Policy and Procedure #407.0 Accessibility

The Accessibility policy and the accompanying procedures outline the York Region District School Board’s unwavering commitment to provide accessibility to individuals with disabilities. Within this policy, the term “individuals with disabilities” is consistently employed, however, it is important to note that people with disabilities may self-identify differently. We acknowledge and respect these diverse expressions, intersecting social identities and various identities. It is essential to recognize the significance and use of the preferred disability-affirming language.

 

On this page:


 

What has changed?

Major changes to the document: Major changes include a thorough review, addressing formatting issues, and refining language to achieve greater clarity. The updated policy now incorporates contemporary terms and revised definitions. This revision signifies a pivotal leap towards nurturing a more inclusive and equitable educational environment, affirming accessibility as an essential human right.

Who is affected by these changes and what is the impact on current practice? All stakeholder groups are listed below.

Implementation timelines: Immediate upon Board approval.

Lead Superintendent(s)/Subject Matter Expert(s):Senior Human Rights Advisor and Human Rights Specialist.

 

Stakeholder Groups with Responsibilities under this Policy and Procedure:

  • Board of Trustees

  • Director of Education

  • Superintendents

  • Principals and Managers

  • Human Rights Office

  • AODA Advisory Committee

  • Corporate Communications

  • Curriculum and Instructional Services

  • Human Resource Services

  • Plant Services

  • Planning Services

  • Purchasing Services

  • Student Transportation Services

  • All Staff

  • Customers

 

Relationship to Board Priorities

The revisions to this policy have expanded its scope and breadth in compliance with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005, (“AODA”)’s core principles of integration, equality of opportunity, dignity, and independence. These four core principles have been aligned with the Board’s priorities. AODA’s four core principles are defined as:

 

 

Dignity

Policies, procedures, and practices that respect the dignity of a person with a disability are those that treat them as customers and clients who are as valued and as deserving of effective and full service as any other customer. They do not treat people with disabilities as an afterthought or force them to accept lesser service, quality, or convenience. Service delivery needs to consider how people with disabilities can effectively access and use services and show respect for these methods.

 

Independence

In some instances, independence means freedom from control or influence of others, freedom to make your own choices. In other situations, it may mean the freedom to do things in your own way. People who may move or speak more slowly should not be denied an opportunity to participate in a program or service because of this factor.

 

Integration

Integrated services are those that allow people with disabilities to fully benefit from the same services, in the same place and in the same or equivalent way as other customers. Integration means that policies, practices, and procedures are designed to be accessible to everyone including people with disabilities. Sometimes integration does not serve the needs of all people with disabilities. Alternative measures, rather than integration, might be necessary because the person with a disability requires it or because you cannot provide another option at the time. If you are unable to remove a barrier to accessibility, you need to consider what else can be done to provide services to people with disabilities.

 

Equal Opportunity

Equal opportunity means having the same chances, options, benefits, and results as others. In the case of services, it means that people with disabilities have the same opportunity to benefit from the way you provide goods or services as others. They should not have to make significantly more effort to access or obtain service. They should also not have to accept lesser quality or more inconvenience.

 

Timelines and Next Steps

This policy is scheduled for first review at the March 5, 2024 Policy and By-Law Standing Committee meeting.

 

Providing Feedback

Questions about this policy and/or procedure should be raised with your principal, manager, or supervisor. If additional clarification is required, principals, managers and supervisors may contact the lead superintendent and/or subject matter expert.

In accordance with Board Policy 285.0, Board Policies, Procedures and Supporting Documents, the Board welcomes all comments and suggestions on Board policy.

Input is an important component of the review process. If you feel a policy and/or procedure needs to be revised, feedback may be submitted through the school council or by submitting the online form. In your response please:

  • outline clearly the specific section(s) of the policy and/or procedure in which you are not comfortable,

  • suggest specific alternate wording to reflect your position, and

  • identify the reason(s) for your concern(s).

Specific recommendations or questions about the review process should be submitted using the online form or sent to the Policy Officers via email at policy.committee@yrdsb.ca, or via telephone at 905-727-0022 extension 2570 or in hard copy at The Education Centre – Aurora.

