accordance with the Ontarians With Disabilities Act, 2001
Western’s Commitment to
Accessibility Planning..................................................... 3
in 2008/2009..................................................................... 4
Plan for Removal of Barriers
Monitoring Process................................................................................. 11
Appendix: Members of WODAC ............................................................................... 12
In December 2001, Ontario passed the Ontarians with Disabilities Act,
2001 (the “Act”). The purpose of the
Act is to improve opportunities for persons with disabilities and to provide
for their involvement in the identification, removal and prevention of barriers
to their full participation in the life of the province. The Act mandates that
every university prepare an annual accessibility plan.
Despite the passage of the
Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005, the requirements
under the former Act, specifically in reference to the preparation of this
report, remain in force. As of March 2010, the University of Western Ontario will
report on customer service standard pursuant to Ontario regulations 429/07 and
430/07 which came into force in 2008
promulgated under the Accessibility for
Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (“AODA”).
The purpose of an accessibility plan is to document barriers to
accessibility that have been removed to date and identify those barriers that
will be removed in the coming year. A
plan must also identify how the barriers will be removed and present a plan for
identifying and removing barriers in the future, and preventing the development
of new barriers. Plans must be made
public and accessible to allow for input from the broader community.
The purpose of this plan is to update the last report, prepared in
September 2008 (available at http://www.accessibility.uwo.ca/wodac.htm).
Commitment to Accessibility Planning
As is stated in Engaging the Future, the
University’s Strategic Plan:
part of our commitment to excellence, we seek to recognize and remove the
obstacles faced by traditionally under-represented groups in order to
facilitate their access to and advancement at Western. We respect and celebrate
the diversity of people who make up our community.
The University of Western Ontario has been committed
to accessibility planning for some time now and has recommitted itself to such
planning under the Act. Through the
formation of Western’s Ontarians with Disabilities Act Committee (“WODAC”),
Western has committed itself to meeting its obligations under the Act, as well
as to achieving the following goals:
The continual improvement of access to University
premises, facilities and services for all persons with disabilities;
Compliance with accessibility standards consistent
with regulations under the Accessibility
for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005, as they come into force;
The participation of persons with disabilities in the
development and review of its annual access plans; and
The provision of quality services to persons with
Initiatives in 2008-2009
Physical and Architectural
A number of departments and/or groups are committed to the removal of physical
and architectural barriers at Western.
The initiatives to remove physical and architectural barriers across
An overhead hazard at the rear stairwell of the
building (Southwest Residence) has been corrected
Stair edges were painted in order to make them more
The elevator and floors were labeled in contrasting colours,
Braille and large print
A beep and tone systems was installed in the elevators
Initiatives to remove information and communication barriers across
campus in the past year include:
This type of barrier is the most difficult of the barriers to identify
and address. Western is fortunate to have a large number of interested and
concerned individuals in its community who regularly take on the task of
educating others about the challenges faced by persons with disabilities in our
community, both formally in the work that they do and informally.
Some initiatives completed in the past year to move forward in
addressing these barriers include:
The training was launched in October
2008. MHFA Canada was provided in a
format of four ½ day sessions and ½ day session of Mental Health at
Western. A member of Western’s
Rehabilitation Services (Barbara Froats) has the Full Instructor MHFA Canada
Certification. Training was offered
three times over the past year – October, February and June. To date, fifty-six Leaders and Supervisors
have received training. Feedback has
been positive. Groups on campus have
identified the need for training i.e. Housing, Workplace Health, Campus Police
and Academic Counsellors.
