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Welcome To The County of Renfrew’s Accessibility Advisory Committee Information Page
AODA FACT SHEET FOR AAC MEMBERS:
The Accessibility For Ontarians With Disability Act (AODA 2005) was passed in 2005 through the Ontario Legislature. The goal of the Act is to make Ontario barrier free by 2025 and make all services accessible to all residents no matter what their disability.
The Accessibility Adviosry Committee is a committee comprised of volunteers who are residents of the County of Renfrew. There is also one elected member of the County Council on this Committee. The Accessibility Advisory Committee was created in 2003.
One of the legislative requirements of the Act is the establishment of an Advisory Committee for Municipal Governments with a base population in excess of 10,000.
The primary mandate of the AAC is to review the County of Renfrew’s Annual Municipal Accessibility Plan and to advise and make recommendations to the Elected Officials of the County of Renfrew in relation to standards and requirements of the Act. The AAC is responsible for identifying barriers in buildings owned and operated by the Corporation of the County of Renfrew. The AAC identifies these physical and non-physical barriers upon submission of the Annual Municipal Accessibility Plan. This may involve touring and inspecting County of Renfrew properties to advise the County of Renfrew, in terms of upgrades, that will assist in the removal of physical and non-physical barriers for persons with disabilities. Ultimately, the Elected Officials of the County of Renfrew determine if and when the advice of the AAC will be developed into official County of Renfrew policy through the submission of the Plan to the Province of Ontario.
There are seventeen local governments in the County of Renfrew. From time to time, a request may be made from a local government to the AAC to assist them in the interpretation of legislation, review the Annual Municipal Accessibility Plan that they submit to the Province or assist in the review of their municipally owned buildings. It is the discretion of the AAC membership to assist in the requests from the local governments. The AAC is not mandated to assist the local governments, nor is the AAC mandated to complete the Municipal Accessibility Plan for a local government.
The Accessibility Advisory Committee meets 3-4 times per year and presents an Annual Update to the County of Renfrew’s Finance & Administration Committee.
The AAC membership is comprised of residents of the County of Renfrew. There is no set number of members, but 50% must have some form of recognizable disability. There is one elected representative from County Council who is a member of the AAC.
No. The County of Renfrew provides administrative support to the AAC through the Human Resources Department. Staff provides administrative and legislative interpretation and other tasks as required by the AAC. Staff is present at AAC meetings, but is ineligible to vote. Their role is merely to assist the AAC.
The Accessibility Directorate has produced a series of Standards that both the Public and Private sectors are required to implement at various dates over the next five years. The five Standards are:
Information and Communications
The AAC is responsible for advising the County of Renfrew on the legislative requirements of the various Standards and helping to guide and advise the Elected Officials and staff of the Corporation of the County of Renfrew in the delivery of these Standards to the residents of the County of Renfrew.
The Customer Service Standard came into law on January 1, 2008, and the public sector must adhere to the Standards by January 1, 2010. The Private Sector is required to meet the legislative requirements by January 1, 2012.
The remaining four Standards are in various phases of review and development through the Accessibility Directorate of Ontario.
Staff assigned to the AAC has developed a draft policy that will be presented to the AAC at its September 2009 meeting. The AAC will review the draft policy, and when the review is completed, the draft policy will be sent to the Finance & Administration Committee for recommendation to County Council. The entire County Council will either accept or reject the recommended policy. If accepted, the new policy will take effect January 1, 2010.
Staff at the County of Renfrew has already begun training to comply with the Customer Service Standards as set out by the Province of Ontario. Once the County of Renfrew policy is put in place on January 1, 2010, County of Renfrew staff will be required to abide by the Customer Service Standard Policy in their daily interactions with the residents of the County of Renfrew.
County of Renfrew staff provides AAC members with regular updates from the Province of Ontario in relation to the proposed Standards. AAC members are strongly encouraged to visit the Accessibility Directorate Website for information regarding the upcoming legislation.
The County of Renfrew is committed to helping the members of the AAC understand the legislative process of the AODA. The County of Renfrew will assist members to undergo training relevant to their mandated requirements under the AODA. These training sessions are based on budgetary restraints. Requests for training are made through the Chair of the AAC to the Director of the Human Resources Department of the County of Renfrew. AS well, County of Renfrew staff may undergo training in order to assist the membership of the AAC.
There are also a number of training modules available on line through the Accessibility Directorate Website.
No. All members of the AAC are volunteers, and there is no set limit on the time an individual may serve on the County of Renfrew Accessibility Advisory Committee.