 

Legislative Context

Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act

Dog Owners’ Liability Act

Food Safety and Quality Act

Health Protection and Promotion Act

Integrated Accessibility Standard, Ontario Regulation 191/11

Ontarians with Disabilities Act

Ontario Building Code, Ontario Regulation 332/12

Ontario Human Rights Code (OHRC)

Workplace Safety and Insurance Act

 

It is the expectation of the York Region District School Board that all employees, students, and persons invited to or visiting Board property, or partaking/volunteering in Board or school-sponsored events and activities, will respect the policies and procedures of the Board


 

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Board Policy #407.0 Accessibility

 

1. Policy Statement

York Region District School Board (YRDSB) is committed to ensuring accessibility for individuals with disabilities. The Accessibility Policy and Procedures outlines our approach to meeting standards, ensuring the identification, removal, and prevention of barriers. This policy and procedures are in strict compliance with relevant legislation, including the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (AODA).

 

2. Application

In aligning with the fundamental principles of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA), this policy shall:

  1. commit to providing Board programs and services that preserve and promote the dignity and independence of persons with disabilities, fostering an inclusive environment respecting individual autonomy;

  2. integrate programs and services for individuals with disabilities, and ensure these programs and services are integrated with the services provided for all;

  3. consider where an alternative measure is necessary to enable a person with a disability from accessing and benefiting from Board services;

  4. ensure that individuals with disabilities have equitable opportunities in obtaining, using, or benefiting from Board programs and services. This policy aims to eliminate barriers, ensuring accessibility for all, fostering equal opportunities; and

  5. ensure that all communications and interactions with individuals with disabilities consider their unique needs.

This policy applies to all members of the Board community, including but not limited to: trustees, employees, students, parents/guardians, committee members, permit holders, vendors, service providers, contractors, volunteers and visitors, as well as all other persons who are invited to or who work on Board property.

The application of this policy does not limit any requirements under the AODA, the Human Rights Code, or any other applicable legislation. Any allegations of harassment and discrimination based on disability that violate the Human Rights Code will be addressed through Complaint Resolution Processes under Board Policy and Procedure #240, Human Rights: Code-Related Harassment and Discrimination.

This policy and its related procedures outline a process for addressing barriers that prevent persons with disabilities from fully accessing Board services, facilities or opportunities. Any barriers within the learning and/or working environments of the Board can be communicated through an online reporting tool known as Barrier Buster.

In striving to achieve the highest standards of accessibility, the Accessibility Policy and its related procedures are set out in alignment with the Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation (IASR) as established under the AODA:

  1. #407.1: General Requirements

  2. #407.2: Customer Service Standards

  3. #407.3: Information and Communications Standards

  4. #407.4: Design of Public Spaces Standards (Standards for the Built Environment)

  5. #407.5: Employment Standards

  6. #407.6: Transportation Standards

 

3. Responsibilities

 

3.1 The Board of Trustees is responsible for:

  1. regularly reviewing the Accessibility policy in accordance with the priorities outlined in the Trustees’ Multi-Year Strategic Plan and the approved policy review cycle;

  2. understanding and communicating with members of the community about the Accessibility policy, as required;

  3. appointing at least one trustee to attend all AODA Advisory Committee meetings;

  4. incorporating accessibility for individuals with disabilities into the development and periodic review of all Board policies; and

  5. making necessary amendments to existing Board policies as needed to comply with all standards developed under the AODA.

 

3.2 The Director of Education is responsible for:

  1. leading the implementation and operationalization of the Accessibility policy to ensure its effective execution throughout the educational system; and

  2. ensuring adherence to regulatory requirements through mandated plans and compliance reports.

 

4. Definitions

 

4.1 Ableism1

Ableism may be defined as a belief system where attitudes in society limit the potential of individuals with disabilities. Individuals with disabilities are viewed as being less worthy of respect and consideration, less able to contribute and participate, or of less inherent value than others. Ableism may be conscious or unconscious and can limit the opportunities of individuals with disabilities and reduce their inclusion in communities. Ableism refers to discrimination towards individuals with disabilities and can be through actions as well as underlying beliefs and attitudes. Ableist attitudes are often based on the view that disability is an “anomaly to normalcy,” rather than an inherent and expected variation in the human condition. Ableism may also be expressed in ongoing paternalistic and patronizing behavior towards individuals with disabilities.

