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Accessibility training

Welcome to the City of Ottawa’s mandatory ACCESSIBILITY TRAINING for volunteers.

If you become a volunteer, you will be required to complete the Accessible Customer Service training. This training provides you with a general overview of the Province of Ontario’s Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) standards.

You will also be asked to complete the Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation (IASR) Training for volunteers. While viewing these training modules, you can stop, pause or replay a portion of the module at any time. You can also print a copy of the transcript.

Important: Please notify your Coordinator of Volunteers by email upon completion of your online training.

Module 1: Introduction

Slide1- Welcome

Welcome to the City of Ottawa’s volunteer training on the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act or AODA’s Integrated Accessibility Standard Regulation. Throughout this training the legislation will be referred to as the “IASR” or “the standard.”

This mandatory training is a follow up to the AODA Accessible Customer Service training which you should have already taken. The training provides you with a general overview of the standards and how it applies to you as a City of Ottawa volunteer.

While viewing this training module, you can stop, pause or replay a portion of the module at any time. You can also print a copy of the transcript.

Slide 2-Learning Objectives

There are 3 objectives for this training:

The first objective is to increase your knowledge and understanding of this new Ontario accessibility legislation and the Ontario Human Rights Code.

The second objective is to learn about the 80 clauses on a variety of subjects, and how it is designed to improve accessibility across Ontario.

The last objective is to learn how this new legislation applies to you as a City of Ottawa volunteer.

Slide 3- Integrated Accessibility Standard Regulation

The IASR is the second accessibility regulation enacted by the Province of Ontario. The City must report our compliance on both this regulation and the Customer Service Regulation to the Ministry of Economic Development, Trade and Employment on a by-annual basis.

The training is divided into 5 main modules:

  • General Requirements, which apply to all four other standards,
  • Information and Communications;
  • Employment;
  • Transportation; and,
  • Finally, the Built Environment.

Before we begin, we will take a moment to review the Human Rights Code as it applies to persons with disabilities. The Human Rights Code is the foundation upon which today’s training is based.

Let’s take a look…...

(Videos on Human Rights and Disability will play- 6 minutes 10 seconds)

Please exit this activity and proceed to module 2.

Module 2: General Requirements

Slide 4- General Requirements Introduction

Now that you are more familiar with the Human Rights Code and how it related to persons with disabilities, let’s look at the IASR.

Section one of the IASR includes the General Requirements which apply to all four other sections of the standard.

The General Requirements include four areas the City must comply with, these include: Accessibility Plans, Policies, Training and Procurement.

Let’s watch this introduction to the General Requirements.

(Video by AccessForward on general requirements plays- 5 minutes)

Please exit this activity and proceed to module 3.

Module 3: Information and Communication Standards

Slide 5 - Module 3: Information and Communication Standards

There are four topics covered under the Information and Communication section of the standard:

  • Feedback Processes;
  • Accessible Formats and Communication Supports;
  • Public Safety information and Library Services; and,
  • Accessible websites and web content.

This section of the IASR establishes processes that organizations in Ontario must follow to create, provide, and receive information and communication in ways that are accessible to people with disabilities.

Let’s start by watching this introduction on making Information and Communication accessible to all.

(Video by AccessForward on Information and Communication Standard plays- 2 minutes 30 seconds)

Slide 6 - City’s Feedback Process

Under the Accessible Customer Service Standard, we were required to establish a feedback process to receive and respond to feedback about how goods or services are delivered to people with disabilities. The IASR now states that the process must be accessible. (Picture depicting accessible customer interaction)

It is the City’s responsibility to receive and respond to feedback in an accessible format and with communication supports as requested. (Picture of Ottawa City Hall)

The City has many different and accessible ways by which people with disabilities can provide feedback. For example residents can provide feedback in person, in written format, by phone or TTY or online.

In addition to advertising our feedback process on Ottawa.ca, new signage on the accessibility of our services have been placed at all public facing service counters.  (Picture of City signage regarding Accessibility Services)

Slide 7 - Accessible Formats and Communication Supports

The Legislation states that we must provide Accessible formats and Communication Supports.

This must be done:

  • upon request;
  • in a timely manner, that takes into account the person’s accessibility needs;
  • in consultation with the individual making the request; and,
  • at a cost that is no more than the regular cost charged to other persons.

The cost to provide the accessible format and communication support is the responsibility of the department which produced the information.

