Each year, the Government of Ontario sets a course to prevent, identify and remove barriers for people with disabilities. Every ministry participates through its annual accessibility plans, as required under the Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2001 (ODA).
The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (AODA) is Ontario’s roadmap to become barrier-free by 2025. It includes accessibility standards in:
- Customer Service
- Information and Communications
- The Built Environment
This year the accessibility plans will help to inform planning requirements under the new Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation (IASR) enacted last summer under the AODA. The IASR requires the Government of Ontario to develop a multi-year plan to prevent and remove barriers for people with disabilities.
Our annual accessibility plan outlines the specific steps the government is taking to improve opportunities for people with disabilities.
Building on last year’s plan, our 2011-12 accessibility plan will continue moving the Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration (MCI) toward the goal of an accessible province for all Ontarians.
The Ministry is committed to furthering its current initiatives to promote accessibility within the workplace and in its relations with stakeholders, clients and the public. The Ministry will continue in its efforts to help make Ontario more accessible for people with disabilities and a more inclusive society for all Ontarians.
To view other ministries’ Accessibility Plans, visit Ontario.ca.
The Government of Ontario is working to achieve an accessible province by 2025.
In 2010-11, the government continued to comply with the Accessibility Standards for Customer Service regulation and continued to implement initiatives to enhance accessibility in other areas: employment, information and communication, transportation, the built environment and procurement.
This report includes a summary of the initiatives the Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration implemented in 2010-11.
The Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration is committed to ensuring that people with disabilities receive accessible, high quality and timely goods and services. In 2011, MCI met the requirements of the AODA Accessibility Standards for Customer Service and undertook the following supporting initiatives:
- All new ministry staff completed mandatory “May I Help You” training courses on providing accessible customer service.
- Ministry service standards, including accessibility standards for customer service, were incorporated into MCI’s annual orientation training for new staff.
- All ministry staff received communication from the Deputy Minister, encouraging them to take accessible customer service training as part of the OPS’ 2011 Service Excellence Week.
- The Ministry collaborated with the Ministry of Tourism and Culture to promote accessible customer service as part of the 2011 National Accessibility Awareness Week.
- The Ministry reviewed its email, website, fax, telephone and mail channels for client feedback regarding accessibility.
- The Ministry reviewed its protocol for providing notice of service disruptions and identified opportunities to further integrate and promote the protocol in emergency planning procedures, so all ministry employees know what to do in case of service disruptions.
Information and Communications
The Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration is committed to making government information and communications accessible to people with disabilities. To prepare for the forthcoming AODA requirements, the Ministry undertook the following actions:
- To ensure that the Ministry’s information technology infrastructure reflects up-to-date accessibility features, all new computer applications and development project plans were reviewed to ensure that accessibility has been considered, and incorporated where possible, before receiving approval.
- The Ministry has promoted “Mission Possible” accessibility training to MCI staff and management, including step-by-step training on how to create accessible Word and PDF documents.
- MCI has employed the Hi-Compliance Sheriff tool to review the accessibility of key ministry websites.
- MCI’s websites, applications and social media initiatives conform to the W3C Standards including WCAG Guidelines (the internationally accepted standard for web accessibility from W3C). These standards and guidelines enable the creation of web documents in a format that is easily accessible and searchable.
- MCI’s Web and New Media Coordinator has monitored and ensured that all ministry websites, applications and social media initiatives are compliant with GO-ITS 23 that cover our legal obligations with regards to accessibility, French language service, copyright laws and privacy concerns.
The Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration is committed to fair and accessible employment practices that attract and retain talented employees with disabilities. To prepare for the forthcoming AODA requirements, the Ministry undertook the following actions:
- The Ministry provided notice to potential job applicants that accommodations are available on request and provided such accommodations to applicants throughout the hiring process.
- Ministry management and human resources staff reviewed job ads to ensure that there are no barriers to accessibility.
- All MCI managers completed a mandatory ODA training course on supporting employees with disabilities.
- All ministry staff and managers completed workplace violence, discrimination and harassment prevention training, and all new employees are required to complete the training within their first month at MCI.
- The Ministry ensured that its emergency planning processes take into account the needs of people with disabilities.
The Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration is committed to greater accessibility in buildings and outdoor spaces for people with disabilities. To prepare for the forthcoming AODA requirements, the Ministry undertook the following actions:
Barrier-free accessibility was incorporated from the outset into the design and planning of the refresh of kitchenettes, lunchrooms and washrooms at ministry suites at 400 University Avenue, Toronto.
The Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration is committed to integrating accessibility considerations into our procurement processes. To prepare for the forthcoming AODA requirements, the Ministry undertook the following actions:
- The Ministry has assessed its processes for procurement of goods and services affecting people with disabilities to ensure that accessibility issues have been addressed and were compliant with ODA requirements.
- The Ministry has complied with the OPS Procurement Directive, and has applied the ODA procurement guidelines and requirements checklist to ensure that accessibility is reflected in procurements as required.
In 2011, the Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration undertook additional initiatives to strengthen and incorporate accessibility and inclusion across its practices, processes and workplace culture.
- The Ministry updated its vision and mission statements to reflect a greater commitment to providing accessible, inclusive and respectful services.
- The Ministry’s 2011 All Staff Day addressed themes of diversity, fairness, excellence, and trust through presentations regarding:
- Building respect and trust in the workplace; and
- Services offered from the OPS Employee Assistance Program.
- The Ministry hosted two workshops open to all MCI staff to learn about and practice using the OPS Inclusion Lens to identify potential barriers to accessibility in policies and programs.
- The Ministry included accessibility and diversity in the criteria of its Sterling Awards employee recognition program, and expanded the awards nomination period to promote greater participation and recognition.
- The Ministry launched its Diversity Mentorship program to support employees’ professional development and expanded eligibility to include all ministry staff and managers.
- The Ministry developed a voluntary Self-Assessment Tool to help employees explore their personal understanding of diversity and inclusion issues.
- All ministry staff were invited to attend training sessions on cross-cultural communications and respect in the workplace.
- The Ministry’s Regional Services Branch incorporated a client-focused perspective into its review of core services and developed communications to renew staff awareness of accessibility and service standards, legislative and directive requirements.
This year, the Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration’s accessibility plan focuses on three areas – staff awareness of accessibility, client service training, and monitoring of client feedback. These initiatives will support compliance with the existing Accessibility Standards for Customer Service. They will also help us enhance accessibility in other areas that include:
- Information and Communications
- The Built Environment
The Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration is committed to ensuring that people with disabilities receive accessible, high quality and timely goods and services.
- The Ministry will continue to measure its performance against its client service standards, review any client feedback received, report results on MCI’s website or other appropriate website, and identify opportunities for improvement. (2011-12)
- The Ministry will review its processes for collecting and responding to client feedback and will identify potential barriers. (2011-12)
- The Ministry will identify and promote opportunities for staff training/education to raise awareness of aspects of disability and accessibility (e.g., learning about mental health and disability; celebrating the December 1, 2011 International Day for People with Disabilities). (2011-12)
- The Ministry will continue to ensure that required staff are trained on any available assistive devices, that service disruption notices are communicated as appropriate, and other measures are in place to support ongoing compliance with the AODA Accessibility Standards for Customer Service. (2011-12)
Information and Communications
The Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration is committed to making government information and communications accessible to people with disabilities. The information we provide and the ways we communicate are key to delivering our programs and services to the public.
- The Ministry will work with the I&IT Accessibility Centre of Excellence to deliver training workshops for MCI staff on how to create accessible Word and PDF documents. (2011-12)
- The Ministry will review and update its online Accessibility Infobank to better link to and feature the resources available to all staff through the I&IT Accessibility Centre of Excellence’s new intranet. (2011-12)
- The Ministry will continue to partner with ServiceOntario Publications and Ontario Shared Services to ensure that MCI publications are available to clients in alternate formats upon request. (2011-12)
- The Ministry will continue to promote the availability of MCI publications in alternate formats. Wherever possible, publications will include a statement regarding their availability in alternate formats upon request. (2011-12)
The Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration is committed to fair and accessible employment practices that attract and retain talented employees with disabilities.
- The Ministry will continue its ongoing efforts to support fair and accessible employment practices, including:
- Working in conjunction with the Regional Recruitment Centres to ensure job ads are free of barriers to accessibility; and
- Actively offering and providing accommodations to job applicants throughout the hiring process.
