ACCESSIBILITY PLAN Thames Valley District School Board - TVDSB

 
ACCESSIBILITY PLAN Thames Valley District School Board - TVDSB
Thames Valley District School Board

ACCESSIBILITY
2019-2021

Our Mission
                                                PLAN
We build each student’s tomorrow, every day.

Our Vision
The Thames Valley learning community inspires innovation, embraces
diversity, and celebrates achievement – a strong foundation for all students.
ACCESSIBILITY PLAN Thames Valley District School Board - TVDSB
Contents

A Message from the Chair                                   3

Introduction and Commitment to Accessibility Planning      4

The Thames Valley Community                                6

Accessibility Accomplishments                             7-9

The Accessibility Working Group and Plan Development      10

Overview of Objectives: 2019-2021                       11-13

Multi-Year Plan 2019-2021                               14-29

Communication of the Plan                                 30

Review and Monitoring                                     30

Appendix A: Accessibility Projects 2017-2019            31-32

Appendix B: Accessibility Working Group                   33
Laura Elliott         Arlene Morell
Director of Education   Chair of the Board
From the Director of Education and Chair of the Board

    In Thames Valley, we celebrate the diversity of our learning community every day. I am pleased
    to introduce our newly developed multi-year Accessibility Plan, to support our work in creating
    inclusive learning and working environments for students, staff, and family and community
    members of all abilities.

    Developed by our multi-disciplinary Accessibility Working Group, which includes representatives
    from TVDSB and community partners, this Plan affirms our commitment to accessible policies,
    practices, structures and spaces across our district. The Plan will guide our accessibility work as a
    key element of fulfilling our commitments to equity and diversity outlined in our Strategic Plan.
    Further, the Accessibility Plan sets specific and measurable goals that will focus our collective
    efforts to achieve equitable access to all TVDSB services and facilities.

    As our communities, and our world, evolve, it becomes increasingly important that we
    understand the significance of accessibility in ensuring a positive and inclusive experience for
    all Thames Valley students. Supporting students of all abilities to reach their potential is the
    mandate of public education, best achieved through strong relationships with families, staff
    and valued community partners. Thank you for your continued support in building a strong
    foundation for all of our students.

               Laura Elliott                                                     Arlene Morell
           Director of Education                                                Chair of the Board

                                                                                                            3
Introduction and Commitment to
    Accessibility Planning
    The Ontario Human Rights Code establishes the right of       This Plan states the goals of TVDSB in continuing to
    all Ontarians to be free from discrimination in services,    identify and remove structural, attitudinal, systemic,
    including education services, on the basis of disability.    and communication barriers to access for persons with
    The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act,       disabilities. The Plan also sets out the steps that TVDSB
    2005 (AODA), together with its Integrated Accessibility      will take to achieve these goals, and how we envision
    Standards Regulation, aims to address the right to           the outcomes of our efforts, and how we will measure
    equal opportunity and inclusion for persons with             our progress.
    disabilities throughout society by identifying, removing,
    and preventing barriers to access. Specifically, the         In doing so, the Plan is one among many concrete
    AODA and Integrated Regulation address barriers              manifestations of TVDSB’s commitment to ensure
    related to:                                                  equitable and inclusive learning and working
                                                                 environments for our students, staff, and families. This
         • Customer service
                                                                 commitment, a pillar of the TVDSB Strategic Plan and
         • Information and communication                         Operational Plan, is also embodied in the TVDSB Equity
         • Employment                                            and Inclusive Education Policy, Special Education Plan,
         • Transportation                                        Mental Health and Well-Being Strategic Plan, Policy and
         • Built environment (i.e. physical spaces)              Procedure on Religious and Creed-Based Accommodation
                                                                 of Students, and Guideline for Supporting Trans and
    The Thames Valley District School Board is committed         Gender Diverse Students and Staff. The TVDSB continues
    to fulfilling its responsibilities under the Ontario Human   its efforts to develop a robust policy framework to
    Rights Code, and under AODA and the Integrated               support the implementation of its operational goals
    Regulation, in a way that ensures equitable access to its    with respect to equity and inclusion.
    buildings, programs and services for all of the students,
    families, employees, and members of the public who
    collectively make up the TVDSB community. The TVDSB
    commits to achieving its accessibility goals in a way
    that promotes and ensures respect for every person’s
    human rights, dignity and independence.

    An accessible TVDSB is therefore comprised of two,
    equally important elements:
       1. Policies, procedures and practices that promote
       inclusion in all aspects of service delivery for
       students, families, staff, and members of the public;
       and
       2. Individual accommodations that meet the needs
       and ensure the success of every TVDSB student and
       employee.

4
Disability Defined

This Plan adopts an understanding of disability,
consistent with the AODA and the Ontario Human
Rights Code, as any physical or mental condition that
limits a persons movements, senses, or activities, and
which includes invisible disabilities such as mental

                                                         “
illness, and cognitive or learning disabilities.

                                                               Students with
                                                               disabilities are
                                                               a diverse group,
                                                               and experience
                                                               disability,
                                                               impairment
                                                               and societal
                                                               barriers in many
                                                               different ways.
                                                               Disabilities are

                                                                                                             ”
                                                               often “invisible”...
                                                         – Ontario Human Rights Commission Policy
                                                            on Accessible Education for Students with Disabilities,
                                                            March 2018

                                                                                                                      5
The Thames Valley Community

    The students, families, staff, and communities of the TVDSB in 2019 are exceptionally diverse.

