|November 27, 2007 Joint Peel-Caledon Accessibility
Advisory Committee (AAC)
|1.||Call to Order|
|2.||Approval of Minutes|
|3.||Approval of Agenda|
|7.||Report from the Accessibility Planning Coordinators|
|8.||Report of the Accessibility Advisory Committee Chair|
ACCESSIBILITY ADVISORY COMMITTEE (AAC)
The Joint Peel-Caledon Accessibility Advisory
Committee met on November 27, 2007 at 1:03 p.m. in the Council Chamber, Regional Administrative Headquarters, 10 Peel Centre Drive, Brampton.
|Members Present:||H. Bajwa; G. Barnes; W. Goursky; S. Hames; J. Hardman; N. Husain; E. Kolb¨; R. Paterak¨; M. Tymkow|
|Members Absent:||S. McFadden, due to other municipal business; J. Spry|
Councillor J. Sanderson, Regional Councillor; L. Nashman, Commissioner of Employee and Business Services; R. K. Gillespie, Commissioner of Corporate Services and Regional Solicitor; J. Menard, Executive Director, Human Services Transition and Integration; C. Gravlev, Regional Clerk and Director of Clerk’s; M. Sikand, Accessibility Planning Specialist; J. Payne, Committee Clerk
*See text for arrivals
¨See text for departures
William Goursky, Chair, presided.
1. CALL TO ORDER
William Goursky, Chair of the Joint Peel-Caledon Accessibility Advisory Committee called the meeting to order at 1:03 p.m. and welcomed everyone present.
2. APPROVAL OF MINUTES
That the minutes of the October 16, 2007 Joint Peel-Caledon Accessibility Advisory Committee meeting be approved.
3. APPROVAL OF AGENDA
That the agenda for the November 27, 2007 Joint Peel-Caledon Accessibility Advisory Committee meeting be approved.
4. COMMUNICATION ITEMS
a) Region of Peel Press Release, dated October 31, 2007, titled “Region of Peel Approves Accessibility Plan”
b) Toronto Sun Article, dated November 5, 2007, titled “Peel Recognizing People with Disabilities”
c) Region of Peel Press Release, dated November 15, 2007, titled “Peel Proclaims International Day of Disabled Persons”
a. William Goursky, Chair, Joint Peel-Caledon Accessibility Advisory Committee, 2007 International Day of Disabled Persons (IDDP) Opening Remarks
William Goursky, Chair of the Joint Peel-Caledon Accessibility Advisory Committee introduced the 2007 IDDP theme declared by the United Nations “Decent Work for Persons with Disabilities”. It was explained that the focus of the meeting would be three keynote addresses from speakers representing the public, private and not-for-profit sectors, highlighting specific initiatives currently underway to enhance employment levels for persons with disabilities.
William Goursky recognized members of the Joint Peel-Caledon Accessibility Advisory Committee (AAC) and the Region of Peel Accessibility Planning Steering Committee acknowledging their significant contributions to improving accessibility to Region of Peel programs, services and facilities.
b. Emil Kolb, Chair and Chief Executive Officer, Region of Peel, Remarks Recognizing the Importance of Marking the 2007 International Day of Disabled Persons (IDDP)
Emil Kolb, Regional Chair and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Region of Peel touched upon two demographic factors currently shaping the future of the Region of Peel, rapid growth and an aging population. Chair Kolb explained that as a result of these two factors it is anticipated that by the year 2031 the number of persons living with disabilities in Peel will have increased by 33 per cent. As such, it is important for every citizen in Peel to have accessible programs and services. Chair Kolb referred to the fifth Region of Peel Accessibility Plan as a demonstration of the commitment of Regional Council to improving accessibility by removing barriers and laying a strong foundation to anticipate and prevent future barriers.
Chair Kolb highlighted the appointment of David Onley as the new Lieutenant-Governor of Ontario as a recent example of the important progress that has been made to recognize the contributions that persons with disabilities make to society as a whole. Chair Kolb concluded by noting that only through the sharing of accessibility experiences in a fully integrated community will the necessary awareness and promotion of an inclusive society for persons with disabilities be achieved. He added that significant progress has been made to improve accessibility to Regional programs and services and acknowledged that there is still more work to be done.
c. David Szwarc, Chief Administrative Officer (CAO), Region of Peel, Extending Greetings on behalf of the Region of Peel and its Employees to Participants in the 2007 Region of Peel International Day of Disabled Persons (IDDP) Event
David Szwarc, Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) for the Region of Peel addressed the meeting via pre-recorded video remarks as he was unable to attend the meeting in person due to other Regional business.