 

4.2 Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation (IASR)

A set of accessibility requirements legislated under Ontario Regulation 191/11 of the AODA that persons or organizations must comply with to address barriers in key areas of daily living for persons with disabilities. Certain General Requirements are integrated within five accessibility standards:

  • Information and Communication Standards

  • Employment Standards

  • Transportation Standards

  • Design of Public Spaces Standards (Accessibility Standards for the Built Environment)

  • Customer Service Standards

 

4.3 Accessibility

Accessibility is the design of environments and the improvement of a culture that centers all needs of everyone, and benefits everyone, with a specific focus on individuals with disabilities. Accessibility involves a proactive approach, identifying, removing, and preventing barriers to ensure an inclusive environment for individuals with disabilities.

 

4.4 Accommodation

An individualized adaptation or adjustment made to provide an individual with a disability with equitable and non-discriminatory opportunities for full participation and inclusion. In the context of accessibility, accommodation is a reactive process and legal duty under the Ontario Human Rights Code.

 

4.5 Barrier

A barrier encompasses anything that prevents an individual with a disability from engaging fully in society. There are five main types of barriers to accessibility: attitudinal, communication (or information), physical (or architectural), systemic (or organizational), and technological.

 

Disability5

Defining disability is a complex, and continually evolving matter. Disability encompasses a broad spectrum of conditions. Section 10 of the Ontario Human Rights Code provides guidelines that set out certain physical, mental and developmental aspects, as well as anticipated disabilities. The code emphasizes interpreting disability broadly, considering both present and past conditions, along with the subjective component based on the perception of disability.

The illustrative examples in bullet points below are not exhaustive, reflecting the principle of interpreting human rights law broadly to eliminate discrimination. Disabilities may result from the combinations of impairments and environmental barriers, hindering full societal participation. The United Nations’ Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities acknowledges disability as an evolving concept, arising from interactions between impairments and attitudinal/environment barriers, impeding equal participation in society.

The term disability covers a broad range and degree of conditions. Section 10 of Ontario’s Human Rights Code defines disability as:

  1. any degree of physical disability, infirmity, malformation or disfigurement that is caused by bodily injury, birth defect or illness, including, but not limited to, diabetes, mellitus, epilepsy, a brain injury, any degree of paralysis, amputation, lack of physical co-ordination, blindness or visual impediment, deafness or hearing impediment, muteness or speech impediment, or physical reliance on a guide dog or other animal or on a wheelchair or other remedial appliance or device;

  2. a condition of mental impairment or a developmental disability;

  3. a learning disability or a dysfunction in one or more of the processes involved in understanding or using symbols or spoken language;

  4. a mental disorder; and/or

  5. an injury or disability for which benefits were claimed or received under the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act, 1997.

 

5. Contact

Human Rights Commissioner’s Office

Education and Community Services

Human Resource Services

 

6. History

Approved: 2009

Previously: Accessibility Standards for Customer Service

Revised: October 2013, March 2020

Working Document: December 2012, July 2019, April 2024

 


Footnotes

1 Ontario Human Rights Commission. (2016, June 27). Policy on ableism and discrimination based on disability. Retrieved from https://www.ohrc.on.ca/en/policy-ableism-and-discrimination-based-disability and https://www.ontario.ca/document/development-proposed-kindergarten-grade-12-k-12-education-standards-2022-final-recommendations


 

 

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Board Procedure #407.1

Accessibility: General Requirements

 

1. Procedure Statement

This procedure outlines the general requirements for accessibility that apply across each of the standards as set out in the subsequent procedure.

