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A Lengthy 14 Months after Finally Promising to Develop an Education Accessibility Standard Under Ontario’s Disabilities Act, the Wynne Government Finally Convenes the First Meetings of the Promised Education Standards Development Committees

AODA Alliance Chair David Lepofsky Was Appointed to Serve on the K-12 Education Standards Development Committee

Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act Alliance Update United for a Barrier-Free Ontario for All People with Disabilities https://www.aodaalliance.org aodafeedback@gmail.com Twitter: @aodaalliance

February 13, 2018

SUMMARY

1. Breaking News in the Campaign to Tear Down Disability Barriers Impeding Students with Disabilities in Ontario

It has taken years to get to this point. An important interim milestone on the road to an accessible Ontario for students with disabilities has at last been reached:

* On Monday, February 5, 2018 the first meeting took place of the K-12 Education Standards Development Committee. On Tuesday, February 6, 2018, the first meeting of the Post-Secondary Education Standards Development Committee was held.

* On Friday, the Wynne Government made public the full membership of each of these two Standards Development Committees. We set them out below. AODA Alliance Chair David Lepofsky is a member of the K-12 Education Standards Development Committee. He had applied for a position on the Education Standards Development Committee.

* On Friday, February 9, 2018, the Wynne Government also made public its directions to these Standards Development Committees, including key points in the Accessibility Minister’s Mandate Letters to these two Standards Development Committees, set out below. These Mandate Letters set out the terms of reference for these committees.

2. Reflections on Where We Now Stand

What does all this mean? Here are some reflections.

First, with a seat at the standard development table, we look forward to receiving your input on the disability accessibility barriers in Ontario’s education system that need to be addressed. We will do our best to present these at the Standards Development Committee table, in order to get the strongest recommendations possible.

Since before 2011, The AODA Alliance has led the province-wide campaign to get the Ontario Government to agree to create an Education Accessibility Standard under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act. Over one third of a million students with disabilities face far too many disability accessibility barriers when they try to get an education in Ontario’s education system. An Education Accessibility Standard is needed to tear down those barriers, and to ensure that Ontario’s education system becomes fully accessible to students with disabilities no later than 2025.

It was understandable that the Government decided to set up two education Standards Development Committees, one to deal with Kindergarten to Grade 12, and another to deal with post-secondary education. AODA Alliance Chair David Lepofsky is delighted to have been appointed to one of the two Standards Development Committees that the Government has appointed, the one to deal with K-12. David Lepofsky has offered to serve on the joint sub-committee, to be made up of some members from the K-12 and Post-Secondary Education Standards Development Committees. That sub-committee will work to address common disability accessibility barriers in the K-12 and post-secondary education settings. He has not received word yet of whether his offer will be accepted.

Second,we have campaigned over the past year to ensure that the Government does not try to hog-tie the Education Standards Development Committee, by restricting which disability accessibility barriers it can consider. Last summer, the Government made it clear that it was considering doing this. We wanted the Education Standards Development Committee to be free to make recommendations on any disability accessibility barriers it wishes in Ontario’s education system. The Government should not pre-judge which barriers should be addressed, before the standards development process even gets started.

We now know that our campaign was partially successful. It is good that in the end, the Government did not restrict the disability accessibility barriers in publicly funded schools, colleges or universities that these Standards Development Committees can consider, with one exception. The Accessibility Minister’s Mandate Letter to the Post-Secondary Education Standards Development Committee directs the committee not to consider academic accreditation standards. The Government’s website, set out below, includes this:

“Universities and colleges in Ontario are governed by acts of the provincial legislature. These acts define the roles and responsibilities of institutional senates around academic accreditation standards. As a result, the Minister has directed the committee not to consider academic accreditation standards and post-secondary credential-related issues at this time.”

We are not able to assess whether this specific attempted restriction makes much of a difference. However, more troubling are two other attempted restrictions on these Standards Development Committees:

1) The K-12 Standards Development Committee is directed to consider disability accessibility barriers in publicly funded schools Grades K-12. This leaves out pre-school early learning programs (such as early literacy programs) and private schools that cover any of Grades K-12.

2) The Post-Secondary Education Standards Development Committee is directed to consider disability accessibility barriers in publicly-funded colleges and universities. This leaves out any barriers in any post-secondary education and job training programs that are not offered in a publicly-funded college or university.

With less than 7 years left for Ontario’s education system to reach full accessibility for students with disabilities, these exclusions are ill-considered and wrong. The same disability accessibility barriers should be removed or prevented, whether in a public or private school. The same disability accessibility barriers should be removed or prevented, in any post-secondary education or job training program, whether or not it is offered in a publicly funded college or university. The Government has claimed that early learning is vital to a child’s development. The same disability barriers should not be left in place in early learning programs as might be targeted in publicly-funded schools.

One example shows how absurd is the Government’s approach. A law student in Ontario can face the same disability accessibility barriers in an Ontario law school, and then later in the mandatory Ontario Bar Admissions course that one must complete to qualify as a lawyer. That latter course is offered by the Law Society of Ontario. The Government wants the Post-Secondary Education Standards Development Committee to recommend reforms needed at the law school. However, it wants to block that same committee from recommending reforms to address the same barriers at the Bar Admissions Course (which is not offered through a publicly-funded college or university). That makes no sense.

