The Board's Accessibility Policy and procedures are the framework for how YRDSB is building accessible learning and working environments for all members of the Board community, which includes: trustees, employees, students, parents/guardians, committee members, permit holders, vendors, service providers, contractors, volunteers and visitors.
To meet the highest standards of accessibility at YRDSB, the Accessibility Policy follows the integrated accessibility standards under the AODA with the same six (6) procedures:
- General Requirements (Procedure #407.0)
- Customer Service Standards (Procedure #407.1)
- Information and Communications Standards (Procedure #407.2)
- Standards for the Built Environment (Procedure #407.3)
- Employment Standards (Procedure #407.4)
- Transportation Standards (Procedure #407.5)
You may find the following frequently asked questions helpful.
Customer Service Standard
The Customer Service standards were the first and most extensive accessibility standards to come into effect. In the same way, the Customer Service Standard Procedure has the most information because customer service applies to everyone.
An electronic reporting tool known as Barrier Buster is available for anyone in the YRDSB community to give feedback or report on any barrier that prevents a person with a disability from accessing Board programs, services or facilities. The Barrier Buster Protocol describes the feedback process in more detail.
The Board welcomes anyone who needs to use an assistive device or equipment to access Board programs, services and/or facilities. Students and staff with disabilities may use assistive devices provided by the Board based on their Individual Education Plan or Individual Workplace Accommodation Plan. Visitors are free to use their own personal assistive devices to support any disability-related need(s).
The Board welcomes all visitors who need a support person to access Board programs, services and/or facilities. A support person could be a paid professional, a volunteer, a friend or a family member and is different from a Board employee (such as an Educational Assistant) who provides support services to a student.
If a support person is involved in a meeting where confidential information is being shared, a Parent/Legal Guardian Consent for Support Person form must be completed. A support person must also be notified in advance for any Board-related event where the support person will be required to pay to attend the event.
For non-school locations (such as Board administrative buildings), the Board welcomes all visitors who require a service animal to support their access to Board programs, services and/or facilities, unless it is against the law to have the animal. All visitors are responsible for taking care of their service animal while on Board property.
For school buildings, Board Procedure #662.14 Student Use of Guide Dogs, Service Dogs or Service Animals outlines the process for formally applying to have a guide dog, service dog or service animal support the disability-related learning needs of a student in a classroom setting or at a school-related event.
If any service normally provided to people with disabilities is not available, a Disruption of Service Notice must be posted and include the following: information about the reason for the disruption, the duration of the disruption, and any alternative facilities or services that are available.
Information and Communications Standards
This procedure addresses how the Board creates and provides different types of accessible information and/or communication supports for people with disabilities.
All Board-approved content, documents and resources (whether in print, digital or multimedia) must be posted or provided in an accessible format and/or with appropriate communication supports. This includes all web content, library resources, student records, and information on programs or courses.
We understand that not all Board documents and resources are in accessible formats. Accessible formats are alternative ways of presenting printed, written, or visual information to a person based on their disability-related needs, and may include, but are not limited to: braille, captions, large print, and screen reading software.
Any request for an accessible format needs to be met within a reasonable amount of time and with no added costs to the person making the request. If a request for an accessible format or communication support cannot be met, the staff responsible for that information or communication must give an explanation and a summary of the information to the person who made the request.
Standards for the Built Environment
This procedure outlines how the Board carries out its responsibilities and commitment to achieving barrier-free built environments for persons with disabilities through compliance with the Design of Public Spaces Standards of the AODA.
The AODA’s Design of Public Spaces standards apply to mostly outdoor spaces (such as recreational trails, outdoor play spaces and accessible parking). Ontario's Building Code was updated in 2015 to address accessibility for mostly indoor spaces (such as elevators, special washrooms and automatic door openers).
The Board is responsible for meeting the requirements under both the AODA and Ontario Building Code for any newly constructed or renovated schools and/or Board administrative buildings. It should also be noted that best practices for accessible built environments go far beyond the minimum accessibility requirements under the Ontario Building Code.
A full list of all accessibility work started and/or completed on YRDSB schools and buildings are included in the Board’s Annual Accessibility Report.
This procedure outlines how the Board provides accessible workplace practices for current and potential employees with disabilities.
All employees are informed of the policies and procedures used to support employees with disabilities, including Board Policy and Procedure #218.0, Healthy Schools and Workplaces.
Information about individual workplace accommodation plans and/or return to work plans is available under Board Procedure #218.5, Healthy Schools and Workplaces: Disability Management Program - Staff. All decision-making about job performance, promotions and/or reassignment will take into account any relevant workplace accommodation plans for employees with disabilities.
All applicants are notified that accommodations are available throughout the hiring process, as outlined in Board Policy #532.0, Recruitment and Promotion. If requested, accommodations will be provided after consulting with the applicant and based on their disability-related needs.
This procedure outlines how the Board provides accessible transportation for students with disabilities to and from school.
Student Services Coordinators manage all transportation for students with disabilities based on the responsibilities outlined in Board Policy and Procedure #680, Student Transportation. After discussing transportation requirements with parents/guardians, Student Services Coordinators communicate all required transportation forms and information to Student Transportation Services (STS).
Student Transportation Services (STS) create Personalized Transportation Plans based on all required forms and information provided by Student Services Coordinators. The Personalized Transportation Plan include roles and responsibilities for the following groups:
- bus company
- parent(s)/guardian(s) of the student
- appropriate school staff
- student with the disability
The general requirements under the AODA relate to each accessibility standard. The Board's commitment to meeting these general requirements is outlined below:
AODA General Requirement 1: Create and maintain an accessibility policy
How the Board is complying: Board Policy #407, Accessibility
AODA General Requirement 2: Prepare accessibility plans and reports
How the Board is complying: Annual Accessibility Reports and Multi-Year Accessibility Plans
AODA General Requirement 3: Consider accessibility in all planning and purchasing decisions
How the Board is complying: AODA Accessibility Committee and subcommittees / working groups
AODA General Requirement 4: Provide accessibility training
How the Board is complying: Accessibility compliance training (3 online training modules)
For Additional Information
If you need any additional details or information about any section of this plain language guide, please refer to the full policy document (Board Policy #407, Accessibility), or contact the Human Rights Commissioner’s Office at:
Dr. Bette Stephenson Centre for Learning
36 Regatta Avenue, Richmond Hill, Ontario L4E 4R1