 

2. Application

This procedure applies at the broadest level of accessibility for the Board and consistent with the General Requirements established under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA):

  1. establish an accessibility policy;

  2. create a multi-year accessibility plan and update every five years;

  3. consider accessibility in procuring or acquiring goods, services or facilities (including self-service kiosks); and

  4. provide training to staff and volunteers

     

3. Responsibilities

 

3.1 Human Rights Commissioner’s Office shall:

  1. establish and oversee a process to develop, implement and review all accessibility standards under the AODA;

  2. guide and uphold the AODA Advisory Committee with broad representation from across the Board;

  3. prepare an Annual Accessibility Report and Multi-Year Plan in collaboration with the AODA Advisory Committee, that outlines the Board’s strategy to identify, remove, and prevent barriers for individuals with disabilities;

  4. generate an annual status report on the progress of measures taken to implement the Multi-Year Accessibility Plan and post the report on the Board website, ensuring the report in an accessible format upon request; and

  5. monitor the implementation of accessibility training, maintaining records of the accessibility training provided that include dates on which training is provided and the number of individuals to whom it is provided.

     

3.2 AODA Advisory Committee shall:

  1. review and provide input on Board policies, procedures, supporting documents and processes to ensure alignment with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA).

 

3.3 Plant, Planning and Purchasing Services shall:

  1. integrate accessibility design, criteria, and features into the procurement of new equipment (including self-service kiosks), the design of new systems, or the planning of a new initiative.

 

3.4 Superintendents shall:

  1. incorporate accessibility considerations for individuals with disabilities into the development and review of Board policies, procedures, processes and supporting documents;

  2. provide relevant information to, and seek information from, the AODA Advisory Committee;

  3. provide comprehensive training on accessibility standards, with a specific emphasis on Procedure #407.2, Customer Service Standards, to all employees and volunteers with the Board; and

  4. supervise, monitor and support principals and managers in incorporating AODA mandated requirements into schools and department plans.

 

3.5 Principals, Managers and Supervisors shall:

  1. Collaborate with relevant departments to implement key aspects of the AODA legislation;

  2. verify that all staff and volunteers have received the required AODA compliance training;

  3. receive and respond to requests for accommodation from individuals, determining the most suitable accommodation in consultation with the individual and relevant parties;

  4. initiate contact with a member of the Disability Management Team should they have an employee who requires an accommodation in the workplace; and

  5. manage a centralized file containing information on staff requiring an accommodation plan and/or an Employee Workplace Emergency Response Plan.

 

3.6 All Staff shall:

  1. recognize and address diverse needs of individuals with disabilities;

  2. integrate accessibility consideration into decision-making processes;

  3. fulfill mandatory training requirements;

  4. direct feedback and accommodation requests from individuals with disabilities to their immediate supervisor;

  5. support and comply with requirements under the AODA legislation;

  6. identify and report any barriers that may prevent a person with a disability from fully accessing services, facilities or opportunities offered in the Board; and

  7. consult with their immediate supervisor should they have a disability that requires accommodation and/or the creation of an Employee Workplace Emergency Response Plan.

 

3.7 Community members shall:

  1. notify an appropriate staff member that they require accommodations to access Board services;

  2. engage in discussions with Board staff about the development of appropriate accommodations; and

  3. recognize and report any barriers or obstacles that may impede an individual with a disability from fully accessing services, facilities or opportunities offered in the Board.

 

4. Contact

Human Rights Office
Human Resource Services

 

5. History

Drafted: July 2019

Revised: January 2020, January 2024


 

 

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Procedure #407.2 Accessibility:‌

Customer Service Standards

 

1. Procedure Statement

This procedural framework articulates the Board’s obligations and dedication to attaining accessibility for individuals with disabilities. This involves adherence to the Customer Service Standards outlined in the AODA.

 

2. Application

This procedure applies to all customers who access the learning and working environments of the York Region District School Board (YRDSB).

 

3. Responsibilities

 

3.1 Human Rights Commissioner’s Office shall:

  1. establish and manage an accessible process (i.e., Barrier Buster) designed to receive and address feedback regarding barriers to accessibility and/or concerns about individuals with disabilities accessing Board programs, services or facilities;

  2. develop a comprehensive guideline/protocol outlining the Barrier Buster process that specifies the actions the Board will take if a complaint is received, and shall circulate the guideline/protocol across the Board;

  3. ensure feedback processes are accessible and readily available to the public in print (see Customer Service Feedback Form) and on the Board’s public website (see Barrier Buster) by providing accessible formats or communication supports upon request; and

  4. create a process for reviewing the implementation of the Accessibility policy that includes consultation with the AODA Advisory Committee.