We urge both the K-12 Education Standards Development Committee and the Post-Secondary Education Standards Development Committee to make recommendations on any education disability accessibility barriers in Ontario’s education system, whether or not the education program is offered in a publicly-funded school, college or university. The K-12 Committee should feel free to make recommendations on pre-school education programs, and on barriers in private schools. The Post-Secondary Committee should feel free to make recommendations on barriers in post-secondary education and job training programs, whether or not they are offered in publicly-funded colleges or universities. Practically speaking, the Government cannot and should not stop them from doing so. the Government is free to act on or disregard any recommendations that a Standards Development Committee makes.

Third, the Government’s publicly-posted procedures for Standards Development Committees contemplates that these committees should spend their first six months identifying their priorities, and the rest of their time coming up with recommendations in those priority areas. It would be wiser for each committee to first identify the full range of disability accessibility barriers in Ontario’s education system, before trying to set any priorities. Setting priorities, especially too early in the process, risks unfairly creating winners and losers among students with disabilities. The AODA guarantees a barrier-free society for all people with disabilities.

For example, what if a committee decided that the built environment was a priority, but digital accessibility is not? That makes students with mobility disabilities the winners, but students facing digital accessibility barriers the losers. They would reach this decision one quarter the way through the committee’s work. That is unwise.

Fourth, last summer, the Wynne Government conducted an online survey of the public, asking people to identify disability accessibility barriers in Ontario’s education system. This was meant to assist the promised Education Standards Development Committee. In principle, that was a good idea.

However, as we amply documented last summer, the Government crafted that survey in a way that left out the majority of disability accessibility barriers in Ontario’s education system. Fortunately, the K-12 and Post-Secondary Education Standards Development Committees are not restricted to only consider the barriers in that survey.

As written, much if not most of that survey assumes that we take Ontario’s education system as it is, full of barriers, and need to simply focus on how students with disabilities and their families can try to “fit in”. Yet we need the Education Accessibility Standard to make Ontario’s education system barrier-free, to dramatically reduce the need to try to fit into a system that was not designed with the needs of students with disabilities in mind.

3. Several Disability Organizations Support the AODA Alliance’s Concerns about the Wynne Government’s Appointment of the Honourable David Onley to Conduct the Next Independent Review of the Implementation and Enforcement of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act

On Friday, February 9, 2018, the AODA Alliance made public an AODA Alliance Update which raised serious concerns about the Wynne Government’s recently appointing the Honourable David Onley to conduct the next mandatory Independent Review of the AODA’s implementation and enforcement. We fully recognize Mr. Onley’s knowledge about and strong dedication to accessibility for people with disabilities. Despite that, we are concerned because Mr. Onley lacks much-needed independence and impartiality on this issue. This is because for the past three years, he was Special Advisor to the Ontario minister responsible for the AODA’s implementation and enforcement.

Since we made our concerns public, we have seen no response either from Mr. Onley or from the Wynne Government. On Twitter, these disability organizations have already tweeted in support of our concerns:

1. The ARCH Disability Law Centre, which tweeted as follows on February 12, 2018:

“ARCH Disability Law: ARCH Disability Law Centre stresses need for perception of independence, shares concerns with @aodaalliance regarding the appointment of the most recent Independent Review of the implementation and enforcement of Ontarios #accessibility law”

2. The Ontario Autism Coalition, which tweeted as follows on February 10, 2018:

“ONTAutismCoalition: We share your concern. For a review this important, impartiality is a must. @HonDavidOnley quoting David Lepofsky: 2conduct mandatory Independent Review of @Kathleen_Wynne Gov efforts on disability #accessibility, Gov appoints #Accessibility Minister’s Former Accessibility Advisor. This choice lacks vitally needed independence from Gov. https://www.aodaalliance.org/category/whats-new/ #AODA”

3. Citizens with Disabilities Ontario, which tweeted as follows on February 12, 2018:

“CWDO: Ontario’s AODA deserves no less than an impartial, independent reviewer quoting David Lepofsky: @CMartinsMPP @ OntAutism @ARCHDisability @blindcanadians all share @aodaalliance concerns re @Kathleen_Wynne appointment of @HonDavidOnley 2conduct Independent Review ofOntario gov’s implementation & enforcement of #accessibility law https://www.aodaalliance.org/category/whats-new/ #AODA”

4. The Alliance for Equality of Blind Canadians, which tweeted as follows on February 11, 2018:

“AEBC: @Blindcanadians agrees wholeheartedly! We need an arm’s-length review by someone who can be seen as completely impartial! quoting AODA Alliance: For a mandatory Independent Review of @Kathleen_Wynne Gov efforts on disability #accessibility, Gov appoints #Accessibility Minister’s Former Accessibility Advisor. This choice lacks vitally needed independence from Gov. https://www.aodaalliance.org/category/whats-new/ #AODA”

As well, among the number of other people who supportively retweeted our tweets on our concerns, was this retweet on February 12, 2018, from private citizen and former Ontario Liberal Health Minister and Deputy Premier, George Smitherman, always a strong supporter of the AODA cause:

“George Smitherman RT @David Lepofsky: Vital! Person doing mandatory Independent Review of Ontario #accessibility law implementation & enforcement be independent, not someone who was advising the minister on #accessibility during the period the review focuses on https://t.co/Dgrfr0viFn #AODA”

MORE DETAILS

Membership of the K-12 and Post-Secondary Education Standards Development Committees

The following is a list of the members of the K-12 Education Standards Development Committee, including the organization or sector they are representing. Some community members with disabilities also bring organizational or sector experience.
This list includes all members who have confirmed their participation to date, and may be expanded as additional members join the Committee. Committee membership may be subject to change.

