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Commitment to Accessibility

The Art Gallery of Ontario’s mission is to bring people together with art to see, experience and understand the world in new ways. A key objective for the AGO is to ensure that our building, collections, exhibitions, programs and services are accessible to all individuals, including people with disabilities. Building on a firm foundation of commitment to accessibility, we continue to identify, prevent and remove barriers to participation on an ongoing basis, in a timely manner. We work in partnership with staff, volunteers, visitors and the community at large to meet, and exceed where possible, the requirements of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) and to demonstrate leadership in the AGO’s commitment to access.

We embrace the principles of dignity, independence, integration and equal opportunity to serve our visitors, staff and volunteers with disabilities and the community at large by:

  • communicating information through channels that takes the person’s disability into account;
  • creating a welcoming and respectful environment;
  • designing public spaces that can be navigated with ease;
  • presenting works of art in creative ways that can be enjoyed and understood by individuals with various types of disabilities;
  • delivering programs that enable personal connections with art and accommodate the needs of visitors with disabilities, where reasonable;
  • providing the appropriate accommodations for staff and volunteers to undertake their responsibilities;
  • activating public feedback mechanisms to respond to questions and suggestions, and enable us to continually strengthen and improve our service to individuals with disabilities.

Customer Service Policies

In accordance with the AODA Customer Service Standard, the AGO has documented a series of policies and procedures that deal specifically with the following issues:

To further enable the visiting experience, the AGO also offers front-of-line access to our visitors with disabilities.

Accessible Emergency Information

The AGO is committed to providing visitors with publicly available emergency information in an accessible format or with communication supports, upon request. We also provide individualized emergency response information to employees who have a disability.

Multi-Year Accessibility Plan (2014-2021)

This accessibility plan, spanning from 2014 to 2021, outlines the policies and actions being implemented by the Art Gallery of Ontario to continue to improve access for visitors, staff and volunteers with disabilities, in compliance with the Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA-IASR).

Statement of Commitment

The Art Gallery of Ontario’s mission is to bring people together with art to see, experience and understand the world in new ways. A key objective for the AGO is to ensure that our building, collections, exhibitions, programs and services are accessible to all individuals, including people with disabilities.  Building on this strong commitment to accessibility, we work on an ongoing basis to identify, prevent and remove in a timely manner barriers that prevent individuals from participating in the AGO experience.  We work in partnership with staff, volunteers, visitors and the community at large to meet and exceed where possible the requirements of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) and to demonstrate leadership in the AGO’s commitment to access. 

We embrace the principles of dignity, independence, integration and equal opportunity to serve our visitors, staff and volunteers with disabilities and the community at large by:

  • communicating information through channels that take the person’s disability into account;
  • creating a welcoming and respectful environment;
  • designing public spaces that can be navigated with ease;
  • presenting works of art in creative ways that can be enjoyed and understood by individuals with various types of disabilities;
  • delivering programs that enable personal connections with art and accommodate the needs of visitors with disabilities, where reasonable;
  • providing suitable accommodations, where reasonable, for staff and volunteers to undertake their responsibilities;
  • activating public feedback mechanisms to respond to questions and suggestions, and enable us to continually strengthen and improve our service to individuals with disabilities.

AODA Customer Service Standard

The AGO has been in compliance with the AODA Customer Service since January 1, 2012.  In complying with this standard, we undertook the following initiatives:

  • Made the AGO’s statement of commitment to accessibility available on the AGO’s website www.ago.net/commitment-to-accessibility;
  • Made the AGO’s service policies for visitors with disabilities (eg: service animals, support persons, etc.) available on the AGO’s website www.ago.net/accessible-ago; Developed and delivered a comprehensive training program for all AGO staff and volunteers about the AODA Customer Service Standard, the AGO’s commitment to accessibility and our policies and practices regarding visitors with disabilities;
  • Integrated this training into the ongoing orientation program for all new staff and volunteers. 

Accessible Emergency Information

The AGO provides visitors, upon request, with publicly available emergency information in an accessible format or with communication supports.  We also provide a personalized safety plan for any employee who has a disability, upon request.

Training 

By January 1, 2015, the AGO complied with the training requirements and continues to provide training on Ontario's accessibility laws, on the Ontario Human Rights Code as it relates to people with disabilities, and the AGO's requirements to employees, volunteers and all persons who participate in developing the organization's policies. The AGO requires that all other persons who provide goods, services and facilities on behalf of the organization have also received the necessary training.

By January 1, 2015, the AGO complied with the training requirements and continues to provide training on Ontario's accessibility laws, on the Ontario Human Rights Code as it relates to people with disabilities, and the AGO's requirements to employees, volunteers and all persons who participate in developing the organization's policies.

