Each year Guelph City Council appoints community members to sit on the Guelph Accessibility Advisory Committee (GAAC). The role of the Guelph Accessibility Advisory Committee is to provide vision and direction to staff and Council regarding the removal of barriers that exist within Municipal services, practices and programs.
Alternate formats are available as per the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act by contacting the Clerks Office at 519-822-1260 extension 5603.
About the Committee
The Guelph Accessibility Advisory Committee consists of a maximum of 15 members:
A majority of these members (one half of total members, plus one) must be persons with disabilities. These Committee members must be representative of gender, ethnicity and different types of visible and invisible disabilities noted in the “ODA 2001” such as persons with physical (visual, speech, hearing, deaf, brain injury, use of wheelchair or assistive device); cognitive (intellectual impairments); perceptual (learning disability) and mental health issues;
- the remaining positions may be filled by individuals who may not have a disability. These members may include:
- persons representative of children with disabilities (ex. Parent)
- persons representative of organizations involving persons with disabilities; or
- persons interested in issues related to persons with disabilities
The length of term for a persons first appointed to the Guelph Accessibility Advisory Committee shall be one year. Incumbent members may serve for another three years, in accordance with City Council’s policy.
The City of Guelph’s Administrator of Disability Services will act as a resource to the Guelph Accessibility Advisory Committee but will not be a voting member.
The Guelph Accessibility Advisory Committee meets every other month on the 3rd Tuesday from 3 to 5 p.m. at Guelph City Hall, 1 Carden St.
- Guelph meetings are open to the public.
- The location is wheelchair accessible.
- If individuals attending require special accommodations (i.e. ASL), arrangements must be made at least one month in advance. For assistance and information please contact the Accessibility Coordinator ([email protected], T 822-1260 x 2670, TTY 837-5688).
Terms of Reference
The Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2001 (ODA) received Royal Assent on December 14, 2001. The purpose of the ODA is to improve opportunities for people with disabilities through identification, removal and prevention of barriers to participation in the life of the province.
The new legislative requirements set out standards that all municipalities must follow to ensure that existing barriers for people with disabilities are removed over time and that no new barriers are created.
Under the ODA, all municipalities must prepare and make public all accessibility plans. Municipalities with populations over 10,000 must appoint an Accessibility Advisory Committee (AAC) to help them prepare the plan.
The contents of this “Terms of Reference” may be modified as the Ontarians with Disabilities act is adapted and changes are made.
Within this Terms of Reference the term:
“the organization” refers to The City of Guelph and may refer to the City’s Agencies, Boards and Commissions. It is intended that the Accessibility Advisory Committee shall advise comprehensively upon issues for a barrier-free Guelph which may entail forwarding recommendations to the City’s Agencies, Boards and Commissions and/or other outside organizations.
“the ACC” refers to The Accessibility Advisory Committee.
“barrier” means anything that prevents a person with a disability from fully participating in all aspects of society because of his or her disability, including a physical barrier, and architectural barrier, an information or communication barrier, an attitudinal barrier, a technological barrier, a policy or practices (“obstacle”);
- any degree of physical disability, infirmity, malformation or disfigurement that is caused by bodily injury, birth defect or illness and, without limiting the generality of the foregoing, includes diabetes, mellitus, epilepsy, a brain injury, any degree of paralysis, amputation, lack of physical coordination, blindness or visual impediment, deafness or hearing impediment, muteness or speech impediment, or physical reliance on a guide dog or other animal or on a wheelchair or other remedial appliance or device;
- a condition of mental impairment;
- a condition of a developmental disability;
- a learning disability, or a dysfunction in one or more of the processes involved in understanding or using symbols or spoken language;
- a mental disorder; or,
- an injury or disability for which benefits were claimed or received under the insurance plan established under the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act, 1997; (“handicap”).
In accordance with the Ontarians with Disabilities Act, Chapter 32, Statutes of Ontario, 2002, the AAC shall advise and assist “the organization: in promoting and facilitating a barrier-free Guelph for citizens of all abilities (universal accessibility), including persons with disabilities. This aim shall be achieved through the review of municipal policies, programs and services and the identification, removal and prevention of barriers faced by person with disabilities.
