THE JOINT PEEL- CALEDON
ACCESSIBILITY ADVISORY COMMITTEE
The Joint Peel-Caledon Accessibility Advisory
Committee met on November 18, 2003, at 1:45 p.m. at the Region of Peel Headquarters
|Members Present:||H. Bajwa; G. Barnes; M. Horn; E. Kolb; M. Tymkow; T. Hamilton|
|Members Absent:||R. Whitehead, due to other municipal business; P. Saito, due to other municipal business|
|Also Present:||K. Gillespie,
Commissioner of Corporate Services and Regional Solicitor; E. Eglite, Town
of Caledon; B. Zeran, Deputy Clerk, Region of Peel; G. Cristiano, Executive
Office, APWG; C. Zelman, Corporate Services, APWG; M. Taha, Property &
Housing, APWG; C. McCall, Health, APWG; V. Nicholas, Social Services - TransHelp,
APWG; M. Bidlofsky, Social Services - Ontario Works, APWG; T. Walker, Planning,
APWG; J. Young, Property & Housing; M. Moraca, Communication Services;
S. Henry, Web Communications; S. Hernandez, Guest of M. Tymkow; |
H. Horn, assistant to M. Horn; E. Spadafora, assistant to M. Horn; S. Josephs, Corporate Services; J. Payne, Corporate Services
G. Barnes presiding.
1. Call to Order
Glenn Barnes, Chair of the Joint Peel-Caledon Accessibility Advisory Committee, called the meeting to order at 2:00 p.m.
2. Approval of October 21, 2003 Joint Peel-Caledon Accessibility Advisory Committee Minutes
That the minutes for the October 21, 2003, Joint Peel-Caledon Accessibility Advisory Committee meeting be approved.
3. Approval of November 18, 2003 Joint Peel-Caledon Accessibility Advisory Committee Agenda
That the agenda for the November 18, 2003, Joint Peel-Caledon Accessibility Advisory Committee meeting be approved.
4. Communications Items
5. Other Business
a) Accessible Project in Terra Cotta on Forge Property
Presentation by John Young, Property & Housing
John Young, Property Manager, Property & Housing, Region of Peel, provided an update on the status the Region of Peel project in Terra Cotta on the Forge Property. As a result of a road widening project and several structural evaluations of the Forge (the old blacksmith shop) it was determined that the current structure on the site needed to be removed. Through a number of public meetings with local citizens and consultation with the Credit Valley Conservation Authority a new picnic shelter design has been put forward for the location.
Maureen Tymkow, AAC member, asked if the river would be accessible based on the raised elevation of the picnic shelter. John Young indicated that the river was accessible through a path off of King Street which is always open to the public.
That the Joint Peel-Caledon Accessibility Advisory Committee supports the concept of the picnic shelter proposed for the Forge Property in Terra Cotta as presented.
b) Making Way for Ontarians with Disabilities Pathways Site
Presentation Introduction by Giancarlo Cristiano, Executive Office Presentation by Sue Henry, Web Communications
Giancarlo Cristiano provided a brief introduction outlining for the Joint Peel-Caledon Accessibility Advisory Committee (AAC) the Communication Strategy of the Region and the provision of information with respect to the Ontarians with Disabilities Act (ODA) through the Region's Internet sites.
Sue Henry briefly explained the difference between the Region's Internet site (being for external or public use) and the Region's Intranet site (being for internal or staff use).
Sue Henry demonstrated the link from the banner on the Pathways home page to the Making Way for Ontarians with Disabilities site, on the Region's Intranet (internal or staff) site. Sue Henry noted a key theme of the Making Way site is to increase awareness of non-visible accessibility issues. The planning feature, the suggestion box, resource links, fast facts and the contact us features of the Making Way site were also reviewed.
Sue Henry went through the steps to locate the Region of Peel's First Accessibility Plan on the Region's Internet (external or public) site. At this time she addressed the difference between a HTML Web page and a Portable Document Format (PDF) text file which requires the reader to have Adobe Acrobat software.
Emil Kolb, Regional Chair, asked if there were any links to information from the Town of Caledon. Eriks Eglite, Town of Caledon, explained that the Town of Caledon currently has similar information posted on its site.
Discussion occurred around why the some of the Region's plan was posted in HTML and some was only available in PDF. Sue Henry explained the advantages and disadvantages of these formats and agreed that HTML had certain accessibility advantages.
Discussion relating to why information now posted on the Region's Intranet (internal or staff) site was not available on the Region's Internet (external or public) site took place. Glenn Barnes explained that it would be prudent to wait until the Region's Accessibility Coordinator is in place to ensure features such as the suggestion box are adequately resourced. Wider access to this information will be a goal of the Committee.
Maureen Tymkow asked at what point input from the Committee would be considered. Kent Gillespie indicated that valuable input has been provided through out the presentation and Sue Henry concurred by saying some of the points raised today will be reviewed by staff.
Glenn Barnes indicated that Committee members can bring forward suggestions regarding the Region of Peel's internet site at the next meeting.
Heather Horn asked if there was a search ability within the site to find this information. Sue Henry demonstrated a Google search engine site using key words and the Region's Accessibility Plan appeared on the search results.
c) Website Accessibility Presentation at the Region of Peel on Monday November 17, 2003
Presentation by Sue Henry, Web Communications
Sue Henry provided a very detailed review of the accessibility presentation materials from NTS, a private company that provides services to government and corporations wishing to improve accessibility of Websites and Web services.
