Executive summary

Under the Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2001 (ODA), ministries are required to produce, and make available to the public, annual plans that identify how ministries will identify and remove barriers to accessibility.

Like all ministries, the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport (MTCS) and Pan/Parapan Am Games Secretariat (PPAGS) complies with the Accessibility Standards for Customer Service (ASCS) and the Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation (IASR). These regulations establish phased-in requirements in the following accessibility standards:

  • customer service
  • information and communications
  • employment
  • transportation
  • design of public spaces

In 2012, the Ontario Public Service (OPS) released its first multi-year accessibility plan entitled Accessibility in the Ontario Public Service: Leading the Way Forward. The Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport and Pan/Parapan Am Games Secretariat’s 2015 ODA Plan, celebrates the tenth anniversary of the AODA and demonstrates how the measures taken in 2015 and proposed for 2016 support the key outcomes and deliverables of the OPS Multi-Year Accessibility Plan (MYAP) as we continue on our path to an accessible Ontario in 2025.

By collectively improving access for all, the OPS is demonstrating its leadership in being responsive to the needs of all Ontarians. Working towards the common goal of building an Accessible Ontario, MTCS and PPAGS continued to reinforce the government’s commitments to developing accessible programs and services.

For MTCS and PPAGS one of its greatest achievements in support of accessibility was the successful delivery of the 2015 Pan/Parapan Am Games, the largest, most accessible international multi-sport Games in Canadian history.

As part of the Games, a Games Legacy Strategy was developed that created lasting benefits for the province well ahead of the Games and continues to impact Ontarians post-Games. The Legacy Strategy targeted Ontarians across the province and focused on key groups such as families, youth, people with disabilities, Indigenous peoples of Ontario and the sport sector.

The overall accessibility legacy is one of the most important benefits that the Games provided to Ontario. In each planning stage of the Games, consideration was given in how to make the experience available to people of all abilities. All existing sporting venues are completely accessible and every new build was designed with accessibility in mind, allowing for a barrier-free experience for people of all abilities to enjoy and take advantage of sporting events and facilities for years to come.

The Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport recognizes the importance of promoting accessibility awareness and continues to seek ways that support the removal of barriers, to ensure that people of all abilities are able to participate fully in every aspect of their lives. Through the design of its policies and programs, strategic funding decisions and delivery of tourism services at its attractions, the ministry uses every opportunity to promote and achieve accessibility for all Ontarians.

Section one: report on measures taken by the ministry in 2015

The Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport (MTCS) and the Pan/Parapan American Games Secretariat (PPAGS) are committed to accessibility. The following section outlines some of the key achievements of MTCS and PPAGS on the commitments identified in the 2014 Accessibility Plan.These achievements are summarized by accessibility standards that include: customer service, information and communications, employment, and built environment.

Customer service

OPS Multi-Year Accessibility Plan (MYAP) key outcome

People with disabilities who are OPS customers receive quality goods and services in a timely manner.

Measures taken by MTCS and PPAGS in 2015

Pan/Para Pan Am Games
  • PPAGS worked closely with the Accessibility Directorate of Ontario throughout the pre-Games and Games-time period and incorporated their advice into delivery elements. Accessible formats and considerations (such as teleconference, materials being provided in advance etc.) were provided for receptions, meetings or public events hosted by Ontario.
  • PPAGS also worked closely with TO2015 in planning for an accessible Games. For example, it was ensured that all volunteers received accessibility training and as a legacy of the games, facilitated the sharing of this tool with other volunteer organizations for future training of volunteers.
  • TORONTO 2015 Pan/Parapan American Games Organizing Committee implemented a Diversity Plan that included participation of people with disabilities in Games planning, delivery, and infrastructure.
  • All meeting and events were supported by accessible communications and all events were fully accessible. This included Ontario’s Torch Relay stops in advance of both the Pan and the Parapan Am Games. All communities receiving provincial support for torch relay stops were required to deliver fully accessible events.
  • To support an inclusive games-watching experience, TO2015 made accessible seating tickets available with the option to purchase an adjacent companion ticket at a discounted price.
  • A variety of accessible services were provided to spectators attending the Games. TO2015 developed Accessibility Guides that provided all Games-related accessibility information, including a venue-by-venue description of specific accessible services and locations.
  • Live audio description was provided for the first time at a Pan Am and Parapan Am Games. This included all opening and closing ceremonies as well as Parapan judo, goal ball and select wheelchair basketball sessions.
  • All Parapan venues had more than one per cent accessible seats, which exceeds the internationally recognized Games standard set by the International Paralympic Committee Accessibility Guidelines. TO2015 also provided accessible seating at free PANAMANIA events at CIBC Pan Am Park during the Pan Am Games and at Nathan Phillips Square for both Games.

