Making Way
For Ontarians with Disabilities

A.   Introduction

This document represents the update to the Region of Peel’s third Accessibility Plan - September 2005 which was endorsed by the Peel Regional Council on October 6, 2005.

This fourth Accessibility Plan for the Region has been prepared based on information gathered from: strategic level consultation with the Joint Peel-Caledon Accessibility Advisory Committee (AAC); the Region of Peel Accessibility Planning Program (The Program) and information submitted by Regional departments.

As detailed in the previous plans, the overall goal of the AAC and the Region’s Program is to incorporate an accessibility component into the Service Strategy and Business Planning processes of each department, and by extension, the Regional Corporation as a whole. This practice will continue to allow the Region to systematically integrate accessibility planning into existing departmental operations, which are currently underway.

As with last year’s Plan, the 2006 Region of Peel Accessibility Plan has used a format similar to the departmental Service Strategy Business Plans to enable staff to identify projects from the Accessibility Plan and link them with the accessibility projects listed in their departmental business planning. This alignment of the format has enabled the Accessibility Planning Specialist to monitor and report on the progress of departmental accessibility initiatives in a systematic manner. At the same time, this document continues to address the reporting requirements within the Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2001 (ODA) and the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (AODA).

In early 2006, the Commissioner of Corporate Services compared best practices among other municipalities and proposed to the members of the Executive Management Team (EMT), a new governing structure for The Program; and to implement the strategies outlined for the Regional Accessibility Planning SSBP. Currently efforts are underway to align key resources required to implement different components of the EMT approved governing structure.

Since its’ inception in 2003, the AAC identified attitudinal barriers as one of the key barriers to address. It was recommended that ongoing disability education and sensitivity training sessions be scheduled to address attitudinal barriers and to enhance staff knowledge of specific tools available to aid the persons with disabilities. In December 2006, The Program in partnership with the Housing Department and the AAC, celebrated the United Nation’s International Day of Disabled Persons and presented Accessibility Awards to Regional departments in recognition of their efforts to improve accessibility of Regional services, programs, projects and facilities; and organized a mental health awareness session for 143 employees.

During 2006, in partnership with the Health department, two disability educational series comprised of six Lunch N Learn sessions were organized for 90 Regional staff at various locations. The first series provided staff specific tips to improve their communication skills when servicing clients with disabilities. The second series was aimed at improving staff understanding of preparing universal accessible information resources for persons with disabilities. A third series is planned for winter, 2006.

The fourth Plan represents the ongoing process of ensuring the programs and services of the Region of Peel become more accessible for individuals with disabilities. As an organization strongly committed to integrated processes, the Region of Peel will continue its efforts to identify and remove existing barriers while laying the foundation for the prevention of future barriers.

The fourth Accessibility Plan reflects the continued dedication of the Region of Peel to meeting the commitments made within its Strategic Action 5.4, “Contributing to creating a receptive, accessible community that ensures full participation of individuals with disabilities”.

Introduction (PDF 30KB, 2 pages)