessibility Expo took place on Thursday, December 1, 2011 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. This annual event provides information on accessibility best practices and available technology to accommodate persons with disabilities. Employees from the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Training, Colleges & Universities attended the event.
  • The Learning Ministries hosted a Diversity Showcase on May 30, 2012 to highlight ways in which both ministries integrate diversity and inclusion into the day-to-day work of the divisions. The showcase had displays from every division and included information on the Accessibility@Source campaign.

Built Environment

  • In the Employment Training Division (ETD) Western Region, the integration of the London Offices was completed in March 2012. The new facility provides full access to Ontarians with Disabilities.
  • In the ETD Northern Region, the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities (MTCU) office in Elliot Lake opened March 31, 2012. The new facility is fully accessible to persons with disabilities featuring ramps, widened doorways, appropriate flooring, lower counters and accessible public washrooms.
  • Four new accessible doorways have been installed in the Thunder Bay office. Renovations to the front counter also ensure accessibility. MTCU offices in Thunder Bay/Greenstone are accessible to persons with disabilities featuring ramps, widened doorways, appropriate flooring, lower counters and accessible public washrooms (accessible features).

Procurement

  • The Community Services I & IT Cluster of tThe Learning Ministries continued its commitment to OPS procurement guidelines to ensure that accessibility has been considered in the procurement of goods and services. The ODA Procurement Requirements Checklist is a formal part of procurement process.
  • When reviewing Request for Services and Requests for Proposals, ETD considers accessibility as a criterion for determining successful vendors.
  • In 2011-12, the Employment Training Division (ETD) ensured that all venues where training was conducted for Literacy and Basic Skills (LBS) were accessible for the needs of staff and stakeholders.

Other

  • In the 2011-12 fiscal year, through the Student Financial Assistance Branch of the Postsecondary Education Division, 5,382 students received a Bursary for Students with Disabilities for a total of $3.866 M.
  • 38 Thirty-eight students received an Ontario Out-of-Country Bursary for Deaf Students for a total of $808,085.
  • The ministry communicated with stakeholders in the summer/fall 2012 regarding the roll out of postsecondary mental health funding for 2012-13. This roll out will include the launch of 24/7 hotline services for postsecondary students with mental health and addictions issues. In February 2012, the Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities directed the development of a mental health hotline capacity tailored to the needs of postsecondary students. MTCU provided $6M in 2011-12, maturing to $9M annually beginning in 2012-13. It is anticipated that this initiative will use up to $2M of the available $9M.
  • The Disabilities Issues Working Group held three meetings in 2011-12 to discuss issues related to the Ontario Bursary for Students with Disabilities and the Canada Student Grant for Services and Equipment for Persons with Permanent Disabilities.
  • In 2011-12, the Strategic Policy and Programs Division (SPPD) continued collaborations with the Ontario College of Trades regarding policies pertaining to apprenticeship training and trade certification to ensure alignment with the Ontario College of Trades and Apprenticeship Act, 2009, and adherence to the AODA.
  • Two new practical examinations developed by the College of Trades were implemented. Additional trades that will benefit from having a practical examination option were identified.
  • The Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario (HEQCO) continued to undertake research projects related to students with disabilities in postsecondary education. HEQCO released two papers in 2011-12 that focused on students with disabilities in postsecondary education:
  • Support for Apprentices with Disabilities (SAWD) is intended to assist Colleges of Applied Arts and Technology (CAATs) to support people with special needs to participate in apprenticeship programs, pre-apprenticeship programs and Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Programs. SAWD is to be used for accommodation and accessibility needs of apprentices with disabilities attending colleges across Ontario.
  • SAWD improves access for apprentices with disabilities by ensuring they receive individualized services and have access to tools and technologies such as: interpreters and note-takers; and transcription of educational materials. SAWD, supports apprenticeship students with disabilities to make a successful transition from apprenticeship to journeyperson and journeyperson to employment.

    In 2011-12, the ministry, through the ETD, provided $1.8M for the Support for Apprentices with Disabilities (SAWD) program.