Creating a better customer service experience

MTCS strives to embed accessibility into the fabric of the ministry. Efforts are continuously made to ensure staff are educated and trained to consider accessibility in all aspects of ministry work. Some examples of this include:

  • Fort William Historical Park continued to conduct training for education programmers focused on addressing clients with special needs. For example, events held in 2015 included presentations by the Thunder Bay Sport Accessibility Council to discuss how to meet the needs of those with a disability and the annual staff orientation session included training on how best to address clients with special needs
  • Huronia Historical Park conducted a thorough review of their visitor surveys and took action where required to meet accessibility objectives and improve services for visitors with disabilities
  • Huronia Historical Park’s Customer Service Policy and Accessibility Guidelines were updated for Sainte-Marie among the Hurons
  • ministry staff consulted the Stakeholder Advisory Committee and the City of Toronto’s Community Disability Steering Committee on the design of the Urban Park and William G. Davis Trail. Feedback received to reduce accessibility barriers was considered and incorporated in the planning and construction of the park and trail. The park and trail are schedule for completion in late 2016
  • developed by the Ontario Restaurant Hotel and Motel Association (ORHMA), Check-In-Canada is an industry-led online accommodations directory that helps tourists find and book accommodations in Ontario and across Canada. With assistance from the ministry, ORHMA has added accessibility ratings to the accommodations directory using Planat, an online ratings tool developed by the Rick Hansen Foundation
  • the ministry provided $3.2M to the Canadian National Institute for the Blind over two years to support accessible public library services for the visually impaired
  • under the 2015 Celebrate Ontario program, expenses related to improved accessibility services were eligible to grant recipients, and webinar information sessions for potential applicants to the 2015 program provided a link to accessibility resources
  • Culture Strategy consultations were inclusive and flexible in that various methods for providing input were available to the public, including online, via email, and in person at town halls
  • ministry staff were encouraged to apply the Inclusion Lens when developing new strategies, policies and projects
  • when planning engagement sessions or meetings with stakeholders, ministry staff sought and met participant needs regarding accessible accommodations
  • accessibility criteria was continuously applied in day-to-day decision-making and policy projects, particularly as it relates to public materials/projects
  • staff ensured that preparation and delivery of correspondence on behalf of the ministry, was in compliance with accessibility standards

Information and communications

OPS MYAP key outcome:

Information and communications are available in accessible formats or with necessary supports to all OPS staff and customers.

Measures taken by MTCS and PPAGS in 2015

Supporting accessible communications

The ministry was committed to providing accessible information and communications supports for both customers and staff that allowed for full participation in a barrier-free environment. Below are some highlights of key ministry achievements:

  • ministry staff have completed the Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation Information and Communications Standards training course
  • as part of the Huronia Historical Park staff orientation training held in May 2015, participants were trained on how to respond to requests for information and services in alternate formats
  • Huronia Historical Park marketing, information and communication activities used plain language and directed visitors to websites where more information was available in regular and text formats
  • Huronia Historical Park developed communication strategies that effectively presented goods and services to visitors with disabilities in a manner that takes into account their disability
  • communication materials for the general public and staff is in 12 point font or higher and all program department interpretative staff received service excellence accessibility training and continued to follow AODA customer service standards
  • visitors at Huronia Historical Park and Fort William Historical Park sites were advised via the respective websites that “Admission is free for support persons with a paying visitor with a disability” and that service animals are welcomed on-site, in the museum and in restaurants
  • ministry staff responsible for the development of web content, were required to complete accessibility standards for information and communication standards
  • under the Summer Experience Program, Tourism Agency Branch applicants were required to comply with all federal, provincial and municipal rules and by-laws including accessibility
  • as part of the Celebrate Ontario program and application guide, information on accessibility resources were made available to potential applicants
  • working with the I&IT Cluster, the ministry completed necessary upgrades to meet accessibility standards for the Tourism Research Tools used to measure economic impact, track performance, report on results, and guide policy/program decisions
  • members of the public were provided the option to give feedback regarding accessibility issues to the ministry via the following link:
    http://www.mtc.gov.on.ca/en/about/accessibility.shtml
  • the ministry ensured that accessibility was taken into consideration regarding social media posts, by using plain language and text
  • specialized software was purchased in 2015 to assist, identify and fix existing accessibility issues with the ministry’s internet website and to ensure the ministry’s website remains compliant. No new content is posted without being fully compliant and meeting WCAG 2.0 Level AA standards as much as possible
  • ministry communications staff participated at the monthly GO web committee meetings to learn the latest information about accessibility issues

Employment

OPS MYAP key outcome:

OPS employees with disabilities participate fully and meaningfully in their employment.

