We will no longer be supporting IE7 and below as a web browser effective June 1st 2020. Click here for more information.

Sign In
Skip Navigation LinksSimcoe County > Accessibility Report

2022 Accessibility Annual Status Report

​Introduction ​

The County of Simcoe is pleased to present its 2022 annual status report that demonstrates the progress taken to implement the 2019-2023 Multi-Year Accessibility Plan, as required by the Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation (IASR) under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Dis​abilities Act, 2005 (AODA). 

The County of Simcoe's 2019–2023 Multi-Year Accessibility Plan was prepared in consultation with person with disabilities and the County of Simcoe's Joint Accessibility Advisory Committee and received County Council's approval in May 2018.  The Plan outlines the County of Simcoe's strategy to identify, remove and prevent barriers faced by persons with disabilities and outlines how the County will continue to comply with accessibility legislation.  

The Accessibility Annual Status Report for 2022 highlights the County of Simcoe's accomplishments over the past year, which have improved accessibility and removed or prevented barriers within the County of Simcoe's facilities, programs and services. The report also demonstrates the County's continued commitment to accessibility and awareness as well as meetings legislative requirements. The County prides itself on doing all it can to meet its strategic mission of providing sustainable, accessible services and infrastructure through fiscal responsibility and innovative leadership. 

2022 marked a year of gradual easing of restrictions associated with the COVID-19 pandemic which presented a new series of challenges for people living with disabilities. Throughout the pandemic, the County took stringent measures to ensure that everyone was appropriately accommodated in line with public health guidance and continued to do so as mandates were dropped. The County acknowledges the marked impact that the pandemic has had on everyone, especially those living with disabilities, and recognizes that each individual has approached this change in differing manners. The County has and will continue to accommodate all residents and visitors in their preferred manner as it continually strives to foster respect and understanding throughout the region.  

This report and other accessibility information related to the County's programs and services will be made available in alternate formats upon request and will be posted on the County of Simcoe's website. 

​​Statement of Organizational Commitment 

The County of Simcoe is committed to providing people with disabilities consistent opportunity and access to County of Simcoe goods, services, and facilities. The County will ensure that policies, procedures, and practices are provided in a manner that is timely and addresses integration, independence, dignity, and equal opportunity. The County will endeavour to follow the compliance schedule of the legislation when implementing each of the requirements addressed in this policy. 

Source: County of Simcoe Accessibility Standards Policy​ 

Joint Accessibility Advisory Committee   

The County of Simcoe participates as a member of a Joint Accessibility Advisory Committee with the Township of Oro-Medonte, Township of Adjala-Tosorontio, Township of Springwater and Township of Tay. The Joint Accessibility Advisory Committee advises the Councils of the participating municipalities on matters regarding the accessibility of County and Township owned and operated facilities as well as programs and services offered by the municipalities. 

It should be noted that although the County of Simcoe, Township of Springwater, Township of Tay, Township of Oro-Medonte and Township of Adjala-Tosorontio have a Joint Accessibility Advisory Committee, the five participating municipalities continue to maintain and implement separate multi-year accessibility plans and prepare separate annual status reports. 

The members of the 2018-2022 Joint Accessibility Advisory Committee are listed below:

​Joint Accessibility Advisory Committee Members 

  • Doug Mein, Chair (Citizen Appointee) 
  • Susan Hamer, Vice-Chair (Citizen Appointee) 
  • Liz Grummett (Citizen Appointee) 
  • Fred Heyduk (Citizen Appointee) 
  • Jan Dobson-Rose (Citizen Appointee) 
  • County Councillor Barry Burton (County of Simcoe) 
  • Councillor Sandy Talbot (Township of Tay) 
  • Councillor Shawn Scott (Township of Oro-Medonte) 
  • Councillor Ron O'Leary (Township of Adjala-Tosorontio) 
  • Councillor Anita Moore (Township of Springwater) ​

With the 2018-2022 term of Council concluding in December 2022, the County would like to thank all of the Joint Accessibility Advisory committee members for their hard work and careful stewardship of accessibility matters over the past four years.​

County of Simcoe Age-friendly Logo

General ​

Community Accessibility Partnerships 

The County of Simcoe continued to participate as a member of the Simcoe County Accessibility Group. This group consists of staff from the County of Simcoe, 16 member municipalities, the separated cities of Barrie and Orillia, and neighbouring municipalities who are responsible for accessibility activities and legislative compliance at their respective organizations. Members continued to share information via email and telephone, as required. 

