Accessibility Minister Looking for New Advisory Committee Volunteers

Ontario’s Minister Responsible for Accessibility is looking for volunteer individuals and organizations to sit on new Standards Development Committees (SDC), which will be tasked with developing a new accessibility standard for Health Care and reviewing the Information and Communications and Employment Standards. You can find out more information about these opportunities here.

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Message from The Accessibility Hub: Tell us your accessibility story

Since launching the Accessibility Hub earlier this summer, AMCTO has begun to feature initiatives that enhance accessibility and inspire inclusion!

Now we want to profile your story as we continue building a vibrant online community of resources and individuals who are committed to removing barriers and enhancing accessibility for all.

If you have an idea for a post and/or wish to submit to the Hub, please email Kayla Altman, Web Content Coordinator at info@theaccessibilityhub.ca and work with her on sharing your projects and practices today!

You can also follow the Hub on Twitter @AccessHubON

Federal Government Consulting on Accessibility Legislation

The federal government is currently conducting consultations on planned federal accessibility legislation. The consultations, which are open until February of 2017, are centred on the following issues:

  • feedback on the overall goal and approach;
  • whom it should cover;
  • what accessibility issues and barriers it should address;
  • how it could be monitored and enforced;
  • when or how often it should be reviewed;
  • how and when to report to Canadians on its implementation; and
  • how to raise accessibility awareness more generally and support organizations in improving accessibility.

You can find out more information about this consultation here.

Applications Open for Ontario 150 Program

The government is now accepting applications for the Ontario 150 Program, which is providing funding to municipalities and community organizations for projects “that will create social and cultural legacies through initiatives that support celebration, engagement and innovation in Ontario.” There are three grant-based funding streams:

  • The Community Capital Program — a $25 million fund to renovate, repair and retrofit existing community and cultural infrastructure to increase access, improve safety and maximize community use (application period opens July 18 and closes  September 14, 2016);
  • The Partnership Program — a $5 million program to support new partnerships and collaborations that engage, enable and empower youth as the next generation of Ontario leaders (application period opens July 6 and closes September 30, 2016);
  • And the Community Celebration Program —a $7 million fund to help communities celebrate this historic year (application period opens July 6 and closes September 2, 2016).

Applications for all three streams are open until the beginning of September, you can find more information here.

 

Government Accepting Applications for Accessibility Fund

The federal government is currently accepting applications for the Enabling Accessibility Fund. The fund is a federal Grant and Contribution (G&C) program that supports the capital costs of construction to improve the physical accessibility and safety of communities and workplaces. Applications can be made in either of the programs two project funding streams, including

The Workplace Accessibility Stream 

  • renovating, retrofitting or constructing workplaces in which job opportunities for people with disabilities could be created or maintained;
  • retrofitting motor vehicles for work use; and
  • providing information and communications technologies for work use.

The Community Accessibility Stream 

  • renovating, retrofitting or constructing community facilities where programs and/or services are or will be offered to people with disabilities;
  • retrofitting motor vehicles used as community-based transportation; and,
  • providing information and communications technologies for community use.

Applications are being accepted until July 26, 2016, you can find more information about this program here.

Call for Presentations on Accessibility and Inclusion

The Ontario Municipal Social Services Association is looking for presenters for a conference on promoting accessibility and inclusion in the municipal sector. Specifically OMSSA is looking for interactive or panel presentations that demonstrate best practices in accessibility and inclusion in one of the following categories:

– Emergency Social Services
– Children’s services
– Income and employment
– Housing and shelter services
– Integrated human services
– Age-friendly communities
– Tourism and/or recreation
– Accessible public spaces
– Social entrepreneurship and economic development
– Working with local businesses

You can find more information about this conference here:

OMSSA Accessibility Forum Call for Proposals

 

AMCTO Accessibility Hub Coming Soon

AMCTO is pleased to announce the upcoming launch of the Accessibility Hub in early June. This will be a website dedicated to sharing the work that individuals, municipalities, public, private and non-profit organizations have been doing to improve the everyday lives of people with disabilities.

Central to the Accessibility Hub is participation from active citizens working to improve accessibility provincially, nationally and globally. The Accessibility Hub will feature contributions from community members, and we are seeking a variety of submissions from real-world accessibility projects to grassroots initiatives.

AMCTO sees its vision for the Accessibility Hub as being “a resource place for issues related to accessibility that can be utilized by all sectors. Through sharing and bringing ideas and people together on-line – there is an opportunity to increase awareness and build on good practices to make our province more accessible.” When asked about why AMCTO is launching this initiative and becoming a leader in the field of accessibility, Rick Johal, the Director of Member and Sector Relations adds, “We are undertaking this as a continuation of our work with Ontario’s Accessibility Directorate of Ontario. We have provided education to the municipal sector for many years and more recently, helped them celebrate the 10-year AODA anniversary with Ontario’s communities. This is merely a continuation of that work.”

Municipalities will continue to play an important role in helping Ontario reach its accessibility objectives by 2025. The province has set out rules and deadlines around various accessibility standards which municipalities must meet. As AMCTO moves towards instructing its members about accessibility issues, the hub will provide a platform for research, discussion and discourse through content shared by organizations and members of the public.

In order to build this hub of knowledge and information we need you! We would love to highlight the projects and initiatives happening within your community and invite you (or your colleagues) to submit a post to be featured on the Accessibility Hub blog. To give you an idea of what we are looking for, we are including some of the blog submission guidelines below (though nothing is written in stone!):

What we are looking for in a post:

  • Post title, author and associated organization or group (if applicable).
  • Posts between 250-1000 words.
  • Information about the initiative, addressing challenges, community response, etc.
  • Images and other forms of media (any images should be properly attributed and have been credited.)
  • Include any links that you would like embedded into text (if your organization has a twitter account, website, etc. feel free to include this).
  • Use of accessible/plain language.
  • Feel free to be creative in your posts – the more engaging the better!
  • We may make changes to grammar and/or spelling (only as needed).

If you have an idea for a post, please email Kayla Altman, Web Content Coordinator at info@theaccessibilityhub.ca with information or ideas about what you would like to write about. At this time we are looking for posts that can be begin to be shared by mid-June 2016.

With your help, we look forward to creating a community dedicated to removing barriers and enhancing accessibility for all.

Accessible Parking Bill Passes Second Reading

Bill 187, a private members bill, passed second reading and was referred to the Standing Committee on Justice Policy. The bill would require the premier to appoint a commission of inquiry into accessible parking, and encourage municipalities to adopt standard accessible parking by-laws. The commission would be required to begin its work within 60 days after being appointed, and table an interim report six months after that.

For more:

Bill 187, the Commission of Inquiry into Accessible Parking In Municipalities Act 

 

Government Appoints New Chair of Accessibility Council

The government of Ontario has appointed Rich Donovan the new Chair of its Accessibility Standards Advisory Council (ASAC). The Council is responsible for advising Minister Brad Duguid (Economic Development, Employment and Infrastructure) on issues related to the government’s implementation of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA).

For more:

Ontario Appoints New Chair to Lead Accessibility Advisory Council 

Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA), 2005