 

3.2. AODA Advisory Committee shall:

  1. champion accessibility at YRDSB in effort to strengthen a culture of inclusion and belonging for people with and without disabilities;

  2. provide ethical leadership and guidance on all matters related to the implementation of Policy #407.0, Accessibility and its related procedures as aligned with the AODA and its related accessibility standards;

  3. identify, remove, and prevent barriers in the learning and working environments of the Board;

  4. promote opportunities for collaboration and professional development among members of the Accessibility Advisory Committee as it relates to accessibility;

  5. provide accessibility recommendations and training to the Board’s Senior Leadership Team and departments with the goal of promoting systemic change; and

  6. communicate the accessibility plans and achievements of the Board through the Multi-Year Accessibility Plan and Annual Accessibility Reports.

 

 

3.3 Superintendents, Principals, Managers and Supervisors shall:

 

3.3.1 Assistive Devices

  1. support the use of assistive devices by individuals with disabilities to obtain, use or benefit from programs, services or facilities;

  2. train staff, volunteers and others dealing with the public to effectively support parents and members of the general public who use assistive devices to access Board services;

  3. ensure notice is posted in the front office and/or reception area(s) indicating that the school welcomes the use of assistive devices and encourages user to seek support from staff as required; and

  4. provide assistance to visitors who indicate that they need support.

 

3.3.2 Support Persons

  1. welcome all individuals with disabilities who are required to be accompanied by a support person and ensure that the individual with a disability is not prevented from having access to the support person;

  2. determine that a support person is necessary to protect the health or safety of the individual with a disability;

  3. ensure that staff, volunteers, and others dealing with the public receive training in how to interact with individuals with disabilities who are accompanied by a support person;

  4. ensure the Parent/Legal Guardian Consent for Support Person form is completed and retained for meetings where confidential information is being disclosed; and

  5. give advance notice of any cost associated with the support person’s admission to any Board-related events.

 

3.3.3 Service Animals

  1. welcomes all service animals, and ensures all individuals with disabilities are permitted to keep service animals with them, unless the animal is otherwise excluded by law from the premises;

  2. provide customer service training to staff interacting with the public, focusing on how to effectively engage with individuals with disabilities accompanied by a service animal;

  3. review Board Procedure #662.14 Student Use of Guide Dogs, Service Dogs or Service Animals which outlines the process to be followed if an application is made to have a guide dog, service dog or service animal support the disability-related learning needs of a student while they are attending school or a school-related event; and

  4. in cases where a service animal must be excluded, make every effort to work with the person with a disability to put alternative arrangements in place to provide the services that are required.

 

3.3.4 Disruption of Services

  1. post a Disruption of Service Notice in an openly visible location at the site when services normally provided to an individual with a disability are temporarily unavailable;

  2. provide the notice in advance of a planned disruption, or as soon as possible if the disruption is unplanned; and

  3. ensure that the notice of disruption includes information about the reason for the disruption, its anticipated duration and a description of alternative facilities or services, if any, that are available.

 

3.4 Customers shall:

 

3.4.1 Assistive Devices

  1. use their own personal assistant devices to access Board services and, where required, follow consultation with Board staff.

 

3.4.2 Support Persons

  1. ​​at​​​​​ the delegation of an individual with a disability, a support person must contact the principal, manager, or supervisor in advance if a support person is required for Board-requested meetings or events. This responsibility may also include:
    1. making the appropriate arrangements for an interpreter for other meetings or events, as needed;
    2. informing the principal, manager, or supervisor about the presence of a support person who will be accompanying them to a school or Board event for which a fee is charged; and
    3. ensure that the support person agrees to and signs the Confidentiality Form which will be stored within the school or the Board department.

 

 

3.4.3 Service Animals

  1. assume personal care and maintenance of any service animal while on Board property.

