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  •  Region of Peel Accessibility Plan – September, 2009

    Introduction

    This is the eighth Region of Peel Accessibility Plan. The annual Plan endorsed by Peel Regional Council and the Region of Peel Accessibility Advisory Committee (AAC) will be submitted to the Province of Ontario in accordance with annual municipal reporting requirements set out in the Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2001 (ODA)

    The Region of Peel Accessibility Planning Program is responsible for compiling the data from all of the departments and programs that forms the basis of the Plan.

    The 2010 Accessibility Plan provides an update on the status of corporate accessibility projects identified in Appendix I. Appendix II, labelled Summary of Accessibility Accomplishments, is a compilation of accessibility accomplishments submitted by Regional departments for the period of July 2009 – June 2010.  Appendix IIIhighlights details of key Regional initiatives, which demonstrate how regional, programs, services, and facilities are improving accessibility for Peel residents by applying principles of inclusivity and integration. Appendix IV outlines the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) Standards and the current status of compliance efforts by the Region. Appendix V provides a Glossary of Terms used in the 2010 Plan.  At the conclusion of the Plan is a Comment Form, which provides customers and residents an opportunity to provide feedback. The Region will incorporate any feedback received to help improve the accessibility of Peel’s services as well as the readability of future Accessibility Plans.

    Throughout the year, the Accessibility Planning Program has been actively coordinating and supporting various activities of the Regional Accessibility Advisory Committee. It continues to engage departmental staff and members of the AAC in preparation for the annual Accessibility Plans. The Program continues to work as a catalyst to raise awareness of accessibility legislation and standards internally and externally through information sharing. In May 2010, internationally renowned speaker David Shannon celebrated National Access Awareness Week with Regional staff as the event’s keynote speaker. In his remarks to staff he shared his perspectives on Dignity, Human Rights, Duty to Accommodate and the newly adopted United Nation’s Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). On March 11, 2010, Canada became the 85th government that has ratified the convention.   

    On Dec. 2, 2009 the Region of Peel hosted its sixth annual International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPD) conference with insightful speakers, annual accessibility awards presentations, vendor displays and engaging round-table discussions to help promote accessibility in Peel. Over 250 Peel residents, accessibility advocates, special dignitaries and Regional staff attended the full-day conference, which celebrated Positive Images of Disabilities. The 2009 IDPD was hosted by the Region’s Accessibility Planning Program and Region of Peel Accessibility Advisory Committee. The event featured remarks from Madeleine Meilleur, Minister of Community and Social Services; Michelle Amerie, well-known writer and artist; and Jeff Preston, Member, Accessibility Standards Advisory Council of Ontario and motivational speaker. In a special presentation, the Region’s 2009 Accessibility Award was presented to the Honourable David C. Onley, Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, for his leadership role and efforts in making Ontario accessible for everyone. The AAC presented Accessibility Awards to Regional staff whose efforts improved accessibility of Regional programs, services and facilities. Karlene Nation, CTV Diversity Reporter, was the Master of Ceremonies and the Regional Chair and the Region’s Chief Administrative Officer also provided remarks.


    Honourable David C. Onley, Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, is awarded the 2009 Region of Peel Accessibility Award from Emil Kolb, Regional Chair

    Throughout the year, members of the AAC and Accessibility Planning Program staff continued to promote accessibility by auditing regional facilities, making presentations to departments and stakeholder groups, attending conferences and disseminating audience specific accessibility information at various resource fairs and community events. A series of information articles and stories were developed for the Peel community. These articles were published in several Regional councillor newsletters, local newspapers and posted online to highlight accessibility standards, accessible customer service training and disability resources and to educate all Regional employees and residents.

    Accessibility continues to be an important Regional objective and remains a major focus for the organization as our community continues to grow. The number of persons living with disabilities in Peel is expected to increase from 19 per cent at current to 33 per cent by 2031, mainly because of Peel’s aging population.

    Recognizing and eliminating barriers that exist within the Region of Peel is a key priority as we strongly believe that our customers with disabilities are entitled to receive accessible customer service equitable to those without disabilities.  To fulfill our Regional values and requirements of the Accessible Customer Service Standards, a project team led by the Corporate Services Department and the Accessibility Planning Program worked diligently on implementing the Region of Peel Accessible Customer Service Policy. 4,599 employees completed the mandatory Accessible Customer Service training. Region of Peel Accessibility Program staff worked cooperatively with key departmental and program staff to monitor the training initiative to ensure compliance with Regulation 429/07. On March 31, 2010 the Region of Peel submitted the training compliance report to the Minister of Community and Social Services. Further details of this initiative are available in Appendix III of the Plan. The project team also won Honourable Mention in the “Innovation Award for Creative Solutions” category of the Region of Peel’s Together We’re Better Awards.

    Our eighth Accessibility Plan represents the ongoing process of ensuring programs and services provided by 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.



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