Accessibility Plan
http://fr.casselman.ca/hotel_de_ville/accessibilit_/plan_d_accessibilt_/

Introduction

The purpose of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005, S.O. 2005, c. 11 (AODA), is to improve opportunities for persons with disabilities and to provide for their involvement in the identification, removal and prevention of barriers encountered in some areas throughout the Province. To this end, the AODA mandates that each municipality prepare an accessibility plan and that it must be reviewed annually.

The Village of Casselman first developed this plan in 2005. Council is committed to the review of this plan on an annual basis. It will assess the measures taken and to identify steps to be taken in subsequent years to identify, remove and prevent barriers that could be encountered by persons with disabilities using the facilities and services of the Village of Casselman, whether they be members of the personnel, volunteers, elected or groups and members of the community at large.

Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation

The Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation (O. Reg. 191/11) came into force on July 1, 2011.

To help make Ontario accessible to people with disabilities, the Integrated Accessibility Standards regulation requires that designated public sector organizations and large organizations shall establish, implement, maintain and document a multi-year accessibility plan, which outlines the organization’s strategy to prevent and remove barriers and meet its requirements under this Regulation.

The Village of Casselman's Multi-Year Accessibility Plan has been integrated into this accessibility plan and outlines a phased-in strategy to prevent and remove any remaining barriers and addresses the current and future requirements of the AODA. The Village shall report annually on the progress and implementation of the plan, post the information on its website and will provide it in alternative formats upon request. While this accessibility plan will be reviewed on an annual basis, the multi-year commitments of this plan will be reviewed at least every five years.

Corporate Vision

The Corporation of the Village of Casselman supports the right of all persons with disabilities as much as possible, an independent lifestyle, the principle of equal opportunity and the right to fully participate in all aspects of community life.

As council members, we are all aware of the importance of the realization of this vision. Persons with disabilities make a significant contribution toward the well-being of their neighbours, their community and their province.

Therefore, the Council of the Village of Casselman states its commitment to work with its citizens on a continuing basis to eliminate existing barriers for persons with disabilities and prevent the erection of any new ones.

Commitment to Accessibility Planning

Council is committed to:

  • Improving accessibility to buildings, facilities and services for persons with a functional limitation.
  • Ensuring fair accessibility to employment opportunities with the Village.
  • Ensuring quality services to all members of the community who live with disabilities.
  • Incorporating criteria and requirements for accessibility in its procurement process.
  • Preparing an Action Plan to enable the Village to meet its commitments to persons with disabilities insofar as the planning for improvements or renovations of its buildings and municipal installations as well as employment policies.

Process

  • Review past efforts made to remove and prevent barriers to accessibility for persons with disabilities.
  • Produce a list of facilities, policies, programs, methods and services to be examined.
  • Outline measures to be initiated by the Village over the next five years to identify, remove and prevent barriers to accessibility for persons with disabilities.

Living Together in our Community

Anyone can experience a temporary or permanent reduction in mobility due to disease, accident, pregnancy or age. An accessible environment brings more security and comfort to everyone and is beneficial to all.

A welcome greeting and a few modifications to facilities will enable the delivery of quality services to most persons with disabilities, such as mobility restriction, hearing loss or visual impairment.

We cannot consider only the needs of residents within our community, but also to those of visitors, volunteers, employees, inspectors, consultants, etc. who may visit our facilities. We must eradicate patronizing attitudes, prejudice, neglect, contempt and incomprehension from our approach to serving persons with disabilities.

Ontario’s Employment Equity Act, 1993 requires not only identical treatment of all persons but also special measures and accommodation suited to their disabilities. The Human Rights Code of Ontario provides the right to equal treatment with regard to services, goods, housing and facilities for persons with disabilities. The Ontario Human Rights Commission rules on complaints concerning refusal to give access to a specific service or facility due to disabilities.

Accessibility

Accessibility is global. It is not a simple question of equipment but covers all aspects of life including services, programs, information, documents, communication, employment, recreation, travelling, culture, professional opportunities, education, housing, health and welfare. It is important that we demonstrate our commitment to live and work together.​

Accessibility means:

