: 2014 Accessibility Plan

Table of Contents

 

Executive Summary

Inclusion and accessibility, continues to be embedded into the work of the Ministry of Finance (MOF). This annual accessibility plan provides MOF with the opportunity to highlight how the ministry is working to embed inclusion into all programs, practices and policies.

MOF strives to be an inclusive organization that delivers excellent public service to the people of Ontario and enables all employees to achieve their full potential. It recognizes that good public service is inclusive and accessible public service.

Becoming an inclusive organization necessitates, among other things, becoming an accessible organization. Efforts around accessibility, as well as mental health, diversity and health and wellness, will support the ministry in becoming more inclusive.

Over the past year, the Ministry of Finance has made strides towards becoming a more accessible and inclusive organization. The ministry continued to not only meet its obligations under both the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) through the Customer Service Standards and the Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulations (IASR), but acted as a leader within the organization by designing and implementing an audit of its accessibility practices, among other things.

Although progress has been made, there is still more work to be done. As outlined in this year’s Accessibility Plan, the ministry continues to move towards a more accessible and inclusive organization, as well as to provide more accessible and inclusive services. Each of the commitments, outlined below for 2014-2015, bring the ministry closer to its goal of becoming an inclusive organization that delivers excellent public service to the people of Ontario and enables all employees to achieve their full potential.

Introduction

Under the Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2001 (ODA), ministries are required to produce, and make available to the public, annual plans that identify how ministries will identify and remove barriers to accessibility.

The ODA Accessibility Plan (the Plan) is an opportunity to showcase our ministry’s accomplishments and to demonstrate how we are modeling compliance with our regulated accessibility requirements.

In 2010, the Ministry of Finance began complying with the first accessibility standard established under the AODA - Accessibility Standards for Customer Service. In 2011, the Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation (IASR) was introduced, establishing phased-in requirements in the following accessibility standards:

  • Information and Communications;
  • Employment;
  • Transportation; and,
  • Design of Public Spaces

Each year, the Ontario Public Service (OPS) as an obligated organization, confirms its compliance with the requirements of these standards to the Accessibility Directorate of Ontario. The Plan provides an opportunity for our ministry to go beyond confirming compliance with these regulated minimum requirements. Specifically, the Plan allows us to highlight the measures taken by our ministry to identify and remove barriers in the previous year while proposing measures for the coming year that will make our ministry more accessible.

The IASR establishes that obligated organizations, shall create and maintain a multi-year accessibility plan (MYAP) that outlines the organization’s strategies to prevent and remove barriers to accessibility. To meet the MYAP requirement, the OPS released Leading the Way Forward in 2012.

Organizations are also required to develop an annual status report that highlights progress in advancing the MYAP strategy and in meeting the requirements of the IASR. In 2013, the OPS released its first Annual Status Report, highlighting progress made in 2012.

The Ministry of Finance’s 2014 ODA Plan demonstrates how the measures our ministry has  taken in the past and proposed for the coming years support the key outcomes and deliverables of the of the MYAP.

To access the Ministry of Finance’s and other ministries’ 2014 ODA Accessibility Plans, visit Ontario.ca.

Section One: Report on Measures Taken by Ministry in 2014

The following section outlines outcomes identified in the Multiyear Accessibility Plan and the Ministry of Finance’s 2013-2014 accessibility commitments. The ministry’s accomplishments for 2014 are listed under each commitment.

Customer Service

MYAP Key Outcome

People with disabilities who are OPS customers receive quality goods and services in a timely manner.

Measures Taken by Ministry of Finance in 2014

Accessible Customer Service

2013-2014 Commitment: The Ministry will continue to ensure that new employees are trained on Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation (IASR) and the Ontario Human Rights Code (OHRC) requirements.

  • Ministry staff received information on mandatory training requirements through a variety of means including memos and in ministry orientation packages.
  • All ministry employees have been required to complete the IASR training on information and communication standards, as well as additional training courses.
  • As of September 2014, almost 100 per cent of the ministry’s staff have completed the mandatory IASR courses. These courses provided staff members with information on their role in providing accessible customer service. Managers continue to follow up with staff members who have not completed the mandatory training requirements.
  • As of September 2014, all ministry staff had completed the “May I Help You” e-learning course. 64 per cent of staff had completed the “May I Help You: Supplementary” course. Although not required by the OPS, the ministry has recognised the importance of this information and has made these modules mandatory for all staff.

