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Ontario Arts Council

2014 Annual Status Report on Year Two of OAC’s Multi-Year Accessibility Plan

The Ontario Arts Council (OAC) has been successful in implementing year two of our Multi-year Accessibility Plan. There has been significant activity this year, not only in maintaining the existing requirements but also implementing additional supports to individuals applying for grants that have already taken effect or will be taking effect in 2015.

As mentioned in last year’s report, we are still on target in 2015 for the website upgrade that will meet the highest standard of WCAG 2.0 Level AA compliancy, well before the 2021 deadline. This new website will also provide a portal to Nova, 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 successfully passed an audit of our IASR requirements by the Accessibility Directorate of Ontario.
  • OAC has made Deaf artists and artists with disabilities a priority group in our new strategic plan.
  • OAC created videos where Deaf artists and artists with disabilities describe how they have been supported through our granting processes, and information on ways that individuals can engage and receive support from OAC. The videos incorporate ASL(American Sign Language) and LSQ (Langue des signes du québec), as well as enhanced captioning.
  • OAC will be introducing a pilot granting program in 2015 for Deaf artists and artists with disabilities, and successful applicants may also apply for funding for accessibility support that is required to do their work.  
  • OAC has added Tangled Art + Disability as a third-party recommender for exhibition assistance grants.
  • OAC has brought in artists with disabilities to speak to OAC staff on creating work, and the Deaf and Disability Arts milieu.
  • OAC continues to invite Deaf artists and artists with disabilities to participate on our peer assessment panels, and has arranged and paid for the appropriate accommodation to facilitate full participation.
  • OAC has introduced a fund for Deaf artists and artists with disabilities that provides up to $500 annually when support is required to complete an application. Examples where this has been applied are: transcription of blind/vision impaired artists’ applications; transcription of an application for an artist with mental illness; and submission of a grant application into LSQ.
  • OAC continued to provide communication vehicles, like surveys, feedback forms, and information sessions in alternate formats to individuals upon request, and has notified the public that alternate formats will be made available.
  • OAC ensured that accessible venues were used for public sessions arranged for and hosted by OAC and that ASL interpreters were in attendance at a reception that OAC hosted to introduce our new Minister of Culture, Tourism and Sport, the Hon. Michael Coteau, to the arts community, and at an information session to launch OAC’s new strategic plan.
  • Members of our Deaf and Disability Arts & Access Committee continued to attend 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.

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