Photo of Building Plans Showing Accessible Ramp

Accessible Ontario

The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (AODA) is a law passed by the Ontario legislature that allows the government to develop and enforce standards for accessibility. The purpose of the AODA is to have a fully accessible Ontario by 2025. In order to achieve this goal, the province is establishing accessibility standards in five different areas:

  • Customer Service
  • Built Environment
  • Information and Communications
  • Transportation, and
  • Employment.

The Accessibility Standard for Customer Service, O. Reg 429/7 was the first standard to become law, and came into effect for the public sector on January 1, 2010. 

Algonquin Highlands Accessible Customer Service Policy

The Township of Algonquin Highlands has developed a Customer Service Policy for Providing Goods and Services to People with Disabilities.

The policy includes information on:

  • Provision of goods and services to persons with disabilities
  • Communication with persons with disabilities
  • Use of assistive devices, service animals and support persons
  • Notice of disruption in services
  • Training requirements for staff, contractors and volunteers
  • Feedback process
  • Document requirements

The policy document is available below or in paper copy from the Municipal Office upon request.

Integrated Accessibility Policy

The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (AODA) provides that every provider of goods and services shall establish and maintain accessibility policies, practices and procedures related to the following:

  1. Customer Service
  2. Employment Standards
  3. Information and Communication Standards
  4. Transportation Standards
  5. Built Environment

The Township of Algonquin Highlands has established an Integrated Accessibility Policy and guiding principals to establish accessibility standards in the areas of Information and Communication, Employment and Transportation to facilitate the removal and prevention of barriers to people with disabilities to enable better access to municipal goods, services and facilities.

Multi-year Accessibility Plan

Background

Ontario Regulation (O. Reg.) 191/11 – Integrated Accessibility Standards under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (AODA) requires designated public sector organizations to have a multi-year accessibility plan in place which documents the organization’s strategy to prevent and remove accessibility barriers.

Organizations must establish, review and update these plans in consultation with persons with disabilities and when applicable, with a municipal accessibility advisory committee.

Plans must be updated at least once every five years and a status report must be completed on an annual basis. The plan and status report must be posted on the organization’s website and be available in an accessible format upon request.

Designated Public Sector Annual Status Report

The Corporation of the Township of Algonquin Highlands has established a multi-year accessibility plan to prevent and remove barriers to accessibility and to meet requirements under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act and the Integrated Accessibility Standards.

Our Annual Status Report details annual updates on the progress of measures taken to improve accessibility. The purpose of this report is to track our organization’s progress and make the public aware of our initiatives.

To request an alternate format of this annual status report, please contact:

Name: Dawn Newhook, Clerk
Email: dnewhook@algonquinhighlands.ca
Telephone number:  705-489-2379 ext. 333

Accessibility Accomplishments in 2020

General Accomplishments

  • Addition to the Dorset Museum that is accessible
  • Accessible renovations completed at Station 70 (Oxtongue Lake) Fire Hall.

Customer Service Accomplishments

  • Continuation of accessibility training software for employees, including training on the Human Rights Code.

Employment Accomplishments

  • Job recruitment ads continue to contain information regarding the opportunity for accessible accommodation during the recruitment process
  • Review of the Accommodation and Emergency Response Plan, if required for persons requiring accessible accommodations
  • Offers of Employment (Hire Letter) includes information on accessible accommodation

Design of Public Spaces Accomplishments

  • Nine accessible picnic tables installed at the Oxtounge Lake Community Centre
  • Installation of an accessible vault privy at Little Hawk Lake Access point
  • Addition to the Dorset Museum (accessible)

Summary of Consultations

Staff presented the plans to the Joint Accessible Advisory Committee during the Museum addition.

Next Steps

Proposed projects that will include accessible features in the Township for 2021 include:

  • Accessible lift to be installed at the Stanhope Library
  • Review and updating of the Township’s Purchasing Policy
  • Review of Accessible Policies (Customer Service, Integrated Accessibility Standards)
  • Accessible updates to website
  • Continued staff training for new employees

The Township will continue review, and implement accessible features as identified in the Accessibility Plan, as well the implementation of new accessible features throughout the Township as the need, or opportunity, arises.

Past Accessibility Accomplishments (2018-2020)

General Accomplishments

  • New Ramp, deck and accessible parking created at the Stanhope Airport
  • Improvements to the Dorset Recreation Centre washrooms
  • New washrooms and entrance way with automatic door openers and accessible ramp installed at the Municipal Office
  • New accessible washroom at the Stanhope Fire Hall

Customer Service Accomplishments

  • Updates completed to the Township’s Customer Service Policy
  • Implementation of accessibility training software for employees, including training on the Human Rights Code

Information and Communications Accomplishments

  • Created a guideline document for staff when creating documents and website posting for accessibility

Employment Accomplishments

  • Job recruitment ads contain information regarding the opportunity for accessible accommodation during the recruitment process
  • Implementation of an Accommodation and Emergency Response Plan, if required for persons requiring accessible accommodations.

Design of Public Spaces Accomplishments

  • Accessible pavilion completed at the Oxtongue Lake Community Centre
  • Accessible picnic tables installed throughout Township parks
  • Accessible privy installed at Big Hawk Lake access point
  • New playground equipment and accessible privies/pathways installed at Stanhope Park
  • Outdoor walking path constructed to accessible standards to connect to the redesigned Dorset Park.
  • Outdoor pathways improved to provide better accessibility at the Dorset Tower.

Feedback

Our goal at the Township is to meet and surpass customer service expectations while serving people with disabilities.  We welcome and appreciate all comments on our delivery of service, as it helps us identify areas where improvements can be made.  Feedback may be provided in person, by telephone or fax, in writing or by email.  Download a printable version of our Feedback Form, and return it to the address below.  Forms are also available at the Township offices.

Additional Information & Links

2018-2020 Joint Accessibility Plan and other information (Joint planning with the County of Haliburton)
Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities (Ministry of Community and Social Services)

Contact Information

Dawn Newhook
Municipal Clerk
Phone: 705-489-2379
Email: dnewhook@algonquinhighlands.ca

Documents

2018 Accessibility Accomplishments Report
2019 Accessibility Accomplishments Report
2019 Accessibility Compliance Report
2020 Accessibility Accomplishments Report
Customer Feedback Form