     

3.5 Support persons shall:

  1. provide written assurance to respect and keep confidential all information when aiding in a discussion.

 

4. Definitions

 

4.1 Adaptive or Assistive Devices2

Accommodative equipment used by individuals with disabilities to facilitate daily living through access to information or services Examples of assistive devices include, but are not limited to:

  • mobility devices or equipment (such as wheelchairs, walkers, white canes, oxygen tanks);
  • electronic communication supports (such as computer software, mobile applications, amplification systems); or
  • accessible interactive kiosks (which may offer information or services in braille or through audio headsets).

 

4.2 AODA

The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005.

 

4.3 Board-Requested Meetings or Events

Refer to those where parent(s)/guardian(s) participation is requested by the Board. These could include, but are not limited to:

  • curriculum or parent/guardian nights;

  • Identification, Placement and Review (IPRC) meetings;

  • meetings to discuss or review a student’s progress, behavior, or report;

  • secondary graduation ceremonies;

  • student discipline hearings; and/or

  • seminars or workshops in which parent/guardian participation is requested.

 

4.4 Customer

Any member of the Board community, including but not limited to trustees, employees, students, parents/guardians, permit holders, vendors, service providers, contractors, volunteers and visitors and all other persons who are invited to or who work on Board property.

 

4.5 Customer Service

The provision of programs and services to employees, students, parents/guardians, and all other members of the public, pursuant to the responsibilities set out for school districts.

 

4.6 Disruption of Service

When facilities or services are temporarily unavailable, or if they are expected to be temporarily unavailable in the near future.

 

4.7 Readily Apparent

It is readily apparent that an animal is a service animal when it is obvious by its appearance or by what it is doing. This includes, but is not limited to, a service animal with:

  • a harness, saddle bags, or a sign/clothing that identifies it as a service animal,
  • a certificate or identification card from a service animal training school, and/or
  • an identification card from the Attorney General of Ontario.

 

4.8 Service Animal

A specially trained animal used to provide accommodation support to an individual with a disability (that is either readily apparent or supported by a letter from a regulated health professional). Service animals may be used in any of the following ways:

  • guiding a person who has vision loss,
  • alerting a person who is deaf or hard of hearing,
  • alerting a person to an oncoming seizure and lead them to safety,
  • interacting with a person with Autism Spectrum Disorder and to stop them from fleeing in order to ensure safety, or
  • to remind a person with a mental illness to take their prescribed medication.

 

4.9 Support Person

An individual who accompanies an individual with a disability and provides assistance with mobility, personal care needs, medical needs, or access to goods or services. A support person is different from a Board employee who provides support services to a student or staff person in the system. A support person could be a paid professional, a volunteer, a friend, or a family member and does not necessarily need to have special training or qualifications.

 

5. Contact

Human Rights Office

 

6. History

Drafted: July 2019

Revised: December 11, 2019, January 2020, January 2024

 


Footnotes

2 Government of Ontario. (2017, June 20). How to train your staff on accessibility. Retrieved from https://www.ontario.ca/page/how-train-your-staff-accessibility


 

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Procedure #407.3

Accessibility: Information and Communications Standards

 

1. Procedure Statement

This procedure outlines how the Board carries out its responsibility to create, provide, and receive accessible information and communications for individuals with disabilities through compliance with the Information and Communications Standards of the AODA.

 

2. Application

This procedure applies to all Board-approved information and communications that shall be posted or provided in an accessible format and/or with appropriate communication support for individuals with disabilities. Notice shall also be given to the public that accessible formats are available upon request.

 

3. Responsibilities

 

3.1 The Superintendent of Education, School and System Operations, Plant and Planning shall:

  1. provide all emergency procedures, plans or public safety information in an accessible format or with appropriate communication supports.

     

3.2 Corporate Communications and Information Technology Services shall:

  1. make all internet websites and web content conform with the World Wide Web Consortium Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG).

     

3.3 Curriculum and Instructional Services shall:

  1. identify, develop and promote educational or training resources or materials in an accessible or conversion-ready format that takes into account the accessibility needs of the person with a disability;

  2. provide school-based staff with accessibility awareness training to ensure that course and lesson planning, delivery and assessment reflect universal design and differentiated instruction; and

  3. in the capacity of its libraries provide, procure or acquire an accessible or conversion-ready format of print, digital or multimedia resources or materials for a person with a disability, upon request.