Voting members:
Lynn Ziraldo (Chair), Learning Disabilities Association of Ontario Stephen Andrews, Ontario Catholic School Trustees Association Jean-Baptiste Arhanchiague, Conseil des écoles publiques de lEst de lOntario Mike Cyr, Silent Voice Canada
Claude Deschamps, Centre franco-ontarien de ressources pédagogiques Donna Edwards, Ontario Public School Boards Association
Jon Greenaway, ErinoakKids Treatment Centre
Rita-Marie Hadley, Lansdowne Childrens Centre
Wendy Lau, LEADS Employment Services
David Lepofsky, Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act Alliance Mary Linton, Ontario Principals Council
Michelle Longlade, Ontario College of Teachers (Retired)
Sheila McWatters, Education Sector Representative
Doug Mein, Simcoe County District School Board Accessibility Advisory Committee Dr. Ashleigh Molloy, TransEd Institute
Alison Morse, Easter Seals Ontario
Rana Nasrazadani, Ontario Child Advocates Office
Victoria Nolan, CNIB
Adam Peer, Elementary Teachers Federation of Ontario
Ben Smith, Ontario Student Trustees Association
John (Jack) Stadnyk, Huron-Superior Catholic District School Board (Retired) Jane Ste. Marie, Ontario Secondary School Teachers Federation Angelo Tocco, Education Sector Representative
Lindy Zaretsky, Reaching Education Resolutions Inc.

Non-voting members:
Shirley Kendrick, Ministry of Education

The following is a list of the members of the Post-Secondary Education Standards Development Committee, including the organization or sector they are representing. Some community members with disabilities also bring organizational or sector experience.

This list includes all members who have confirmed their participation to date, and may be expanded as additional members join the Committee. Committee membership may be subject to change.

Voting members:
Tina Doyle (Chair), University of Toronto Scarborough
Jodi Afonso, Confederation College Student Union
Tory Bowman, Spinal Cord Injury Ontario
Sambhavi Chandrashekar, D2L Corporation
Karen Csoli, Sheridan College
Olga Dosis, George Brown College
Janice Fennell, Mohawk College
Ashton Forrest, Disability Community Representative
Marie-Claude Gagnon, University of Ottawa
Joseph Roy Gillis, University of Toronto
Jodie Glean, Humber College
Carolyn Hepburn, Sault College
Jennifer Curry Jahnke, Mohawk College
Julia Kowal, Disability Community Representative
Jim Kyte, Algonquin College
Chelsea Mohler, BALANCE for Blind Adults
Meri Kim Oliver, Colleges Ontario
Jeanette Parsons, Inter-University Disability Issues Association (IDIA) Anne Pottier, McMaster University
Ben Poynton, University of Toronto
Fady Shanouda, Disability Community Representative
Marc Wilchesky, York University
Alex Wilson, Student Representative

Non-voting members:
John Manning, Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development

Ontario Government’s February 9, 2018 Website Posting on Appointment of the K-12 and Post-Secondary Education Standards Development Committees

Originally posted at:
https://www.ontario.ca/page/accessibility-legislative-reviews-committees-and-councils Standards development committees

Under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (the Act) the Minister shall establish standards development committees to develop proposed accessibility standards to be considered for adoption by regulation.

Standards Development Committee Terms of Reference

1. Purpose

The purpose of this Terms of Reference is to outline the responsibilities, expectations, and requirements of Standards Development Committees (the SDC).

Each SDC will receive a mandate letter which will define the focus and timelines for their standards development or review, including the deadlines that the SDC must meet throughout various stages of the standards development process. The mandate letter is intended to be used in conjunction with these Terms of Reference.

2. Preface

Recognizing the history of discrimination against persons with disabilities in Ontario, the purpose of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (the Act) is to benefit all Ontarians by:

1. developing, implementing and enforcing accessibility standards in order to achieve accessibility for Ontarians with disabilities with respect to goods, services, facilities, accommodation, employment, buildings, structures and premises on or before January 1, 2025; and
2. providing for the involvement of persons with disabilities, of the Government of Ontario and of representatives of industries and of various sectors of the economy in the development of the accessibility standards (as set out in section 1 of the Act).

Per section 6(6) of the Act an accessibility standard shall:

1. set out measures, policies, practices or other requirements for the identification and removal of barriers with respect to goods, services, facilities, accommodation, employment, buildings, structures, premises or such other things as may be prescribed, and for the prevention of the erection of barriers; and
2. require the persons or organizations named or described in the standard to implement those measures, policies, practices or other requirements within the time periods specified in the standard.

3. Mandate

SDCs are responsible for developing proposed accessibility standards to be considered for adoption by regulation.

