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York Region awarded 2015 Excellence Canada - Ontario Accessibility Award

November 24, 2015   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Alison Hermansen
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November 24, 2015

The Regional Municipality of York is pleased to have been awarded the 2015 Excellence Canada - Ontario Accessibility Award from People Access, a division of Excellence Canada.

"York Regional Council and the York Region Accessibility Advisory Committee have demonstrated a commitment to creating an accessible York Region that is fair, respectful and accessible to people with all abilities," said York Region Chairman and CEO Wayne Emmerson. "York Region continues to be a leader in removing barriers to accessibility, and will continue to make policies and take actions that improve the quality of life for all residents."

The Excellence Canada - Ontario Accessibility Award recognizes organizations that have shown a commitment to providing excellent accessibility initiatives to accommodate people with disabilities. York Region achieved the award by exceeding compliance with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) by implementing activities above and beyond compliance.

"Since 2003 the Region has prevented and removed barriers through nine accessibility plans," said Town of Newmarket Regional Councillor John Taylor, Chair of the Region's Community and Health Services Committee. "Multi-year planning creates opportunities for the Region to achieve and exceed its accessibility requirements."

The AODA sets out accessibility requirements that an organization must meet in the areas of customer service, information and communications, employment, transportation and the design of public spaces, with staggered compliance dates to 2021. To date, York Region has not only met these accessibility requirements, but has also achieved a number of requirements well before provincial compliance dates.

Examples of how York Region exceeded the legislated standards of the AODA include:

  • Accessibility design guidelines for York Regional forest trails and Regional buildings
  • Modified service counters for enhanced customer service
  • Training for Regional employees to create accessible documents and other communications

"I would like to congratulate and thank York Regional Council and York Region staff for their commitment to meeting the needs of people with disabilities," said Town of Richmond Hill Regional Councillor Vito Spatafora, Chair of the York Region Accessibility Advisory Committee. "An accessible York Region gives everyone the opportunity to fully participate in their communities."

This is the second time York Region has been recognized with this prestigious award from People Access, a division of Excellence Canada. This independent not-for-profit organization was selected by the province to help raise awareness of the AODA throughout Ontario.