You may think this sounds familiar because the City has had a multiple formats policy since 2001. This policy has been replaced with a new Accessible Formats and Communication Supports procedure located on Ottawa.ca. This new procedure outlines the steps to consider when a customer makes a request for an accessible format or communications support. (Screen shot of Ottawa.ca, accessibility resources pointing to this procedure) It also provides guidelines for communicating with people who have various disabilities.

Slide 8 - What are Accessible Formats and Communication Supports?

The most common Accessible Formats include:

  • large print – for example, a document with a font of 18 point or larger to assist people with low vision;
  •  using accessible fonts in documents like Arial instead of stylized fonts;
  •  providing just the text from a power point slide deck in a word document so screen readers can easily follow; and
  •  Braille.

Commonly requested Communication Supports include:

  •  the use of an FM loop system to assists people who are hard of hearing at public forums or Council meetings; (picture of a crowd listening to a speaker)
  •  real time captioning which helps someone read what is being said at public events; (Picture of real-time captioning being used at a City event)
  •  captioning on videos;(Screen shot of video with captioning shown)
  •  sign language interpretation in either English or in French; (picture of person signing)
  •  screen readers like the BrowseAloud we have available for download on Ottawa.ca, (screen shot of Ottawa.ca- how to get BrowseAloud shown) or
  • Something as simple as a plain language explanation of a complex City document.

This requirement applies to all information and communications provided to the public such as our garbage collection calendars, (screen shot displayed) Council reports (screen shot displayed) and recreation guides (screen shot displayed).

Although making our websites more accessible should decrease the number of requests for accessible formats and communication supports, we must still ensure we are meeting individual requests.

Slide 9 - Exceptions: Accessible Formats and Communication Supports

The IASR requirement does not apply to the following:

  • Products and product labels;
  • Information that you do not control directly or indirectly through a contract, unless your organization is involved in education or training;
  • Information or communications that cannot be converted. For example, a technical drawing such as an architectural blueprint. In these case you need to provide the individual making the request with:
  • An explanation as to why the information or communication are unconvertible, and
  • A summary of the information or communications.

Slide 10 - Specific Accessible Formats and Communication Supports Requirements

The need to provide accessible formats and communication supports also applies to two specific areas of City business:

The First is for our prepared emergency procedures, plans and public safety information like our “Are You Ready” brochures. (A picture of the brochure is shown)

  • Although we are not required to have accessible formats on hand, we need to recognize the critical nature of emergency and public safety information.
  • Real-time emergency information (such as announcements and alarms) is not included in this requirement.

The second is for accessible Library materials where they exist.

As with all Accessible Formats and Communication Support requests, this should be done as soon as practicable which means:as soon as possible after a person with a disability makes a request taking into considerations the individuals specific requirements and the complexity of the document..

Slide 11 - Web Accessibility Requirements

New International website accessibility standards called the “Web Content Accessibility Guidelines” or WCAG must now be followed for all City content. This includes Council Reports, PDFs, videos, maps.

A few examples of what is now required are:

  • including a transcript with videos,
  • providing a written summary to explain a complex chart or map;
  • including alt tags when using images; and,
  • Using proper heading structure and applying styles in a Word document to assist in making PDF’s more accessible.

Targeted staff from each department who are responsible for web content have taken additional training on how to create accessible Word documents.

Please exit this activity and proceed to Module 4.

Module 4: Employment Standards

Slide 12 Module 4: Employment Standards

As you heard earlier, the Ontario Human Rights Code requires all employers to meet the accommodation needs of employees with disabilities to the point of undue hardship. The Employment Standard of the IASR builds on this requirement. The IASR requires employers to have processes in place to determine an employee’s accommodation needs throughout the employment cycle.

The employment section of the IASR addresses 7 main topics:

  • Recruitment;
  • Informing Employees of supports;
  • Accessible formats and Communications supports;
  • Accommodation plans;
  • Individualized Workplace Emergency Response Information or plans;
  • Performance Management, Career Development and Redeployment; and,
  • Return to work process.

As a volunteer for the City, if you need a disability related accommodation or other support, please speak to your volunteer supervisor.

Please exit this activity and proceed to Module 5.

Module 5: Transportation Standards

Slide 13 - Transportation Standards

This module contains two topics, Transportation Services and Taxi Services.

The Transportation Standard of the IASR sets out the requirements to prevent and remove barriers to public transportation so that everyone can travel more easily in Ontario.

Let’s start by watching this introduction on the importance of making Transportation accessible to all.