Per sections 8 and 9 of the Act, an SDC shall:

* develop proposed accessibility standards for such industries, sectors of the economy or classes of persons or organizations as the Minister may specify;
* Further define the persons or organizations that are part of the industry, sector of the economy or class specified by the Minister;
* Determine the long-term accessibility objectives for the industry, sector of the economy or class of persons or organizations in relation to which the SDC has responsibilities in respect of identifying the measures, policies, practices and requirements that it believes should be implemented by the members of the industry, sector or class on or before January 1, 2025;
* Determine an appropriate time-frame for the implementation of measures, policies, practices and requirements taking into account:
* The range of disabilities that the measures, policies, practices and requirements are intended to address;
* The nature of the barriers that the measures, policies, practices and requirements are intended to identify, remove and prevent;
* Any technical and economic considerations that may be associated with their implementation; and * Meet any other considerations required under the Act.

Within the time period specified by the SDCs mandate letter, each SDC shall prepare a proposed accessibility standard and submit it to the Minister for the purpose of posting the standard for public review (sections 9(5) and 10 of the Act).

As well per section 9(6) of the Act, after considering the comments received from the public, an SDC may make any changes it considers advisable to the proposed standard and provide the Minister with the proposed accessibility standard within the time period specified by the SDCs mandate letter.

Within five years after an accessibility standard is adopted by regulation or at such earlier time as the Minister may specify, an SDC will review and, if required, revise the measures, policies, practices and requirements to be implemented on or before January 1, 2025 and the time-frame for their implementation (section 9(9) of the Act).

4. Membership

Composition

Per section 8(4) of the Act, the Minister shall invite the following persons or entities to participate as members of an SDC:

1. Persons with disabilities or their representatives.
2. Representatives of the industries, sectors of the economy or classes of persons or organizations to which the accessibility standard is intended to apply.
3. Representatives of ministries that have responsibilities relating to the industries, sectors of the economy or classes of persons or organizations to which the accessibility standard is intended to apply. 4. Such other persons or organizations as the Minister may consider advisable.

As provided for in the Ontario Governments 2007 Election platform, 50 percent of members on an SDC will continue to be representatives of the disability community or persons with disabilities.

Ministers Invitation

The Minister may invite Accessibility Standards Advisory Council members to sit on SDCs (section 8(5) of the Act).
The Minister may also retain, appoint or request experts to provide advice to a standards development SDC (section 12 of the Act).

Chair

The Minister shall assign a Chair to an SDC to be responsible for ensuring the SDC meets its deadlines and for the effective, balanced, fair and equal participation of all members on the SDC during deliberations and discussions.

The Minister may, at his or her discretion, invite an SDC member to act as vice-chair or as the Chairs alternate where the Chair is unavailable. The Chairs alternate will be responsible for performing the role of the Chair should the Chair be absent.

5. Meetings

Unless otherwise stated, the SDCs will meet in Toronto unless otherwise stated, for one to two days, approximately every six to eight weeks as needed. However, the frequency of meetings may vary as required according to the work volume of the SDC and the time within which such work is to be completed.

As far as is possible, appropriate time will be provided between SDC meetings in order to allow members the time to review materials and carry out any other required tasks associated with each SDC.

Members may participate via networking technology under exceptional circumstances, subject to the Chairs discretion.

6. Timelines

The Chair of each SDC will receive a mandate letter from the Minister with specified timelines for the standards development process.

7. Quorum

In order to hold a discussion, 75% of SDC members must be present at the meeting to constitute a quorum.

8. Voting

Voting members:

* Accessibility Standards Advisory Council members invited to sit on an SDC.
* SDC members invited by the Minister, including the Chair, vice-chair or their alternate as applicable.

Non-voting members:
* Ontario ministry representatives
* Technical sub-committee members that are not SDC members (if applicable)

For initial proposals being posted for public comment, and final proposals to the Minister, SDC members are only permitted to indicate two voting options: an affirmative (yes vote), when the content of the recommendation is acceptable as presented; and a negative (no vote), when the content of the recommendation is deemed unacceptable, in error, or incomplete.

Voting is to take place on a provision-by-provision basis.

All voting on initial proposals being posted for public comment and final proposals for the Minister must be recorded, with the results noted in the minutes.

Votes will only be recorded numerically (e.g. yes=10, no=5), and will not identify how individual SDC members voted.

Before each vote, SDC members will be asked two questions:

1. For each of the individual proposals, SDC members will be asked: Do you agree that this proposal should be included in the final recommendations submitted to the Minister?
2. After the SDC has voted on all of the individual proposals, SDC members will be asked: Do you support submitting the final recommendations for the Standard to the Minister for governments consideration?

In order to pass formal resolutions on proposed standards and recommendations for the Minister, agreement by 75% of the voting members present at the meeting will constitute approval.

Of the 75% who vote to pass a formal resolution, proposed standard or recommendation, 50% must be comprised of representatives from the disability community or persons with disabilities.
With the exception of the Chairs Alternate, no alternates or proxies are permitted to participate in the duties of the voting members of the SDC unless otherwise directed by the Minister.

However, alternatives or proxies are permitted to participate on technical sub-SDCs, if applicable.