Section Two: Measures Planned for 2012-13 and Beyond

Our Statement of 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 year, the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities accessibility plan focuses on five areas. In order to demonstrate leadership in accessibility, our ministry is planning to undertake the activities described below. At a minimum, these initiatives will support compliance with the existing Accessibility Standards for Customer Service and Integrated Accessibility Standards under the AODA and other areas.

  • Customer Service
  • Information and Communications
  • Employment
  • Information & Communications
  • Built Environment and Procurement.
  • Accessibility Training Other

Customer Service

The Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities is committed to ensuring that people with disabilities receive accessible goods and services from us. This means they will receive goods and services with the same high quality and timeliness as others.

  • The Employment Training Division (ETD) offices will continue to educate staff regarding ministry requirements under the Customer Service Standard of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (AODA). ETD will also take action to assist in the education of staff regarding future AODA standards and the implications to ETD business.
  • ETD and Strategic Policy and Programs Division (SPPD)  will seek opportunities to increase accessibility and improve service delivery within all Employment Ontario (EO) programs.
  • All ETD offices continue to promote OPS accessibility training to employees and have new staff complete OPS Accessibility Training.
  • SPPD will continue to work on the Deaf Literacy Initiative (DLI) by developing sign language translations of the following Ontario Adult Literacy Curriculum Framework (OALCF) documents: Learner Plan User Guide, Milestone User Guide, Culminating Task User Guide and assessment webinar developed by Community Literacy of Ontario (CLO).
  • SPPD will complete the development and implementation of an adapted version of the Deaf Communications and Math Employment Readiness Assessment (Deaf CAMERA) for use as a valid assessment tool in the Deaf LBS stream. This will include the design, publishing and disseminating of the assessment tool, and creating DVDs as required. SPPD will also hire, train, monitor and certify an assessor who is qualified in Deaf CAMERA.  

  • DLI will hire a qualified Anglophone OALCF trainer to work closely with a DLI trainer on supporting OALCF initiatives.
  • The DLI OALCF trainer will:

    • facilitate training and provide one-on-one, face-to-face support to all agencies;
    • visit at least 50% of all Deaf programs to provide support; and
    • deliver a 2-day assessment workshop in the fall of 2012, building on previous training on assessment tools.
  • The ministry will continue to work with the Deaf Literacy Initiative to meet cultural and accessibility needs of the Deaf Literacy and Basic Skills learners and practitioners.
  • ETD will continue to consult with organizations that serve different disability types and will participate in learning opportunities to keep current information on the needs of the persons with disabilities.  For example:
    • Sudbury management will continue to consult with organizations that serve different disability types and will participate in learning opportunities to keep up to date regarding the needs of persons with disabilities.
    • The Eastern Region will continue to seek opportunities for dialogue and discussion regarding barriers and services to persons with disabilities.
    • The Service Delivery Branch (SDB) will participate in conferences and attend meetings as they are identified.
    • The Central Region will continue to seek opportunities to work with community partners to develop and implement best practices to better serve persons with disabilities.
  • ETD is committed to being informed of the needs of persons with disabilities by continuing to communicate directly with organizations that serve different disability types and through participation in conferences that focus on accessibility and persons with disabilities across the province.
  • Regional ETD staff will continue their participation in varying discussion opportunities for groups serving people with disabilities within the communities that they serve.
  • ETD will continue to review employment supports for persons with disabilities to ensure that services are accessible in all communities across Ontario.
    • In the Eastern Region, ETC will continue to work closely with public and private schools to ensure that clients with disabilities are receiving the supports that they need to be successful in school.
    • The SDB will monitor the effectiveness and impacts of the Second Career Guideline changes and recommend any further modifications that may be required.
    • ETD will continue with OEAS consultations, analysis and planning to ensure appropriate and sound decisions are made in respect to clients with disabilities.
    • In the Central Region, ETD will continue to ensure that clients with disabilities in training have full access to any additional supports (time, technology, personnel) they require and assist with their learning to help them achieve their employment goals.
    • ETD will continue to actively participate in inter-divisional, inter-ministerial and other relevant discussion groups and committees. ETD will continue to communicate and discuss the needs of persons with disabilities internally to ensure accessibility within MTCU programs and services.
  • ETD will continue to pursue opportunities to provide support to persons with disabilities through the Employment Ontario (EO) programs.
    • The agreement between Sault Ste Marie and Thunder Bay to provide LBS services to persons with hearing impairments will continue to serve clients in the Sault Ste. Marie area.
    • The ministry will continue to communicate and work with the Canadian Hearing Society.
    • ETD will continue to support an OEAS Employment Resource Centre (ERC) employment service provider for persons with disabilities.
  • The Deaf, Hard of Hearing Access Committee held its first meeting in fall 2012. The mandate of the committee is to improve accessibility for Deaf individuals. It hopes to improve the knowledge of the services that are available to this group in the community. It is also planning to develop a strategy for service coordination between job seekers, service providers and employers.
  • The committee includes members representing ALSO (Alternative Learning Styles and Outlooks), the Pinecrest Queensway Community Health Centre (who also have an ES site), an employer from the public sector, SLINC (Sign Language Interpreters of the National Capital Region), and the Canadian Hearing Society.