The presentation material addressed recent ODA requirements for Ontario Government Websites under section 6 of the ODA.
Historical information was also provided demonstrating that from its very inception the Web was to be fully accessible. Recent initiatives are working to return to this original goal of the Web.
The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) checkpoint priority levels (P1, P2, & P3) were reviewed. The P1 level includes 16 "must haves" for Web accessibility, the P2 level includes 30 accessibility goals that "should be" included on all sites and the P3 level addresses 19 points that "would be advantageous" to incorporate into a fully accessible Website.
Current legislation governing Website accessibility from the United States, Canada, Australia and the United Kingdom was reviewed briefly.
Sue Henry discussed the complexity from a Web design, Web content and Web coding point of view that any organization faces as they try to improve Web accessibility.
Sue Henry noted that the Region has just begun to consider this issue and significant resources and effort will be required to further improve the Region's Web accessibility.
Glenn Barnes asked if there are any fully accessible Websites in Ontario. Sue Henry advised that all Province of Ontario Government Websites had to be accessible as of last December, under section 6 of the ODA.
Christine Zelman indicated that the "accessibility" of the Ontario Government sites has not been evaluated by users according to the presentation by NTS. Christine Zelman indicated that it would be advantageous for the Region to receive feedback from the AAC regarding Ontario Government Websites from an accessibility point of view.
d) Voice Recording of Region of Peel's Accessibility Plan
Oral update provided by Christine Zelman
Christine Zelman indicated that quotes ranging from $2,000 to $6,000 were obtained for the Voice recording of the Region of Peel's First Accessibility Plan. The firms also had requested that a script be provided. Therefore, Christine Zelman contacted Maureen Tymkow, AAC member, to find out if the Canadian National Institute for the Blind (CNIB) provides this service. It was confirmed that they did. The Region contacted them for a quote. At this time they have provided an estimate of the cost which is much less than the other quotes received to date.
Terri Hamilton, AAC member, mentioned that she was aware of someone who would be willing to volunteer to make the recording. The individual is a professional in voice over recordings.
Glenn Barnes indicated that there is a store called "Books on Tape" in Mississauga that will record a book for a fee that we could explore as an option.
Maureen Tymkow asked what other municipalities were doing and Christine Zelman advised that staff currently was not aware of any other municipality under taking a voice recording of an accessibility plan. Christine Zelman will advise the AAC of the final estimate when it is available.
e) AAC Member Status
Oral update provided by Christine Zelman
Christine Zelman indicated that the process is under way and that there is an interview scheduled for today, November 18, 2003 at 4 p.m. and for Wednesday, November 19, 2003. The selection team will then make a recommendation which will have to be approved by both Councils (Region of Peel and Town of Caledon).
f) Accessibility Planning Coordinator Position
Oral update provided by Bonnie Zeran
Bonnie Zeran indicated that the position of Accessibility Coordinator for the Region of Peel is currently posted on the Region's Website and on the Workopolis Website. Applications will be screened next week, and interviews scheduled accordingly.
g) Draft Plan for the Town of Caledon Cheltenham Community Room
Oral update provided by Eriks Eglite
Eriks Eglite provided a brief update on the projects status and expressed his appreciation for feedback from the Committee on the draft plan for the Cheltenham Community Room.
Glenn Barnes asked if Eriks Eglite was satisfied with the feedback process or if he would prefer a more consolidated approach. Eriks Eglite indicated that he had no preference between direct feedback from the Committee members over a consolidated feedback approach from the Committee as a whole.
Discussion resulted about the requirements under the ODA. Kent Gillespie has advised the Region's Property & Housing Department that they have to consult with the AAC regarding any new buildings, renovations or leases. The process of managing this consultation needs further consideration given the potential scale of some of the facilities in question.
Glenn Barnes spoke to the need for the Province to establish accessibility standards to aid in the consultation process required under the ODA.
Glenn Barnes referred to a check list respecting accessibility standards that Maureen Tymkow provided to the AAC members. Glenn Barnes indicated that the Committee will seek a more current check list to share with staff.
h) Region of Peel - Addressing Barriers Progress Chart
Oral update from Christine Zelman
Christine Zelman provided a copy of a progress chart as set out under section 6.1 of the Region of Peels First Accessibility Advisory Plan.
Christine Zelman reviewed the 11 measures listed and the status of their associated required actions. She requested that the Members review the chart in an effort to help set priorities. These priorities will be discussed at a future meeting of the AAC.
6. Added Agenda Items
a) Pearson Airport - New Terminal (Mississauga News)
Oral summary by Glenn Barnes
Glenn Barnes noted that the Greater Toronto Airport Authority (GTAA) has requested volunteers to test the facilities in the new Pearson Airport Terminal.
Glenn Barnes noted that it would be an opportunity for members of the Committee to test the accessibility of the facility.
b) International Day of Disability - December 3, 2003
Oral summary by Glenn Barnes
Glenn Barnes inquired if a Regional Proclamation would be possible regarding the International Day of Disability.
Kent Gillespie noted that this would not be possible because of the recent municipal election. The new Regional Council will not be sworn in until December 11, 2003. However, staff will investigate other avenues to recognize the date.
7. Next Meeting
Committee members discussed the need to have a meeting in December. It was decided that there would be no meeting of the Joint-Peel Caledon Accessibility Advisory Committee in December. The next meeting will be held January 20, 2004 at 1:45 p.m. at a location to be determined.
Meeting adjourned at 3:45 p.m.