Measures taken by MTCS and PPAGS in 2015

Building awareness

The ministry considers accessibility in all HR matters and encourages staff to educate themselves on inclusive practices to help establish a barrier-free work environment where all employees feel supported and included. Some measures taken to achieve this include:

  • ministry staff have completed the Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation (IASR) Employment Standards training course
  • Fort William Historical Park continued to work with employees to ensure an accessible working environment. The Staff Handbook is updated annually and includes a section on accessibility
  • the poster advertising Huronia Historical Park’s 2015 student recruitment, utilized images that presented a diverse and inclusive workplace targeted to potential summer staff
  • staff attended the JOIN conference in Fall 2015 to network with colleagues and industry leaders and seek more information regarding accessible best practices
  • staff attended the Accessibility Innovation Showcase, hosted by the Ministry of Economic Development, Employment and Infrastructure in August 2015 to learn about innovative technologies and assistive devices developed by Ontario companies that help improve the lives of people with disabilities
  • recruitment competitions conducted by branch managers provide accommodations for persons with disabilities
  • with regards to the recruitment process, plain language was applied in interview questions and assignments. Communications staff supported branch staff in providing support on accessibility product formats, communications reports, etc
  • the Pan/Parapan American Games Secretariat’s Accessibility Lead provided e-mail updates to increase staff awareness of IASR obligations, the Building Code Act & Barrier-free Design and worked closely with TO2015 to ensure all infrastructure for the Games met OPS Barrier-free Guidelines and other applicable accessibility requirements

Built environment

OPS MYAP key outcome:

There is greater accessibility into, out of and around OPS facilities and public spaces.

Measures taken by MTCS and PPAGS in 2015

Improving access

An accessible built environment makes it easier for people with all types of disabilities to work, enjoy activities and access services. In support of this goal, the ministry achieved the following:

  • at Fort William Historical Park all procurement planning, including during design and construction phases, considered accessibility requirements. Flood mitigation and emergency access design projects for both include specifications to meet AODA regulations
  • as ramps on the historic site have been repaired or upgraded, barriers to accessibility have been removed including removing thresholds and extending ramps for better access
  • another 2100 square feet of boardwalk at Huronia Historical Park was replaced with new cedar boards, continuing with the work (5000 square feet) that was completed in 2014-2015. This made the surface less irregular for wheelchairs and other assistive devices and also eliminated trip hazards from the weathered boards
  • work commenced with Infrastructure Ontario on the multi-year commitment for the design and development of a new parking lot at Discovery Harbour. Work completed included; a storm water management study, a property boundary study, an environmental assessment, an archaeological assessment, a geotechnical study and a schematics survey. This is setting the ground work for having a fully paved parking lot with the proper grading making it easier for people with mobility concerns to access the site
  • Discovery Harbour purchased a portable, adjustable aluminum ramp to facilitate wheelchair and scooter access to Fo'c'sle educational program on-site building and purchased two additional scooters to increase accessibility for visitors and staff with mobility issues to aid in navigating the attraction
  • ministry staff are working closely with the design team to ensure all aspects of the Urban Park and William G. Davis Trail at Ontario Place will be AODA compliant (e.g. ensuring all walking paths, street furniture and access points meet the province’s Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation Guidelines)
  • as part of the Celebrate Ontario program, a Guide to Accessible Festivals and Outdoor Events was published to provide organizers of festivals and outdoor events information to improve accessibility and to better understand their obligations under the AODA
  • PPAGS worked closely with TO2015 to ensure all infrastructure for the Games met OPS Barrier-free Guidelines and other applicable accessibility requirements
  • all 31 competition venues met applicable accessibility requirements and ensured persons with accessibility challenges were able to use these facilities fully, either as participants or spectators
  • the 35-acre Athletes’ Village, a provincially-funded project, was accessible and provided a barrier-free environment for residents and visitors. The Village maintained fully integrated accessibility measures required for the Games. The increase in affordable, accessible housing of the Athletes’ Village will have a long lasting legacy for the city

General outcomes

OPS MYAP key outcome:

OPS staff are able to identify barriers to accessibility, in OPS policies, programs, services and facilities, and actively seek solutions to prevent or remove them on a continuing basis throughout the organization.