    Eastern Region offices plan to continue attending bi-monthly meetings representing the ministry.

  • The Central Region will continue dialogue with community partners to explore opportunities to develop other Ontario Labour Market Partnerships and Ontario Job Creation Partnership projects targeted at persons with disabilities.
    • The needs of persons with disabilities will continue to be assessed through policy and program design and by providing appropriate supports through the Employment Ontario network of programs.
    • The Western Region will continue to meet regularly with organizations that serve persons with disabilities to ensure appropriate program and service delivery for this targeted clientele.
    • In the Northern Region, identified barriers for persons with disabilities will continue to be monitored as required.
  • All Regions of the ETD and the Service Delivery Branch will continue to be mindful of the need to assess supports through the Employment Ontario (through policy and program design).
  • ETD has an ongoing commitment to share information and work collaboratively with other branches in MTCU and across ministries, such as the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Community and Social Services, to ensure that people are obtaining appropriate and accessible services from the government. Consultations on policy development will ensure that services and service delivery take into account the requirements of persons with disabilities. Continued sharing of information and collaboration across the ministries will build capacity for the universal knowledge of services and programs to persons with disabilities across the OPS.
    • The Eastern Region will continue collaborative coordination efforts with other ministries and community agencies to support client needs.
    • The SDB is planning to release an operational guide to help support individuals with disabilities who are applying for Second Career. This information will be shared with appropriate stakeholders and partners and ministry staff and posted accordingly.
    • There will be ongoing work to provide information on participation and employment supports to persons with disabilities in other branches and ministries, as requested.
    • ETD will continue to actively participate in interdivisional, interministerial and other relevant discussion groups and committees. ETD will continue to communicate and discuss the needs of persons with disabilities internally to ensure accessibility within MTCU programs and services.
  • Ministry publications will continue to be posted in HTML, PDF and/or plain text formats on the websites to ensure accessibility (ongoing).
    • ETD will continue to develop all publications in accessible formats.
  • Under the Canada Ontario Labour Market Development Agreement (LMDA) and the Canada Ontario Labour Market Agreement (LMA), SPPD will conduct outcome evaluations of labour market interventions and training to ascertain outcomes, including outcomes for persons with disabilities. Results are anticipated in Winter 2013.
  • The Labour Market Agreement for Persons with Disabilities (LMAPD) is aimed at supporting better labour market outcomes for persons with disabilities: increasing access and providing support to students studying at PSE institutions, enhancing employability and increasing employment opportunities. To help Ontario meet its evaluation commitments under the LMAPD, SPPD, in conjunction with the Post Secondary Education Division (PSED), commenced an evaluability assessment of LMAPD-funded programs to assess college and university readiness for an evaluation, as well as the extent and quality of performance data. An evaluability report, based on findings from the assessment, is to be presented in Fall 2012, and will include an outline for a proposed evaluation strategy.

Information and Communications

The Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities is committed to making government information and communications accessible to persons with disabilities. The information we provide and how we communicate it are key to delivering our programs and services to the public.