    The communities the TVDSB serves are urban, suburban, and rural, living in an area encompassing more than
    7,000 square kilometres. Many of our students, families and staff have always lived in Southwestern Ontario –
    many have only just arrived. Our families are both large and small, and are composed of a multitude of identities
    and relationships – also reflected within our schools.

    Our approximately 78,000 students attend 161 schools and learning centres across the TVDSB district. Our
    students are supported by more than 8,500 staff with varied identities and backgrounds,
    working within or out of both our educational and our administrative buildings.

    Our students, families, and staff possess all levels of ability.

    TVDSB embraces its community’s
    diversity, as the foundation
    upon which each
    student’s
    success is built.

6
Accessibility Accomplishments

This section documents existing or ongoing                    - independent, complete keyboard functionality,
accessibility initiatives or developments in the TVDSB.       and
                                                              - content navigation support for users.

                        Customer Service                  Content on the TVDSB website can also be instantly
                   The TVDSB continues to deliver         translated into more than 100 languages. Individual
                   mandatory online training to all new   school websites use the same platform as the
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  ST                                                      TVDSB main site, ensuring access to all of the same
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        R                                                 accessibility features and translation capabilities.
                   service prior to commencing
employment. This training, together with system-wide
                                                          In the Spring of 2018, school and system leaders were
training initiatives, ensures common understanding of
                                                          provided with training in accessible communications
accessibility standards across TVDSB’s workforce.
                                                          standards, with the TVDSB Communications Team
The TVDSB continues our commitment to responding          providing dedicated support upon request.
effectively to requests for communications materials in
                                                          In addition to websites, TVDSB schools use an
alternate accessible formats, as well as to community
                                                          accessible communication tool, SchoolMessenger, to
accommodation requests. TVDSB engages both
                                                          share information with families, and to allow families to
system and school staff as appropriate, in responding
                                                          connect with schools. Educators also have the option
to these requests to ensure a timely response.
                                                          of using Brightspace as an accessible platform for
                                                          sharing information with families.
                        Information and
                        Communication
IN F

           C AT I O N

                                                                            Employment
ORMA

                   In 2018, the TVDSB website was
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                   with World Wide Web Consortium                          TVDSB has standardized processes
Content Accessibility (WACG 2.0) standards, which           MP
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                                                                           with respect to internal and external
                                                          E

ensures accessibility through:                                             job postings to ensure staff and
     - enhanced readability, comprehensibility and        the public are notified about the availability of
     predictability of text content,                      accommodation for applicants with disabilities at all
     - text alternatives for non-text content,            stages of our recruitment processes.
     - captions and other alternatives for multimedia,
                                                          Once applicants are selected for the assessment stage
     - content with multiple presentation options         of the recruitment process, applicants are notified
     including by assistive technologies,                 that accommodations are available upon request
     - ease of both audio and visual perception,          in relation to materials or processes to be used.

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When inviting all applicants for interview, applicants    The TVDSB Board of Trustees approves and directs the
    are notified that accommodations are available, if        service Parameters of STS annually through a service
    requested. If accommodation is requested at any stage     agreement. Two TVDSB staff also sit on the STS Board
    in the recruitment process, applicants are consulted      of Directors.
    regarding necessary arrangements to account for
    individual accessibility needs.                           STS designs and monitors service for home to school
                                                              transportation in keeping with its governing policies
    New hire conditional offers of employment include         and procedures, which ensure compliance with
    the requirement for applicants to complete the            accessibility standards. Policies and procedures include
    TVDSB AODA training module before commencing              those related to Accessibility Standards for Customer
    employment. All applicable new hire letters and           Service, Accessible Student Transportation, Individual
    internal hire letters reference the accommodation         Student Transportation Plans, Service Animals, and
    policy.                                                   Support Persons for Students.

    TVDSB has developed, in consultation with an
    independent expert in the field, a training program
    for staff regarding bias-free decision making in the                        Physical Environment
    recruitment and selection process. Delivery of this                        During the 2015-16 school year an

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    training across the system is ongoing.                                     independent facility accessibility

                                                                        NM
                                                                 AL            audit was completed of all TVDSB
                                                                IC  EN VIRO
    Accommodation                                                              owned sites. Individual site reports
    TVDSB’s Accommodation Procedure for all                   were received and reviewed by TVDSB’s Facility
    teaching staff was developed with reference to            Services team. The results of this audit have guided,
    the Ontario Human Rights Commission’s (OHRC)              and continue to guide, prioritization of accessibility-
    Policy and Guidelines on Disability and the Duty to       related improvements to TVDSB facilities.
    Accommodate, and supports a healthy and inclusive
                                                              The TVDSB Special Education and Facility Services and
    return to work for staff. TVDSB Abilities and Wellness
                                                              Capital Planning departments work collaboratively to
    Services supports staff requiring accommodation in
                                                              determine accessibility priorities throughout the year
    developing an individual accommodation plan and
                                                              in order to effectively allocate resources from various
    working towards staff’s goals in returning to work.
                                                              funding sources, including capital grants received
                                                              from the Ministry of Education. A collaborative
                                                              approach to the prioritization process facilitates timely
                     Transportation                           identification of students’ needs and project planning
                      Southwestern Ontario Student            at specific school sites.
                      Transportation Services (STS) is a
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    TR

                      non-profit corporation that serves as
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         S P O R T AT                                         needs is communicated to Special Education system
                      the joint transportation consortium
    for the TVDSB and the London District Catholic            staff through administrators and Learning Support
    School Board. STS is responsible for the planning and     Teachers providing on-site support to students.
    coordination of school bus service for Elgin, Middlesex   This information is documented and tracked by the
    and Oxford counties and in the City of London.            Superintendent of Student Achievement responsible

