Sign In
Skip Navigation LinksSimcoe County > Departments > Clerks > Accessibility

Accessibility

​The County of Simcoe is committed to providing consistent opportunity to people of all abilities.  The County is committed to addressing integration, independence, dignity, and equal opportunity for accessing goods, services, and facilities.  The County of Simcoe will make every reasonable effort to accommodate all individual needs, in a timely manner.

The following is a brief summary of the County's policies and procedures related to accessibility. 

 

 

Our CommitmentOur Commitment<p><strong>Communication - </strong>When communicating with a customer, the County of Simcoe will do so in a manner that takes into account the person’s disability. At the request of the customer, information will be provided in a format that meets their needs.</p><p><strong>Disruptions to Service</strong></p><p>The County of Simcoe will provide prompt notice in the event of a planned or unexpected disruption at our facilities or services.</p><p><strong>Use of Assistive Devices</strong></p><p>We recognize that some customers require the use of assistive devices in order to access services. Individuals will be permitted to use their assistive devices, or those offered by the County of Simcoe to obtain, use or benefit from its services.</p><p><strong>Service Animals</strong></p><p>Customers with disabilities who are accompanied by a guide dog or other service animal will be permitted to enter the County of Simcoe premises and to keep the service animal with them. If the animal is legally excluded from the premises, the County of Simcoe will provide alternative measures to enable the person to obtain, use or benefit from its services.</p><p><strong>Support Persons</strong></p><p>Customers who rely on a support person for assistance while accessing services will be allowed to enter the County of Simcoe’s premises together; and they will not be prevented from having access to the support person while on the premises. The County will provide advance notice of any fees that may be charged for the support person.</p><p><strong>Training</strong></p><p>The County of Simcoe provides accessibility training to all its staff, volunteers, agents and contractors. Training includes Accessible Customer Service, the Integrated Accessibility Standards and the Human Rights Code.</p><p>The County will continue to provide training on any policy changes and will maintain records of this training.</p><p><strong>Procurement</strong></p><p>To ensure that the County is receiving accessible goods and services from third-party contractors, the County revised its procurement requirements. The County incorporated accessibility criteria and features into the terms and conditions that accompany any Request for Proposal (RFP), bid, or tender when the County is procuring or acquiring goods, services, or facilities.</p><p><strong>Emergency Procedure, Plan, or Public Safety Information</strong></p><p>Upon request, the County of Simcoe will provide emergency procedure, plan, and public safety information in an accessible format or with communication support, as soon as practicable.</p><p><strong>Websites and Web Content</strong></p><p>The County of Simcoe will ensure that its external Internet websites and web content published on or after January 1, 2012, conform to the World Wide Web Consortium Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0.</p><p><strong>Employment</strong></p><p>The County of Simcoe is committed to equal consideration of candidates during the recruitment, assessment, and selection process. Job applicants and employees will be notified of the availability of accommodations for persons with disabilities.</p><p>In cases where accommodations are required, the County of Simcoe will consult with the individual and provide or arrange for suitable accommodations, in a manner that takes into account the individual’s disability needs.</p><p>The County of Simcoe is also committed to ensuring the safety of its employees. Individualized workplace emergency response information will be provided when required. This information will be provided as soon as practicable after the County becomes aware of the need for accommodation.<br></p>
Alternate Formats and Communication SupportAlternate Formats and Communication Support<p>The County of Simcoe recognizes that persons with disabilities use various methods to access information. Upon request, the County of Simcoe will provide, or arrange for the provision of accessible formats or communication supports for persons with disabilities. The cost of these goods and services will be no greater than the regular cost charged to others.</p><p>If a person requires an alternate format or communication support, they can contact the County’s Accessibility Office at 705-726-9300 or by email at <a href="mailto:accessibility@simcoe.ca">accessibility@simcoe.ca</a>.</p><p>The County of Simcoe also notifies its employees and the public about the availability of accessible formats and communication supports. Public notice is provided on its website and on many of the documents produced by the County.</p><p>For more information regarding accessible formats or communication supports, please contact the Accessibility Office.<br><br></p>