2013-2014 Commitment: Selected staff will be required to take a new e-learning course on the Information and Communications. Managers will also be required to complete the on-line course on Employment Standards.

  • All ministry management and human resources staff were required to complete the IASR training on employment standards.
  • The ministry continues to track and monitor compliance with the commitment to train managers and human resources professionals. The ministry continues to follow up with staff who have not completed the training, and has built the training requirement into orientation information for new staff.

2013-2014 Commitment: Procedures will be in place to enhance the safety of a visitor with a disability during an evacuation of ministry facilities.

  • The ministry’s emergency procedure outlines the need to accommodate staff and visitors with disabilities in the event of an emergency. This information is shared internally with staff.

2013-2014 Commitment: The ministry will continue to engage employees in dialogue and to solicit client feedback on accessibility improvements and solutions.

  • The ministry continues to engage employees through the employee engagement survey and the ministry-specific inclusion committee.

2013-2014 Commitment: The ministry will continue to provide clients, stakeholders and members of the public with disabilities an equitable and effective customer service experience that accommodates their needs.

  • The ministry communicated the revised OPS Accessible Customer Service Policy to staff. In addition, the ministry updated its accessible communications resources to reflect the changes to the OPS Accessible Customer Service Policy.
  • In 2014, the ministry conducted an audit of its accessibility practices, including its accessible customer service practices. The ministry was found to be in compliance with the IASR, scoring well in many areas.
    • Through this process, the ministry also identified ways to improve the assistive devices available at its public facing office in Oshawa.
  • The ministry’s Tax and Benefits Administration regional offices and the Tax Information Office in Oshawa have updated their signage in order to comply with the AODA and built standards regulations. Resulting in additional  accessible customer service for individuals and staff with disabilities.  The updated bilingual signage uses universal graphic symbols, sharp contrast, raised tactile lettering and grade 1 Braille.
  • Since 2010, the ministry has had an accessible feedback process in place to respond to inquiries and suggestions from the public. The ministry can be contacted by mail, e-mail, and telephone (including TTY).
  • In April 2014, virtual pre–budget consultations were held in Peel Region, Kitchener Waterloo/Guelph/Cambridge, Burlington/Halton/Oakville, Peterborough/Belleville/Kingston, York Region and London.
    • Virtual town halls allowed citizens, who may have had difficulty attending public events, to participate online.
    • These virtual town halls reached an audience of over 300,000 people in Ontario.
    • By providing an option for online participation in the budget consultation process, the ministry has displayed its commitment to active accommodation.
  • The ministry provided additional training on accessible formats and communication to support accessible customer service. This training has also been made available to any employees by request.
OPS Inclusion Lens

2013-2014 Commitment: New ways to use the OPS Inclusion Lens in ministry programs, policies and practices will be identified, in an effort to embed the tool in core decision-making processes.

  • A new OPS Inclusion Lens sub-committee of the Ministry of Finance Inclusion Committee was created to promote the use of this tool in the ministry.
  • The OPS Inclusion Lens sub-committee is working to promote staff education on the OPS Inclusion Lens, as well as seek opportunities for application to ministry programs, policies and/or services.
Learning and Leadership

2013-2014 Commitment: An education session on accessibility considerations and documentation associated with procurement will be presented annually at the Financial Practices Forum. Posters in alternate formats will continue to be posted to advise the public of service disruptions.

  • The ministry continued to raise awareness on accessible procurement at the ministry-wide Financial Practices Forum with a presentation in August 2014.

Information and Communications

MYAP Key Outcome

Information and Communications are available in accessible formats or with necessary supports to all OPS staff and customers.

Measures Taken by Ministry of Finance in 2014

Accessible Information and Communications

2013-2014 Commitment: The ministry will continue to provide the Emergency Information and Reporting Hotline number in alternative formats (e.g. braille). 

  • The ministry continued to provide assistance to managers in developing and implementing individualized workplace emergency response plans for their staff with disabilities, in accordance with the Ministry of Government and Consumer Services’ Emergency Evacuation Planning Guide. In this plan, managers can document any accommodations required for the Emergency Information and Reporting Hotline.
Website Accessibility

2013-2014 Commitment: The ministry will continue to meet the web content standards as per the IASR through I & IT architectural governance, inclusion in I & IT procurement processes and IT project management quality control.