David Szwarc, in his message, spoke to the need for society as a whole to accommodate all citizens and for all communities to strive to remove barriers so as to ensure accessibility for all by providing opportunities to all citizens to contribute to the best of their abilities.
David Szwarc acknowledged the significant contributions of the citizen volunteer members of the Joint Peel-Caledon Accessibility Advisory Committee and commended them for their many contributions and strong commitment to the citizens of Peel.
E. Kolb, Regional Chair, departed at 1:25 p.m.
d. Laura Nashman, Commissioner of Employee and Business Services – Departmental Event Co-Sponsor, Region of Peel , Regarding Regional Events to Mark the 2007 United Nations International Day of Disabled Persons (IDDP)
Laura Nashman, Commissioner of Employee and Business Services for the Region of Peel expressed her pride in being the departmental event co-sponsor for the fourth Region of Peel celebration of the United Nations International Day of Disabled Persons (IDDP). She recognized the significance of the 2007 IDDP theme “Decent Work for Persons with Disabilities” and how it presented an opportunity to challenge beliefs related to the attraction, retention and development of a diverse workforce for all employers, including the Region of Peel.
Laura Nashman emphasized that the Region of Peel as an employer is committed to accommodating employees of varied abilities as demonstrated by many workplace programs including those designed to aid employees returning to work after injuries, promotion of mental health and mental health awareness, as well as a supportive employee assistance program. Laura Nashman thanked the members of the AAC for their support, assistance and guidance to all management and staff at the Region of Peel.
e. William Goursky, Chair, Joint Peel-Caledon Accessibility Advisory Committee and R. Kent Gillespie, Commissioner of Corporate Services and Regional Solicitor, Region of Peel, Presenting the 2007 Region of Peel Accessibility Awards
R. Kent Gillespie, Commissioner of Corporate Services and Regional Solicitor and William Goursky, Chair of the Joint Peel-Caledon Accessibility Advisory Committee presented the 2007 Region of Peel Accessibility Awards as follows:
Certificates of Recognition – Region of Peel Staff:
- TransHelp Paralympic Ontario Team – In recognition of time volunteered by Region of Peel TransHelp staff to provide transportation and logistical support to event participants (Volunteer Team: Diane Melo; Emma Rego; Maryrose Jenner; Lori Wright; and Shelley Ayres).
- Peel Children’s Water Festival – In recognition of staff efforts to improve accessibility for student participants and the general public (Kristina Liivoja, recipient, accepting on behalf of the event team).
- Regional Administrative Headquarters, 10 Peel Centre Drive, Access Ramp Team – In recognition of the successful completion of a facilities improvement project that significantly enhanced accessibility (Project Team: Mark Redlich; Deb Bergamin; and Alex Bogorad).
Certificates of Recognition – Town of Caledon Staff and Volunteers:
- Caledon Community Services – In recognition for updates to accessibility standards and the removal of physical barriers ( Melanie Alderfer-Mowat, recipient, accepting on behalf of Caledon Community Services).
- Town of Caledon Volunteer – In recognition of over four years of volunteer activities in the Town of Caledon supporting a number of events including the annual Camp Carnival (Joanne Russell –Community Volunteer).
R. Paterak, Regional Councillor, departed at 1:31 p.m.
f. Tracy MacCharles, Acting Chair, Accessibility Advisory Council of Ontario , Providing an Update on the Implementation of Accessibility Standards Developed Under the Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA)
Tracy MacCharles, Acting Chair of the Accessibility Advisory Council of Ontario highlighted data that estimated one in seven Ontarians (1.5 million citizens) currently have some form of disability and that by the year 2025 it is estimated that one in five Ontarians will be over the age of 65 (6.7 million citizens). She then noted that currently the rate of unemployment is five times higher for persons with disabilities compared to the overall labour market. Drawing upon the aforementioned statistic, Tracy MacCharles addressed the untapped potential of disabled persons in the labour market, especially in the context of a shrinking workforce resulting from baby-boomer retirements.
