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Toronto Catholic District School Board

Toronto Catholic District School Board
Accessibility Standards – Policy Statement 

Date Approved:
September 12, 2013
Date of Next Review:
June 2015
Dates of Amendments:
Cross References:
Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (AODA)
Accessibility Standard for Customer Service, Ontario Regulation 429/07
Integrated Accessibility Standards, Ontario Regulation 191/11
Ontario Human Rights Code
Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2001
Appendix ‘A’- TCDSB Policy # A-36- Multi-Year Accessibility Plan
The Toronto Catholic District School Board (“TCDSB”) is committed to providing an environment in all of its facilities that fosters independence, dignity, respect and to providing services that are free of barriers and biases to our students, parents/guardians, the public and our staff.  The Board strives to ensure that the principle of equity of opportunity is reflected and valued in its learning and working environments.
The TCDSB is committed to ensuring that people with disabilities have the same opportunity of access to our services in a similar way as these services are available to all others we serve and is committed to meeting, in a timely manner, the accessibility needs of people with disabilities in the provision of services including those related to information and communication, employment, and student transportation.   
Scope and Responsibility:
This policy applies to all operational policies and procedures in all facilities within TCDSB and applies to all members of the TCDSB community, including students, employees, volunteers and visitors.  The Director of Education is responsible for this policy.
Alignment with MYSP:
Living Our Catholic Values
Strengthening Public Confidence
Providing Stewardship of Resources
Inspiring and Motivating Employees

Financial Impact:
There may be significant financial impact to the Board for non-compliance in relation to the statutory obligations set within the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act.
Legal Framework:
The TCDSB is obligated to comply with all statutory obligations in regards to accessibility for persons with disabilities on Board properties.  The Board is dedicated to ensuring that the governing laws of Ontario, in relation to persons with disabilities, are adhered to by our staff, students, volunteers, visitors and members of the Catholic community.
Following the obligations set out in the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (AODA), the TCDSB is dedicated to achieving service excellence in providing people with disabilities the ability to access and evacuate facilities, to utilize educational and training resources, to effectively use communication devices, to be informed of accommodations available during the employment selection process and for employees being returned to work through a process which accommodates the identified disability.
The TCDSB will identify barriers for people with disabilities through the process documented in the TCDSB’s Multi-Year Accessibility Plan; primarily by the objectives of the TCDSB’s Accessibility Working Group.
1.      The Multi-Year Accessibility Plan shall be utilized in the TCDSB community and environment including students, staff, parents and guardians, volunteers and visitors to the Board and its schools.
2.      The TCDSB will make reasonable efforts to ensure that policies, practices and procedures from the date of this policy forward are consistent with the principles of independence, dignity, integration and equity of opportunity to all with particular attention for persons with disabilities.
3.      The TCDSB will provide training to its employees and volunteers, when appropriate.  All newly-hired employees will receive training as part of a mandatory Orientation process.
4.      To ensure greater awareness and responsiveness to the needs of a person with disabilities, the TCDSB will provide appropriate training for all staff who deal with the public or other third parties on behalf of the TCDSB.
5.      Any communications with a person with a disability will take place in a manner respectful of the person’s disability.
6.      The TCDSB will strive to ensure that its policies, practices and procedures are consistent with the core principals as outlined in the AODA.
7.      The TCDSB will ensure that the policy and Multi-Year Accessibility Plan are communicated to the public in a manner that accommodates all disabilities.
8.      The Board of Trustees will periodically appoint external individuals to the Accessibility Working Group and will periodically approve the Multi-Year Accessibility Plan.
Accessibility Working Group
This group is comprised of key stakeholders and comes together through a network of school system working groups to develop recommendations and improvements in providing a barrier-free environment in key areas of the TCDSB such as Student Special Services, Facilities, Educational and Training Materials, Communications Tools, Transportation and Human Resources.  In accordance with the Multi-Year Accessibility Plan, each working group is required to consult with our students, staff and Christian community members who possess a disability. 
Goods and services are provided in a manner that is respectful to persons with a disability and does not diminish the person’s importance.
Equal Opportunity
Service is provided to persons with disabilities in a way that their opportunity to access goods and services is equal to that given to others.
Accommodating a person’s disability means respecting their right to do for themselves and to choose the way they wish to receive goods and services.
Persons with disabilities can access goods and services.  This may require alternative formats and flexible approaches.  It means inclusiveness and full participation.
Evaluation and Metrics:
1.      The TCDSB’s Annual Accessibility Report will serve as an assessment and overview of the Board’s achievements and status in working to provide barrier-free facilities, services, employment and instruction to our staff, students, parents, volunteers and Catholic community.
2.      Recommendations from the Accessibility Working Group or any advice provided to the Director of Education will be assessed, monitored and considered for implementation.
3.      The Director of Education will annually update and attest compliance to the statutory obligations under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act to the Board of Trustees including any major initiatives to meet compliance or address efficiencies.