|March 25, 2008 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 and Members|
ACCESSIBILITY ADVISORY COMMITTEE (AAC)
The Joint Peel-Caledon Accessibility Advisory
Committee met on March 25, 2008 at 1:00 p.m. in the Council Chamber, Regional Administrative Headquarters, 10 Peel Centre Drive, Brampton.
|Members Present:||H. Bajwa*; G. Barnes; W. Goursky; S. Hames; N. Husain; E. Kolb*¨; S. McFadden; R. Paterak; J. Spry|
|Members Absent:||J. Hardman; M. Tymkow|
R. K. Gillespie, Commissioner of Corporate Services and Regional Solicitor; C. Gravlev, Regional Clerk and Director of Clerk’s; S. Fisher, Acting Accessibility Planning Specialist; V. Montesdeoca, 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 1:00 p.m. and welcomed everyone present.
2. APPROVAL OF MINUTES
That the minutes of the February 26, 2008 Joint Peel-Caledon Accessibility Advisory Committee meeting be approved.
3. APPROVAL OF AGENDA
That a communication item regarding Direct Engagement Inc. (DEI) Roundtable on Chronic Pain Epidemic, be added to the agenda to be dealt with under Communication Items - Item 4d;
And further, that an item be added under Other Business – Item 9a regarding the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities;
And further, that an item be added under Other Business – Item 9b regarding the Joint Peel-Caledon Accessibility Advisory Committee Recommendations and Staff Directions Status Report;
And further, that the agenda for the March 25, 2008 Joint Peel-Caledon Accessibility Advisory Committee meeting be approved, as amended.
4. COMMUNICATION ITEMS
a. City of Welland Accessibility Advisory Committee, Bulletin and Registration Form for the 2008 Intermunicipal Accessibility Symposium
Various members of the Committee expressed interest in the 2008 Intermunicipal Accessibility Symposium to be held in the City of Welland on Saturday, May 10, 2008, however, the event is scheduled on the same day as the Connections 2008 Resource Fair for Persons with Disabilities and will make it difficult for members to attend. Susan Fisher, Acting Accessibility Planning Specialist, Region of Peel suggested that a transcript or audio recording of the speakers may be available and offered to look into this option.
b. Cheri Cowan, Clerk, Town of Caledon, Letter dated February 29, 2008, Attaching Town of Caledon Resolution W-031-2008 Adopting the Terms of Reference of the Accessibility Advisory Committee - Caledon
Naz Husain, Vice-Chair, Joint Peel-Caledon Accessibility Advisory Committee (AAC) inquired as to representation from the Town of Caledon on the Joint Peel-Caledon Accessibility Advisory Committeewith the formation of Caledon’s own AAC. Richard Paterak, Regional Councillor stated that there will continue to be representation from the Town of Caledon on the Region of Peel AAC. Councillor Paterak also indicated that there has not been a strong response to the call for membership for the Caledon AAC. Jan Spry suggested contacting the Caledon Lions Club for volunteers. R. Kent Gillespie, Commissioner of Corporate Services and Regional Solicitor further clarified that the Caledon AAC needs to be established in order for any changes, such as separation from the Joint Peel-Caledon Accessibility Advisory Committee, to occur.
c. Toronto Star, Article dated March 17, 2008, titled “Budget to Offer Hotline Aid”
See also Presentations - Item 5a
H. Bajwa arrived at 1:07 p.m.
E. Kolb, Regional Chair, arrived at 1:08 p.m.
Additional Item – 4d:
d. Direct Engagement Inc. (DEI), Peer-to-Peer Roundtables Bulletin titled “Chronic Pain Epidemic”
Glenn Barnes informed the members of the Committee of the roundtable event that will be held on March 26, 2008. He advised that the topic at the roundtable will be Chronic Pain Management. Glenn Barnes noted that such roundtable sessions provided by Direct Engagement Inc. are very informative and encouraged members to visit the website at www.directengagement.com for future events. He indicated that anyone interested in attending can contact him for tickets.