  • All content on the ministry’s public website met accessibility standards for people with low vision or vision impairments, and it was readable by screen reading devices. The ‘html’ format included a navigable heading structure, table structure and appropriate alternative text descriptions for images.

2013-2014 Commitment: The ministry will continue to ensure websites and other online communications tools meet AODA standards.

  • Information and resources posted to the MOF intranet and internet site are reviewed by Communications Services Branch using various accessibility checker tools.

2013-2014 Commitment: Remediation schedules will be developed to ensure that the standards for websites are met by the deadline of January 1, 2016. Revised public websites will be implemented commencing in January 2014.

  • The ministry remains on track with its remediation schedule to ensure that the standards for websites are met by the January 1, 2016 deadline.

2013-2014 Commitment: For sites that meet the standard, the ministry will continue to review changes to maintain compliance to standard.

  • Information and resources posted to the MOF intranet and internet site are reviewed by Communications Services Branch using various accessibility checker tools.
Learning and Leadership

2013-2014 Commitment: A minimum of six managers from the ministry will attend the annual Ontario Job Opportunities Information Network (JOIN) conference in November 2013 and staff will also be encouraged to attend via webcast.

  • In November 2013, eight ministry staff and managers attended the annual JOIN conference. Employees were encouraged to attend via webcast.

2013-2014 Commitment: The ministry will continue to partner with the OPS Diversity Office and the Accessibility Directorate of Ontario to support provincial ministry involvement in an annual Accessibility Expo.

  • The ministry continued to partner with the OPS Diversity Office to support the JOIN by promoting it within the ministry and encouraging staff attendance.
Actions Beyond 2013-2014 Commitments
  • The ministry’s accessible formats guide was update to reflect the current process for arranging alternate formats. This information is provided to all employees through the ministry’s intranet site.
  • All invitations to public events during the pre–budget consultation included a statement offering to accommodate persons with disabilities:
    • “Please advise when you register if you require any accommodation under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act.”
  • Sign language interpreters were arranged for the Toronto pre–budget consultation.
  • Seating arrangements, at the 2014 pre–budget consultations, were arranged to allow for easier mobility by persons with disabilities. 
  • Training on accessible information and communication was provided to ministry staff. As of September 2014, 956 staff completed the IASR: Information and Communications e-Learning course. Managers continue to follow up with individuals who have not completed the mandatory training course.
  • Additional ministry-specific training on accessible formats and communications was developed. As of September 2014, this in-person training has been provided to program areas in two divisions, as well as to the ministry’s inclusion committee and the Financial Service Commission of Ontario’s accessibility committee.
  • All divisions in the ministry have attested to compliance with the IASR requirement to provide accessible formats and communication supports as part of the 2014 AODA attestation process.

Employment

MYAP Key Outcome

OPS employees with disabilities participate fully and meaningfully in their employment.

Measures Taken by Ministry of Finance in 2014

Recruitment and Accommodation

2013-2014 Commitment: The ministry will continue to ensure that accommodation for persons with disabilities is offered and provided as required.

  • The ministry continued to offer accommodations for employees with disabilities, with the support of the Centre for Employee Health, Safety and Wellness.
  • All divisions in the ministry attested to compliance with the IASR requirement to arrange for documented employee accommodation plans when needed as part of the 2014 AODA attestation process.
  • All MOF executive recruitment is completed through the Centre for Leadership and Learning which uses the OPS Executive Recruitment Lens for all senior executive recruitment.
  • The OPS Recruitment Centre provided managers with resources on barrier-free recruitment. In addition, the following statement was included in all Ministry of Finance job advertisements:
    • “The Ontario Public Service is an inclusive employer. Accommodation is available under the Ontario Human Rights Code.

2013-2014 Commitment: The ministry will continue to increase management and employee awareness of employment accommodation directives, policies, plans and best practices.