Measures taken by MCTS and PPAGS in 2015

Moving beyond accessibility requirements

MTCS believes that it is important for the ministry to not just meet accessibility standards, but continuously strive to exceed the standards, where possible. Below are some examples:

  • the ministry established a Corporate Initiatives Committee that meets on a regular basis to discuss the promotion and delivery of corporate initiatives within the ministry, including accessibility. Committee members are encouraged to provide support for the delivery of corporate initiatives (i.e. accessibility, service excellence, employee engagement, inclusion and mental health)
  • the Corporate Initiatives Committee regularly provides input into the development of ministry products related to accessibility (e.g. accessibility plan, inclusion plan, planning ministry-wide inclusion events and completing accessibility commitments)
  • Pan Am Para Pan Am Kids program was delivered in over 4,250 of publicly funded schools, After School Program and PPAKids Summer Camps. It included: Activity Day Kits with 10 cards of adapted sports and para-sports of the Games. Para-sport adaptations were sitting volleyball, boccia and goal-ball. Meet me at the Finish Line encouraged the connection between the Games, the classroom, and the athletes. It included videos of 10 athletes who hoped to compete at the Games and provided ways for children and youth to follow them leading up the Games. Four Parapan Am hopefuls were highlighted
  • Game ON – The Ontario Government’s Sport Plan announced in November 2015 includes plans to support para sport in Ontario. Meetings with Canadian Paralympic Committee were held in 2015 to discuss how to further develop and support para-sport. In 2015, $100,000 was provided in legacy para-sport equipment to support increased para-sport participation and accessibility in Ontario
  • in fiscal 2015-16, $1M was provided to Variety Village to support the delivery of programs and services that provide people with disabilities the opportunity to engage in sport, fitness, wellness, training and skill development programs
  • in fiscal 2015-16, the Canadian Sport Institute Ontario received over $4.9M to support operations and the delivery of ongoing programs including accessible facilities and opportunities for para-athletes. Examples of support include an $80K Canadian Wheelchair Basketball Academy and a $57K investment in Wheelchair Rugby through CSIO’s Ontario High Performance Sport Initiative program. The program supports athletes that have been identified as having future international podium potential
  • a staff member from the Financial Management and Coordination Branch continues to have representation on the OPS Disability Advisory Council. The council provided input and advice on accessibility issues from representatives across the organization.

Section two: report on measures proposed by the ministry for 2016

As noted above, the Pan/Parapan Am Games (PPAGS) were held in the summer of 2015. As this was a point in time event that is now complete, the functions of PPAGS have been assumed by the Sport, Recreation and Community Programs Division in the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport (MTCS). Therefore, the following section will only outline proposed measures for MTCS. These measures are summarized by accessibility standards that include: customer service, information and communications, employment, and built environment.

Customer service

OPS MYAP key outcome:

People with disabilities who are OPS customers receive quality goods and services in a timely manner

Measures proposed by MTCS in 2016

The ministry will:

  • encourage staff to apply the OPS Inclusion Lens, considering aspects such as alternate formats and communication supports, to hold accessible meetings and events
  • continue to ensure new staff complete accessibility training such as “May I Help You?”
  • ensure ministry events are planned in an inclusive way, taking into account participant accessibility requirements
  • investigate and procure new visitor transportation vehicles that provide accessible seating for Fort William Historical Park. Continue to work with the Ministry of Transportation to replace aging buses with vehicles that consider and provide access for all visitors to the attraction
  • continue to provide accessible offerings at events at Fort William Historical Park, such as ensuring that all visitors have clear viewing of event scenes during Haunted Fort Night
  • continue to analyze customer feedback received relating to accessibility at Fort William Historical Park and Huronia Historical Park and identify areas for improvement
  • continue to conduct training for education programmers focussed on addressing clients with special needs
  • ensure all staff at the ministry’s attractions receive training on assistive devices, such as the scooters at both attractions
  • ensure appropriate staff are aware of the need for postings on the website and public facing signage when accessible services are disrupted at both historical parks
  • continue to share information on accessibility with Regional Tourism Organizations (RTOs) and encourage partnerships with the Tourism Industry Association of Ontario and the Ministry of Economic Development, Employment and Infrastructure in preparation for the Accessible Tourism Workshops to be delivered in 2016. The RTOs will continue to promote the workshops with stakeholders to encourage attendance
  • continue to make expenses related to improved accessibility services eligible under the 2016 Celebrate Ontario program and provide links to accessibility resources in the 2016 Application Guide. Continue to share this information in the webinar information sessions for potential applicants
  • ensure that accessibility criteria are built into decision-making and project management processes. The 2016 application guide also indicates that the 2017 program will consider how event organizers have met their obligations under the AODA as part of the scoring criteria
  • undertake a review of the Accessible Tourism Workshops once completed, to determine the effectiveness of the sessions; staff will share results when available
  • ensure opportunities for stakeholders and the general public to submit feedback on the revitalization of Ontario Place is barrier-free and that communication supports such as plain language, sign language and alternative and augmentative communication supports are available to facilitate effective communications
  • continue to ensure all ministry correspondence is prepared and delivered in compliance with accessibility standards
  • ensure notice of disruption policies are in place when services are unavailable – per the ministry’s Business Continuity Plan