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for Special Education. Maintaining current and                Culture for Learning Advisory Committee
accurate information regarding student needs allows           The mandate of the Culture for Learning Advisory
the Special Education department to work effectively          Committee is to provide input and recommendations
with Facility Services staff to plan and implement            to support TVDSB’s work in promoting safe and
individual accommodations. The objective of this              inclusive school environments, and the mental health
collaborative effort is to combine the relevant               and well-being of all students. The Committee meets
expertise of Special Education and Facility Services          three times each year, and includes community
staff to ensure an inclusive learning experience for          members, teaching staff, school administrators, and
every TVDSB student.                                          system-level staff, as well as a Board Trustee, to ensure
                                                              that diverse perspectives are considered and reflected.
                 Systemic
                 In addition to the targeted
                                                              Special Education Advisory Committee (SEAC)
                 accessibility initiatives outlined above,    The regulation made under the Education Act
   SY            TVDSB is committed to system-level           requires all school boards to establish a Special
      STE MIC                                                 Education Advisory Committee (SEAC). The SEAC
                 practices that promote equity and
inclusion, and seek to identify and remove systemic           provides the Board of Trustees with advice about
barriers. These practices create opportunities for            special education programs and services, and may
collaboration and community engagement in areas               make recommendations to the Board on any matter
that support inclusion of all identities and levels of        affecting the delivery of those programs and services
ability.                                                      for exceptional students.

                                                              Members of SEAC include representatives from
Equity and Inclusive Education (EIE) Policy
                                                              fourteen local community-based organizations that
Review Committee                                              further the interests and well-being of exceptional
The EIE review process adds a preliminary step in the         children or adults, and three Board Trustees. The
TVDSB’s policy review process to ensure all TVDSB             Committee is supported by the Superintendent
policies and procedures reflect principles and priorities     of Student Achievement responsible for Special
related to diversity, equity and inclusion of all students,   Education, Special Education Learning Supervisors,
families and staff.                                           school administrators, and representatives from two
The EIE Committee consists of TVDSB system staff,             local Indigenous communities.
with Trustee representation, from diverse areas

                                                              “TVDSB
of responsibility, and meets once per month from
October to June to consider, using a dedicated review
tool, new or revised policies or procedures. The
department responsible for the policy or procedure
participates in the Committee’s discussions.
                                                                             embraces its
Through the EIE review process, TVDSB ensures its                   Community’s diversity,
policies and procedures incorporate accessibility
considerations and promote inclusion for students
                                                                    as the foundation upon
with disabilities, their families, and community
members.
                                                                    which each student’s

                                                                                                     ”
                                                                    success is built.

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The Accessibility Working Group
     and Plan Development
     The TVDSB Accessibility Working Group gathered in January 2019 to review the 2017-2019 Accessibility Plan, and
     to consider the way forward in developing a Plan that would guide the TVDSB’s work related to accessibility in the
     coming years. The Group expanded to include representation from additional sectors and areas of expertise, to
     ensure contributions from all stakeholders.

     The result, over the following months, was a renewed vision for accessibility, and a concrete plan to ensure the
     realization of the TVDSB’s accessibility goals – supported by careful monitoring and accountability measures, and
     celebration of our successes along the way.

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Overview of Objectives: 2019-2021

The TVDSB Strategic Plan 2018-2021 identifies three                                      Information and Communication
strategic priorities: building positive relationships

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                                                                                         • Enhance education and training

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to foster an engaged and inclusive board culture;

                                                            ORMA
                                                                                         for staff regarding accessible
providing an equitable and inclusive learning                                            communication requirements across
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environment that champions learning opportunities                                        our system;
for all; and engaging in innovative learning
experiences that promote excellence in student                     • Review school communications, in particular
achievement and well-being.                                        school newsletters, to ensure consistent use of
                                                                   accessible formats and communication tools, as well
TVDSB acknowledges the significance of its                         as content that can be accessed by all groups and
Accessibility Plan in achieving these strategic                    individuals in our diverse school communities; and
objectives. Through focused planning, continual
monitoring, and ongoing stakeholder engagement                     • Revise accessibility information available on
related to accessibility, TVDSB will:                              TVDSB’s website to ensure it reflects current
    • build positive relationships with students with              legislative requirements and TVDSB’s broader
    disabilities, their families, and community partners;          commitments to equity, inclusion, and the rights of
                                                                   persons with disabilities.
    • enhance the inclusivity of TVDSB services and
    structures for all students; and                                                      Employment
    • help to create a strong foundation for student                             • Support TVDSB employees
    achievement and well-being.                                                  in accessing comprehensive,
In working towards its ultimate goal of meeting                    MP            accurate information related to
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the standards outlined in the AODA, TVDSB aims to                                accommodation in the workplace to
achieve the following objectives during the period                 provide the best support possible to staff;
2019-2021:                                                         • Continue ongoing review of TVDSB Abilities and
                                                                   Wellness Services processes to ensure these reflect
                 Customer Service
                                                                   current best practices;
                 • Review and revise TVDSB community
                 feedback processes related to                     • Create a comprehensive accommodation policy
                 accessibility and accommodation to                and procedure applicable to all staff;
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      OME SERV   ensure efficiency and ease of access;
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                 and                                               • Support staff through professional learning in
                                                                   understanding and applying principles related to
 • Enhance training and supports for staff in                      accommodation;
 understanding and applying standards for accessible
 customer service.                                                 • Enhance the diversity of the TVDSB workforce
                                                                   and inclusion for persons of varying ability within it,
                                                                   through amendments to recruitment, selection and
                                                                   promotional policies and processes as able; and

                                                                   • Continue professional learning initiatives regarding
                                                                   bias-free decision making in recruitment and hiring.

