OPSBA, along with The Ontario Student Trustees’ Association and the Accessibility Directorate of Ontario are pleased to present a video titled “By Any Measure.” The video showcases successful student and staff-led initiatives that are making accessibility integral to school culture in Ontario. The video will be used across the province to promote accessibility awareness and inspire students to take part in Ontario’s commitment to being fully accessible by 2025.
The videos may be downloaded, embedded and shared by clicking on the links below each version.
By Any Measure from OPSBA on Vimeo.
Pour la Pleine Mesure from OPSBA on Vimeo.
By Any Measure - ASL from OPSBA on Vimeo.
Pour la Pleine Mesure - LSQ from OPSBA on Vimeo.
On July 1, 2016, important updates were introduced to Ontario Regulation 191/11, Integrated Accessibility Standards, pursuant to the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005. The Accessibility Directorate of Ontario has provided a Quick Reference Guide to inform obligated organizations of the changes to the Regulation.
For more information on the impact these updates will have on school boards, please click here.
To support school boards in compliance with the regulation, OPSBA has collaborated with other school board associations and the Accessibility Directorate of Ontario on the development of an implementation Resource Guide Accessible Schools: Leading The Way and on creating a training module "How May I Help You?".
Additional training modules are offered by AccessForward, which has updated its Customer Service Standard training module for staff and volunteers to reflect the July 2016 updates.
AODA Compliance Reporting
2015 was an AODA compliance reporting year and designated public sector organizations, including school boards, were required to file a report by the end of the year. 2017 will be the next compliance reporting year.
The questions that appear on the AODA Compliance Report for public sector organizations including school boards can be found in the links below. These have been provided by the Accessibility Directorate of Ontario and will be a useful checklist for ongoing AODA compliance activities.
There is a questionnaire that applies to organizations with greater than 50 employees which represents the majority of school boards. Questions 16-25 are specific to the transportation standard and only Question 16 (student transportation) applies to school board respondents. A second questionnaire includes the questions applicable to organizations with between one and 49 employees. Both documents include the Compliance Report Certification Statement that the authorized representative of the school board is required to certify.
Ontario celebrated the 10th anniversary of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act in 2015. This landmark law has made Ontario a leader in accessibility and has also set a goal for an accessible province by 2025.
The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 is proactive legislation that calls for Standards in Accessibility intended to make Ontario accessible by the year 2025. Under this legislation the following Standards have been developed:
Accessible Customer Service became an Ontario Regulation in 2008. Accessible Information and Communication, Employment and Transportation were incorporated in an Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation, which took effect in 2011. In December 2012, the Integrated Accessibility Regulation was expanded to include accessibility standards for the Design of Public Spaces. These standards were previously included in the Accessible Built Environment Standards. The remaining Accessible Built Environment standards will be considered for inclusion in Ontario's Building Code. OPSBA has been represented on all the Committees charged with developing these standards.
It is anticipated that the standards development process will continue. In January 2013, the province established a new Accessibility Standards Advisory Council to advise the government on improving accessibility for people with disabilities. The council has the power to review Ontario's existing accessibility standards and to develop new standards.
The Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation incorporates the standards related to Information & Communication, Employment, Transportation and Design of Public Spaces.
To support school boards in compliance with the regulation, OPSBA collaborated with other school board associations and the Accessibility Directorate of Ontario on the development of The TeachAble Project. This is a comprehensive website, enlivened with videos featuring staff and students from many Ontario schools, designed to support boards in incorporating concepts of accessibility in the learning and teaching environment. The site is organized into easy-to-navigate hubs. The Model Lesson Plans hub offers 21 model lesson plans (K-12) which align with Ontario curriculum and education policy initiatives. They were developed by practising teachers. The Access to Success hub offers a range of professional development modules that provide accessibility awareness training to support program delivery and teaching practice. The Accessibility+ hub is a remarkable inventory of resources, web links, books, videos and other information related to accessibility and teaching accessibility awareness. Accessibility+ can be used by staff, parents, community members and school boards for professional development, program planning and teaching, and to build general awareness.
OPSBA also collaborated with an Accessibility Working Group of school boards in South Western Ontario to develop sample policies and procedures to assist school boards in implementing various requirements of the IASR. These documents are posted on the Ontario Education Services Corporation website.