  • A standard template for a documented individual accommodation plan was shared through the 2014 AODA Attestation process.
  • The Ministry of Finance provided assistance to managers in developing and implementing individualized workplace emergency response plans for their staff with disabilities, in accordance with the Ministry of Government and Consumer Services’ Emergency Evacuation Planning Guide. 
  • Managers were reminded to share the appropriate information in these plans with the site-specific Emergency Building Lead, with the employee’s consent.
  • Emergency Building Leads developed site-specific emergency procedures, including designated waiting areas and a buddy system (volunteers) to assist those unable to evacuate on their own.

2013-2014 Commitment: As ministry managers become familiar with the Employment Standard through the 2013 OPS e-learning course, they will create better accommodation for employees with disabilities.

  • All ministry management and human resources staff were required to complete the IASR training on employment standards. As of September 2014, 642 staff completed the e-learning course on Employment Standards.
Learning and Leadership

2013-2014 Commitment: Communications will be developed and shared with staff to help them understand accessibility best practices in customer service and the workplace.

  • The ministry promoted continuous learning on diversity, inclusion and accessibility. For example, the ministry made the “May I Help You” e-learning course mandatory for all employees.
  • The ministry continued to offer alternative accessible versions of online training courses.

2013-2014 Commitment: All of the ministry’s senior managers will be encouraged to include inclusion commitments in their performance plans.

  • Senior managers were provided with suggested inclusion commitments for insertion in their performance plans as per direction from the Ministry of Government and Consumer Services.
2013-2014 Commitment: Ministry middle managers will be encouraged to develop cultural competencies by participating as volunteer mentors in the 2013-14 Diversity Mentoring Partnership program (DMPP).
  • The ministry continued to partner with Cabinet Office to run the 2013-2014 DMPP. Ministry employees from underrepresented groups, including persons with disabilities, were encouraged to participate as mentees. Managers, directors, and assistant deputy ministers were encouraged to volunteers as mentors.
  • Results of  the 2013-2014 DMPP:
    • 39 employee mentees from underrepresented groups, including persons with disabilities, were mentored by volunteer Assistant Deputy Minister, Director and Manager level mentees.
    • For the first time, managers were encouraged to participate in the DMPP as mentors. Nine managers volunteered to act as mentors.

Built Environment

MYAP Key Outcome

There is greater accessibility into, out of and around OPS facilities and public spaces.

Measures Taken by Ministry of Finance in 2014

2013-2014 Commitment: The ministry is on track to meet the 2015 requirement for the design of public spaces and the updated barrier-free design requirements of the Ontario Building Code. All redesign will be consistent with the recommendations of Infrastructure Ontario’s Guidelines for Barrier-Free Design of Ontario Government Facilities which reflects and includes the two areas under the Built Environment Standard

  • The ministry remained on track to meet the January 1, 2015 requirements for the design of public spaces and the updated barrier-free design requirements under the Ontario Building Code (OBC).

2013-2014 Commitment: The ministry will continue to work diligently with service providers, Infrastructure Ontario and building management to remove and prevent built environment barriers.

  • The relocations and renovations of existing spaces in Windsor, London, Ottawa, and Thunder Bay were completed outside of normal business hours. Every effort was taken to minimize disruption to staff and the public and not impact existing accessibility achievements.
  • The ministry’s Tax and Benefits Administration regional offices and the Tax Information Office in Oshawa have updated their signage in order to comply with the AODA and built standards regulations. Resulting in additional accessible customer service for individuals and staff with disabilities.  The updated bilingual signage uses universal graphic symbols, sharp contrast, raised tactile lettering and grade 1 Braille.

2013-2014 Commitment: The ministry will continue to meet the requirements of the Accessibility Standards for the Design of Public Spaces and ensure compliance by January 1, 2015.

  • The ministry remained on track to meet the January 1, 2015 requirements for the design of public spaces and the updated barrier-free design requirements under the OBC.

2013-2014 Commitment: All renovations to existing ministry facilities will include accessibility features to public spaces as identified in the AODA’s built environment standard.

  • Accessible improvements, as set out in the OPS Guidelines for Barrier-Free Design of Ontario Government Facilities which meets and/or exceeds barrier-free requirements in the OBC were incorporated into the design of the new spaces in Thunder Bay and Windsor.
  • In the redesigns of the London and Ottawa offices and relocation projects in Windsor and Thunder Bay, the ministry’s Facilities Management Services took an “all access” approach with the design. All entrances received power door actuators with multi-level controls, corridor widths were increased for easier mobility, barrier-free fixtures were used in new washrooms and kitchenettes.
  • Boardrooms and common use spaces were intentionally located in common corridors to allow for easier access by employees.

