2009-2010 Accessibility Plan

Ministry of Revenue
2009-2010 Accessibility Plan
Published: December 2009
Content last reviewed: December 2009
ISSN: 1918-5626

Introduction

The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 sets out the roadmap to make Ontario accessible by 2025. Under this act, accessibility standards are being developed and implemented to break down barriers in key areas of everyday life.

These standards will increase accessibility for people with disabilities in the areas of customer service, information and communications, employment, transportation and the built environment.

The Government of Ontario is preparing to lead the way towards an accessible province, beginning in January 2010 when the first standard — for customer service — comes into force.

Each year, the government sets the course to prevent, identify and remove barriers through annual accessibility plans required under the Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2001 (ODA).

Building on last year's plan, the 2009-10 accessibility plans will continue moving the Ministry of Revenue towards the goal of an accessible province for all Ontarians.

The Ministry of Revenue Accessibility Committee established in July 2008 has prepared a plan to move the ministry to compliance with the Accessibility Standards for Customer Service. This plan identifies all the necessary steps which have to be implemented and the requirements of each of these steps have been specified in detail.

Implementation of the plan has begun and substantial progress has been made already. For example, some 69% of all ministry employees have completed their training in accessibility customer service as of September 2009. The required public notices have been drafted as well as procedures for temporary service disruptions, alternate formats and feedback. In addition, a training policy has been prepared and the communications plan is being implemented.

An executive summary of all Government of Ontario Ministry Accessibility Plans is available on the Ministry of Community and Social Services website.

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Report on Status of Customer Service Requirements

Focus Area:Customer Service

Impact: Service

Commitment: Ongoing. Ministry of Revenue commits to meeting the requirements of the Accessibility Standards for Customer Service in keeping with Ontario's legal and policy frameworks.

Planned Actions: Ministry of Revenue will develop a plan that will provide direction for the ministry in meeting the requirements of the Accessibility Standards for Customer Service.

The ministry will establish an Accessibility Committee with representatives from across the ministry which will include specialists in Information Technology, Communications, Financial Planning, Legal, and Facilities Management to assist in the implementation of the plan.

Implementation Time Frame: September 2007 – March 2010.

Results Achieved: The Ministry of Revenue Accessibility Committee established in July 2008 has prepared a plan to move the ministry to compliance with the Accessibility Standards for Customer Service. This plan identifies all the necessary steps which have to be implemented and the requirements of each of these steps have been specified in detail.

Implementation of the plan has begun and substantial progress has been made already. For example, some 69% of all ministry employees have completed their training in accessible customer service as of September 2009. Audit is a key activity of the ministry. The Audit Handbook has been revised to ensure that it is consistent with the principles of the AODA and has been made available to all auditors.1

The required public notices have been drafted as well as procedures for temporary service disruptions, alternate formats and feedback. In addition, a training policy has been prepared and the communications plan is being implemented.

The ministry is confident that it will comply with the Accessibility Standards for Customer Service not only in a timely manner, but also in one that meets both the spirit and intent of the AODA and the expectations of the public. To ensure that it continues to do so, the ministry will monitor its own performance in this area and initiate changes to improve customer service. As well, there will be an on-going review of accessible customer service and changes will be made to improve the delivery of accessible customer service by the ministry.


Focus Area: Customer Service.

Impact: Service

Commitment: Ongoing Ministry of Revenue will implement training in accordance with the requirements1 of the Accessibility Standards for Customer Service.

Planned Actions: Ministry of Revenue will develop and implement a training plan to meet the training requirements for accessible customer service. Training will be offered on a number of topics as outlined in the Accessibility Standards for Customer Service.

Ministry of Revenue will continue to promote to new and existing employees, the online e-learning course offered by the OPS Centre for Leadership and Learning entitled, "May I Help You? Welcoming Customers with Disabilities". This e-learning course has been promoted within the Ontario Public Service as containing key elements which address some of the topics as outlined in the Accessibility Standards for Customer Service.

Ministry of Revenue will provide a resource list on its accessibility intranet page of available training options related to accessible customer service as these become available.

Implementation Timeframe: January 2009 – March 2010.

Results Achieved: A training plan has been developed and implemented. In April 2009 the ministry made mandatory the training of all employees in accessible customer service. The introductory course (May I Help You? Welcoming Customers With Disabilities) has been supplemented by two others which go into the nature of the subject matter in rather more detail. In addition, all ministry managers have to take two courses which address the subject matter from their perspective in relation to their staff. The second course is new and will help broaden their empathy in this field.

The completion of all training is monitored and reported on as required. Training will be provided on an ongoing basis in connection with changes to the policies, practices and procedures governing the provision of goods or services to persons with disabilities.


Focus Area: Customer Service.

Impact: Service

Commitment: Ongoing Ministry of Revenue commits to continuing to ensure that its meetings are accessible to persons with disabilities.

Planned Actions: Ministry of Revenue will continue to raise awareness amongst its employees of the OPS guidelines for planning accessible events.

Implementation Timeframe: September 2007 – March 2010.

Results Achieved: Ministry of Revenue has communicated the OPS guidelines for planning accessible events on its accessibility intranet site.

