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:
- assistive devices;
- service animals;
- support persons;
- alternate means of communication;
- training for staff and volunteers;
- feedback mechanisms;
- communicating temporary disruptions in service.
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 that the Art Gallery of Ontario will put in place 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).
The AGO will 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. Training will be provided in a way that best suits the duties of employees, volunteers and other staff members. The AGO will ensure that all other persons who provide goods, services and facilities on behalf of the organization will have received the necessary training.
The AGO will take the following steps to ensure employees and volunteers are provided with the training needed to meet Ontario's accessible laws by January 1, 2015:
- Customize training content for AGO participants, based on what is required to perform the duties of their jobs;
- Determine the most effective training infrastructure, including logistics, for each stakeholder group;
- Deliver customized training modules to appropriate stakeholders, as required;
- Evaluate and design training vehicles for on-going education.
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 will ask for feedback on information and communication needs from our visitors, employees and volunteers.
Accessible Websites and Web Content:
The AGO will take 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 will take the following steps to ensure our existing feedback processes are accessible to people with disabilities, by January 1, 2015.
- Review the AGO's process for receiving and responding to feedback, in order to:
- Identify additional barriers;
- Ensure compliance;
- Ensure mechanisms are available to persons with disabilities in accessible formats or with appropriate communication supports on request;
- Integrate best practices for improvement;
- Ensure the public is aware of the feedback processes that are available to them.
Accessible Formats and Communication Supports:
The AGO will take the following steps to ensure commonly requested information is available in suitable accessible formats and communication supports, upon request, by January 1, 2016.
- Review the AGO's process for providing information, upon request:
- 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.
- Review the AGO's process for informing the public about the availability of accessible formats and communication supports.
- Integrate best practices for providing accessible information for:
- Marketing materials
- Social Media
The AGO is committed to fair and accessible employment practices.
We will take the following steps to ensure the needs of employees with disabilities are taken into account in our employment policies, procedures and practices by January 1, 2016:
- Review the AGO's applicable policies, procedures and practices currently in place 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
- Develop and put in place additional policies and procedures to remove the barriers to compliance with the IASR and close the gaps;
- Determine and deliver a training methodology for staff involved with the employment cycle about the AGO's accessibility policies and procedures;
- Inform all employees of the AGO's policies and procedures for supporting employees with disabilities.
We will take steps to prevent and remove other accessibility barriers identified.
Design of Public Spaces
The AGO will meet the Accessibility Standards for the Design of Public Spaces when making major modifications to Grange Park.
- Outdoor public eating areas (rest stops or picnic areas);
- Outdoor play spaces;
- Outdoor paths of travel (sidewalks, ramps, stairs, curb ramps, rest areas).
Posting the AGO's Multi-Year Accessibility Plan
The AGO will post its Accessibility Plan on its web site and make it available upon request.
For more information on this accessibility plan, please contact:
Bev Carret, Manager of Government and Community Relations
Tel: (416) 979-6660 ext 477
Accessible formats of this document are available free upon request from Bev Carret