9. Expenses and Allowance

Allowance

Note that SDC members may be provided an allowance for carrying out SDC work (per section 8(7(a)) of the Act). This allowance is based on the precedent established for remuneration of the Accessibility Standards Advisory Council members, as noted in a Ministers letter of invitation, and is provided at the discretion of the Minister.

Travel-Related

SDC members will be reimbursed for travel-related expenses to attend meetings, in accordance with the governments Travel, Meal and Hospitality Expenses Directive. SDC members must apply in writing to the Accessibility Directorate of Ontario (the Directorate) for reimbursement of these expenses.

Accessibility-Related Support

All SDC meetings will be accessible to members with disabilities. Members will be required to identify, to the Chair, any specific accessibility supports that will be required for their full participation in meetings.

SDC members who require additional assistance to allow for their participation at meetings, which may include expenses incurred because of a disability, may be reimbursed. This additional assistance may be provided, as appropriate, at the discretion of the Directorate. Members must obtain approval from the Directorate prior to assuming any costs related to accessibility if they wish to be reimbursed.

10. Term

These Terms of Reference is effective from December 18, 2017 until terminated or modified by the Minister.

11. Confidentiality

SDC members may be given access to sensitive or confidential information by other SDC members, the Directorate, or others. All information provided to SDC members and others engaged in SDC activity must be treated with sensitivity/confidentiality.

The SDC is required to conduct itself in accordance with the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (Ontario) principles and requirements regarding the collection, use and disclosure of information.

12. Conflict of Interest

SDC members are required to fulfill the duties of their appointment in a professional, ethical and competent manner and avoid any real or perceived conflict of interest.

In particular, and without limiting the generality of the foregoing obligations, an SDC member shall:

* Not use or attempt to use his or her membership to benefit himself or herself or any person or entity;
* Not participate in or attempt to influence decision making as a member if he or she could benefit from the decision;
* Not accept a gift that could influence, or that could be seen to influence, the member in carrying out their duties in respect ofthe SDC; and
* Not use or disclose any confidential information either during or after his/her membership on the SDC for any purpose unrelated to the duties of being on the SDC except if required to do so by law or authorized to do so by the responsible Minister.

13. Roles and Responsibilities

The Chair shall be responsible for:

1. Ensuring the SDC meets all the requirements in these Terms of Reference and the SDCs mandate letter;
2. Acting as an impartial facilitator and mediator in discussions, where necessary; 3. Providing leadership in seeking consensus;
4. Collaborating and encouraging a balanced and strategic analysis of relevant issues; 5. Assisting in the preparation of meeting agendas;
6. Verifying that minutes of the meetings are accurately recorded;
7. Monitoring the work of the SDC having regard to the requirements of the Act, these Terms of Reference and mandate letter, with a view to keeping the workload on track to meet timelines and deliverables.

All SDC members shall be responsible for:

1. Completing mandatory training and orientation;
2. Actively participating in all meetings;
3. Presenting their respective views and interests, as well as the views and interests of the sector or organization which they represent, if applicable; 4. Reviewing material and background information;
5. Reviewing SDC minutes for accuracy and confirming that interests are properly documented; 6. Carrying out individual assignments within set timelines;
7. Working collaboratively with other SDC members to achieve consensus on all decisions;
8. Working with individuals and organizations outside the SDC if required to support the work of the SDC; and
9. Considering the advice and input of other parties including members of the public who are called on to present to the SDC or who otherwise assist the SDC in its work.

Functions of Directorate

The Directorate shall:

1. Support all SDC meetings;
2. Assist the Chair in their responsibilities;
3. Ensure the deliberations of the SDC are consistent with the intent, spirit, and the letter of the Act;
4. Draft and distribute SDC agendas, minutes, and other material for member review on a timely basis; 5. Act as the repository and manager of all SDC records and documentation;
6. Provide appropriate and timely accessibility supports for members with disabilities with respect to all aspects of SDC work, proceedings and activities; and

The Directorate is also responsible for providing the above support to the work and meetings of any technical sub-SDCs, if applicable.

14. Technical Subcommittees

Should technical expertise be required to support the SDCs work, the Chair will seek the Ministers approval to organize a technical subcommittee.

Technical sub-committees will only be tasked with technical standards review and development activities, and will provide this information to the SDC. Technical sub-committees will not advise the Minister on any matters relating to the Act.

The SDC shall hold a vote to determine the purpose and scope of the technical sub-SDC. The Chair of the SDC shall provide instructions to the technical sub-committee which will define the deliverables and timelines, including the number of meetings required.

The Chair of the SDC shall assign a Lead of the technical sub-committee who is responsible for ensuring the technical sub-committee meets its duties as outlined in the mandate letter and these terms of reference. The Lead will be responsible for reporting back to the Chair and SDC the progress of the technical sub-committee.

Technical sub-committee members may be provided an allowance for carrying out technical sub-committee work at the discretion of the Minister. This allowance is based on the precedent established for remuneration of the SDC members, as outlined in their invitation letter drafted by the Directorate, and is provided at the discretion of the Minister.

Technical sub-committee members are required to act in accordance with the confidentiality and conflict of interest provisions above.

