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Feedback Processes for Accessibility in the Public Sector of Ontario

In the fourth review of the AODA, Rich Donovan states that Ontario will not be fully accessible by 2025. In other words, the provincial government will not meet its own deadline under the AODA. Limited creation, implementation, and enforcement of AODA standards impacts the well-being and safety of Ontarians with disabilities. Therefore, Donovan recommends that the Ontario government should declare this lack of progress on accessibility a crisis. This crisis state should last six (6) months. During this time, the Ontario government should form a crisis committee to implement crucial accessibility improvements in the province. The Premier should act as the chair of this committee, and the Secretary of Cabinet should act as co-chair. Furthermore, Donovan outlines tactical recommendations the province should follow to fulfill its remaining responsibilities in the public sector. One of these tactical recommendations is the creation of feedback processes for accessibility in Ontario’s public sector.

Feedback Processes for Accessibility in the Public Sector of Ontario

Many of the review’s recommendations aim to align the AODA with the Accessible Canada Act (ACA) and other accessibility legislation in the country. For example, the ACA requires organizations to develop accessibility plans, along with accessible feedback processes. Consequently, the review recommends the creation of accessibility plans for government services and employment. In addition, the review recommends that each government ministry should create and implement a process for collecting feedback on accessibility.

Therefore, each government ministry should collect anonymous feedback in a variety of ways, including by:

  • Phone
  • Email
  • Mail
  • Submission of online forms

In some cases, a government ministry may receive feedback that applies more directly to a different ministry. Therefore, a ministry receiving this type of feedback should forward it to the accessibility agency. The agency should then send this feedback to the government ministry with the power to implement it.

Finally, ministries should publish records of the feedback they receive in their later accessibility plans and progress reports. However, this feedback cannot substitute for other consultations required in the development of accessibility plans. In other words, accessible feedback processes are needed in addition to consultation.