a. Karla Hale, Manager, Customer Contact Centre, Region of Peel, Providing an Update on the Region of Peel 211 and 311 Initiatives
See also Communications - Item 4c
Karla Hale, Manager, Customer Contact Centre, Region of Peel, provided an overview of the 2-1-1 service for Peel, which will be launched publicly in May and encouraged users to test the service by calling 2-1-1 and by visiting the web-site at www.211Ontario.ca. She indicated that the service, provided by the Region’s Customer Contact Centre is an easy to remember number that brings people and services together. Callers are connected to trained Information and Referral Specialists who will provide information for non-emergency community, government, social and health information. The service will assist in connecting callers to the appropriate point of contact according to the caller’s needs as well as reduce the number of misdirected calls to 9-1-1. Over 50 per cent of Ontario will receive the 2-1-1 service by May 2008.
Jan Spry inquired as to what were typical calls received by the 2-1-1 service. Karla Hale responded that a full spectrum of calls have been received, such as, information on long term care facilities; employment opportunities; job placement; and so on. She informed that the database contains information on approximately 1600 agencies. One of the ongoing challenges will be to keep the information up-to-date and relevant.
Glenn Barnes questioned how many calls were received during the testing phase and how many calls were anticipated when the service is launched in May. Karla Hale responded that an average of 500 calls per month were received and it is anticipated that the number will double once the service is launched.
Naz Husain inquired if individuals answering the 2-1-1 calls were given special training, in particular as it relates to people with disabilities. Karla Hale replied that call centre staff have been trained to deal with issues such as suicide, but reiterated that the Information Specialists were not trained counsellors; the 2-1-1 service is a resource where information can be obtained. Naz Husain further expressed her interest in participating on the 2-1-1 Advisory Group.
William Goursky inquired if Community Information Partners Peel will be notified of information that does not exist in the database. Karla Hale responded that a protocol to address these types of gaps will be established through the advisory group. She also indicated that one of the undertakings of the advisory group will be to carry out a survey and follow-up on calls to ensure caller needs have been addressed.
b. Lisa Jones, Transportation Accessibility Specialist, Environment, Transportation and Planning Services Department, Region of Peel, Providing an Update on the Accessible Transportation Coordination Office
Lisa Jones, Transportation Accessibility Specialist, Environment, Transportation and Planning Services Department, Region of Peel, provided a brief overview on the Accessible Transportation Coordination Office. Lisa Jones advised that she was hired in 2005 to design and implement the family of services model for transportation for people with disabilities who do not meet the eligibility criteria for TransHelp. It includes, but is not limited to, individuals with intellectual disabilities; children with autism; people with Alzheimer’s; and individuals with visual and hearing impairments, among others. She provided further information on a program currently being worked on in the Accessible Transportation Coordination Office , the Passenger Assistant Program. This program, in partnership with the Red Cross, is geared towards individuals who are not able to travel alone and require some type of assistance or attention during travel. The program is designed to alleviate stress for families and caregivers who need to transport an individual who is not eligible for conventional transportation. The scheduled roll-out date for the pilot phase of the program will be April 1, 2008. Training for passenger assistants will be coordinated with the Red Cross and protocols and processes will be established before any vehicles are placed on the road. During the pilot phase, the Red Cross will be leasing one vehicle to transport people. She anticipates vehicle acquisition by August, 2008 or September, 2008. Two trips will be made in the morning and two in the afternoon, to pick up and drop off persons in a clustered geographical area which remains to be determined. At this point there is a broad eligibility criteria for the service, which includes: ineligibility for TransHelp, required passenger assistance during travel and the client must have no other feasible way of attending a day program. The eligibility criteria will need to be reviewed and fine-tuned as the program evolves and develops. Pre-registration forms will be sent out for preliminary route planning.
Councillor Sandra Hames commented on the future requirement of this service becoming a joint venture with the local area municipalities and inquired if any discussions have taken place with them. Lisa Jones indicated that she is working with the local area municipalities on other program areas to enhance and increase accessibility of their services to persons with disabilities. She further commented that there will always be a small group of people who will require specialized or enhanced services that go beyond the services that conventional transit is able to provide.