Updated: December 2017

Scope and timelines for the development of accessibility standards for the K-12 education sector

A Standards Development Committee will develop recommendations for a proposed accessibility standard to address barriers in publicly funded K-12 education, as required by Section 9 of theAccessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA). To develop this standard, members of the committee are required to:

* define the long-range objective of the proposed standard
* determine the measures, policies, practices and requirements to be implemented on or before January 1, 2025, and the timeframe for their implementation
* develop a proposed standard that the committee deems advisable for public comment
* consider public feedback, seek additional information if needed, and make any changes that the committee deems advisable
* make recommendations for a new accessibility standard to the Minister Responsible for Accessibility and to the Minister of Education

To support this work, an online survey was conducted from May through October 2017 and received roughly 3,000 responses. Respondents identified common areas where students with disabilities and their families or caregivers may face barriers to an accessible education. These include:

* information and awareness, including knowledge of available accommodations and accessibility awareness training
* navigating the educational system, including seeking accommodations and participating in inclusive decision-making
* transition planning, including moving between school systems and into employment or community living

The Minister has asked the committee to carefully consider the survey feedback received as well as committee member expertise in these areas, and work together to identify priority areas for further discussion. As a first deliverable, the committee will report back to the Minister Responsible for Accessibility and to the Minister of Education on proposed priority areas, which will be publicly posted. Following this phase of work, the committee will develop recommendations for a proposed accessibility standard to address those priority areas.

The Minister has also asked that the committee consider the area of transition planning in particular as a priority. Effective transition planning empowering students to plan their individual pathways promotes student success in school and in life. Survey responses shared personal experiences demonstrating that barriers can occur as students transition from elementary to high school and as they then move to post-secondary education, employment, early adulthood and community living. The Minister has asked the committee to consider ways to prevent and remove those barriers and to work in collaboration with the Standards Development Committee for Post-Secondary Education on this issue.

In order to ensure the committee remains aligned with the work of the Standards Development Committee for Post-Secondary Education, the Minister has asked both Chairs to form a joint subcommittee representing members from both sectors and from the disability community. This subcommittee will be responsible for sharing information across the two committees and for considering areas of commonality.

The Minister has asked that the committee work together with the Minister of Educations Expert Panel for Capital Standards regarding barriers related to building accessibility and capital planning.

In addition to recommendations for regulated accessibility standards, the committee may choose to make recommendations on practical non-regulatory measures to remove or prevent barriers. Such measures could include recommendations related to public information and awareness or other programs that could complement updated or new regulation.

Guidelines for Recommendations:

The following guidelines are intended to support the work of the committee as it develops its recommendations:

* Respect and be complementary to the principles, purpose and requirements of the AODA, and support the end goal of achieving accessibility for Ontarians with disabilities on or before January 1, 2025, taking into account:

o the range of disabilities that the measures, policies, practices and requirements are intended to address
o the nature of the barriers that the measures, policies, practices and requirements are intended to identify, remove and prevent
o any technical and fiscal considerations/impacts that may be associated with their implementation, i.e. for obligated organizations, sectors, and the province more broadly

* Focus efforts on preventing barriers both now and in the future
* Consider existing Ontario legislative and regulatory frameworks, as well as measures and supports that already exist in the sector
* Consider inter-jurisdictional best practices and innovative solutions, keeping in mind the context of Ontarios current regulatory framework specific to the education sector * Consider fiscal implications and feasibility for the sector to comply
* Consider the enforceability of the requirements to support compliance and enforcement of the proposed standard
* Where appropriate, reflect international standards, legislation, regulation, codes, and best practices in Ontario, other provinces, and internationally, in the area of education and accessibility

Throughout the process, the members of the Accessibility Standards Advisory Council sitting on the committee are encouraged to keep council members informed of its progress.

Key Deliverables and Timelines:

The Standards Development Committee will complete the following key deliverables within the specified timelines:

1. Meetings

The committee will meet for one- or two-day sessions, approximately every eight (8) weeks as needed. 2. Standards Development Committee Work Plan

The committee will prepare and provide the Minister with a draft work plan early in the development of a proposed K-12 education standard. The work plan will outline key milestones, activities, and timelines to achieve the mandate described here.

3. Proposed Priority Areas

Within six (6) months or sooner of the committees first meeting, the committee will report to the Minister on the proposed priority areas for the development of recommended accessibility standards. Proposed priority areas must be based on evidence including survey feedback, and must reflect the guidelines set out above. The report will be posted publicly.

4. Recommendations for Proposed Accessibility Standard for Education

Within eighteen (18) months or sooner of confirmation of the committees proposed priority areas, the committee will deliver to the Minister proposed recommendations to be posted for public review.

5. Finalizing Recommendations for Revisions to the Standard

As required by the AODA, a report on comments received during the public review will be prepared by the Accessibility Directorate of Ontario and the comments will be given to the committee for its consideration. The committee will consider public comments, seek additional information if needed, and make changes based on public comments as the committee deems advisable. The committee will submit the final recommendations to the Minister, along with a report on its consideration of public comments, no later than fourteen (14) weeks after receiving the report and public comments.

6. Meeting Minutes and Progress Reports

No later than four (4) weeks following each of its meetings, the committee will approve and provide the Minister with a copy of its meeting minutes.

List of members and representation

The following is a list of the members of the K-12 Education Standards Development Committee, including the organization or sector they are representing. Some community members with disabilities also bring organizational or sector experience.