The Clerk's Department maintained membership in the Ontario Network of Accessibility Professionals (ONAP), which is comprised of staff at municipalities and other broader public sector organizations across Ontario. The Clerk's Department maintained regular contact with the group via email in order to share information and resources and discuss accessibility questions and concerns. 

The Clerk's Department continued membership in the South Western Ontario Accessibility Group, which is a sub-group of ONAP, consisting primarily of accessibility staff in South Western Ontario. The Clerk's Department maintained email contact with the group. Various accessibility topics were discussed, and resources shared to assist staff in the implementation of accessibility initiatives. 

Council Proclamations to Promote Accessibility and Disability Awareness 

On behalf of County Council, the Warden continued the annual proclamation National Accessibility Week (May 29 to June 4, 2022). By observing this event, County Council acknowledges the importance of accessibility and disability awareness. Media releases and social media posts followed the proclamations. 

The County will also recognize International Day of Persons with Disabilities on December 3, 2023. 

Accessibility Planning and Reporting 

This annual status report outlines the County of Simcoe's accessibility activities and accomplishments over the past year. This report meets the annual status reporting that is required by the IASR under the AODA and will be posted on the County's website. 

The County's 2019–2023 Multi-Year Accessibility Plan was approved by County Council on May 22, 2018. The final plan is posted on the County's website and internal intranet and is made available in alternate formats as requested.  

The County of Simcoe and participating municipalities prepared a 2022 Joint Accessibility Advisory Committee Work Plan. The work plan outlined projects and tasks for the Joint Accessibility Advisory Committee for 2022. An annual work plan will continue to be developed for the Committee.​ 

The County continued to monitor changes to legislation and the IASR including reports of the Provincial government and associated review bodies.  

The announcement of the Fourth Review of the AODA was met with excitement by County of Simcoe staff as they look to ensure that the vision of the AODA is eventually reached. Staff monitored announcements of the Review and will continue to report on updates in advance of the anticipated report in summer 2023. 

The work of the Standards Development Committees was monitored by staff throughout 2022, particularly the Health Care Standards Committee, Kindergarten to Grade 12 (K-12) Education Standards Committee, and the Postsecondary Education Standards Development Committee that submitted final recommendations to the Province on new standards in their respective areas. Should they be adopted, staff will work to implement them into the conduct of the County’s operations as soon as feasible. 

Age-Friendly Initiatives 

There are strong natural synergies between the County's 2018-2023 Positive Aging Strategy and the County's Multi-Year Accessibility Plan and requirements under the AODA. The Strategy recognizes our aging population and seeks to build an Age-friendly Simcoe County by valuing and supporting older adults in our communities and, at the same time, celebrating diversity, refuting ageism and reducing inequities by recognizing their contributions to our region. 

The County continued the Age-Friendly Seniors Housing Grant Program in 2022 with 70 applications and funding totalling $625,934. This program funds projects that incorporate accessible, adaptable and inclusive designs into housing and renovations, which allow seniors to continue to live independently in their communities for as long as possible. Residents are encouraged to learn more by visiting the Age Friendly Seniors Housing Grant Program webpage. 

All age-friendly initiatives such as the Municipal Grant, Business Guide and Individual Recognition Program are anticipated to be relaunched in 2023. 

Community Paramedicine Program 

A dozen dedicated paramedics were recruited to the County's Community Paramedicine Program with funding from the Ministry of Long-Term Care. The County’s Home Visit Program offers integrated, in-home care by Community Paramedics to over 600 Simcoe County residents. Community Paramedics receive additional training and specialize in CHF (Congestive Heart Failure), COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) and Diabetes. They maintain a direct connection with the patient's Primary Care Provider and can minimize the need for 9-1-1 calls and hospital visits. 

County of Simcoe Paramedic Services currently hosts weekly wellness clinics for individuals in eight homeless shelter settings. Community Paramedics provide general wellness checks, episodic care, vaccinations, referral services, access to mental health and addiction services and connection with primary care support and follow-up. The clinics are offered in partnership with the County of Simcoe Social and Community Services, CMHA and primary care providers. In December 2022, wellness clinics were expanded to include low-income, high 9-1-1 use residential buildings across the County of Simcoe. 

Wooden blocks with happy, content and sad faces on them

Customer Service​  

Compliance with the Customer Service Standards 

The County of Simcoe maintained its compliance with the Customer Service Standards, including the legislative requirements for use of service animals, support persons, and assistive devices. The County notified the public when​ there was a service disruption to facilities, programs and services that are used by persons with disabilities. Training on accessible customer service is provided to all new employees, as part of the County's “Creating an Accessible Simcoe County" training program on the Learning Management System. 

