York Regional Council endorses corporate Accessibility Policy
York Regional Council took further action today in making The Regional Municipality of York programs, goods, services and facilities more accessible for people with disabilities by endorsing a corporate Accessibility Policy.
“York Region has a long-standing commitment to meeting the accessibility needs of people with disabilities in a timely and proactive manner,” said York Region Chairman and CEO Bill Fisch. “This policy endorses the importance of providing equitable access to Regional services and facilities in a way that respects the dignity and independence of our residents.”
The new Accessibility Policy builds on York Region’s commitment to address the needs of a growing and diverse community and achieves the legislated requirements of the Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2001 (ODA) and Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (AODA).
The Integrated Accessibility Standards, Ontario Regulation 191/11 is the most recent regulation under the AODA to be passed into law. It sets out requirements that make the information and communications, employment and transportation operations of organizations more accessible to people with disabilities and requires the establishment of a policy to govern how these requirements will be achieved.
“York Region prides itself in being a supporter of accessibility for everyone,” said City of Markham Deputy Mayor Jack Heath, Chair of York Region’s Community and Health Services Committee. “Since 2003, York Region has issued eight accessibility plans and implemented more than 700 accessibility planning initiatives. The establishment of the Accessibility Policy allows York Region to enhance and build upon its existing best practices.”
Under the Accessibility Policy, York Region expresses its accessibility directives through nine principles. The principles impact the work of all Regional departments and ensure continued commitment to customer service excellence for people with disabilities. This includes developing an accessible York.ca website and creating an accessible work environment for Regional employees. The principles will be achieved in accordance with the requirements and timelines set out in the enacted regulations of the AODA.
With the ongoing implementation of Reaching a New Standard of Accessibility: York Region’s 2011/2012 Accessibility Plan, York Region has already achieved many requirements of the new policy by enhancing its services and facilities to meet the needs of residents with disabilities. Examples include providing emergency and public safety information in accessible formats upon request and verbal on-boarding announcements at route stops and destinations on local transit.
The York Region Accessibility Advisory Committee continues to play a critical role in developing York Region’s accessibility plans and advises York Regional Council and York Regional Police on accessibility improvements to its programs and services.
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Media Contact: Lindsey Nigra, Corporate Communications, The Regional Municipality of York
905-830-4444 or 1-877-464-9675, ext. 1209 Cell: 905-251-6412 firstname.lastname@example.org
The Regional Municipality of York provides services to 1.1 million residents and 41,000 businesses that employ 516,000 people