                                                                                                                             11
Transportation                                               Physical Environment
                      Southwestern Ontario Student                               • Enhance information sharing and

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                      Transportation Services (STS) aims                         collaboration between Special
               N

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                      to continue its organizational                AL           Education Department staff and
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                      commitment to providing accessible                         Facility Services and Capital Planning
      and specialized transportation service to students           regarding prioritization of accessibility-related
      – a commitment that is founded in the dignity and            projects;
      humanity of all individuals and enables their full
      participation in a diverse society. In accordance with       • Update publicly available information regarding
      this commitment, STS aims to achieve the following           the accessibility of TVDSB school sites;
      objectives:                                                  • Continue work to enhance TVDSB’s process for
      • Design and monitor service for home to school              documenting and tracking student accessibility
      transportation, including specialized transportation,        needs to ensure seamless and successful transitions
      in keeping with its governing policies and                   into the school environment, and from one school
      procedures jointly agreed upon by its member                 site to another (e.g., elementary to secondary); and
      school boards;                                               • Support communication between schools and
      • Review, on an ongoing basis, all policies, practices       Special Education Department staff regarding
      and procedures to ensure they are consistent with            specific accessibility concerns.
      current legislative requirements and principles of
      independence, dignity, integration and equality of
      opportunity for all persons;

      • Maintain its commitment to planning and
      delivering service, including accessible and
      specialized transportation service, that is safe,
      effective and efficient, and support this commitment
      with appropriate training for all staff; and

      • Continue to respond to, and resolve concerns
      related to individual accommodations of students
      collaboratively with TVDSB senior administration and
      staff.

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Other – Systemic
                  • Create a TVDSB Accessibility
                  Policy to ensure a consistent
  SY              understanding of the TVDSB’s
     STE MIC
                  accessibility objectives and
commitments, and the importance of these
objectives to achieving system goals related to
equity, inclusion and respect for Human Rights;

• In developing a comprehensive TVDSB Equity
Action Plan, include accessibility as a key
determinant of equitable and inclusive learning and
working environments; and

• Acknowledging the findings and direction of the
Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) in its
Policy on Accessible Education for Students with
Disabilities (2018), enhance professional learning
regarding the duty to accommodate.

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Multi-Year Plan 2019-2021
     This section states the specific actions that TVDSB will take to fulfill its accessibility objectives. Each action represents
     an intentional step towards measureable outcomes to be achieved during the period covered by this Plan.

                  Objectives: The goals TVDSB intends to achieve by the end of our multi-year Plan.

                  Actions: Specific steps TVDSB will take to achieve our accessibility goals.

                  Outcomes and Measurements to be considered: Desired outcomes, and potential indicators
                  that will assist us in measuring our success in meeting our objectives.

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1. Ensure public information           a) Update accessibility information
                                       to ensure it references current
                                                                                 i) Website content has been
                                                                                 revised at 6 months following
regarding accessibility in TVDSB
                                       legislative requirements related to       the release of the Plan, by TVDSB
is complete, accurate and up to
                                       accessible customer service.              Communications team.
date.

2. Amend the TVDSB                     a) Direct feedback and concerns
                                       to the TVDSB Diversity and Equity
                                                                                 i) Feedback and requests are
                                                                                 consistently documented and
Accessibility Feedback and
                                       Coordinator, who will coordinate a        tracked by the Diversity and
Community Accommodation
                                       response from the most appropriate        Equity Coordinator;
Request processes to ensure they
                                       staff person or department;               ii) All requests and feedback are
are transparent, fair and efficient.
                                       b) Ensure information about feedback      responded to in a timely manner.
                                       and request processes is easily located
                                       and prominently displayed on the
                                       TVDSB website;
                                       c) Through responding to requests and
                                       feedback, increase staff awareness of
                                       accessibility needs and concerns.

3. Enhance staff understanding         a) Develop a plan to deliver more,
                                       and more interactive, professional
                                                                                 i) A mechanism for tracking and
                                                                                 monitoring feedback about the
of accessible customer service
                                       learning on accessible customer           service experience of school
and its relevance to their roles and
                                       service;                                  communities and the general
positions.
                                       b) As part of this plan, establish        public is established;
                                       partnerships with TVDSB System            ii) A method of identifying
                                       Staff Development, as well as             trends, if any, in customer service
                                       program staff responsible for             feedback is developed.
                                       delivering professional learning.

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     1. Support all staff in              a) Build upon Spring 2018 training
                                          by creating additional professional
                                                                                i) TVDSB staff, in particular those
                                                                                involved in the production of
     understanding and applying
                                          learning opportunities for            communications materials, system
     requirements for accessible
                                          staff regarding accessible            supervisors and managers, and
     communication, including the
                                          communication, with particular        school administrators, receive
     creation and distribution of print
                                          focus on document creation and        (current) training with respect to
     and electronic materials.
                                          creation of multimedia materials;     accessible communications;
                                          b) Facilitate collaboration between   ii) A mechanism for tracking
                                          Communications and Graphic            rollout of accessibility training
                                          Services to ensure accessibility      to staff across the system is
                                          requirements are consistently met     established;
                                          in the development of electronic      iii) A process for ensuring all new
                                          or print materials;                   materials produced by TVDSB
                                          c) Enhance awareness system-          Graphic Services consistently
                                          wide of accessible communication      meet accessibility requirements is
                                          standards through internal            put in place;
                                          reminders and messaging.              iv) A strategy for delivering
                                                                                periodic reminders and
                                                                                information to staff regarding
                                                                                accessible communication
                                                                                standards is developed and
                                                                                implemented by the TVDSB
                                                                                Communications team.