​Response and Tracking of Resident Feedback and Accommodation Requ​​ests 



Service Simcoe continued to track and respond to all feedback, concerns, and requests from residents. Responses were provided in a timely manner and considered each person's needs and the County's ability to meet those needs and requests. Topics of particular note to residents included:​

  • Accessibility concerns around the new waste management carts​
  • Accessibility features and availability of various LINX transit routes 
  • Participation on the 2022-2026 Joint Accessibility Advisory Committee ​


The County continued to provide training on the AODA and its Regulations, the Ontario Human Rights Code, and general accessibility and disability awareness to County of Simcoe employees. Records are kept on the completion of the training as per the legislative requirements. In 2022, 142 employees of the County completed all four modules of the Accessibility Training e-learning program. Additionally, 281 new employees completed the accessibility modules of the new employee orientation e-learning program. 

Waste Cart Accommodation Process

In November 2021, the County introduced a new automated cart collection program that introduced new garbage, recycling and organics waste carts to residents of Simcoe County. While automated cart collection generally enhances accessibility to both residents and those providing collection, there were still some concerns expressed around the accessibility of the new waste carts. In February 2022, the Joint Accessibility Advisory Committee received and endorsed an updated application-based waste cart accommodation process to assist affected residents with waste collection. Upon receipt of an application, County staff work to assess the individual's needs and make appropriate recommendations toward their accommodation. Some of the employed accommodation options include:

  • Providing reduced size carts to residents;
  • Removing the waste cart lid or providing tools for opening for residents unable to operate them;
  • Waiving tipping fees for directly dropping household waste off at a waste facility;
  • Specialized semi-automated collection service.

Applications, and conditions do apply. Simcoe County Residents can learn more about the waste cart accommodation process by contacting Service Simcoe at (800) 263-3199.

Young woman putting on hearing aid

Information and Communication 

Accessible formats and Communication Support

The County of Simcoe continued to incorporate accessibility features into both internal and external documents created by its many departments. Considerations include font size and style, color contrast, spacing, use of white space, and use of formatting techniques such as bold, italics, underlining and use of capital letters. In addition, the County provided documents in alternative format and/or with communication support, upon request.

Due to ongoing COVID-19 restrictions, the County of Simcoe continued to live stream all Council and Committee of the Whole meetings. As restrictions were eased throughout the year, the County resumed in-person Council meetings in late 2022. However, Council meetings have continued to be live streamed to allow residents to continue to easily participate in Council meetings over the internet.

The County of Simcoe continued to utilize a software application called Siteimprove to regularly check the accessibility features of the public website, based on criteria set out in the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG 2.0). The County of Simcoe's Information Technology Department and web content contributors receive regular reports on the accessibility of their department's webpage including PDF documents. Siteimprove identifies any formatting or style errors on webpages as well as incorrect HTML codes and highlights those errors so they can be fixed.  

Young woman in a wheelchair at a desk with a computer and books


Accessible Employment Policies and Procedures

The County of Simcoe maintained its compliance with the employment standard by monitoring and documenting employment policies and procedures, where required, to provide accommodations in all stages of employment, accessible formats and communications supports to employees, workplace emergency response information, return to work and related accommodation plans.  

Guide dog and user on public transit



The County has continued to ensure its compliance with the Transportation Standards Regulation. This includes:

  • Ensuring current information regarding specialized transit, conventional transit, routes and services available are posted for the public's information on the County's website.  
  • Awarding a contract to First Student through a competitive bid process.  First Student employs the transit operators and is responsible for training all operators on the general accessibility training requirements as well as job-specific training for: 
    • The safe use of accessibility equipment and features; 
    • Acceptable modifications to procedures in situations where temporary barriers exist, or accessibility equipment on a vehicle fails; 
    • Emergency preparedness and response procedures that provide for the safety of persons with disabilities; 
    • Ensuring mobility aids and assistive devices are stored safely within reach of the person with the disability who uses the assistive device at no charge. 
  • The County has utilized existing bus stops when taking over already established routes, and the safety and risk analysis will begin in 2023. 
  • An application process for visitors to the County of Simcoe who wish to utilize specialized transportation services (LINX Plus) was implemented in 2018 and is being reviewed in 2023 as outlined in the Transportation Standards Regulation 
  • The Transit team created a draft of the Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation (ISAR) – Transit Polices. The policies, standards, and best practices provide a safe environment for all our passengers, operators, and contracted and county staff. 