Other Commitments

MYAP Key Outcome

OPS staff are able to identify barriers to accessibility, in OPS policies, programs, services and facilities, and actively seek solutions to prevent or remove them on a continuing basis throughout the organization.

Measures Taken by Ministry of Finance in 2014

2013-2014 Commitment: The ministry will continue to make an active offer to accommodate persons with disabilities at public events during the 2014 pre-budget consultation.

  • The ministry provided an active offer to accommodate persons with disabilities at public events during the 2014 pre-budget consultation, as highlighted in the “Accessible Customer Service” section of this plan.

2013-2014 Commitment: Seating arrangements will take into account space required for easier mobility by persons with disabilities.

  • Seating arrangements, at the 2014 pre–budget consultations, were arranged to allow for easier mobility by persons with disabilities.

2013-2014 Commitment: Sign language interpreters will be offered and arranged upon request.

  • Sign language interpreters were arranged for the Toronto pre–budget consultation.

2013-2014 Commitment: The 2013-14 Ministry of Finance Accessibility Plan will be publically posted on the ministry website in December 2013.

  • The 2013-14 Ministry of Finance Accessibility Plan was publically posted on the ministry website on December 3, 2013.

2013-2014 Commitment: The ministry will continue to develop strategies that help build an accessible organization that is healthy and accessible for employees and clients.

  • Recognizing that accessibility is an essential component of inclusion, the ministry has created stronger links between inclusion and accessibility. For example, one of the priorities for the ministry’s inclusion plan is to demonstrate leadership in accessibility.
  • The ministry has created an accessibility committee comprised of members of the inclusion committee. This accessibility committee is tasked with promoting inclusion and accessibility within the Ministry of Finance. For example, the accessibility committee promoted manager resources and learning opportunities on their role in creating an accessible workplace.
  • Over the past year, the ministry has developed a mental health campaign to address mental health in the workplace.
    • The ministry has identified a champion for mental health who works closely with the ministry’s inclusion team.
    • The ministry has representation on the OPS Mental Health Project Development Team.
Actions Beyond 2013-2014 Commitments
Procurement
  • The ministry continued to incorporate accessibility criteria and features when procuring or acquiring goods, services, facilities, except where it is not practicable. If it is not practicable, an explanation is documented in the procurement file.
  • The ministry continues to actively offer accommodations to all vendors with disabilities, upon request, to ensure that the RFP process itself does not create barriers for vendors with disabilities.
  • The ministry continues to include the standard accessibility language which has been provided by Supply Chain Management on their website, under Tools and Templates – Accessibility.
  • All divisions in the ministry attested to compliance with the accessibility requirements regarding procurement.
Learning and Leadership
  • The ministry has displayed leadership in accessibility by implementing an audit of its business practices as it relates to compliance with accessibility standards. The ministry was found to be in compliance with the current regulations.
  • The ministry continues to have representation on the OPS Disability Advisory Council.
  • The ministry continued to recognize excellence in inclusion and accessibility as part of its internal employee awards.

Section Two: Report on Measures Proposed by Ministry for 2015 & 2016

The Ministry of Finance strives to be an inclusive organization that delivers excellent public service to the people of Ontario and enables all employees to achieve their full potential. Realizing this vision will mean that the ministry is:

  • An environment where people with diverse backgrounds, life circumstances, skills and perspectives feel valued and can contribute to the organization
  • A workplace where inclusive strategies are supported and promoted by senior leaders
  • An organization which embeds inclusion (diversity, accessibility, engagement) into our everyday programs and policies – how we do business.

 The ministry recognizes that being an “inclusive organization” involves being an organization that supports:

  • Accessibility;
  • Mental Health;
  • Health and Wellness;
  • Employee Engagement; and
  • Diversity.

The following commitments provide more detail on the ministry’s commitments as they relate to accessibility, recognizing that it is one of the components to becoming an inclusive organization.

Customer Service

MYAP Key Outcome

People with disabilities who are OPS customers receive quality goods and services in a timely manner.