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a) Conduct a review of school      i) A method for reviewing and
2. Ensure compliance of school-      to home communications e.g.        auditing of school to home
generated communications with
                                     school newsletters, to identify    communications is developed and
regulated accessibility standards.
                                     areas for improvement in meeting   implemented;
                                     accessibility standards;           ii) A process for ongoing review
                                     b) Support school administrators   of compliance of school to home
                                     and staff as appropriate in        communications with regulated
                                     producing accessible document      standards is established.
                                     formats.

3. Improve overall accessibility     a) Gather feedback from parents/
                                     guardians and families regarding
                                                                        i) A plan for surveying consumers
                                                                        of school-based communications
of school-generated
                                     their experience in accessing      (i.e. parents/guardians and
communications for students,
                                     school to home communications;     families), is developed and
families, and other stakeholders.
                                     b) Review school-based             implemented;
                                     communications to identify areas   ii) A mechanism for tracking
                                     for improvement in accessibility   consumption of school
                                     related to level and complexity    communications, in particular
                                     of content and availability of     by groups identified as facing
                                     translation;                       potential barriers to access
                                     c) Support school                  (e.g. persons with disabilities or
                                     administrators in tailoring        persons for whom English is not
                                     school communications to their     the primary spoken language), is
                                     particular school communities.     created;
                                                                        iii) Consultations with
                                                                        administrators and staff
                                                                        responsible for producing school
                                                                        to home communications are
                                                                        underway regarding accessibility;
                                                                        avenues for schools to access
                                                                        ongoing support from system
                                                                        staff are established.

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     1. Review and revise information     a) Review and revise information
                                          available through the employee
                                                                                 i) Employee portal information
                                                                                 has been revised at 6 months
     and processes related to
                                          portal to ensure it reflects           following release of the Plan by
     workplace accommodation,
                                          current legislative and regulatory     TVDSB Abilities and Wellness
     to ensure these reflect current
                                          standards;                             Services;
     regulatory requirements and best
     practices.                           b) Enhance the information             ii) Enhancements are completed
                                          available via the portal to            prior to the commencement of
                                          ensure employees have access           the 2020-2021 school year by
                                          to a complete guide to TVDSB’s         Abilities and Wellness Services.
                                          accommodation processes.

     2. Develop and implement             a) Research policies developed in
                                          other jurisdictions to identify best
                                                                                 i) Policy and procedure are
                                                                                 drafted, have progressed through
     a comprehensive TVDSB
                                          practices;                             the TVDSB review process
     accommodation policy and
                                          b) Develop and implement a             (including posting for public
     procedure applicable to all staff.
                                          policy applicable to all TVDSB         input), and are in place.
                                          employees.

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3. Enhance professional            a) Engage a third-party vendor to
                                   develop content for leadership
                                                                          Desired outcomes include:
learning related to the duty to                                           i) Managers and supervisors are
                                   training related to the duty to        knowledgeable and implement
accommodate amongst TVDSB
                                   accommodate;                           the Duty to Accommodate
organizational support staff.
                                   b) Support managers and                Process;
                                   supervisors, in particular in          ii) Concerns from staff related to
                                   Organizational Support Services,       accommodation are reduced;
                                   in delivering training to staff.
                                                                          iii) A greater number of concerns
                                                                          are resolved informally. To this
                                                                          end:
                                                                             • Information on complaints
                                                                             made to the TVDSB alleging
                                                                             discrimination based on
                                                                             disability is compiled, in
                                                                             consultation with legal counsel;
                                                                             • A process for informal
                                                                             resolution of complaints has
                                                                             been developed.

4. Incorporate accessibility-      a) Develop a plan for including
                                   accessibility-related training in
                                                                          i) TVDSB pre-boarding and
                                                                          onboarding training includes
related training in ongoing
                                   on-boarding and pre-boarding for       content related to accessibility
review and revision of corporate
                                   new staff;                             standards;
orientation practices.
                                   b) Review, in particular, methods      ii) An approach to delivery, to
                                   of delivery, to enhance the impact     ensure training is interactive and
                                   of learning related to accessibility   engaging, is developed and is
                                   during orientation.                    implemented.

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     5. Enhance the diversity and         a) Analyze data collected through
                                          the TVDSB Everyone Belongs at
                                                                               i) Employee survey data is
                                                                               analyzed and publicly reported
     inclusivity of the TVDSB workforce
                                          Thames Valley Employee Survey        on;
     through amendments to
                                          to better understand the diversity   ii) A plan for action based on
     recruitment and selection policies
                                          of the TVDSB workforce;              survey outcomes is determined.
     and processes.
                                          b) Identify opportunities for
                                          targeted recruitment activities
                                          amongst groups, including
                                          persons with disabilities, which
                                          are underrepresented amongst
                                          TVDSB employees;
                                          c) Continue delivery of bias-
                                          free hiring training, targeting in
                                          particular all Human Resources
                                          staff and all managers and
                                          supervisors newly (within the last
                                          3 years) employed with TVDSB.