Information and communications

OPS MYAP key outcome:

Information and Communications are available in accessible formats or with necessary supports to all OPS staff and customers.

Measures proposed by MTCS for 2016

The ministry will:

  • ensure that all public facing documents such as program guidelines will be published in accessible formats and produced in 12 font or higher
  • continue to develop marketing, information and communication channels that use plain language and drive visitors to the websites where more information is available in regular and text formats
  • continue to develop communication strategies and vehicles that effectively present goods and services to visitors with disabilities in a manner that takes into account accessibility
  • ensure all program department interpretative staff receive service excellence accessibility training and follow Huronia Historical Park’s Accessible Customer Service Standards Policy and Accessibility Guidelines
  • ensure that all directional signage and way-finding at the Urban Park and William G. Davis Trail at Ontario Place is AODA compliant and printed in formats usable by persons with disabilities
  • ensure new staff at the ministry’s attractions receive mandatory Accessible Customer Service training on how best to interact and communicate with visitors in an accessible way
  • update document templates based on best practices for accessible formats
  • Encourage all ministry staff to take training on “Creating Accessible Documents” by December 31, 2016
  • Continue to include a notification to participants about accommodation needs/barrier removal with a follow up after the session
  • Review sport programs with the goal of having all sport funding programs meet AODA standards
  • Continue to ensure that existing ministry website content conforms to WCAG 2.0 level AA standards
  • Continue to increase awareness of accessibility by proactively raising accessibility considerations and sharing resources with staff and management
  • Continue participation in a government–wide committee (Go-web) to address and learn about any issues of accessibility regarding new intranet/internet sites and new web content

Employment

OPS MYAP key outcome:

OPS employees with disabilities participate fully and meaningfully in their employment.

Measures proposed by MTCS for 2016

The ministry will:

  • continue to ensure the removal and prevention of barriers to persons with disabilities when posting and advertising jobs, during the recruitment and selection process, when implementing health and safety programs, and during the return to work or remain at work placement for employees with disabilities
  • work to increase staff and management awareness of accessibility (e.g. mental health, learning and physical disabilities) and employment accommodations directives, policies, and plans to respond to barriers
  • encourage staff to include annual accessibility/inclusion commitments in staff/manager performance and learning plans
  • ensure accessible formats and communication supports will be made available to ministry employees upon request
  • accommodate employees with disabilities to the fullest possible extent by providing a safe environment to discuss accessibility requirements
  • ensure that ongoing capital improvements at both attractions will reduce barriers for current and future staff as well as general public visitors
  • ensure that staff at both attractions receive mandatory OPS training on how to interact and communicate with people in a manner that takes into account their disability
  • continue to encourage staff to complete the e-learning course “Diversity: Using the OPS Inclusion Lens.”
  • ensure that recruitment posters and the employment section on websites directed to summer student staff will continue to reflect a diverse and inclusive workplace at Huronia Historical Park
  • share accessibility related information with unit staff, ensuring the availability of accessible formats and communication supports for employees

Built environment

OPS MYAP key outcome:

There is greater accessibility into, out of and around OPS facilities and public spaces.