This list includes all members who have confirmed their participation to date, and may be expanded as additional members join the Committee. Committee membership may be subject to change.

Voting members:
Lynn Ziraldo (Chair), Learning Disabilities Association of Ontario Stephen Andrews, Ontario Catholic School Trustees Association Jean-Baptiste Arhanchiague, Conseil des écoles publiques de lEst de lOntario Mike Cyr, Silent Voice Canada
Claude Deschamps, Centre franco-ontarien de ressources pédagogiques Donna Edwards, Ontario Public School Boards Association
Jon Greenaway, ErinoakKids Treatment Centre
Rita-Marie Hadley, Lansdowne Childrens Centre
Wendy Lau, LEADS Employment Services
David Lepofsky, Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act Alliance Mary Linton, Ontario Principals Council
Michelle Longlade, Ontario College of Teachers (Retired)
Sheila McWatters, Education Sector Representative
Doug Mein, Simcoe County District School Board Accessibility Advisory Committee Dr. Ashleigh Molloy, TransEd Institute
Alison Morse, Easter Seals Ontario
Rana Nasrazadani, Ontario Child Advocates Office
Victoria Nolan, CNIB
Adam Peer, Elementary Teachers Federation of Ontario
Ben Smith, Ontario Student Trustees Association
John (Jack) Stadnyk, Huron-Superior Catholic District School Board (Retired) Jane Ste. Marie, Ontario Secondary School Teachers Federation Angelo Tocco, Education Sector Representative
Lindy Zaretsky, Reaching Education Resolutions Inc.

Non-voting members:
Shirley Kendrick, Ministry of Education

Scope and timelines for the development of accessibility standards for the Post-Secondary education sector

A Standards Development Committee will develop recommendations for a proposed accessibility standard to address barriers in publicly funded post-secondary education provided by colleges and universities, as required by Section 9 of theAccessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA). To develop this standard, members of the committee are required to:

* define the long-range objective of the proposed standard
* determine the measures, policies, practices and requirements to be implemented on or before January 1, 2025, and the timeframe for their implementation
* develop a proposed standard that the committee deems advisable for public comment
* consider public feedback, seek additional information if needed, and make any changes that the committee deems advisable
* make recommendations for a new accessibility standard to the Minister Responsible for Accessibility and to the Minister of Advanced Education and Skills Development

To support this work, an online survey was conducted from May through October 2017 and received roughly 3,000 responses. Respondents identified common areas where students with disabilities and their families or caregivers may face barriers to an accessible education. These include:

* information and awareness, including knowledge of available accommodations and accessibility awareness training
* navigating the educational system, including seeking accommodations and participating in inclusive decision-making
* transition planning, including moving between school systems and into employment or community living

The Minister has asked the committee to carefully consider the survey feedback received as well as committee member expertise in these areas, and work together to identify priority areas for further discussion. As a first deliverable, the committee will report back to the Minister Responsible for Accessibility and to the Minister of Advanced Education and Skills Development on proposed priority areas, which will be publicly posted. Following this phase of work, the committee will develop recommendations for a proposed accessibility standard to address those priority areas.

Universities and colleges in Ontario are governed by acts of the provincial legislature. These acts define the roles and responsibilities of institutional senates around academic accreditation standards. As a result, the Minister has directed the committee not to consider academic accreditation standards and post-secondary credential-related issues at this time.

The Minister has also asked that the committee consider the area of transition planning in particular as a priority. Effective transition planning empowering students to plan their individual pathways promotes student success in school and in life. Survey responses shared personal experiences demonstrating that barriers can occur as students transition from elementary to high school and as they then move to post-secondary education, employment, early adulthood and community living. The Minister has asked the committee to consider ways to prevent and remove those barriers and to work in collaboration with the Standards Development Committee for K-12 Education on this issue.

In order to ensure the committee remains aligned with the work of the Standards Development Committee for K-12 Education, the Minister has asked both Chairs to form a joint subcommittee representing members from both sectors and from the disability community. This subcommittee will be responsible for sharing information across the two committees and for considering areas of commonality.

In addition to recommendations for regulated accessibility standards, the committee may choose to make recommendations on practical non-regulatory measures to remove or prevent barriers. Such measures could include recommendations related to public information and awareness or other programs that could complement updated or new regulation.

Guidelines for Recommendations:

The following guidelines are intended to support the work of the committee as it develops its recommendations:

* Respect and be complementary to the principles, purpose and requirements of the AODA, and support the end goal of achieving accessibility for Ontarians with disabilities on or before January 1, 2025, taking into account:

o the range of disabilities that the measures, policies, practices and requirements are intended to address
o the nature of the barriers that the measures, policies, practices and requirements are intended to identify, remove and prevent
o any technical and fiscal considerations/impacts that may be associated with their implementation, i.e. for obligated organizations, sectors, and the province more broadly

* Focus efforts on preventing barriers both now and in the future
* Consider existing Ontario legislative and regulatory frameworks, as well as measures and supports that already exist in the sector
* Consider inter-jurisdictional best practices and innovative solutions, keeping in mind the context of Ontarios current regulatory framework specific to the education sector * Consider fiscal implications and feasibility for the sector to comply
* Consider the enforceability of the requirements to support compliance and enforcement of the proposed standard
* Where appropriate, reflect international standards, legislation, regulation, codes, and best practices in Ontario, other provinces, and internationally, in the area of education and accessibility

Throughout the process, the members of the Accessibility Standards Advisory Council sitting on the committee are encouraged to keep council members informed of its progress.