20
6. Enhance the transparency          a) Review existing promotional
                                     practices, particularly those
                                                                            i) A method of tracking the
                                                                            number of candidates applying
and inclusivity of Principal/Vice-
                                     related to promotions to Vice-         for promotion to Principal/
Principal promotional policies
                                     Principal and Principal, to identify   Vice-Principal positions, as well
and practices, to ensure equitable
                                     processes or approaches that           as a mechanism for identifying
advancement of candidates with
                                     allow for subjectivity in the          diversity in the identities and
varying abilities.
                                     selection of candidates for            circumstances of candidates, is
                                     promotion;                             established;
                                     b) Revise processes to ensure          ii) Review and revision of
                                     objective and accountable              promotional practices and any
                                     decision-making regarding              related policies or procedures, is
                                     promotions.                            substantially complete.

7. Enhance professional learning     a) Further improve and refine bias-
                                     free decision making training.
                                                                            i) A method of tracking rollout
                                                                            of bias-free hiring training is
regarding implicit bias and bias-
                                     b) Deliver, or re-deliver, training    established to ensure target
free decision making, system-
                                     to Human Resources staff,              groups are being reached.
wide.
                                     supervisors and managers,
                                     school administrators, senior
                                     administration, and Trustees.

                                                                                                                 21
N
                                                TR AN

                                                                 IO
                                                        S P O R T AT

     1. Design and monitor service       a) Develop transportation
                                         arrangements for students
                                                                                  Desired outcomes include:
     for home to school transportation                                            i) Transportation service that
                                         identified and approved by partner       meets individual students’ needs,
     in keeping with STS policies and
                                         school boards, consistent with           while maintaining maximum
     procedures.
                                         each student’s Individual Student        inclusion and integration;
                                         Transportation Plan (ISTP);
                                                                                  ii) Successful implementation of
                                         b) Ensure effective communication        ISTP requirements by contracted
                                         of ISTP information to service           service providers.
                                         providers contracted to deliver
                                         service to students.
                                         c) In accordance with STS’
                                         commitment to integrated
                                         transportation, ensure exceptional
                                         students are transported on
                                         traditional school buses unless
                                         alternate accessible transportation is
                                         required to meet a student’s needs.

22
2. Review existing policies,         a) Review legislative and
                                     regulatory requirements for any
                                                                             i) Policies and procedures are up
                                                                             to date, clear and comprehensive;
practices and procedures to
                                     updates or changes;                     ii) Policies and procedures
ensure these reflect current best
practices and principles of equity   b) Review policies and procedures       embody organizational
and inclusion and proactively        of student transportation               commitments.
address barriers to access and       providers in other jurisdictions to
integration.                         identify best practices;
                                     c) Review and propose revisions
                                     to STS policies, procedures and
                                     practices, as appropriate.

3. Ensure compliance with STS        a) Plan and deliver training to
                                     staff, in particular training related
                                                                             Desired outcomes include:
policies and procedures, and                                                 i) Fewer concerns raised by
                                     to accessible transportation and        students and families related
commitment to safe, efficient
                                     ISTPs;                                  to services provided by service
and effective service by all
staff, including service delivery    b) Ensure training includes, in         delivery partners;
partners.                            particular, all bus operators under     ii) Organizational culture reflects
                                     contract to STS;                        commitment to principles of
                                     c) Monitor the quality of home-         equity and inclusion.
                                     to-school services provided
                                     by contracted service delivery
                                     partners.

                                                                                                                   23
ENT
                                                 P H YS

                                                                    NM
                                                      AL
                                                           EN VIRO
                                                   IC

     1. Enhance information-sharing        a) Schedule planning meetings
                                           between the Superintendent of
                                                                                       i) A system that is conducive to
                                                                                       storing and sharing information
     regarding student accessibility
                                           Student Achievement responsible             regarding all TVDSB students with
     needs between Special Education
                                           for Special Education, or designate,        physical accessibility needs is in
     and Facility Services to ensure the
                                           and the Manager of Capital projects,        place;
     most effective and efficient use of
                                           to take place at least quarterly;           ii) A mechanism for gathering
     resources across the system.
                                           b) Continue a collaborative                 and compiling feedback from
                                           approach between Special                    Special Education and Facility
                                           Education and Facility Services to          Services staff related to the
                                           determining priority of accessibility       process for identifying and
                                           projects, to ensure that priority is        prioritizing accessibility projects is
                                           assigned according to                       established, to allow for an annual
                                            • principles of inclusion as outlined      check-in and review.
                                            in TVDSB Special Education
                                            policies,
                                            • the rights of students with
                                            disabilities, and
                                            • strategic priorities in accessibility-
                                            related improvements to TVDSB
                                            school sites, across school
                                            communities.

24
2. Anticipate student physical       a) Identify, through a collaborative
                                     prioritization process and in
                                                                            Desired outcomes include:
accessibility needs sooner, to                                              i) More efficient planning
                                     consultation with the TVDSB            for capital projects, allowing
allow for advance planning for
                                     Capital Planning Committee,            Facility Services to mobilize
facilities-related accommodations.
                                     priority capital projects to be        improvements to TVDSB buildings
                                     completed during the upcoming          more quickly to meet student
                                     school year, by no later than          needs;
                                     March of the current year;
                                                                            ii) Fewer unanticipated, last-
                                     b) Continue work to enhance            minute requests for facility
                                     and refine TVDSB’s process for         modifications to accommodate
                                     communicating, documenting             exceptional students.
                                     and tracking student accessibility
                                     needs prior to planned transitions
                                     within the system (from Early
                                     Years programming into the
                                     school system, and from
                                     elementary to secondary school);
                                     c) Expand the scope of the current
                                     process for tracking student
                                     accessibility needs (from its focus
                                     on students transitioning from
                                     elementary to secondary) to
                                     include tracking for all exceptional
                                     students from pre-school to
                                     graduation;
                                     d) Enhance the functionality
                                     of the current tracking system
                                     by allowing information to be
                                     more readily shared with Facility
                                     Services and other system
                                     partners.

