Ensuring all residents have equal access to government programs, services and public spaces is part of building a strong community. As part of our commitment to being Resident Focused, Halton is working to meet the accessibility needs of residents throughout the Region. We have accomplished a number of milestones in pursuit of this goal.
In 2012, Regional Council approved the Multi-Year Accessibility Plan, which acts as our roadmap for meeting the objectives and accessibility requirements established by the Province of Ontario. It contains a number of actions created with the support of the Halton Region Accessibility Advisory Committee, a group that continues to be a key partner as we move forward. The Committee offers valuable advice and insight regarding the identification and removal of barriers to people with disabilities.
Between 2012 and 2014, the Region undertook a number of steps toward removing barriers and improving access to information, including:
- Actively instructing residents on how to receive accessibility supports at Regional meetings and events;
- Training staff on accessibility requirements, responding to requests for accommodation and providing accessible customer service;
- Providing information to residents on what to do if they require Regional information in alternate formats; and
- Working with Halton’s Local Municipalities to provide learning opportunities for staff responsible for implementing accessibility requirements relating to the design of public spaces.
Halton has started working toward meeting accessibility standards for public spaces. Last year, Transportation Services began applying requirements that relate to accessible pedestrian signals, curb ramps and depressed curbs. When combined with Halton’s Active Transportation Master Plan, these improvements will help make our roads and walkways more accessible for everyone as our community grows.
Halton Region will continue to promote accessibility as part of our commitment to connecting people and services. The Region will continue to report annually on its progress and will update the Accessibility Plan with new actions to meet accessibility requirements.
We will also move towards more accessible content on our website to ensure compliance with accessibility requirements.
I thank all the residents who have provided feedback on our accessibility initiatives so far, and encourage everyone to continue to support accessibility throughout our region. Together, we can help keep Halton a welcoming, accessible place for all.
To learn more about our efforts to improve accessibility at Halton, please dial 311 or visit Halton.ca/accessibility.
As always, if you have any Regional concerns or comments you would like to share, please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also find me on Twitter @garycarrhalton or on Facebook. To receive further updates on Regional issues, please subscribe to my quarterly e-newsletter, “The Carr Report.”