Tracy MacCharles summarized recent accessibility accomplishments in Ontario including: the enactment of The Ontarians with Disabilites Act (ODA), 2001; the enactment of The Accessibilities for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA), 2005; the establishment of Accessibility Standards Committees; the development of Accessibility Standards; and the adoption of accessibility compliance and enforcement regulations. She concluded by emphasizing the important role that the Accessibility Directorate of Ontario, the Accessibility Advisory Council of Ontario and municipal AAC’s across the province play in improving accessibility for all citizens.
g. Jo Walks, Project Manager, Accessibility Initiative, Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters , Providing an Overview of the “ten/20 Challenge”
Jo Walks, Project Manager for the Canadian Manufactures and Exporters (CME) provided an outline of the Accessibility Initiative called the “ten/20 Challenge”. The goal of the initiative is for CME member businesses to commit to having 10 per cent of new hires be persons with disabilities by 2020. Many CME member businesses are having difficulties filling vacant positions and the project, designed to reach out to the broader community inclusive of persons with disabilities, is seen as one means of responding to labour market shortages.
Jo Walks explained that the CME member businesses that participate will have access to resources to help develop recruitment plans, accommodation strategies, sensitivity training, mentorship linkages, internships, as well as information regarding subsidies and incentives. The aforementioned list is captured in the phraseology “R3A3”, the three “R”s being Recruit, Retrain and Retain and the three “A”s being Accessibility, Accommodation and Awareness. Further information regarding this program can be obtained from the ten20action.ca website.
h. Stephen G. Largy, Program Manager, Mississauga Practice Firm for Persons with Disabilities ,Providing an Introduction to the Program
Stephen G. Largy, Program Manager for the Mississauga Practice Firm for Persons with Disabilities introduced the concept behind the “practice firm”. It was designed to provide hands-on work experience through a simulated business that interacts with other simulated businesses or practice firms. Currently there are 5,500 practice firms worldwide with 46 in Canada. The Mississauga practice firm is the only firm in the simulated economy that is focused on providing services to persons with disabilities. The firm provides an opportunity for an individual to practice their skills, obtain current work experience, exposure to an office environment and to build marketable references within the Canadian marketplace.
Stephen G. Largy identified the eligibility requirements for participants as follows: 16 years of age or older; currently unemployed; newcomer to Canada or recent graduate lacking experience; and/or a person with a disability changing work fields or returning to work after an absence. Program participants are expected to have proven skills, experience, basic computing, a realistic employment target and a strong desire to work. Persons interested may apply directly to the practice firm or be referred by Ontario Works. Further information about the program can be obtained from the signofthetime.ca website.
i. R. Kent Gillespie, Commissioner of Corporate Services and Regional Solicitor – Departmental Event Co-Sponsor, Region of Peel, Closing Remarks on behalf of the Region of Peel Accessibility Planning Program and the Region of Peel Accessibility Planning Steering Committee
R. Kent Gillespie thanked each of the three speakers and all who attended the event for their interest and participation. Members of Regional and the area municipal Councils in attendance were recognized and thanked for taking the time to attend the 2007 International Day of Disabled Persons event at the Region of Peel. He also acknowledged the support for the event received from Laura Nashman, Commissioner of Employee and Business Services, the 2007 Region of Peel departmental event co-sponsor. R. Kent Gillespie reminded all in attendance of the opportunity to network immediately after the meeting noting that the three guest speakers would be available to take further questions upon conclusion of the formal meeting.
6. REPORTS - Nil
7. REPORT FROM THE ACCESSIBILITY PLANNING COORDINATORS
a. Colleen Grant, Town Prosecutor and Solicitor, Town of Caledon (Oral)
Deferred to the January 29, 2008 AAC meeting
b. Meenu Sikand, Accessibility Planning Specialist, Region of Peel (Oral)
Meenu Sikand highlighted additional events taking place at the Region of Peel to celebrate the 2007 IDDP. Further details are available on the Making Way page of the peelregion.ca website.
8. REPORT OF THE ACCESSIBILITY ADVISORY COMMITTEE CHAIR
a. William Goursky, Chair and Naz Husain, Vice-Chair, Joint Peel-Caledon Accessibility Advisory Committee, Closing Remarks
In conclusion, AAC Chair, William Goursky and Vice-Chair Naz Husain expressed appreciation to the guest speakers for their participation in the fourth Region of Peel International Day of Disabled Persons (IDDP) event and thanked all who attended the meeting. The importance of the 2007 IDDP theme, “Decent Work for Persons with Disabilities”, was recapped through the messages delivered by each of the guest speakers who addressed public, private and not-for-profit sector programs and initiatives which highlight positives steps being taken to improve labour market opportunities for persons with disabilities.
9. OTHER BUSINESS - Nil
10. NEXT MEETING
Tuesday, January 29, 2008
1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Council Chamber, 5th floor
Regional Administrative Headquarters
10 Peel Centre Drive
The meeting adjourned at 2:45 p.m.