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Ontario Arts Council

2015 Annual Status Report on Year Three of OAC’s Multi-Year Accessibility Plan

The Ontario Arts Council (OAC) continues to put year three of our Multi-Year Accessibility Plan into action and we have a number of new initiatives outside the scope of this Plan that champion accessibility in our programs and services. 

We continue to comply with the existing requirements of the Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation that have come into effect to date. A significant project is the planning and launch of a new website that will bring us to compliance with WCAG 2.0 Level AA, as well as an accessible portal to an online granting and contact management system, now scheduled for 2016. This will be achieved well in advance of the January 1, 2021, deadline for meeting this benchmark in web accessibility under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA). 

As of January 1, 2015, public sector organizations are required to make their information and communications accessible upon request. The OAC will, upon request, provide or arrange to provide information in accessible formats and will provide communication supports for people with disabilities. The OAC ensures that the information will be provided in a timely way, at no extra cost to the requester, and will consult with the person making the request to determine the most appropriate format or support that can be supplied by OAC. The availability of alternate accessible formats is shared with the public and communicated in our grant applications and guidelines. 

The OAC’s Communication and Outreach sections handles requests for alternate formats and communication supports on a case-by-case basis. It has developed relationships with suppliers of alternate formats both independently and through the Ontario Public Service and works with these vendors to accommodate these requests in a timely manner.  
 

Other OAC accessibility achievements

  • We have incorporated accessibility into our planning for our new space at 121 Bloor Street East, which we will be moving to in January 2016.  
  • This year Deaf artists and artists with disabilities who apply for a grant in any OAC project program may include the accessibility expenses, in addition to the grant amount requested, incurred in the course of creating, producing and realizing their work. This covers accessibility costs for the applicant with a disability as well as other professional artists who are Deaf or have a disability who are involved in the project.
  • Tangled Art + Disability, currently an external recommender for the Exhibition Assistance granting program, was also appointed as an external recommender for the Theatre Creator’s Reserve granting program to ensure that Deaf artists and artists with disabilities are reflected in the recommendation process.
  • The Media Arts Projects Access Initiative was created as a pilot to assist not-for-profit artist-run centre organizations funded by the Media Arts office for projects that provide Deaf media artists and media artists with disabilities with training, professional development, production and post-production opportunities that lead to the creation of a media artwork by each participant.
  • OAC launched a pilot Deaf and Disability Arts Projects program to fund creation, production, professional development and skill-building opportunities for Deaf artists and artists with disabilities.
  • Deaf artists and artists with disabilities working in the visual arts or craft can apply for Materials and Supplies Assistance program, which provides up to $500 grants for the cost of buying materials and supplies to make work.
  • OAC continues to have Deaf artists and artists with disabilities on our peer assessment panels, and has arranged and paid for the appropriate accommodation to facilitate full participation
  • We continue to offer Deaf applicants and applicants with disabilities funding for the costs of accessibility support in completing grant applications, up to a maximum of $500 per applicant per fiscal year.

We Welcome Feedback

Your input ensures that OAC continually considers ways to reduce or eliminate barriers to our 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 ext. 7426
nsmall@arts.on.ca