This document represents the fifth Region of Peel annual Accessibility Plan - September 2007, endorsed by the Peel Regional Council.
This fifth Accessibility Plan for the Region has been prepared using the information collected from: strategic level consultation with the Accessibility Planning SSBP Steering Committee (Steering Committee); the Joint Peel-Caledon Accessibility Advisory Committee (AAC); and information submitted by Regional departments and the Region of Peel Accessibility Planning Program (The Program).
As detailed in preceding plans, the ultimate goal of the AAC, the Steering Committee and the Accessibility Planning Program is to anchor accessibility checks into the departmental Service Strategy and Business Planning processes, and by extension, the Regional Corporation as a whole. This effective proven practice will continue to guide the corporation to systematically integrate accessibility planning into existing departmental planning and operational processes.
As with the previous Plan, the 2007 Region of Peel Accessibility Plan has used a format similar to the departmental Service Strategy Business Plans to enable staff to identify projects from the Accessibility Plan and link them with the accessibility projects listed in their departmental business workplans. This alignment of the format has enabled the Accessibility Planning Specialist to monitor and report on the progress of departmental accessibility initiatives in a systematic manner. At the same time, this document continues to address reporting requirements within both the Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2001 (ODA) and the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (AODA).
In 2006, Regional Council and the Executive Management Team approved a new governance structure for the management and renewal of the Accessibility Planning Service Strategy Business Plan (SSBP). The purpose
of the new structure is to provide a means whereby the Regional Corporation can manage review of the Accessibility Planning, and develop and monitor projects that will achieve the objectives and actions of the SSBP. The new structure included the establishment of an Accessibility Planning SSBP Steering Committee. The key mandate of the Steering Committee is to advise the Region in the annual preparation of the Accessibility Planning SSBP and to identify key projects that will allow the Region to reach its accessibility goals. The Accessibility Planning SSBP is also the Accessibility Plan for the Region of Peel, which is prepared annually to comply with the ODA requirements.
Since its inception in November, 2006, the Steering Committee has also actively assisted Regional Council in the selection of members for the Joint Peel-Caledon Accessibility Advisory Committee and proposed a list of projects that would support the implementation of the fourth Regional Accessibility Plan, approved by Regional Council in October 2006. To assemble the final list, the Steering Committee reviewed the Accessibility Plan from previous years; the legislative requirements under the Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2001 (ODA); and the list of pending recommendations made by the former members of the Joint Peel-Caledon Accessibility Advisory Committee.
In addition, the members of the AAC have continued their activities of accessibility education and sensitivity training and hosted the first ever Region of Peel “Community Forum” on accessibility, in partnership with the Accessibility Planning Program and Health department, to commemorate the International Day of Disabled Persons. At this inclusive and accessible event, stakeholders, such as citizens with various disabilities, community organizations, representatives of municipalities, assistive technology vendors and Regional departments networked, showcased products and services, and learned about “E-Accessibility” from the world renowned
expert on accessible technology, Jutta Treviranus. A Canada-wide web cast allowed communities and organizations from around the country to participate and send questions to the key note speaker via the Internet.
The event was attended by 175 people with another 53 participating via the Internet. The event attracted media attention and received very positive evaluations from those who attended. Members of the AAC and the IDDP planning committee worked diligently to ensure that people with varying disabilities were able to participate in the event. By including Real-time captioning, American Sign Language interpreters and Attendant Care, the team ensured that the event was fully accessible and affordable for all participants.
Once again in 2006, AAC selected three Regional projects and presented annual Accessibility Awards to individuals and project teams in recognition of their efforts to improve the accessibility of Regional services, programs, projects and facilities. Committee members also participated in numerous community and regional events to promote accessibility issues.
The Accessibility Planning Program and members of the AAC assisted the Peel Children’s Water Festival (PCWF) committee in planning and organizing a week-long accessible and inclusive event by removing accessibility barriers from the event location and activities. A number of event activities were reviewed and revised to ensure that students with different disabilities would have an equal opportunity to participate in this educational event in a manner similar to the students without disabilities. This festival is one of the key events organized annually by the Region targeting students and members of the community to educate them about water conservation through fun-filled, interactive and experiential learning activities. On the Community Day of the event, which was attended by 3,500 Peel residents, the Accessibility Planning Program and AAC provided accessibility information and barrier identification training to participants.
The fifth Plan represents the ongoing process of ensuring the programs and services of the Region of Peel become more accessible for individuals with disabilities. As an organization strongly committed to integrated processes, the Region of Peel will continue its efforts to identify and remove existing barriers while laying the foundation for the prevention of future barriers.