This training is provided in a way that best suits the duties of employees, volunteers and other staff members, including:

  • Customized training content for AGO participants, based on what is required to perform the duties of their jobs;
  • The most effective training infrastructure, including logistics, for each stakeholder group;
  • Customized training modules to appropriate stakeholders, as required;
  • Training vehicles for on-going education. 

The AGO ensures that all other persons who provide goods, services and facilities on behalf of the organization also have received the necessary training.

We will continue to update our training programs in response to any future changes to the AODA legislation and standards that apply to the AGO’s operation. 

Self-Service Kiosks

The AGO does not use self-service kiosks at the present time but will take the following steps to ensure employees consider the needs of people with disabilities when designing, procuring or acquiring self-service kiosks in the future:

  • Consider what accessibility features could be built into future kiosks to best meet the needs of the widest range of users;
  • Consider technical features, structural features and the access path when designing, procuring or acquiring future self-service kiosks.

Information and Communication

The AGO is committed to meeting the communication needs of people with disabilities.  We ask for feedback on information and communication needs from our visitors, employees and volunteers.

Accessible Websites and Web Content:

The AGO is taking the following steps to make the internet websites and web content conform with WCAG 2.0, Level AA, other than Captions (live) and Audio Descriptions (Pre-recorded) by January 2021:

  • Build accessibility into our regular refresh cycles;
  • Implement systematic approaches to increase our web accessibility;
  • Integrate best practices for providing accessible information into our ongoing web design.

Accessible Feedback Process:

The AGO provides a variety of feedback mechanisms for visitors with disabilities. (Please refer to the AGO’s policy on feedback - http://www.ago.net/customer-service-policies#feedback).

By January 1, 2015, the AGO undertook a review of our feedback processes to ensure they were continuing to be accessible and responsive to people with disabilities.  This review included:

  • Identifying any additional barriers;
  • Ensuring that AODA compliance was being met;
  • Ensuring that mechanisms are available to persons with disabilities in accessible formats or with appropriate communication supports on request;
  • Integrating best practices for improvement;
  • Ensuring the public is aware of the feedback processes that are available to them.

We will continue to monitor our feedback processes to ensure they continue to serve the needs of people with disabilities.  We welcome suggestions received by the public to improve our feedback mechanisms and our visitor experience for people with disabilities.

Accessible Formats and Communication Supports:

The AGO is committed to providing alternate means of communications, upon request. (Please refer to the AGO’s policy on alternate communications - http://www.ago.net/customer-service-policies#alternate-communication.)  

By January 1, 2016, The AGO undertook a review to ensure that commonly requested information is available in suitable accessible formats and communication supports, upon request.  This review ensured that our response to such a request is:  

  • In consultation with the person making the request;
  • In accessible formats;
  • With communication supports;
  • In a timely manner;
  • At a cost that is no more than the regular price charged to others.

We also ensured that the AGO is providing consistent information to the public about the availability of accessible formats and communication supports. All AGO departments have a procedure in place to provide information in alternate formats and communication supports, when requested.   

The AGO will continue to integrate best practices for providing accessible formats and communication supports for key information, upon request, for:

  • Exhibitions
  • Programs
  • Marketing materials
  • Social Media

Employment

The AGO is committed to fair and accessible employment practices.

By January 1, 2016, we ensured the needs of employees with disabilities are taken into account in our employment policies, procedures and practices through the following measures:

  • Reviewed the AGO's applicable policies, procedures and practices for barriers in the employment cycle in the areas of:
    • Recruitment: accommodation provided during recruitment, assessment, and hiring processes;
    • Employee accommodations;
    • Return to work process;
    • Performance management;
    • Career development and advancement;
    • Redeployment.
  • Developed and put in place additional policies and procedures to remove the barriers to compliance with the IASR and close the gaps;
  • Determined and delivered a training methodology for staff involved with the employment cycle about the AGO's accessibility policies and procedures;
  • Informed all employees of the AGO's policies and procedures for supporting employees with disabilities. 

We will continue to take steps to prevent and remove other accessibility barriers as they become identified.

Design of Public Spaces

The AGO has met the Accessibility Standards for the Design of Public Spaces in its revitalization project for Grange Park. The AGO has integrated access in the applicable public spaces:

  • Outdoor public eating areas (rest stops or picnic areas);
  • Outdoor play spaces;
  • Outdoor paths of travel (sidewalks, ramps, stairs, curb ramps, rest areas).

We look forward to working with the public and its visitors, staff and volunteers to continue making the AGO an accessible and welcoming destination and workplace for all individuals.

For more information on this accessibility plan, please contact:

Bev Carret, Manager of Government and Community Relations

Tel: (416) 979-6660 ext 477

Email: Bev_Carret@ago.net

Accessible formats of this document are available free upon request from Bev Carret.

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