Measures Proposed by Ministry of Finance for 2015 & 2016:

  • The ministry will continue to ensure that new employees are trained on IASR and OHRC requirements.
  • An education session on accessibility considerations and documentation associated with procurement will be presented at a ministry forum, such as the Financial Practices Forum.
  • Procedures will be in place to enhance the safety of a visitor with a disability during an evacuation of ministry facilities.
  • The ministry will continue to engage employees in dialogue and to solicit client feedback on accessibility improvements and solutions.
  • Staff will be encouraged to take the OPS Inclusion Lens e-learning course.
  • New applications of the OPS Inclusion Lens will be identified to ensure that it is used as a tool in core decision–making processes and the development of new programs, policies and initiatives.
  • The ministry will continue to provide clients, stakeholders and members of the public with disabilities an equitable and effective customer service experience that accommodates their needs.
  • The ministry will continue to have a representative on the Disability Advisory Council (DAC). This representative will continue offer support to the ministry in determining the best ways to communication with Ontarians with disabilities.

Information and Communications

MYAP Key Outcome

Information and Communications are available in accessible formats or with necessary supports to all OPS staff and customers.

Measures Proposed by Ministry of Finance for 2015 & 2016:

  • The ministry will continue to meet web content requirements as per the IASR through I & IT architectural governance, inclusion in I & IT procurement processes and IT project management quality control.
  • The ministry will continue to partner with the OPS Diversity Office and the Accessibility Directorate of Ontario to support provincial ministry involvement in an annual accessibility expo. Managers from the ministry will be encouraged to attend the annual Ontario JOIN conference in December 2014.
  • The ministry will continue to monitor the web accessibility implementation schedule to ensure internet and intranet compliance with the standard as outlined in the IASR.
  • For sites that meet the standard, the ministry will continue to review changes to maintain compliance to standard.
  • The ministry will encourage staff to develop their knowledge of accessible documents and communications, in order to create more accessible products and services. The ministry will support this learning by promoting resources on how to create accessible documents and communications.

Employment

MYAP Key Outcome

OPS employees with disabilities participate fully and meaningfully in their employment.

Measures Proposed by Ministry of Finance for 2015 & 2016:

  • The ministry will continue to ensure that accommodation for persons with disabilities is offered and provided as required and will continue to strive towards a barrier-free recruitment process. The ministry will provide staff and managers with resources on accommodations and recruitment.
  • Communications will be developed and shared with staff to help them to understand accessibility best practices in customer service and the workplace.
  • All of the ministry’s senior managers will continue to be encouraged to include inclusion commitments in their performance plans.
  • The ministry will continue to increase management and employee awareness of employment accommodation directives, policies, plans and best practices.
  • Ministry managers will be encouraged to participate as volunteer mentors in the 2014–15 DMPP program in order to increase their culture competencies and awareness of bias. This learning will support managers in their efforts to accommodation staff.
  • Divisions will be encouraged to review the results of the 2014 Employee Engagement survey to identify any barriers to inclusion, and to take actions to address these barriers.
  • The ministry will continue to have a representative on the Disability Advisory Council(DAC). This representative will continue to play an important role in determining how the ministry supports its staff with disabilities.

Built Environment

MYAP Key Outcome

There is greater accessibility into, out of and around OPS facilities and public spaces.

Measures Proposed by Ministry of Finance for 2015 & 2016:  

  • The ministry will ensure that all office locations comply with accessibility requirements under the Built Environment Standards reflected in the OPS Guidelines for Barrier-free Design of Ontario Government Facilities
  • The ministry will make every effort to ensure that the redesign of the Hamilton office is made with the least disruption possible to the public we serve while maintaining the security of our staff and operations. In redesigning space, the ministry will use a common design, inclusive of accessibility needs and features, making space more open and accessible to employees.
  • The ministry will continue to replace existing signage, as required, with accessible bilingual signage that has universal graphic symbols, sharp contrast, raised tactile lettering and grade 1 Braille.

Other Outcomes Deliverables

MYAP Key Outcome

OPS staff are able to identify barriers to accessibility, in OPS policies, programs, services and facilities, and actively seek solutions to prevent or remove them on a continuing basis throughout the organization.