  • The ministry's Communications Branch will continue to ensure that the ministry's intranet and public website are complainant with the Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2001 (ODA) (ongoing).
  • Ministry publications will continue to be posted in HTML, PDF and/or plain text formats on the websites to ensure accessibility (ongoing).
  • The Community Services I & IT Cluster will continue to expand the accessibility resource area of ClusterNET and conduct yearly reviews to ensure accuracy of content including ODA standards, policies, videos and tools for ODA support and compliance.
  • The Community Services I & IT Cluster of the Learning Ministries will continue its commitment to maintain and update, as required, the current list of software and applications, designed to facilitate the integration of persons with disabilities in day-to-day work activities.
  • The Community Services I&T Cluster will continue to seek out and recommend products that offer Web 2.0 features. CSC will ensure that these products meet or exceed WCAG 2.0 criteria as set out in the Integrated Standards Accessibility Regulation (IASR).
  • Starting in late 2012, the enhanced Alternate Education Resources for Ontario (AERO) services, including the ability to provide high quality accessible format textbooks to students in a timely manner, will be offered to all publicly funded colleges and universities. This will help institutions meet their upcoming legal obligations under the AODA, Information Communication Standard for January 2013.
  • The ministry will continue to provide AODA compliant applications for OSAP for Full-Time Studies, OSAP for Part-Time Studies, the Ontario Tuition Grant, and the Bursary for Students with Disabilities
  • For the 2012-13 fiscal year, the Student Financial Assistance Branch of the Postsecondary Education Division has budgeted $3.57 M for the Bursary for Students with Disabilities and $1.8M for the Ontario Out-of-Country Bursary for Deaf Students.
  • The Disabilities Issues Working Group will continue to meet regularly.
  • Ensuring the ability to communicate in a format that takes into consideration a disability and an individual's preferred method of communication is essential to the operation of the Employment and Training Division (ETD).
  • ETD will continue to ensure that ministry-initiated letters and other documents going to stakeholders and service providers meet the accessibility requirements for persons with visions loss (e.g., enable text access for screen reader devices for persons experiencing loss of vision).

    ETD will continue to accommodate people who are Deaf at meetings (e.g., interpreters, special equipment, and software). ETD will provide the accommodation requirements for people with disabilities.

  • Continual analysis of e-Channel for the Deaf by ETD will ensure that services are meeting the needs of the targeted audience.
  • The Employment Ontario Information System-Case Management System (EOIS-CaMS) is used by organizations that deliver the Literacy and Basic Skills program. ETD will continue to factor AODA and IASR compliance into plans for future releases of EOIS-CaMS.
  • Working with ETD Regional Offices, the Business and Systems Management Branch (BSMB) will monitor the Literacy Deaf-Blind stream agencies experiences with EOIS-CaMS to determine whether additional efforts are required to ensure effective adoption of EOIS-CaMS in the stream.

Employment

The Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities is committed to fair and accessible employment practices that attract and retain talented employees with disabilities. People with disabilities who are OPS employees know they can participate fully and meaningfully in services and employment.

  • The Community Services I&T Cluster will continue to seek out and recommend products that offer Web 2.0 features. CSC will ensure that these products meet or exceed guidelines under the ODA and the AODA.
  • The ministry will continue to promote OPS training modules and communicate training requirements to new employees to ensure that staff are trained as required under accessibility legislation (ongoing).
  • The Western Region ETD office will continue to promote OPS accessibility training to employees and have new staff complete OPS Accessibility Training.
  • All newly hired ETD staff will continue to be reminded to complete accessibility training required under the AODA.
  • ETD Staff will continue to have updated accessibility training as part of their employee training plans, as required.
  • The Diversity Mentoring Partnership Program (DMPP) is a formal reciprocal mentorship program developed as a key initiative of the 2008 OPS Diversity Three-Year Strategic Plan. 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; Francophones; lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) employees; persons with disabilities; and visible minorities.

    For 2012-13, 84 employees from the learning ministries are participating in the mentorship program.

Built Environment

The Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities is committed to greater accessibility in, out of and around the buildings we use.

  • Staff at all of the ETD offices are aware of the need to have barrier-free offices for both staff and the public. Identified barriers will be brought to the attention of management.