Naz Husain suggested that this specialized service be grouped under one of the services currently available, so as not to create a system with three separate tiers: conventional transportation, TransHelp and the Passenger Assistant Program. She indicated that a long-term approach must be considered and expressed concerns as to how this new service will be funded. Lisa Jones responded that the program will be operating similar to TransHelp, but in a more supportive manner and noted that in the future the Accessible Transportation Coordination Office may become a branch or sub-section of TransHelp. Lisa Jones advised that the major challenge the conventional transit providers face, is that they are unsure of how to serve the needs of persons with disabilities in an effective and meaningful way. She stated that integration is a key factor for these services to be carried out effectively.
Glenn Barnes applauded the work being undertaken by Lisa Jones and the Accessible Transportation Coordination Office. He commented that he will be attending his first Accessible Transportation Standards Development Committee meeting and explained that there is a division between the transit service providers and the group representing people with disabilities. He outlined the challenge of creating a service and standard that will appeal to both groups and at the same time meet the funding requirements. Glenn Barnes used the example of the monthly pass created for TransHelp users, stating that conventional service users were able to receive a tax credit, which TransHelp users can now take advantage of. He indicated his intention of proposing to Brampton and Mississauga Transit that the TransHelp monthly pass be temporarily accepted on their routes as a way to encourage travellers to use conventional transit services.
Regional Chair Kolb reminded members that there will be situations in which conventional transit services will not be a feasible option, especially during severe winters where snow removal services may not be readily available, making it difficult for people with disabilities to get around. He noted that integration is crucial, however, special requirements will need to be recognized.
William Goursky inquired if there was a role for the Joint Peel-Caledon Accessibility Advisory Committee in assisting with accessible transportation options. Lisa Jones responded that the Committee has a strong network resource that can be used to advocate for conventional transit and convey the message. She anticipated requesting AAC assistance in a video currently being designed to alleviate fears of persons with disabilities who wish to travel on conventional transit.
Jan Spry informed that she uses conventional transit due to the flexible time schedule the service provides. She suggested that transit operators be trained to assist people with disabilities and shared her experience with an operator that was not empathetic to her needs. Naz Husain suggested that perhaps some members of the Committee assist with the training. Lisa Jones offered to bring these concerns to her next meeting with Brampton Transit.
Lisa Jones advised that an advisory committee will need to be formed and should include representation from the Joint Peel-Caledon Accessibility Advisory Committee. Naz Husain suggested that a person with a visual impairment should be included on this committee.
6. REPORTS - Nil
7. REPORT FROM THE ACCESSIBILITY PLANNING COORDINATORS
a. Colleen Grant, Town Prosecutor and Solicitor, Town of Caledon (Oral)
Deferred to the April 22, 2008 AAC meeting
b. Susan Fisher, Acting Accessibility Planning Specialist, Region of Peel
Susan Fisher, Acting Accessibility Planning Specialist, Region of Peel, inquired if members had received any information regarding an upcoming Joint Municipal meeting which was hosted by the Region of Peel in 2007. She noted that she had spoken to the Accessibility Coordinator at the City of Mississauga, but the only information received thus far is that the City of Brampton will be hosting the meeting for 2008. Councillor Hames offered to bring this to the Brampton AAC and will follow up.
Susan Fisher reminded the committee members that a table will need to be coordinated for the 2008 Peel Children’s Water Festival. William Goursky noted that a plan was provided to the Festival Committee with various suggestions. He stated that he was looking into a few options and will provide the staffing for the AAC display table at this event.
STAFF DIRECTION AAC-03-2008-1:
Susan Fisher, Acting Accessibility Planning Specialist, Region of Peel, was requested to ensure that a display table is available for the 2008 Peel Children’s Water Festival for the Joint Peel-Caledon Accessibility Advisory Committee.
8. REPORT OF THE ACCESSIBILITY ADVISORY COMMITTEE CHAIR AND MEMBERS
a. William Goursky, Chair, Joint Peel-Caledon Accessibility Advisory Committee (AAC), Providing an Update Regarding Activities of the Universal Design Subcommittee (Oral)
William Goursky provided an update regarding activities of the Universal Design Subcommittee. He indicated that a subcommittee meeting had not taken place as yet, however, he participated in a meeting with Chris Bullock, Manager of Development and Construction, Employee and Business Services, Region of Peel and John D’Angelo, President, Martinway Contracting. William Goursky reported that the universal design guidelines were reviewed and finalized, and will be further analyzed for costs and specifications in determining how much more funding, if any, will be required. He noted that some funding will be provided by the corporate sector. It is anticipated that a final version of the guidelines will be brought forward to the May 20th AAC meeting for endorsement.