Use and Inspection of Accessible Vehicles at Long Term Care Facilities

The County continued to operate para-transit vehicles at the long term care facilities for resident transport. Inspection occurred regularly to ensure accessible and safe transport and to meet requirements of applicable legislation such as the Highway Traffic Act. Equivalent services are available upon request should the long term care vehicles not be accessible to all residents.   

Simcoe County LINX and LINX+ Transit Service

The County of Simcoe continued to operate its conventional and specialized public transit system that links major urban hubs' local transit authorities with the County of Simcoe. 

LINX continued to see a decline in ridership during the first half of 2022 and an increase in ridership in the year's second half. 

  • 2022 Ridership 
    • Conventional – 194,978
    • Specialized – 1,072

As per the AODA, LINX Plus allows registered visitors from other municipalities to access LINX Plus services. Registered users of LINX Plus from Simcoe County also are provided with the benefit of accessing other specialized transit agencies' services throughout the GTHA through our Cross-Boundary agreements. Current partnerships include the City of Barrie, Orillia, York Region, TTC, and more.  

LINX Plus now has a total of 230 registered riders as of December 31, 2022, which is expected to grow by another 75 or more registered riders in 2023. LINX Plus successfully introduced Blaise Transit software in 2022 that provides shorter, more flexible journeys to our specialized riders while decreasing costs through route optimization. The automated platform allows LINX Plus set up and manages our specialized transit service. The introduction of online booking will begin this spring. The software will also enable the transition to conventional micro-transit in the future if required. 

From January 2022 to December 2022, 75 applications were received for specialized transit. This was the highest number of applications in a single year, an increase of almost 50 from 2021. In instances where applications were refused, County staff followed up with the applicant to make them aware of their status and to help them resubmit their application. Residents can learn more about the accessible transit service on the LINX+ accessible transit website.


During the pandemic, in-person training became problematic. Weekly online training was introduced for operators and mechanics with the following subjects covered during the year: 

  • Defensive driving  
  • Professionalism and Customer Service  
  • Conflict and Aggression Management 
  • AODA Compliance and Securements 
  • Mobility Device Securements 
  • Injury Prevention 


The County took delivery of five conventional transit vehicles in 2022. All transit buses purchased meet the technical requirements under the Transportation Standards Regulation.​

Young woman in a group navigating office building with navigation aid

Design of Public Spaces (Built Environment)

Barrier-free Design Features in County Facilities

The County continued to incorporate accessible features in renovations and upgrades to facilities. Ontario Building Code requirements are followed, and consideration is given to barrier-free design features that improve accessibility for persons with disabilities.  

Simcoe County Museum

In 2022, the Simcoe County Museum undertook an expansion of its trail network to include the Warbler Way Accessible Trail. This new trail added 2.6km of accessible trails to the Museum grounds to allow them to be enjoyed by a wide range of patrons and visitors. The trail design incorporated accessibility features such as wide, firm stable surfaces, informational signage, a maximum 5% grade and minimum clear widths of 1m in accordance with the Design of Public Spaces standards. The Accessibility Advisory Committee reviewed the design in Spring 2022 and construction was completed in January 2023.

The Museum also purchased two replacement accessible transportation vehicles for the Museum grounds. The new golf carts act as an assistive device for individuals with limited mobility looking to enjoy the Museum grounds.

Facility Reviews 

In 2022, in-person facility reviews were resumed as pandemic related restrictions were relaxed. The Joint Accessibility Advisory Committee completed two facility reviews. One of the County of Simcoe Social Housing facility in Victoria Harbour on April 20, 2022 and one of the Township of Adjala-Tosorontio Municipal Offices on August 18, 2022. Committee members provided input on areas such as the accessibility of approaches and entrances, accessibility of goods, services, programs and activities, appropriateness of washroom facilities, and other accessible and communication.

Telephone and headset

Contact Information​

This Accessibility Annual Status Report for 2022 will be available on the County of Simcoe's website and internal Intranet.  Printed copies can be requested.

This document will be available in alterna​te format or with communication support, upon request.

The County of Simcoe welcomes all questions and comments on the 2022 Annual Status Report and accessibility matters in general. Please contact us.

To visit us in-person or for mailing, our address is:

County of Simcoe
Clerk's Department
1110 Highway 26
Midhurst, ON L9X 1N6

For specific inquiries related to Accessibility, call our Clerks Department on 705-726-9300 Extension 1305. You can also email us at clerks@simcoe.ca or fax us at 705-725-1285.

For general inquiries, call our Service Simcoe Contact Centre on 705-735-6901 or toll free on 1-866-896-9300.​