Procurement

The Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities is committed to integrating accessibility considerations into our procurement processes. We ask potential suppliers to tell us about the accessible options they offer. We include accessibility considerations in our evaluation criteria.

  • The Community Services I & IT Cluster will continue its commitment to update and apply the ODA and AODA Procurement Requirements Checklist in developing business solutions.

Other

  • SPPD will formalize the relationship with the College of Trades through a Memorandum of Agreement, which will include the development of operational policies and assurance of AODA compliance.
  • The Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario (HEQCO) will continue to undertake research projects that promote access to postsecondary education for every qualified student. Originally scheduled for release in 2011, the timeframe for two publications concerning postsecondary students with disabilities has been revised:
    • @ Issue: Students with Disabilities, a synthesis of cutting edge data and research on students with disabilities pursuing postsecondary education, and
    • Succeeding with Disabilities: The Time Taken to Graduate for Students with Disabilities

    are expected in late 2012.

Section Three: Review of Acts, Regulations and Policies

In support of our commitment to improve accessibility for people with disabilities, the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities will continue to review government initiatives, including legislation and policies, to identify and remove barriers.

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:

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

This phase of the review will be completed by the end of 2014. The government has decided to review these statutes because it is anticipated that changes in these areas will have the highest impact on those Ontarians who have accessibility needs. We will continue to report on the review in our annual accessibility plan.

Identifying, Removing and Preventing Barriers with the OPS Inclusion Lens

In 2011, the Ontario Public Service (OPS) launched the OPS Inclusion Lens. The OPS Inclusion Lens is an analytical tool that helps staff incorporate elements of inclusion into their work through an enhanced understanding of diversity and accessibility. The OPS Inclusion Lens can be used when initiating a project or reviewing policies, programs, legislation, guidelines and procedures. The OPS Inclusion Lens can assist in identifying, removing and preventing barriers to accessibility and other dimensions of diversity.

In April 2011, the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities participated in training for multidisciplinary teams from all ministries on how to use the Ontario Public Service (OPS) Inclusion Lens to review laws and to remove accessibility barriers. Going forward, the OPS Diversity Office and the Ministry of the Attorney General will be working together to support a coordinated approach to legislative review across the government.

In the future, the ministry will:

  • Remain committed to ensuring that all its acts and regulations are reviewed for potential accessibility 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 ODA, and consistent with the regulations under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005, and will use the OPS Inclusion Lens to do so.

Glossary of Terms/Acronyms

AEF – Apprenticeship Enhancement Fund

ALSO – Alternative Learning Styles and Outlooks

AODA – Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005

ASL – American Sign Language

BSMB – Business and Systems Management Branch

CAAT – Colleges of Applied Arts and Technology

CLO – Community Literacy of Ontario

Deaf CAMERA – Deaf Communications and Math Employment Readiness Assessment

DLI – Deaf Literacy Initiative

DMPPDiversity Mentoring Partnership Program

EAS – Employment Assistance Services

EO – Employment Ontario

EOIS – Employment Ontario Information System

EOIS-CaMS – Employment Ontario Information System-Case Management System

EOPG – Employment Ontario Partners Gateway

ERC – Employment Resource Centre

ETC – Employment and Training Consultants

ETD – Employment and Training Division

HEQCO – Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario

IASR – Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation

JAWSJob Access With Speech computer screen reader

LBS – Literacy and Basic Skills

MCSS – Ministry of Community and Social Services

MTCU – Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities

MYAP – Multi-Year Accessibility Plan

OALCF – Ontario Adult Literacy Curriculum Framework

ODA – Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2001

ODSP – Ontario Disability Support Program

OEAS – Ontario Employment Assistance Service

OPS – Ontario Public Service

OSAP – Ontario Student Assistance Program

OW – Ontario Works

SAWD – Support for Apprentices with Disabilities

SC – Second Career

SPPD – Strategic Policy and Programs Division

TDA – Training Delivery Agents

WCAG – Web Content Accessibility Guidelines


For More Information

Questions or comments about the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities' accessibility plan are always welcome.

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

General inquiry TTY number: 1-800-268-7095

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

Ministry website address: www.tcu.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

© 2012 Queen's Printer for Ontario

ISSN 1708-4636