FeedbackFeedback<p>Input from the public is important to the County of Simcoe. Feedback allows the County to know how it is progressing with its accessibility goals. It is dedicated to making its programs, services, and facilities accessible to all persons.</p><p>The County of Simcoe will accept feedback in various formats. Feedback can be provided in person, in writing, email, phone or fax. The County will also accept feedback in alternative formats.</p><p>The County will respond in a manner that takes into account an individual’s communication needs. Upon request, accessible formats or communication supports will be provided or arranged.</p><p>Feedback may be provided:<br></p><ul><li>By telephone:<br>705-735-6901 or Toll Free: 1-800-263-3199 or<br>Hearing and Voice Carry Over (Bell Relay Service): 1-800-855-0511</li><li>By fax: 705-719-4626</li><li>By email: <a href="mailto:accessibility@simcoe.ca?subject=Accessibility">accessibility@simcoe.ca</a></li><li>By downloading a printable <a href="/Clerks/Documents/Customer%20Feedback%20Form.pdf" target="_blank">Feedback form</a>. (pdf)</li><li>In person or in writing to: <br>Accessibility Office<br>c/o Customer Service Department<br>County of Simcoe<br>1110 Highway 26,<br>Midhurst, ON L9X 1N6</li></ul>
Accessibility Advisory CommitteeAccessibility Advisory Committee<p>The Accessibility Advisory Committee was established in accordance with the Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2001, and the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005. Its purpose is to advise County Council on ways to improve opportunities for persons with disabilities with respect to County programs, services, and facilities.</p><p>The Accessibility Advisory Committee provides advice, for Council's consideration regarding the identification, removal, and prevention of barriers to persons with disabilities. It also provides input and consultation to staff regarding the preparation, implementation, and monitoring of the County's accessibility plans. The Simcoe County Accessibility Advisory Committee reports to the Council Committee of the Whole.</p><p>Recommendations contained within reports of the Accessibility Advisory Committee are not considered final until they have been approved by County Council.</p><p><a href="/Clerks/Pages/amr.aspx">Link to Agendas, Minutes and Reports page</a>.<br><br></p>
Accessibility Planning and ReportingAccessibility Planning and Reporting<p>​Accessibility planning plays a key role in improving access for County residents, employees, and visitors. In accordance with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005, the County of Simcoe developed and implemented the <a href="/Clerks/Documents/Multi-Year%20Accessibility%20Plan%202013-2018.pdf" target="_blank">2013-2018 Multi-year Accessibility Plan</a>. The plan was created with the input of the Accessibility Advisory Committee. It outlines the County of Simcoe's strategy to prevent and remove barriers and meet the requirements of accessibility legislation over a five year period. The plan also outlines the County of Simcoe's accessibility achievements over the last 12 months.</p><p>Accessibility planning does not end once a plan is prepared and documented. Monitoring is essential to ensuring that the County is meeting its obligations and commitments. An annual report will be prepared on the progress being made toward implementation. A comprehensive review of the plan will be completed every five years unless significant changes necessitate an earlier review.</p><p>In accordance with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005, the County of Simcoe submits an annual accessibility report to the Accessibility Directorate of Ontario, which outlines the County’s compliance with the Act and the Accessibility Standards for the Customer Service Regulation (O. Reg. 429/07 and Integrated Standard Regulation (O. Reg. 191/11).<br><br></p>