                                                                                                             25
ENT
                                                  P H YS

                                                                   NM
                                                       AL
                                                            EN VIRO
                                                    IC

     3. Enhance capacity to                 a) Dedicate funds within the
                                            TVDSB Budget to accessibility-
                                                                                Desired outcomes include:
     efficiently direct resources to                                            i) Transparency in accounting
                                            related capital projects, to        for accessibility-related
     support accessibility-related
                                            be augmented as needed by           improvements to school
     capital projects.
                                            additional sources of funding,      buildings;
                                            including but not limited to,
                                                                                ii) More efficient planning for
                                            existing school renewal and
                                                                                the use of resources to support
                                            school condition improvement
                                                                                accessibility-related projects.
                                            grants.

     4. Monitor progress                    a) Update facility-specific
                                            accessibility information for all
                                                                                i) Information available to the
                                                                                public regarding accessibility is
     in accessibility-related
                                            TVDSB buildings available on the    current, complete and accurate
     improvements to school sites in a
                                            TVDSB website to reflect current    at 6 months from the release of
     manner that is effective, efficient,
                                            conditions;                         the Plan, as reported by Facility
     and transparent.
                                            b) Develop a process to ensure      Services;
                                            information is updated at least     ii) Information available to the
                                            annually.                           public is consistently updated to
                                                                                reflect successful completion of
                                                                                accessibility-related projects.

26
5. Clarify the process for           a) Investigate existing practices on
                                     the part of school staff for raising
                                                                            Desired outcomes:
raising specific accessibility or                                           i) Enhanced communication
                                     individual accessibility concerns      between school staff and TVDSB
accommodation concerns at
                                     or requests at school sites with       system staff regarding existing
the school level (which could
                                     school administration;                 and changing student needs
originate with students, families,
staff, or administrators) to the     b) Develop a plan for educating        related to accessibility.
TVDSB Special Education Team         staff on the appropriate
to facilitate timely and effective   process for communicating and
communication of these concerns.     responding to these concerns or
                                     requests.

                                                                                                              27
SY
                                                           STE MIC

     1. Develop, as needed, further       a) Draft and implement a TVDSB
                                          Accessibility Policy, reflecting best
                                                                                  Desired outcomes:
     policies, procedures, and/                                                   i) TVDSB policies reflect best
                                          practices across boards in other        practices, consistent with the
     or guidelines to support the
                                          jurisdictions.                          approach of boards in other
     Accessibility Plan and other Board
     initiatives related to the rights    b) Identify other policy supports,      jurisdictions;
     of persons with disabilities and     as appropriate and necessary            ii) Board governance structure
     the creation of equitable and        based on a review of best               reflects the vision for an
     inclusive learning and working       practices.                              accessible TVDSB outlined in the
     environments.                                                                Accessibility Plan.

     2. Develop and implement             a) Steering Committee established
                                          to determine approach to action
                                                                                  i) Steering Committee begins
                                                                                  work before end of 2018-2019
     a TVDSB Equity Action Plan
                                          planning and next steps;                school year;
     or Framework to guide and
     coordinate the Board’s work          b) Ensure representation from           ii) Community/stakeholder
     related to equity, inclusion and     the Accessibility Working Group         consultations planned and
     Human Rights, system-wide.           and persons with disabilities           completed before end of 2019-
                                          in community and stakeholder            2020 school year;
                                          consultations regarding a TVDSB         iii) Action Plan document(s)
                                          Equity Action Plan.                     created to guide work
                                                                                  internally, as well as to increase
                                                                                  public awareness of TVDSB’s
                                                                                  commitment and actions related
                                                                                  to equity and inclusion.

28
3. Develop a plan for, and          a) Review recently completed and
                                    existing professional learning in
                                                                        Desired outcomes:
begin to deliver, system-wide                                           i) Increased understanding among
                                    relation to the TVDSB’s duty to     staff and management regarding
professional development
                                    accommodate students, family        the duty to accommodate persons
regarding the duty to
                                    members, and members of the         with disabilities;
accommodate persons with
                                    public to identify system needs;
disabilities.                                                           ii) Reduction in concerns raised
                                    b) Develop a plan for effective     regarding a lack of, or the nature
                                    implementation of professional      and scope of, accommodation.
                                    learning.

4. Develop a plan for and           a) Work collaboratively with
                                    Learning Support Services staff
                                                                        Desired outcome:
provide support for school-based                                        i) Increased understanding among
                                    to provide resources to schools     both staff and students of the
student learning opportunities
                                    to support student learning         ways in which schools can help
that focus on enhancing students’
                                    opportunities that focus on         to foster inclusive communities
understanding of inclusive
                                    understanding and supporting        as seen through school-wide
communities that welcome
                                    the needs of individuals with       initiatives and more inclusive
individuals of all abilities.
                                    disabilities.                       classroom learning environments.