Key Deliverables and Timelines:

The Standards Development Committee will complete the following key deliverables within the specified timelines:

1. Meetings

The committee will meet for one- or two-day sessions, approximately every eight (8) weeks as needed.

2. Standards Development Committee Work Plan

The committee will prepare and provide the Minister with a draft work plan early in the development of a proposed post-secondary education standard. The work plan will outline key milestones, activities, and timelines to achieve the mandate described here. 3. Proposed Priority Areas

Within six (6) months or sooner of the committees first meeting, the committee will report to the Minister on the proposed priority areas for the development of recommended accessibility standards. Proposed priority areas must be based on evidence including survey feedback, and must reflect the guidelines set out above. The report will be posted publicly.

4. Recommendations for Proposed Accessibility Standard for Education

Within eighteen (18) months or sooner of confirmation of the committees proposed priority areas, the committee will deliver to the Minister proposed recommendations to be posted for public review.

5. Finalizing Recommendations for Revisions to the Standard

As required by the AODA, a report on comments received during the public review will be prepared by the Accessibility Directorate of Ontario and the comments will be given to the committee for its consideration. The committee will consider public comments, seek additional information if needed, and make changes based on public comments as the committee deems advisable. The committee will submit the final recommendations to the Minister, along with a report on its consideration of public comments, no later than fourteen (14) weeks after receiving the report and public comments.

6. Meeting Minutes and Progress Reports

No later than four (4) weeks following each of its meetings, the committee will approve and provide the Minister with a copy of its meeting minutes.

List of members and representation

The following is a list of the members of the Post-Secondary Education Standards Development Committee, including the organization or sector they are representing. Some community members with disabilities also bring organizational or sector experience.

This list includes all members who have confirmed their participation to date, and may be expanded as additional members join the Committee. Committee membership may be subject to change.

Voting members:

Tina Doyle (Chair), University of Toronto Scarborough
Jodi Afonso, Confederation College Student Union
Tory Bowman, Spinal Cord Injury Ontario
Sambhavi Chandrashekar, D2L Corporation
Karen Csoli, Sheridan College
Olga Dosis, George Brown College
Janice Fennell, Mohawk College
Ashton Forrest, Disability Community Representative
Marie-Claude Gagnon, University of Ottawa
Joseph Roy Gillis, University of Toronto
Jodie Glean, Humber College
Carolyn Hepburn, Sault College
Jennifer Curry Jahnke, Mohawk College
Julia Kowal, Disability Community Representative
Jim Kyte, Algonquin College
Chelsea Mohler, BALANCE for Blind Adults
Meri Kim Oliver, Colleges Ontario
Jeanette Parsons, Inter-University Disability Issues Association (IDIA) Anne Pottier, McMaster University
Ben Poynton, University of Toronto
Fady Shanouda, Disability Community Representative
Marc Wilchesky, York University
Alex Wilson, Student Representative

Non-voting members:
John Manning, Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development

For More Information About the AODA Alliance

To sign up for, or unsubscribe from Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act Alliance Updates, send your request to us at aodafeedback@gmail.com In late December 2017, our email list for these Updates unfortunately crashed. We have rebuilt it. In case you fell off the list but want to return, just email to ask us to sign you up. In case you had wanted to be removed from the list, but were accidentally restored to it, just email us to ask to be removed! Sorry for any inconvenience.

You can always send your feedback to us on any AODA and accessibility issue at aodafeedback@gmail.com

Have you taken part in our Picture Our Barriers campaign? If not, please join in! You can get all the information you need about our Picture Our Barriers campaign by visiting www.aodaalliance.org/2016

To sign up for, or unsubscribe from AODA Alliance e-mail updates, write to: aodafeedback@gmail.com

We encourage you to use the Governments toll-free number for reporting AODA violations. We fought long and hard to get the Government to promise this, and later to deliver on that promise. If you encounter any accessibility problems at any large retail establishments, it will be especially important to report them to the Government via that toll-free number. Call 1-866-515-2025.

Please pass on our email Updates to your family and friends.

Check out our new and expanded collection of online videos about the history, strategies and accomplishments of Ontario’s non-partisan grassroots accessibility campaign, available at:
https://www.aodaalliance.org/whats-new/the-aoda-alliance-launches-part-2-of-its-series-of-online-videos-on-the-campaign-for-accessibility-to-mark-the-23rd-anniversary-of-ontarios-grassroots-campaign-for-disability-accessibility/ Why not subscribe to the AODA Alliances YouTube channel, so you can get immediate alerts when we post new videos on our accessibility campaign. https://www.youtube.com/user/aodaalliance

Please “like” our Facebook page and share our updates: https://www.facebook.com/Accessibility-for-Ontarians-with-Disabilities-Act-Alliance-106232039438820/

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Learn all about our campaign for a fully accessible Ontario by visiting https://www.aodaalliance.org