Accessibility Legislation and PoliciesAccessibility Legislation and Policies<p><strong>Ontario Human Rights Code</strong></p><p>The Human Rights Code provides for equal rights and opportunities and freedom from discrimination based on grounds of race, ancestry, place of origin, colour, ethnic origin, citizenship, creed, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, age, record of offences, marital status, family status or disability. It recognizes the dignity and worth of every person in Ontario and applies to employment, housing, facilities and services, contracts and membership in unions, and trade and professional associations.</p><p>It also states that customers, clients, and tenants with disabilities have the right to equal treatment and equal access to facilities and services such as restaurants, shops, hotels and movie theatres, as well as apartment buildings, transit and other public places.</p><p>Under the Ontario Human Rights Code, the County of Simcoe has a legal obligation to accommodate any person with a disability, regardless of whether they are an employee, volunteer, or resident.</p><p><strong>Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2001 (ODA)</strong></p><p>The purpose of the ODA is to improve opportunities for persons with disabilities. It is also to provide for their involvement in the identification, removal, and prevention of barriers to their full participation in day-to-day living. The Act applies only to the government of Ontario, municipalities, and broader public sector organizations.</p><p>The ODA has the following two key requirements for the County of Simcoe:</p><ol><li>The establishment of an Accessibility Advisory Committee</li><li>The preparation of an accessibility plan in consultation with an Accessibility Advisory Committee</li></ol><p><strong>Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (AODA)</strong></p><p>The goal of the AODA is a fully accessible Ontario by 2025. In order to achieve this, the Government of Ontario develops, implements, and enforces accessibility standards with respect to customer service, information and communication, employment, transportation, and the built environment. The AODA applies to every person and organization in the private and public sectors in the province of Ontario.</p><p><strong>Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation</strong></p><p>The Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation (IASR) under the AODA includes standards for customer service, information and communication, employment, transportation, and the built environment (the design of public spaces). The IASR applies to the Government of Ontario, public sector organizations, private business and non-profit organizations and agencies.</p><p>Large public sector organizations, such as the County of Simcoe, have compliance requirements that range from January 1, 2012, to January 1, 2021. Other organizations have until 2025 to comply with various requirements.</p><p>In October 2016, County Council approved the <a href="/Clerks/Documents/CLK%2011.%201%20Accessibility%20Standards%20Policy.pdf">Accessibility Standards Policy</a>. The purpose of this policy is to facilitate the County of Simcoe’s regulatory compliance with the AODA and all policy requirements under the Act. The Accessibility Standards Policy outlines the overall strategic direction that the County of Simcoe will follow in the identification, removal, and prevention of barriers to persons with disabilities to ensure access to the County’s goods, services, and facilities.<br><br></p>
General Information and ResourcesGeneral Information and Resources<p><strong>Raising Awareness</strong></p><p>Accessibility is everyone's responsibility.  Raising awareness is an important part of reaching the goal of an accessible Ontario by 2025.</p><p>For more information on accessibility and various resources, please choose from the following website links:  <br></p><ul><li><a title="link to Accessibility Directorate Webpage" href="http://www.mcss.gov.on.ca/en/mcss/programs/accessibility/index.aspx" target="_blank">Accessibility Directorate of Ontario</a></li><li><a title="hyperlink to CNIB website" href="http://www.cnib.ca/en/Pages/default.aspx" target="_blank">The Canadian National Institute for the Blind (CNIB)</a></li><li><a title="hyperlink to the Canadian Hearing Society" href="http://www.chs.ca/" target="_blank">Canadian Hearing Society</a></li><li><a title="hyperlink to OMSSA Guides" href="http://omssa.com/accessible-community-engagement/omssa-guides/" target="_blank">OMSSA Guides to Accessible Public Engagement and Meetings</a></li><li><a title="hyperlink to employers' toolkit" href="http://www.conferenceboard.ca/e-library/abstract.aspx?did=5258" target="_blank">Conference Board of Canada's Employers' Toolkit</a></li><li><a title="hyperlink to human rights commission website" href="http://www.ohrc.on.ca/en" target="_blank">Ontario Human Rights Commission</a></li><li><a title="hyperlink to independent living services website" href="http://www.ilssimcoe.ca/t/home.aspx" target="_blank">Independent Living Services of Simcoe County and Area</a></li></ul>