 

3.4 Student Services shall:

  1. provide student records and information on program and/or course requirements, availability and descriptions in an accessible format to persons with disabilities.

     

3.5 All Staff shall:

  1. consult with the person making a request for accessible formats or communication supports to determine suitability and that considers individual accessibility needs;

  2. meet a request for accessible formats or communication supports in a timely manner and at a cost, if any, that is no more than the standard cost of the original format; and

  3. upon determining that information or communications are unconvertible, provide an explanation as to why the request cannot be met and a summary of the unconvertible information or communications.

 

4. Definitions

 

4.1 Accessible Formats

Alternative and accommodative ways of presenting printed, written, or visual information and may include, but are not limited to: braille, large print, accessible documents, and other electronic formats.

 

4.2 Communications

A means of sending or receiving information between two or more persons or entities.

 

4.3 Information

Includes data, facts, knowledge used to convey meaning through any format, including (but not limited to) text, audio, digital or images.

 

4.4 Unconvertible

Information that cannot be converted into an accessible format for reason that it is not technically feasible to do so, or the means for conversion are not readily available.

 

5. Contact

Human Rights Office

Corporate Communications

 

6. History

Drafted: July 2019

Revised: January 2020, January 2024


 

 

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Procedure #407.4

Accessibility: Standards for the Built Environment

 

1. Procedure Statement

This procedure outlines how the Board carries out its responsibilities and commitment to achieving barrier-free built environments for individuals with disabilities through compliance with the Design of Public Spaces Standards of the AODA.

 

2. Application

In compliance with the AODA, this procedure applies to public spaces that are newly constructed or redeveloped on or after January 1, 2016. Public spaces built prior to this date remain subject to Ontario Building Code regulations at the time they were built.

 

3. Responsibilities

 

3.1 The Associate Director of Education, School and Operations shall:

  1. Ensure that the Annual Accessibility Plan, which identifies schools and buildings requiring modifications or renovations to improve the access and accommodation for persons with physical disabilities, is maintained.

     

3.2 The Senior Manager - Plant Services shall:

  1. Ensure that all new schools and new Board administrative buildings as well as those undergoing major renovations are designed to facilitate access for persons with disabilities.

     

3.3 The Manager of Facilities Services Operations (Construction and Maintenance) shall:

  1. Ensure that all new schools and Board administrative buildings, as well as those undergoing renovations are designed to conform to the requirements of the current Ontario Building Code, including provisions such as, but not limited to: elevators, ramps, special washrooms, designated accessible parking spaces, exterior lighting, and accessible signage.

     

4. Definitions

 

4.1 Barrier-Free Facilities

The identification and removal of architectural or physical features of the built environment limit access and opportunities for individuals with disabilities.

 

4.2 Barrier-Free Facilities Built Environment3

Anything in the physical environment that is human-created and includes buildings, parks, paths of travel, transportation systems, and other design features.

 

4.3 Inclusive / Universal Design4

Consideration for all users, including individuals with disabilities, through the proactive identification, removal, and elimination of barriers to accessibility; instead of waiting to respond to individual accommodation requests or complaints.

 

5. Contact

Plant Services

 

6. History

Formerly Policy and Procedure #425.0, Provision of Barrier-Free Access (Accessibility)

Drafted: July 2019

Revised: January 2020, January 2024

 


Footnotes

3 Ontario Public Health Association. (2018). Built Environment. Retrieved from https://opha.on.ca/What-We-Do/Workgroups/Built-Environment.aspx

4 Ontario Public Health Association. (2018). Built Environment. Retrieved from https://opha.on.ca/What-We-Do/Workgroups/Built-Environment.aspx

 

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Procedure #407.5

Accessibility: Employment Standards

 

1. Procedure Statement

This procedure outlines how the Board fulfills its responsibilities and commitment to implementing accessible workplace practices for current and potential employees with disabilities, ensuring compliance with the Employment Standards of the AODA.