- The Ministry will continue to support individualized workplace accommodation plans for its employees.
- The Ministry will work with HROntario to develop job descriptions that are free of barriers to accessibility.
The Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration is committed to greater accessibility in buildings and outdoor spaces for people with disabilities.
- The Ministry will commence office refresh work at 400 University Avenue, Toronto, including:
- Ongoing barrier-free improvements to kitchenettes and lunchrooms, and upgrades to washrooms; (2011-12)
- The removal of inaccessible water fountains and the availability of accessible water in kitchenette areas; (2011-12/13) and
- The addition of automatic door openers from public corridors to ministry suites at each floor. (2012-13)
- The Ministry will ensure that accessibility design features are incorporated into the design of any new ministry space, including relocations and office renovations. MCI will continue to review design features to ensure new and renovated workplaces do not present barriers to accessibility.
The Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration is committed to integrating accessibility considerations into our procurement processes. We ask potential suppliers to tell us about the accessible options they offer and include accessibility in our evaluation criteria.
- The Ministry will continue to provide ministry staff with on-going procurement advice, recommendations and training on incorporating accessibility in accordance with the Procurement Directive requirements and Supply Chain Management accessibility guidelines and checklist.
The Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration will undertake additional initiatives to strengthen and incorporate accessibility and diversity across its practices, processes and workplace.
- The Ministry will plan additional workshops on the use and application of the OPS Inclusion Lens in November 2011. (2011-12)
- Using the framework of the OPS Inclusion Scorecard, the Ministry will develop ways to track progress and measure impact of its support of diversity, inclusion and accessibility throughout MCI. (2011-12)
In support of our commitment to improve accessibility for people with disabilities, the Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration will continue to review government initiatives, including legislation and policies, to identify and remove barriers.
Acts, Regulations and Policies Reviewed in 2010-11
The Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration is committed to ensuring that our Acts and regulations are reviewed for potential accessibility barriers. The Ministry will continue to review draft statutes and regulations to ensure new policies do not present barriers to accessibility. Every effort will be made to ensure that accessibility obligations are considered as early as possible in the policy or program development process.
In 2011, the Ontario Public Service launched the OPS Inclusion Lens. The Lens is an innovative tool to help address diversity and accessibility. With this tool, ministries can identify and address potential barriers to people with disabilities, and others that may be present in existing or proposed legislation, policies, programs, practices or services.
In April 2011, the Ministry participated in training for multi-disciplinary teams from all ministries on how to use the OPS Inclusion Lens to review legislation for accessibility barriers. Going forward, the OPS Diversity Office and the Ministry of the Attorney General are working together to support a coordinated approach to legislative review across government.
Over the past year, the Ministry:
- Ensured that a multidisciplinary team attended the one-day training on using the OPS Inclusion Lens to review legislation for barriers to people with disabilities;
- Convened two training workshops open to all MCI staff to learn about and practice using the Lens in legislative, policy, program and service reviews; and
- Applied the Lens to review all acts that MCI is responsible for and administers.
In the future, the Ministry will:
- Continue to apply the OPS Inclusion Lens to review acts, regulations, policies, programs, practices and services;
- Advise staff to apply the Lens when developing or reviewing policies, programs or service; and
- Arrange for additional training workshops on the application of the Lens for ministry staff.
AODA – Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act
GO-ITS – Government of Ontario-Information Technology Standards
IASR – Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation
MCI – Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration
ODA – Ontarians with Disabilities Act
OPS – Ontario Public Service
TTY – Telephone Teletype
WCAG – Web Content Accessibility Guidelines
W3C – World Wide Web Consortium
Questions or comments about the Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration accessibility plan are always welcome.
Please phone: Rod Browning
General enquiry number: 416-327-2422
TTY number: 416-212-3188
1-800 number: 1-800-267-7329
Toll-free TTY number: 1-877-636-9577
Ministry website address: www.citizenship.gov.on.ca
Visit the Ministry of Community and Social Services Accessibility Ontario web portal. The site promotes accessibility and provides information and resources on how to make Ontario an accessible province for everyone.
Alternate formats of this document are available free upon request from:
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