Measures Proposed by Ministry of Finance for 2015 & 2016:

  • The ministry will continue to strengthen the links between inclusion, mental health and accessibility in an effort to create a more inclusive organization.
  • The ministry will continue to develop strategies that help build an organization that is accessible and healthy for employees and clients. These will include strategies on mental health, diversity and accessibility.
  • The ministry will continue to make an active offer to accommodate persons with disabilities at public events during the 2015 pre–budget consultation:
    • Seating arrangements will take into account space required for easier access by persons with mobility disabilities.
    • Sign language interpreters will be offered and arranged upon request.
  • The 2014-2015 Ministry of Finance Accessibility Plan will be publicly posted on the ministry website in December 2014.
  • The ministry will continue to meet accessibility standards in procurement.

Section Three: Addressing the identification of barriers

In support of our commitment to improve accessibility for people with disabilities, the Ministry of Finance will continue to review government initiatives, including Acts, regulations, policies, programs, practices and services for the purposes of identifying and removing barriers.

Recognizing the importance of addressing accessibility barriers in laws that have a high impact on members of the public and persons with disabilities, the government is following a three-pronged strategy that prioritizes the review of high impact legislation including:

  1. Development of a standardized process and tools for identifying and addressing accessibility barriers;
  2. By the end of 2014, review of 51 targeted high-impact statutes that meet the following criteria:
    • Statutes that affect persons with disabilities directly;
    • Statutes that provide for the delivery of widely applicable services or programs;
    • Statutes that provide benefits or protections; or
    • Statutes that affect a democratic or civic right or duty; and
  3. Review procedural rules, policies and guidelines for select high-impact legislation, where necessary.

In 2014, the OPS made significant progress in conducting this phase of the review which is estimated to be completed by the end of 2014.

The Ontario Guaranteed Annual Income Act was identified as a high impact statute and was reviewed in 2014. The government had decided to review this statute because it is anticipated that changes in this area will have the highest impact on those Ontarians who have accessibility needs. This review process used the OPS Inclusion Lens to help identify barriers to persons with disabilities.

Through the review process of theOntario Guaranteed Annual Income Act, potential barriers and mitigating strategies were identified. This information was provided to MAG and MGS, in an effort to coordinate pursuant actions.

Acts, Regulations and Policies Reviewed in 2013-14

  • In 2014, the ministry in consultation with its Legal Services Branch reviewed the Ontarian Annual Guaranteed Income Act for potential accessibility barriers using the OPS Inclusion Lens. Mitigation strategies were provided for potential barriers.
  • In addition, this year, the ministry reviewed 35 pieces of legislation for potential accessibility barriers using the OPS Inclusion Lens.

 Acts, Regulations and Policies to Be Reviewed in 2014-15

  • By the end of 2015, the ministry will have reviewed all legislation for which it is responsible using the OPS Inclusion Lens to identify potential accessibility barriers.

Glossary of Terms and/or Acronyms

AODA – Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005

ASCS – Accessibility Standards for Customer Service Regulation

CAC – Central Agencies Cluster

DAC – Disability Advisory Council

DMPP – Diversity Mentoring Partnership Program

EA – Employment Accommodation

IASR – Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation

I &IT – Information and Infrastructure Technology

IO – Infrastructure Ontario

JOIN – Job Opportunities Information Network

MOF – Ministry of Finance

MYAP – Multi-Year Accessibility Plan

OBC – Ontario Building Code

ODA – Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2001

OPS – Ontario Public Service

OHRC – Ontario Human Rights Code

TTY – Telephone Typewriter or Telecommunication Device for the Deaf

WCAG - Web Content Accessibility Guidelines

OPS Multi-Year Accessibility Plan - Leading the Way Forward,

Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2001

Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005

Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation

Accessibility Standards for Customer Service

Ontario Accessibility Website

Accessible, Fair and Sustainable Services for People with Developmental Disabilities program

Web Content Accessibility Guidelines

Contact Us

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

General inquiry number: 1–866–ONT–TAXS (1–866–668–8297)

General inquiry TTY number: 1–800–263–7776 Toll Free (Ontario)

E–mail: FinanceCommunications.fin@ontario.ca

Ministry website address: www.ontario.ca/finance

Visit the Ministry of Economic Development, Employment and Infrastructure web portal. The site promotes accessibility and provides information and resources on how to make Ontario an accessible province for everyone.

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