 

2. Application

The procedures applies to all current and prospective employees of the Board, which as the employer shall:

  1. notify its employees and the public about the availability of accommodation for applicants with disabilities in its recruitment and promotion process, as detailed in Board Policy and Procedure #532.0, Recruitment and Promotion; and
  2. inform its employees of the policies and procedures used to support employees with disabilities, including, but not limited to Board Policy and Procedures #219.0, Healthy Workplaces.

 

3. Responsibilities

 

3.1 Human Resource Services shall:

  1. in fostering accessible recruitment and promotion processes that are consistent, equitable, transparent, and free from discrimination:

    • notify job applicants who are selected to advance through the interview/hiring process that accommodations are available upon request,

    • consult with job applicants who request accommodation and provide or arrange for the provision of a suitable accommodation that takes into account the applicant’s accessibility needs, and

    • upon making offers of employment, notify the successful applicant of its policies for accommodating employees with disabilities;

  2. have in place a written process for the development of individual workplace accommodation plans and/or return to work plans for employees with disabilities. See Board Policy and Procedures #219.0, Healthy Workplaces; and

  3. inform its employees of any changes to existing policies on the provision of job accommodations.

 

3.2 Principals, Managers and Supervisors shall:

  1. inform new employees of its accessibility policies and procedures as soon as practicable after beginning their employment;

  2. if required, consult with the employee to provide, or arrange for the provision of accessible formats and communication supports for job information;
  3. provide individualized workplace emergency response information to employees who have disclosed a disability that requires accommodation as soon as practicable; and, if necessary, consult with the employee in the creation of an Employee Workplace Emergency Response Plan; and
  4. consider the accessibility needs and any relevant workplace accommodation plans when conducting performance appraisals, considering career development and advancement, and/or conducting staff re-deployment for employees with disabilities.

 

4. Contact

Human Resources Services

 

5. History

Drafted: July 2019

Revised: January 2020, January 2024


 

 

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Procedure #407.6

Accessibility: Transportation Standards

 

1. Procedure Statement

In recognizing school transportation as a shared responsibility between the Board, students, and parents/guardians, this procedure outlines how the Board carries out its commitment to achieving accessible transportation for individuals with disabilities through compliance with the Transportation Standards of the AODA. General student transportation procedures can be found in Board Policy and Procedure #680, Student Transportation.

 

2. Application

This procedure applies specifically to the provision of accessible transportation for students with disabilities to and/or from their designated community school in coordination with Students Transportation Services (STS) of York Region.

 

3. Responsibilities

 

3.1 The Associate Director of Education and CFO, Service Excellence shall:

  1. support STS to ensure that appropriate accessible transportation services are provided for students with disabilities.

     

3.2 Student Services Coordinators shall:

  1. request transportation for students with disabilities as required and in following the procedural responsibilities as outlined in Board Policy and Procedure #680, Student Transportation;

  2. consult with parents/guardians of students with disabilities to discuss their transportation requirements; and

  3. communicate to STS all required transportation forms and additional documentation which detail the individual transportation and assistance needs of each student.

 

3.3 Student Transportation Services shall:

  1. develop accessible Personalized Transportation Plans for each student with a disability based on all required forms and documentation provided by Student Services Coordinators;

  2. follow appropriate protocols for boarding, securement and deboarding of each student with a disability based on Personalized Transportation Plans as well as recommended best practices as outlined in the AODA; and

  3. identify and communicate the appropriate roles and responsibilities of the transportation provider (bus company), the operator of the vehicle used to transport the student (driver), the parent(s)/guardian(s) of the student with the disability, appropriate school staff and the student with the disability.

 

4. Definitions

 

4.1 Personalized Transportation Plan

A written plan detailing the individualized transportation assistance needs required by a student with respect to boarding, securement and de-boarding, as well as any relevant medical information. Student Transportation Services formulates a Personalized Transportation Plan based on the information derived from necessary transportation forms and additional documentation provided by Student Services.

 

5. Contact

Student Transportation Services
Student Services

 

6. History

Drafted: July 2019

Revised: January 2020, January 2024


 

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