A new accessibility webpage has been created and implemented. This will help disseminate awareness and knowledge of accessible customer service.


Focus Area: Customer Service.

Impact: Service

Commitment: Completed (January 2009 – December 2009) Revise the Audit Handbook to ensure that it is consistent with the principles of the AODA. Audit is a key activity of the ministry.

Planned Actions: Review the AODA, the OPS Accessible Customer Service Policy and OPS Accessibility Guideline. Revise the Audit Handbook to ensure that it is consistent with the principles of the AODA and make this available to all auditors.

Implementation Timeframe: January 2009 – December 2009

Results Achieved: The Audit Handbook has been revised to ensure that it is consistent with the principles of the AODA and has been made available to all auditors.

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Report on Other Accessibility Commitments

Accessibility Improvement Initiatives to Identify, Remove or Prevent Barriers in preparation for AODA standards currently under development

Focus Area: Employment

Impact: Program

Commitment: Ongoing. Ministry of Revenue will promote career and leadership opportunities to employees in the feeder group to senior management who self-identify as persons with disabilities.

Planned Actions: Ministry of Revenue will develop and implement a ministry-specific diversity mentoring partnership program which offers mentoring opportunities with senior management for persons in feeder groups to senior management. Those eligible for the program would include persons with disabilities.

Implementation Timeframe: September 2007 – March 2010

Results Achieved: Ministry of Revenue developed and implemented a Diversity Mentoring Partnership Program in July 2008 which includes persons with disabilities. The ministry will evaluate the effectiveness of the program to determine its value.

The MOR/MOF Diversity Mentoring Program completed its 1-year pilot in August and a program evaluation is presently being conducted to determine its overall effectiveness and next steps.


Focus Area: Employment

Impact: Program

Commitment: Ongoing. Ministry of Revenue will continue to train new managers in accommodating job applicants through its mandatory management curriculum. Training will include information on the ODA/AODA and accommodating employees with disabilities. Ministry of Revenue will also continue to roll-out the ODA training packages and incorporate relevant material into the existing instructor led "Customer Service" course to ministry front line staff.

Planned Actions: Through its Management Curriculum, Ministry of Revenue will continue to ensure that new managers are made aware of the requirement to accommodate employees who are persons with disabilities and the ODA/AODA.

Ministry of Revenue will continue to roll-out the ODA training packages and incorporate relevant material into existing Customer Service Course to ministry front line staff.

Implementation Timeframe: September 2007 – March 2010

Results Achieved: Ministry of Revenue's Management Development Program raised awareness of employment accommodation among its newly appointed managers through its module on the OPS Employment Accommodation and Return to Work Policy. Effective October 2009, the MOR/MOF Management Development Program has been replaced by HROntario's mandatory, two-day management program entitled Management Foundations Program. Employee Accommodation and Return to Work information is available through Management Foundations as well as CFLL's Labour Relations in the OPS.

The ministry also offers an instructor led course through its Learning Centre and has now added appropriate references to the ODA within the course, which is offered on an as required basis.

All ministry managers now have to take two courses ("Maximizing the Contributions of Employees with Disabilities" and "Differences Matter: Diversity Foundations") which address the subject matter from their perspective in relation to their staff.


Focus Area: Employment

Impact: Program

Commitment: Ongoing. Ministry of Revenue, in consultation with the Regional Recruitment Centres, will explore the use of outreach strategies to recruit persons with disabilities.

Planned Actions: Ministry of Revenue's managers will work with Regional Recruitment Centres to utilize outreach strategies to recruit persons with disabilities and to participate fully in initiatives which raise awareness of barriers to employment.

Implementation Timeframe: September 2007 &ndash March 2010.

Results Achieved: The Regional Recruitment Centres provide advice and assistance on accessibility issues to hiring managers for individual requests. The Ministry of Revenue will continue to identify opportunities to explore the use of outreach strategies to recruit persons with disabilities.

Ministry of Revenue managers also participated with the Regional Recruitment Centres to provide outreach strategies at career fairs targeted for youth.


Focus Area: Information & Communications

Impact: Service

Commitment: Ongoing. Ministry of Revenue commits to continuing to provide accessible electronic information and rich media (audio/video) to internal and external clients/customers.

Planned Actions: Ministry of Revenue's web team will continue to provide electronic information and rich media externally and internally in accessible formats. The team will continue to keep themselves up-to-date on Internet trends and technologies that affect the accessibility of electronic information.

The ministry will include resource tools and educational materials on accessible formats on its accessibility intranet webpage and continue to raise awareness of the needs of staff who have visual impairments when memos or documents are circulated by e-mail within the ministry or OPS-wide.

Implementation Timeframe: September 2007 – March 2011

Results Achieved: The Ministry of Revenue's web page content and linked documents are all accessible according to the current OPS standards and generally accepted international standards.

The web team and new employees continue to receive training on accessible electronic issues and keep abreast of new developments and standards.


Focus Area: Information & Communications

Impact: Service

Commitment: Ongoing. Ministry of Revenue will continue to ensure that its publications are available in alternate formats.

