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Ontario Arts Council

2013 Annual Status Report on Year One of OAC’s Multi-Year Accessibility Plan

The Ontario Arts Council (OAC) has been successful in implementing year one of our Multi-year Accessibility Plan, with one exception, the intended upgrade of our website for which there is a good explanation. The OAC was informed by the Accessibility Directorate of Ontario that the website accessibility requirements apply only to major website refreshes or new websites that are implemented as of January 1, 2014.  This was very good news for OAC and we believe for OAC’s public, as it allows us to redirect resources from what would have been an interim and costly solution of upgrading our current website to WCAG 2.0 Level A standards, when OAC had already planned to develop a new website at a later date. OAC’s new website when implemented in 2015 will meet the highest standard of WCAG 2.0 Level AA compliancy, well before the 2021 deadline. This new website will also host our future online granting and contact management system, which will also be WCAG 2.0 Level AA compliant. 
 

A summary of what OAC has achieved this year:

  • OAC has provided Integrated Accessibility Standard Regulation (IASR) training to all of our current staff, including management, as well as our board members, and will continue to do so as new staff and board members join the organization. 
  • OAC concretized our current employment practices into policies to address the areas requirements under the Employment Standards and shared these with all of our employees.
  • OAC modified our employment letters to share with new employees that there are policies for employment accommodation.
  • OAC modified our performance management forms in order to systematize an annual opportunity for employees and managers to discuss disability related accommodation needs.
  • OAC created a list of accommodation supports and resources that staff can utilize when requests arise for alternative formats or information.
  • OAC has provided our feedback processes, like surveys and feedback forms, in alternate formats to individuals upon request, and has notified the public that alternate formats will be made available.
  • Members of our Deaf and Disability Arts & Access Committee attended many disability arts events and engaged with artists with an array of abilities, as well as other arts funders on accessibility work taking place, in order to educate and inform our thinking.
  • OAC has seen an increase of requests for information in alternate formats, most predominantly for ASL and LSQ interpreters to attend information/feedback meetings with OAC staff on our granting programs, which we have provided at no cost to the requestor. 
  • OAC held focus groups with Deaf artists and artists with disabilities to gather their input on our draft Equity Plan and provided an ASL video of our draft plan. The OAC’s Board of Directors approved the final Equity Plan in October 2013.

We Welcome Feedback

We need input to ensure that OAC continually includes ways to reduce or eliminate barriers to OAC’s services, grant programs and events. Feedback can be provided by completing the Public Feedback Form, or by contacting: 

Nina Small
Director of Human Resources 
416-969-7426 or 1-800-387-0058 ex. 7426
nsmall@arts.on.ca