  • When someone uses a wheelchair or other mobility aid, he/she may use the main entrance like anyone else.
  • Allowing a person with a functional limitation to use our facilities without having to personally take measures to be granted the permission to use them.
  • Not being dependent on the good will of others to take part in the said activity.
  • Access for a service animal to all municipal facilities, except where prohibited by law, and with adequate facilities for said animal.
  • When a support person accompanies a person having a functional limitation, this support person will be admitted under most circumstances at no additional charge. In the event that the support person will be charged an admittance fee, these charges will be posted.
  • Being able to go to places where one wishes to go, to be greeted with respect, with no patronizing attitude or misconstruction, to have the opportunity to communicate and to benefit from a professional attitude on the part of interested listeners who deliver information and services in an effective way.
  • The Municipality will post notices on its Website and at the entrance to any location where a temporary interruption of accessibility features has occurred, along with the reason and expected duration of the interruption.
  • Rest areas for the person having a physical limitation such as seats placed in strategic positions;
  • Railings, larger openings and hallways, counters, bulletin boards and facilities such as a telephone in a lower position, larger characters on signs;
  • Clear indication of emergency exits and notification procedures that meet the needs of persons with disabilities.

Expectations of Persons with Disabilities

The disabled person needs to be informed on the accessibility of places and equipment they will meet. This information must be clear, precise and trustworthy to allow them to decide whether or not they need help to use a structure or a service. They know better than anyone else does their capacities and their limitations. They will tell you what they require.

Accessibility Working Group

Council has mandated the following persons as members of this committee: the Mayor, Chief Administrative Officer, every department head and any other party that they may deem necessary to consult with.

Coordination

The Council of the Village of Casselman named the Chief Administrative Officer, as the Coordinator for this plan.

Accessibility Initiatives

The Township has taken the following initiatives:

  • Identification of initiatives undertaken by the Village in previous years to remove and prevent barriers.
  • Review of complaints, officially deposited or not, concerning barriers.
  • Assessing municipal facilities for barriers to accessibility.
  • Consultation of groups of persons with disabilities.
  • Consultation of work teams from various departments.
  • Set time lines for the implementation of measures to remove identified barriers.
  • Since 2012, the Village of Casselman has undertaken a program of sidewalk upgrading and have had “boats” included in the design at all street corners to provide an access to the sidewalks for persons with disabilities.
  • Identification of improvements achieved in matters of removal and prevention of barriers.

Provision of Emergency Information

The Township will make any information concerning its emergency preparedness program and plans available in an accessible format upon request.

If needed, management will provide customized workplace emergency information to employees who have a disability.

Planned Improvements

Future plans include moving to a new accessible Town Hall and the continued improvement to sidewalks and entrances.

Methodology of Identification of Barriers

The Village uses several methods for identifying barriers. Regular audits of our facilities are conducted for health and safety issues and these audits are used to ensure no barriers are inadvertently created. The Village will consider any complaints or comments from the public or staff and review any new practices or tools, as they become known to see how they could possibly enhance accessibility.

Feedback

Any person may comment on or complain about the Village of Casselman’s accessibility program or provision of services to the disabled by contacting the Chief Administrative Officer of the Village, in writing, by telephone or in person. The Chief Administrative Officer will provide an answer to the requestor within 30 days.

Training

All employees or other person who deals with the public or other third parties on behalf of the Village of Casselman will receive any training mandated by the Act, as soon as possible after their hiring and from then on in a timely fashion. Updates and revisions to this training will be made available to them. As part of the ongoing training, all of these persons will be made aware of any changes to this plan and any related policies.

Action Plan

On a regular basis, the Council of the Village of Casselman shall review the following:

  • Study the municipal services assessment chart to identify the priority of physical barriers to be removed, develop the strategies to remove them and determine their schedule targets on a three-year period.
  • Apply the Building Code accessibility standards and implement measures to ensure accessibility to all municipal buildings.
  • Consider any study done as to the percentage of our population living with a disability, their specific needs and respective functional limitations, the rate of participation of this sector of the population and the socio- economic impact of their full participation in the Village of Casselman.
  • Promote a policy to ensure a proper level of service to all, by conducting training of staff on the realities encountered by persons with disabilities.
  • Ensure all public meetings and consultations are accessible.
  • Develop a municipal policy for job equity:
    • Shall ensure equal job access.
    • Shall meet the needs of person with disabilities concerning accessibility, pursuant to the Human Rights Code of Ontario, where said needs relate to their job, provided they do not generate excessive costs or genuine health and safety hazards. The employer may not refuse to adapt the job for reasons of cost without taking into consideration outside sources of financing available, where such exist.
    • Require the Village to take all necessary steps to meet the particular needs of persons with disabilities as far as the site where the interviews are to be held and the special accommodations to fill the offered position are concerned.
    • Ensure municipal employees working in management or supervisory positions are aware of the Human Resource Policy and abide by its requirements aimed at creating equal opportunity with regard to hiring and job maintenance of persons with disabilities.
    • Should the Municipality exclude a person with disabilities from its employment benefits plan, from its pension plan or fund or from a group insurance contract signed with an insurance company because, in the opinion of the insurer, the person with disabilities represents a higher risk than the average person, the Village of Casselman must provide payment of an indemnity equal to the contributions the Village provides for an employee with no disability, pursuant to the Human Rights Code of Ontario.