(Video by AccessForward on Transportation Standards plays- 2 minutes 14 seconds)

Slide 14 -Transportation Standard- What we do at the City

The IASR includes over 40 clauses, dealing with conventional and specialized transportation services.

In Ottawa, transit services, such as OC Transpo, Para Transpo and Ottawa Light Rail, are federally or independently regulated and therefore the AODA, a provincial statute, does not apply.

However, the City’s Transit Services Department and Rail Implementation Office are committed to meeting the “spirit and intent” of the AODA. (Screen shot of OC Transpo website shown)

Towards that end they have:

Addressed community concerns by including accessibility features in their operations such as an audible Next Stop Announcement System and low floor buses.

Introduced new standard operating procedures for emergency bus evacuation, medical emergencies, and boarding customers with assistive devices.

Expanded consultation with the Accessibility Advisory Committee on new and ongoing issues including accessible bus stops, shelters, the upcoming light rail system and on Para bus procurement and service; pictures shown of people accessing these services) and,

The Rail Implementation Office has created a robust project specifications document which stipulates the requirements of the final trains and station designs. These specifications were developed and reviewed using universal accessibility design principles. (Picture of the interior of a rail car shown)

Slide 15 - Accessible Taxi Service

The second topic included in the Transportation Standards applies to Accessible taxi services.

Municipalities that license taxicabs like the City of Ottawa must ensure that owners and operators of taxicabs meet specific requirements, which include:

  • Not charging higher fares or additional fees to a person with a disability and for the storage of mobility aids( a picture of a person with a mobility device entering an accessible taxi shown);
  • Placing vehicle registration and identification information on the rear bumper;(picture depicting this shown) and,
  • Making available vehicle registration and identification information to people with disabilities in an accessible format (a picture of the accessible tariff card in City cabs shown).

Please exit this activity and proceed to the Module 6.

Module 6: The Built Environment Standard

Slide 16 - The Built Environment Standard

The new Design of Public Spaces Standards or Built Environment Standards were enacted in December 2012.

Let’s start by watching an introduction on the importance of building accessible design.

(Video by the Province on the Design of Public Spaces plays- 2 minutes)

Slide 17 - Requirements for Public Spaces

The new Built Environment Standards require that accessibility elements be included in public spaces that are not covered in the Ontario Building Code such as:

  •  The need for appropriate clear widths for recreational trails and beach access routes;
  •  Providing a minimum number of accessible picnic tables in rest stops and picnic areas;
  •  Consulting with people with disabilities on the accessible design of play spaces;
  •  Ensuring exterior paths of travel such as sidewalks, ramps, rest areas and accessible pedestrian signals are design for everyone to use;
  • Improving the design of off street accessible parking spaces and increasing the numbers required.
  • Ensuring that customer service areas have lowered counters to serve people using mobility devices; and,
  • Ensuring accessibility equipment, spaces and features are maintained in good working order.

Slide 18 - Built Environment Standards and Construction

These standards need to be applied for new construction and planned redevelopment.

The IASR defines planned redevelopment as:

Planned work done on an element, structure or site that takes the element, structure or site beyond its original condition. Where a redevelopment is planned for a portion of a larger site, only the portion being redeveloped must meet the accessibility requirements.

The City has developed its own City of Ottawa Accessible Design Standards to help determine accessible features and criteria pertaining to the built environment and will ensure our standards align with the IASR built environment standards and the OBC.

Specific training on the standards will be provided to employees whose job duties include design and construction activities.

Please exit this activity and proceed to module 7.

Module 7: Conclusion

Slide 19 - Module 7: Conclusion

This concludes the City of Ottawa Volunteer training on the AODA Customer Service and Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulations. The AODA and its standards aims to make Ontario accessible in all business areas.

Here are some things to remember:

If you design and deliver your services to be inclusive and to consider accessibility, you are helping everyone; and if you need a disability related accommodation or any other support, speak to your volunteer supervisor.

We appreciate you choosing to volunteer with the City of Ottawa and to help make the city a better place for our residents and visitors.

If you would like more information in regards to the City of Ottawa’s policies, please contact volunteer services atvolunteer@ottawa.ca.

If you have questions about the accessibility of your services, please contact the Accessibility Office ataccessibilityoffice@ottawa.ca

Slide 20 - Thank-you

We would like to acknowledge Curriculum Services Canada, the Ontario government and the Ontario Human Rights Commission for sharing resources used in this training.

Thank you for making accessibility a part of everyday business at the City of Ottawa.