Efforts to remove technological barriers on campus are on-going and the removals
of such barriers are priorities for various departments. Initiatives from the past year include:
Barriers Created by Policies or Practices
organization the size of Western, there are a great number of policies and practices,
both formal and informal. Pursuant to obligations
set out in the AODA, it is anticipated that many policies and practices will be
reviewed by the appropriate departments, and barriers will be identified and
brought forward, either by those departments or by individuals impacted. Resources such as Staff Relations,
Rehabilitation Services, Services for Students with Disabilities and Equity &
Human Rights Services are available to receive concerns and provide advice. These resources also continue to review
policies and practices as part of their work on campus.
initiatives in the past year undertaken to address policy or practice barriers
project team was creating to assist with the implementation of the Customer
Service Standard required under the AODA.
Libraries drafted its Customer Service
Policy Statement: Accessibility for
Persons with Disabilities, Summer 2009.
ensured that its student leaders advised residents that special needs forms are
available for students to complete.
Employment Systems Review was undertaken.
As part of this review, barriers for persons with disabilities were
addressed. The report will be released
in fall 2009.
Plan for Removal of Barriers in 2009-20010
Over the coming year, Western will be focussed on
meeting the requirements of the AODA’s Customer Service Standard which comes
into effect on January 1, 2010. A
project team has been working throughout the summer developing the required
policies, practices and training methods.
A wide-scale roll-out of this project is expected in the fall of
is also continuing to monitor the development of the other standards under the
AODA and will implement changes and/or project teams as necessary.
Affiliated University Colleges – Brescia, Huron and King’s – are also working
toward compliance with the AODA Customer Service Standard.
follows is a list of identified actions to be undertaken in the upcoming year
to identify, remove, and prevent barriers at Western.
Physical and Architectural Barriers
Human Resources (Health and Safety) will expand the MSD
Prevention Program to targeted areas across campus.
The Assistant Ombudsperson has identified several
physical/architectural barriers in the University Community Centre that need to
be addressed. These have been brought to
the attention of the administration.
Western Libraries will ensure that the new Business
Library (C.B. “Bud” Johnston Library), part of the new Ivey building, is an
Huron University College will be phasing in further
improvements to its residence as contained in the CNIB report during the next
capital budget year:
Painting the suite doors on the ground floor in a
contrasting colour to make them more distinguishable
Labeling the mailboxes in Braille
Information and Communications Barriers
will make educational and promotional materials related to accessibility
available through the Programming Office.
Health First Aid Canada and Mental Health at Western for Leaders and
Supervisors training is planned for November 2009 and in March and May
to respond on an as-needed basis to requests for adaptive technology to assist
members of the community.
to monitor and ensure all official Western websites are accessible according to
standards approved by ITS.
School of Occupational Therapy will be providing accommodation for a student
with low vision. Accommodations include
the purchase of a JAWS program for use on campus.
Created by Policies or Practices
of a customer service policy, procedures and processes as per the requirements
of the accessibility standard for customer service as required under the AODA
is in process. All documentation will be
ready by January 2010.
Ombudsperson is undertaking a review of the University’s policy on Academic
Accommodation for Students with Disabilities to ensure that the policy
accurately reflects the University’s process for arranging academic
accommodations, and to ensure that it is in accordance with current human rights
and privacy legislation.
Employment Systems Review report will be released to the community in the fall
of 2009. A consultation/feedback process
will be undertaken during the fall and then, beginning in winter 2010,
development of Western’s Employment Equity Plan will commence.
Review and Monitoring Process
to take an active role in identifying and addressing barriers on Western’s
campus. The committee will continue to focus on finding a reasonable and timely
resolution to accessibility concerns. In
the coming year, WODAC will be playing an important role in the development of
University programs and policies needed to meet the new accessibility
standards. The committee will work
towards establishing strong partnerships with its campus partners to continue
to address accessibility issues.
Members of WODAC
2008 to August 2009
members may be reached via email to email@example.com.
& Human Rights Services
Magahey (Acting Chair)
& Ancillary Services
of the Ombudsperson
for Students with Disabilities
for Graduate Students (SOGS)
Students’ Council *
Please note: the 2008/09 report incorrectly identified the
USC representative. The USC did not
provide a representative to sit on WODAC last year.