Planned Actions: Ministry of Revenue ODA and AODA Planning Lead will continue to be the ministry's contact person for advice and guidance on ODA and AODA issues, and is responsible for liaising with Publications Ontario to arrange for the production of alternative format documents as required.

Implementation Timeframe: September 2007 – March 2010.

Results Achieved: Previously, the Ministry of Revenue ODA and AODA Planning Lead arranged to obtain alternative formats from ServiceOntario Publications upon request. The new arrangement is for the branch or unit receiving the request for an alternate format to arrange to obtain this from ServiceOntario Publications directly, following procedures developed in implementing the accessibility standards.

The Ministry of Revenue ODA and AODA Planning Lead continues to provide advice and guidance on ODA and AODA issues.


Focus Area: Built Environment

Impact: Policy

Commitment: Ongoing. Where Ontario Reality Corporation (ORC) is undertaking capital work to buildings they own, the Ministry of Revenue will work with ORC to ensure there is compliance with ODA requirements.

Planned Actions: Where new floor space is acquired and where existing floor space is renovated, the Ministry of Revenue, Facilities Management Services will work with ORC to comply with ODA requirements.

Implementation Timeframe: September 2007 – March 2010.

Results Achieved: Ministry of Revenue, Facilities Management Services continues to work with ORC to implement ODA requirements where new floor space was acquired and existing floor space was renovated within ministry premises.

As ORC undertakes capital work, ORC has committed that Facilities Management Services will be a key member of the project team. This approach was used for the elevator upgrades completed at Frost Complex where current built environment standards were met.


Focus Area: Built Environment

Impact: Service

Commitment: Ongoing. Ministry of Revenue will determine if there are an adequate number of open passage wheelchair accessible meeting areas at its ministry premises to meet its needs.

Planned Actions: Ministry of Revenue, Facilities Management Services will compile and communicate information on its inventory of open passage wheelchair accessible meeting areas within ministry locations. As part of its ongoing services, Facilities Management Services will respond as necessary to any additional requests for these rooms to meet ministry's needs.

Implementation Timeframe: September 2007 – March 2010.

Results Achieved: As work was completed on meeting rooms at various ministry locations, wheelchair accessibility was taken into consideration in the design of the space.


Focus Area: Built Environment

Impact: Service

Commitment: Ongoing. Ministry of Revenue, Facilities Management Services will continue to assess the functionality of devices which provide access for persons with disabilities within ministry premises, e.g., power door actuators, against available accessibility building standards, pending release of the AODA Built Environment standards.

Planned Actions: Facilities Management Services will review all ministry premises and include the following activities:

  1. Review existing access control devices within ministry premises to determine if upgrading to a multi-functional device is warranted.
  2. Where new devices are to be installed within ministry premises, Facilities Management Services will specify devices which are compliant with standards under the American Disabilities Act (ADA) until the release of future AODA standards.

These projects will be completed as new projects arise at each location.

Implementation Timeframe: September 2007 – March 2010.

Results Achieved: Existing access control devices were upgraded at the London and Ottawa Tax Offices, and in areas within the building at 33 King Street in Oshawa in an effort to meet future accessibility standards.


Focus Area: Built Environment

Impact: Service

Commitment: New. Ministry of Revenue Compliance Programs Division (CPD) will demonstrate a commitment to serving persons with disabilities who require accessible facilities.

Planned Actions: Compliance Programs Division will review the gap analysis data for Revenue's regional offices and determine the locations which may require additional accessible facilities to make the space more accessible to persons with disabilities. These requirements will be forwarded to Facilities Management Services for its review.

Implementation Timeframe: September 2009 – March 2011.

Results Achieved: Facilities Management Services will review the gap analysis results to validate the new requirements. As necessary Facilities Management Services will prepare recommendations and determine funding needs.


Focus Area: Built Environment

Impact: Service

Commitment: New. Where new floor space is acquired and where existing floor space is renovated, the Ministry of Revenue, Facilities Management Services, will work with ORC to comply with ODA requirements.

Planned Actions: Ministry of Revenue will incorporate into the design of new or renovated floor space proposed built environment standards.

Implementation Timeframe: September 2009 – March 2011.

Results Achieved: Too early to report

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For More Information

Questions or comments about the ministry's accessibility plan are always welcome.

Please phone: 1-866 ONT-TAXS (1-866-668-8297)
Teletypewriter (TTY): 1 800 263-7776
E-mail: feedback.rev@ontario.ca
Ministry website address: ontario.ca/finance

Visit the Ministry of Community and Social Services Accessibility Ontario web portal at: www.mcss.gov.on.ca/accessibility. The site promotes accessibility and provides information and resources on how to make Ontario a barrier-free province.

Alternate formats of this document are available free upon request from:

ServiceOntario Publications
777 Bay Street, Suite M212, Market Level
Toronto ON  M5G 2C8

Tel: 416 326-5300 or toll-free: 1 800 668-9938
Teletypewriter (TTY): 1 800 268-7095
Website: www.serviceontario.ca/publications

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1 To view the regulation (AODA) which specifies the requirements of the Accessibility Standards for Customer Service go to ontario.ca/e-laws and click on "Current Consolidated Law" and do a keyword search for "429/07".

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