Barrie is one of Ontario's leading communities in accessibility and is committed to accessibility and the tenets of the AODA. The City is actively working to remove barriers to persons with disabilities.
Barrie Business Accessibility Awards
The City of Barrie’s Accessibility Advisory Committee was pleased to announce the first recipients of the Barrie Business Accessibility Awards in 2017:
Congratulations and thank you to all recipients!
The Business Accessibility Award was developed to acknowledge the many ways in which businesses contribute to the community by making their business or business practices accessible. The advisory committee established this award to recognize and celebrate businesses that make efforts to improve accessibility in their business and our community, and to encourage other businesses to make accessibility a priority in their own businesses.
The inaugural awarding occurred at the City Council meeting on Monday, November 6. In future years, the award will be presented at a City Council meeting during Accessibility Week, held annually in May.
Accessibility of Ontarians with Disabilities Act
The Accessibility of Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (AODA), is a law passed by the Ontario legislature that allows the government to develop specific standards of accessibility and to enforce them. The standards are made into laws called regulations, and they provide the details to help meet the goal of the AODA. The AODA is the foundation on which the standards are built.
The purpose of the accessibility standards is to move organizations in Ontario forward on accessibility. The standards will set requirements in a number of key areas and will be reviewed at least every five years. The goal of the Act is to make the Province of Ontario completely accessible by 2025.
The Integrated Accessibility Standard was released in the summer of 2011 and was recently updated in 2016 to include the Accessible Customer Service Standard, as well as the standards for: Information and Communication, Employment, Transportation and the Design of Public Spaces. The City of Barrie is committed to working towards being compliant with all of the standards under the AODA as they are introduced. For more information on the AODA or accessibility in Ontario, please visit the Ministry of Government and Consumer Services.
The City of Barrie has worked to integrate accessibility and the AODA tenets into already existing City of Barrie policies. The City is committed to continuous improvement and will work to regularly review and update all policies for accessibility. In addition, the City has developed an Accessible Customer Services policy which includes information on:
- Providing good and services to people with disabilities
- Use of service animals, support persons and assistive devices
- Notice of temporary disruptions
- Staff training on customer services
- Accessibility of meetings
- Feedback process
- Format of city documents
- Notice of availability of documents
City of Barrie employees, contractors and vendors are required to complete training which includes:
- The purpose of the Act
- How to interact with people with various disabilities
- How to interact with people who use the assistance of a service animal or support person
- How to use assistive devices available on the premises
- What to do if a person with a disability is having difficulty accessing service
- Details on the City of Barrie's accessibly policy, procedures and practices
Information for Vendors
Training is required for City suppliers of goods and services. The AODA legislation states that contractors, vendors, and individuals that the City of Barrie has contracted to provide goods or services must ensure that their employees are trained on providing accessible customer service. Training can be as simple as reading through the Understanding Accessible Customer Service Training Booklet.
Once contractors/vendors have trained their staff, they will be considered compliant by the City of Barrie after they have completed and returned the Accessibility Compliance Form. Completed forms are to be faxed to (705) 739-4233 or mailed to:
City of Barrie
Attention: C. Dillon
70 Collier Street, P. O. Box 400
Barrie, ON L4M 4T5
Please contact Service Barrie with any feedback at (705) 726-4242 or ServiceBarrie@barrie.ca.