Measures proposed by MTCS for 2016

The ministry will:

  • increase awareness of the OPS barrier-free requirements for government facilities among managers and staff
  • ensure the design for renovations to the Fort William Historical Park Visitor Centre washroom area meet accessibility standards and continue to upgrade ramps and the building entry area to ensure barriers are removed
  • ensure that flood mitigation and emergency access project design specifications at Fort William Historical Park will be completed to ensure compliance with AODA regulations
  • consider accessibility when planning for event entry points at Fort William Historical Park to ensure persons with disabilities do not face barriers to the site, including ensuring the number of accessible parking spaces at Fort William Historical Park will continue to meet or exceed provincial standards
  • continue work at Huronia Historical Park’s Discovery Harbour, replacing wooden boardwalk to facilitate ease of travel to access the admissions area for wheelchairs, scooters and other assistive devices
  • ensure meetings or stakeholder/public consultations organized by ministry staff make best efforts to host sessions at venues that are physically accessible to persons with disabilities
  • renovate Sainte-Marie among the Hurons foyer and admissions area. Upgrades to include adjusting the height of guest services counter to meet accessibility requirements for the design of public spaces and address other visitor’s services/admission/ accessibility areas to improve customer service. Swing gates (compliant turnstiles) are also proposed in the new admissions plan
  • ensure that phase two of the proposed revitalization plans currently in place at Sainte-Marie among the Hurons present solutions and designs for reducing barriers in the museum and Visitor Centre
  • ensure that exterior directional signage references barrier-free access to park features at Ontario Place (e.g. walking trails, fire pit, pavilion and washrooms)
  • continue to work with the City of Toronto’s, Park, Forestry and Recreation – Advocate for People with Disabilities to discuss options for accessibility and design considerations for the Urban Park and William G. Davis Trail
  • ensure that plans for any new built structures and public realms at Ontario Place comply with the AODA

General outcomes

OPS MYAP key outcome:

OPS staff are able to identify barriers to accessibility in OPS policies, programs, services and facilities, and actively seek solutions to prevent or remove them on a continuing basis throughout the organization

Measures proposed by MTCS for 2016

The ministry will:

  • enhance ministry staff awareness of accessibility requirements, protocols, and tools
  • ensure staff are trained and understand mandatory accessibility requirements
  • continue to encourage staff from across the ministry to participate on the ministry’s Corporate Initiatives Committee
  • continue to ensure accessibility equipment, spaces and features at both historical parks are maintained in good working order
  • continue promoting accessibility to agencies on topics such as summer employment, procurement and capital projects
  • encourage staff to continue using the OPS Inclusion Lens in the design or development of new policies or programs, such as in the development of the Strategic Framework for Tourism in Ontario
  • implement Game ON – The Ontario Government’s Sport Plan; as part of this, the ministry will continue to develop a plan to enhance the delivery of para-sport in Ontario, providing provincial para-athletes with opportunities to participate in competitive and recreational sport
  • develop accessibility plans for Transfer Payment Agreements for Ontario Games and the 2017 North American Indigenous Games, including a commitment to provide all staff and volunteers with accessibility training

Section three: addressing the identification of barriers in legislation

Introduction

The ODA establishes that a ministry’s accessibility plan shall include the measures in place to address the identification, removal and prevention of barriers to persons with disabilities in the Acts, regulations, policies, programs and services administered by the ministry.

In 2005, the government introduced the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, with the goal of making Ontario accessible by 2025. In support of this goal, the government subsequently committed to review Ontario legislation to identify and address accessibility barriers, and undertook a coordinated review of 51 statutes considered to have a high impact on persons with disabilities. This review has now been completed.

Legislation

Our ministry remains committed to the goal of ensuring that new Ontario legislation does not create barriers to persons with disabilities. In May 2015, MTCS introduced the Supporting Ontario Trails Act, 2015, which includes the proposed Ontario Trails Act, 2015. The purposes of the proposed Ontario Trails Act, 2015, if passed, are as follows: to increase awareness about and encourage the use of trails; enhance trails and the trail experience; protect the trails for today’s generations and future generations; and to recognize the contribution that trails make to the quality of life in Ontario. Throughout the development process, the Inclusion Lens was used to ensure the culture, diversity and needs of all Ontarians was considered. Some examples that reflect the use of the Inclusion Lens include:

  • when developing the wording for the Act to enact the Ontario Trails Act, 2015 and to amend various Acts, the team considered accessibility for people with disabilities and attempted to remove or mitigate any barriers that were identified
  • consultations with trails stakeholders were structured to ensure attendees reflected a membership committed to diversity and accessibility and the trails team identified and removed barriers to ensure physical locations of the consultations were fully accessible and
  • communications products were inclusive and met accessibility parameters

The Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport will continue to report through our accessibility plan, actions that have been taken to identify and remove barriers in ministry Acts, regulations, policies, programs and services.

Updated: September 16, 2021
Published: May 05, 2016