E. Kolb, Regional Chair, departed at 2:19 p.m.
b. William Goursky, Chair, Joint Peel-Caledon Accessibility Advisory Committee (AAC), Providing Highlights of the Upcoming Connections 2008 Resource Fair for Persons with Disabilities, May 9-10, 2008 (Oral)
William Goursky advised that a display table is available for the AAC Committee at the Connections 2008 Resource Fair for Persons with Disabilities. The Fair will be held at the Living Arts Centre in Mississauga on Friday, May 9 and Saturday, May 10, 2008. The following members volunteered to assist at the display table: Harvinder Bajwa; William Goursky, Naz Husain and Jan Spry.
STAFF DIRECTION AAC-03-2008-2:
Susan Fisher, Acting Accessibility Planning Specialist, Region of Peel, was requested to contact Jim Hardman and Maureen Tymkow to inquire about their availabili ty for the Connections 2008 Resource Fair for Persons with Disabilities .
c. Naz Husain, Vice-Chair, Joint Peel-Caledon Accessibility Advisory Committee (AAC), Providing an Update on Accessibility Standards (Oral)
Naz Husain advised that she and Susan Fisher attended a workshop on the Customer Service Standards, provided by the Association of Municipal Managers, Clerks and Treasurers of Ontario (AMCTO). She indicated that two to three aspects of training were reviewed for implementation. One of the key aspects was to review policies, practices and procedures to determine areas for improvement and enhancement as they relate to accessibility. Some areas for consideration include: how to deal with customers that use assisted devices and policies regarding customers that use service animals for assistance. She noted that policies with regard to training need to be addressed and suggested perhaps working with the Human Resources Department to bring this forward. She also suggested utilizing the tools that will be provided by the Ontario Ministry of Community and Social Services, however, information is still pending as to what training tools will be available.
Charlotte Gravlev, Regional Clerk, clarified that although there is little information being provided by the Ministry, the Region is at the stage of developing the Project Charter for the Region of Peel project related to the implementation of the standards. The Charter will contain a policy component as well as a training component that will target all areas providing direct customer service.
d. William Goursky, Chair, Joint Peel-Caledon Accessibility Advisory Committee (AAC), Advising of the Change in Location for the August 19, 2008 AAC Meeting (Oral)
William Goursky advised that due to renovations taking place in the Council Chamber, the August 19, 2008 AAC meeting will be relocated to the 5th Floor Boardroom, 10 Peel Centre Dr., Brampton.
9. OTHER BUSINESS
a. United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
William Goursky provided an update on the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, celebrating its first anniversary in 2008. This convention is considered the first human rights treaty of the 21st century and is celebrated as a victory for the disabled rights community. It was noted that it is not sufficient to pass legislation to protect the rights of people with disabilities, but more notable changes need to be made as a collective to improve the quality of life for the disabled.
b. Joint Peel-Caledon Accessibility Advisory Committee Recommendations and Staff Directions Status Report
William Goursky reviewed with the Committee members the outstanding items listed in the status report and updates were made accordingly. In response to one of the items listed in the report regarding accessible parking spaces, Councillor Sandra Hames informed that the City of Brampton has assigned a By-law Officer to specifically review and inspect parking lots for violation of accessible parking requirements. She requested that members of the AAC Committee report any infractions to the Traffic and Parking By-law office.
William Goursky encouraged members of the Committee to review the report which provides evidence of the hard work and accomplishments of the AAC Committee.
c. International Women’s Day
Harvinder Bajwa reported that she had attended an event in celebration of International Women’s Day. She indicated that presentations were given on three topics: Positive Images of Disability, the Role of Women as Caregivers, and Parenting with a Disability. She indicated that the event was very interesting and informative and created further awareness specifically on women and disability.
10. NEXT MEETING
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Council Chamber, 5th floor
Regional Administrative Headquarters
10 Peel Centre Drive
The meeting adjourned at 2:50 p.m.