                                                                                                             29
Communication of the Plan

     The TVDSB Accessibility Plan will be presented to the Board of Trustees and displayed on the TVDSB web site at
     www.tvdsb.ca. Hard copies, and accessible formats will be provided upon request by contacting:

            Andrea Marlowe, Diversity and Equity Coordinator
            Thames Valley District School Board
            1250 Dundas Street
            London, ON N5W 5P2
            Tel: (519) 452-2000 ext. 20515
            Email: a.marlowe@tvdsb.ca

     Review and Monitoring

     The Accessibility Working Group will meet quarterly to discuss the TVDSB’s progress in implementing the
     objectives outlined in this plan. Representatives from TVDSB departments with responsibility for actions,
     measures and desired outcomes outlined in the Plan will report to the Working Group on progress made.

     The Working Group’s meetings, including any commitments or actions arising out of these meetings, will be
     documented and tracked through a method to be collectively determined by the Working Group.

     The Diversity & Equity Coordinator will be responsible for follow up or coordination of efforts to achieve the
     objectives outlined in the plan, as necessary.

     Annual Updates
     The TVDSB will produce an Annual Status Report with respect to the implementation of the Accessibility Plan, in
     consultation with the Accessibility Working Group. The Status Report will be presented to the Board of Trustees,
     and made publicly available on the TVDSB web site together with the Multi-Year Accessibility Plan.

30
Appendix A: Accessibility Projects 2017-2019

                                 WC

     elevator access   barrier free washrooms        barrier free            inclined ramp   tactile indicators      barrier free
                                                 drinking fountains                                                  bus dropoff

    automatic door       fire alarm strobes       inclined stair lift         barrier free   vertical chair lift   braille signage
        opener                                                                 parking

      barrier free         physiotherapy
         path                  room

2017-2018 School Year
             TVDSB Site                         Location                                     Project Completed

John Dearness Public School                   City of London
                                                                                       WC

Lester B. Pearson School for the Arts City of London
                                                                                       WC

Zorra Highland Park Elementary                Embro,
School                                        Oxford County             WC

Arthur Ford Public School                     City of London
                                                                                       WC

Elgin Court Public School                     St. Thomas,
                                              Elgin County

Innerkip Central Public School                Innerkip,
                                              Oxford County             WC

W. Sherwood Fox Public School                 City of London
                                                                        WC

                                                                                                                                     31
2018-2019 School Year
            TVDSB Site              Location                 Project Completed
                                  Drumbo,
Blenheim District Public School
                                  Oxford County
                                                        WC

Bonaventure Meadows
                                  City of London
Public School                                      WC

C.C. Carrothers Public School     City of London
                                                   WC

Chippewa Public School            City of London

                                  Hickson,
Hickson Central Public School     Oxford County
                                                   WC

Jack Chambers Public School       City of London
                                                   WC

John P. Robarts Public School     City of London
                                                   WC

                                  Ilderton,
Oxbow Public School               Middlesex
                                  County

                                  Tavistock,
Tavistock Public School           Oxford County    WC

AB Lucas Secondary School         City of London

                                  Woodstock,
College Avenue Secondary School   Oxford County    WC

                                  Aylmer,
East Elgin Secondary School       Elgin County

H.B. Beal Secondary School        City of London

                                  Woodstock,
Huron Park Secondary School       Oxford County    WC

Ingersoll District Collegiate     Ingersoll,
Institute                         Oxford County

Montcalm Secondary School         City of London

Saunders Secondary School         City of London

Sir Wilfred Laurier Secondary
                                  City of London
School                                             WC
Appendix B: Accessibility Working Group

  Andrew Canham                                      Becky Calvert-Hamilton,
  TVDSB – Superintendent of Student Achievement      OSSTF District 11 Health & Safety Officer
  (Special Education)
                                                     Lisa MacMaster, President
  Andrea Marlowe                                     Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation (OSSTF)
  TVDSB – Diversity and Equity Coordinator
                                                     Monique Greczula, President
  Andrea Leatham                                     Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) 7575
  TVDSB – Learning Supervisor, Special Education
                                                     Joanne Dowswell, Chief Steward
  Roseanne Ferrara                                   Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) 4222
  TVDSB – Learning Supervisor, Special Education
                                                     Melissa Bakker, Secretary
  Carlos Henriquez, Manager, Capital Projects        Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) 4222
  TVDSB – Facility Services
                                                     Charlie Price, President, Unit A
  Julia Capaldi, Communications Specialist           CUPE 4222
  TVDSB – Public Affairs and Community Relations
                                                     Alison Morse, Senior Manager, Provincial Services
  Carolyn Glaser, Manager, IT Services               Easter Seals Society/ TVDSB Special Education Advisory
  TVDSB – Information Technology                     Committee (SEAC)
  Bethany Martin, Manager, Staffing                  Samantha Edwards, Senior Transportation
  TVDSB – Human Resources                            Specialist and Systems Administrator
  Alice McCauley, Employee Relations Officer         Southwestern Ontario Student Transportation Services (STS)
  TVDSB – Human Resources                            Sherry Haines, Associate Director,
  Carolyn Blewett, Supervisor,                       Access Ability Services
  Learning Support Services                          Ontario March of Dimes
  TVDSB – Learning Support Services                  Carla Mocellin-Barbieri, Assistive Devices
  Dwayne DeJonge, Vice Principal, Central Elgin CI   Counsellor
  TVDSB – OPC Secondary                              Ontario March of Dimes

  Rebecca Crichton, Disability Management Officer    Randy McGivern, TCS Clinical Coordinator
  TVDSB – Human Resources, Disability Management     Thames Valley Children’s Centre
  Kimberly Smith, Summers Corners PS                 Heather and Brian Van Arnhem
  TVDSB – Active Learning Educational Assistant      Parent representatives

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