Accessibility Policy #407 (PDF) is the Board's formal commitment to providing more accessible learning and working environments for students and staff with and without disabilities. Accessibility Policy #407 aligns with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) and all other applicable legislation as they relate to school boards.
Guide to Accessibility Policy #407
The AODA requires all organizations to make one or more documents describing its accessibility policy. A plain language guide was created as an alternative format to Accessibility Policy #407. It is a more reader-friendly version of the full policy document.
1. Policy Summary
YRDSB revised Accessibility Policy #407 in 2019. Accessibility Policy #407 explains how the Board is making its learning and working environments more accessible for people with and without disabilities.
2. Procedures under Policy #407
Accessibility Policy #407 has six procedures that follow the AODA standards:
- General Requirements
- Customer Service Standards
- Information and Communications Standards
- Standards for the Built Environment
- Employment Standards
- Transportation Standards
The AODA General Requirements relate to the accessibility standards. The Board’s commitment to meeting these General Requirements is summarized below.
AODA General Requirement 1: Create and maintain an accessibility policy
How the Board is complying: Accessibility Policy #407
AODA General Requirement 2: Prepare accessibility plans and reports
How the Board is complying: Accessibility Reports Plans
AODA General Requirement 3: Consider accessibility in all planning and purchasing decisions
How the Board is complying: AODA Accessibility Committee and subcommittee work
Sections 4 through 8 of this guide summarize each of the procedures in a question and answer format.
4. Customer Service Standard
How the Board provides accessible programs, services and facilities to people with disabilities by meeting AODA requirements for: Feedback Processes (4.1), Assistive Devices (4.2), Support Persons (4.3), Service Animals (4.4), and Disruption of Services (4.5).
An online reporting tool known as Barrier Buster is available for anyone in the Board community to give feedback or report on any barrier that prevents a person with a disability from accessing YRDSB 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 device(s) 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. A support person 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 explains 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.
5. Information and Communications Standards
How the Board creates and provides different types of information and communication supports for people with disabilities. The two key areas of this standard are: Accessible Documents / Formats (5.1) and Accessible Format Requests (5.2).
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 courses or programs.
Visit the Accessibility Resource Hub to learn about making content more accessible.
We understand that not all Board documents and resources are in accessible formats. However, any request for an accessible format needs to be met within a reasonable amount of time and with no added costs to the person(s) 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(s) who made the request.
6. Standards for the Built Environment
How the Board creates barrier-free facilities and ensures that all new or newly renovated buildings comply with the AODA and the Ontario Building Code (OBC).
The AODA’s Design of Public Spaces standards apply to mostly outdoor spaces (such as recreational trails, outdoor play spaces and accessible parking). The Ontario 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 OBC for any newly constructed or renovated schools and/or Board administrative buildings. It should also be noted that best practices for accessible design of public spaces go far beyond the minimum 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 Reports.
7. Employment Standards
How the Board provides accessible workplace practices for current and potential employees with disabilities. The two key areas of this standard are: Current Employees (7.1) and Potential Employees / Applicants (7.2).
All current YRDSB employees are informed of the policies and procedures used to support employees with disabilities. This includes the Healthy Schools and Workplaces Policy #218.
Information about individual workplace accommodation plans and/or return to work plans is available under the Disability Management Program for Staff (Procedure #218.5). 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. This is explained in the Recruitment and Promotion Policy #532. If requested, accommodations will be provided after consulting with the applicant and based on their disability-related needs.
How the Board provides accessible transportation for students with disabilities to and from school. The two key areas of this standard are: Requesting Transportation (8.1) and Providing Transportation (8.2).
Student Services Coordinators manage all transportation for students with disabilities based on the responsibilities outlined in Student Transportation Policy #680. After discussing transportation requirements with parents/guardians, Student Services Coordinators share all required transportation forms and information to Student Transportation Services.
Student Transportation Services 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, driver, parent(s)/guardian(s) of the student, appropriate school staff, and student with the disability.