Five Year Objectives

This plan sets out a number of specific improvements over the next five years, aimed at making the Village of Casselman's programs and services more accessible for people with disabilities.

2014

  • Review municipal policies and bylaws such as Personnel Policy, Procurement Policy, Employment Policy and Taxi bylaws to ensure that they still meet all requirements of the AODA.
  • Conduct a full audit of all municipal facilities to determine whether or not there are obstacles to accessibility.
  • Continue work on Website re-design to ensure compliance with latest WCAG 2.0 standards.
  • Municipal Election Accessibility:

2015

  • Customer Feedback Mechanisms
    • Monitor current customer feedback mechanisms and look to increase feedback/engagement with persons with disabilities.
    • Ensure feedback processes are accessible to persons with disabilities.
  • Accessible Customer Service Standard
    • Regulation implementation (ongoing).
    • Continue to conduct, assess and review accessible customer service training for staff, volunteers and third parties.
  • Procurement
    • Review/revise procurement process and guiding documents to incorporate accessibility criteria and features when procuring and acquiring goods, services or facilities, including accessibility features when designing self-service kiosks.
  • Trails, Parks and Public Spaces
    • Continued consideration for accessibility elements in capital projects relative to parks, trails and public spaces.
    • Review and provide feedback on accessibility of new and retro-fit playgrounds.
    • Trail Signage
    • Grass Park Visioning
    • Breakwater Park Design

2016

  • Roads and Transportation
    • Continue to incorporate sidewalk ramps into all construction and reconstruction projects.
    • Consider the replacement of all courtesy crosswalks with the installation of signalled pedestrian crosswalks. In the meantime, initiate a communication program to the public regarding courtesy crosswalks.
    • Continue to implement the “Step Safe” Program (accessible sidewalks).
    • A public reporting process for trip hazards for identification and/or action.
    • Continue to work towards improvements to the “Winter Control” of sidewalks.
    • As street benches are replaced and installed, new benches will meet Facilities Accessibility Design Standards (FADS).
    • Establish new express transit routes.
    • Consultation with the public and persons with disabilities regarding the implementation of the Transportation section of the Integrated Accessibility Standard.
    • Consultation with the public and persons with disabilities regarding the design criteria to be considered on the construction, renovation or replacement of bus stops and shelters.
    • Upgrade existing bus stops to an accessible standard as part of planned Engineering sidewalk and roadway reconstruction.
    • Provision of accessibility training including emergency preparedness and rescue procedures to staff.
    • Install accessible mapping/signage in bus shelters.
    • Investigate the redesign and upgrade of the bus stop at the Via Rail Station.

2017

  • Employee Employment Accommodations
    • Ensure that recruitment planning, screening and selection processes provide and notify the availability of accommodations.
    • Ensure appropriate accommodations are provided to current employees as required.
    • Ensure a return to work process with related accommodation support is in place.
    • Ensure that performance management, career development and redeployment practices take into consideration the accessibility and accommodation needs of employees with disabilities.
    • Ensure that workplace emergency response information is provided in an accesseble format or with accommodation.
    • Review and revise where necessary, policy and work processes for recruitment, workplace emergency response, employee accommodations, return to work processes, performance management, career development and employee redeployment.
    • Develop targeted staff training on policy and procedure changes
    • Communicate employment policies and procedures to all staff.

2018

  • Accessible Formats and Communication Supports
    • Develop accessibility standards for major corporate publications including advertising such as the community pages, promotional materials (flyers, posters) and resident communications (notices, reports, etc.)
    • Review and develop relevant policy and procedure documents pertaining to the provision of accessible formats and communication supports for persons with disabilities, taking into consideration accessibility format/communication support requirements
    • Develop guidelines and resources for creating accessible documents for common workplace desktop applications: Word, Excel, PDF, PowerPoint
  • Training on the Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation and Ontario Human Rights Code (2014)
    • Develop and deliver mandatory accessibility training applicable to all employees, volunteers and third parties.
    • Provide training in multiple formats (i.e. face-to face training sessions, e-learning, job aids) and tailor to employee duties.