The Accessibility Advisory Committee (AAC) shall report to City Council through the appropriate Standing Committee to Council on a no less than annual basis. The AAC shall be responsible for the following:
Duties Required by the Ontarians with Disabilities Act (2001)
- participating in the annual development and/or refinement of “the organization’s” Accessibility Plan(s) which are intended to improve the quality of life for all Guelphites, including persons with disabilities;
- advising “the organization” on the implementation, and effectiveness of the City’s annual Accessibility Plan to ensure that it addresses the identification, removal and prevention of barriers to persons with disabilities in “the organization’s” by-laws, and all policies, programs, practices and services;
- selecting and reviewing in a timely manner the site plans and drawings for new developments, described in section 41 of The Planning Act;
- reviewing and monitoring existing and proposed procurement policies of “the organization” for the purpose of providing advice with respect to the accessibility for persons with disabilities to the goods or services being procured;
- the committee shall meet each year to review the effectiveness of the plan, and to assist/advise municipal staff on the preparation and presentation of an annual report to Council;
- reviewing access for persons with a disability to buildings, structures and premises (or parts thereof) that the City purchases, constructs, significantly renovates, leases or funds for compliance with the Wellington Accessibility Partnership 2005 Facility Accessibility Design Manual (FADM).
- reviewing “the organization’s” policies and standards and advising “the organization” on issues and concerns (barriers) faced by persons with disabilities and the means by which the organizations may work towards the elimination of these barriers;
- reviewing and advising “the organization” on universal transportation issues, their policies and standards, and how to enable barrier-free access for persons with disabilities;
- advising, consulting and reporting findings and recommendations to “the organization” on matters related to the status of persons with disabilities. The AAC shall be informed on matters of policy (municipal, provincial or federal government and CSA) affecting persons with disabilities and shall inform “the organization” about the impact of these policies onGuelph;
- annually reviewing and recommending changes to the Wellington Accessibility Partnership 2005 Facility Accessibility Design Manual (FADM);
- coordinating the immediate and ongoing dissemination of information in various formats to persons with disabilities, etc and to the public at large regarding issues faced by persons with all types of disabilities and regarding the work undertaken by the AAC; and,
- supporting, encouraging and being an ongoing resource to “the organization,” individuals, agencies and the business community by education and building community awareness about measures (such as employment accommodations, business accessibility, etc.) for improving the quality of life for persons with disabilities, through the removal of physical barriers, incorporation of universal design standards and education to overcome attitudinal barriers to make Guelph an accessible, livable City for all people.
A maximum of 15 members consisting of:
a) a majority of the members (minimum of seven (7)) shall be persons with disabilities. These Committee members shall be representative of gender, ethnicity and different types of visible and invisible disabilities noted in the “ODA 2001” such as persons with a physical (visual, speech, hearing, deaf, brain injury, use of a wheelchair or assistive device); cognitive (intellectual impairments); perceptual (learning disability) and mental health issues;
b) a maximum of six (6) members who may not have a disability which could include:
- One member of Municipal Council;
- One member (parent) representing children or youth with disabilities under the age of 19; and
- Four members at large, interested in issues related to persons with disabilities.
Quorum will consist of one half of the membership plus one member AND of those present, a majority must be persons with a disability.
The total length of term for each Guelph AAC member will be up to ten (10) consecutive years beginning with a period of one year for the first appointment.
The Guelph Accessibility Advisory Committee may form sub-committees and working groups as may be necessary to address specific issues. These sub-committees and working groups shall draw upon members from the Guelph Barrier Free Committees as well as outside resource members as deemed necessary. The Chair of a sub-committee and/or working group shall be a voting member of the Accessibility Advisory Committee.
Staff Support Group
The City of Guelph Administrator of Disability Services, will act as a City liaison to the AAC but will not be a voting member.
It is recommended that each City Service Area shall appoint a staff person who will represent their area on the Corporate Accessibility Steering Committee. The area representative will work within their service area to identify barriers and recommend solutions. The Administrator of Disability Services will act as the committee chair.