Accessibility Advisory Committee Terms of Reference

Purpose

Haldimand County Accessibility Advisory Committee shall assist Council in facilitating and improving opportunities for persons with disabilities by promoting the implementation of the requirements under the Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2001 (ODA) and the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (AODA) in Haldimand County. This aim will be achieved by advising Council each year on its annual Accessibility Plan and through the review of municipal policies, programs and services and the identification, removal and prevention of barriers to people with disabilities.

Definitions

Within this Terms of Reference:

“Annual accessibility plan” means a plan as designated in Section 11 of the Ontarians with Disability Act, RSO 2009 and Section 29 of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, RSO 2009 and shall include:

  • A report on the measures the County has taken to identify, remove and prevent barriers to person’s with disabilities
  • The measures in place to ensure that the County assesses its proposals for by-laws, policies, programs, practices and services to determine their effect on accessibility for persons with disabilities
  • A list of the by-laws, policies, programs, practices and services that the municipality will review in the coming year in order to identify barriers to persons with disabilities
  • The measures that the municipality intends to take in the coming year to identify, remove and prevent barriers to persons with disabilities, and
  • All other information that the regulations of the ODA/AODA prescribed for the purpose of the plan.

“Barrier” means anything that prevents a person with a disability from fully participating in all aspects of society because of his or her disability, including a physical barrier, an architectural barrier, an information or communication barrier, an attitudinal barrier, a technological barrier, a policy or a practice (“obstacle”).

“Disability” means:

  • Any degree of physical disability, infirmity, malformation, or disfigurement that is caused by bodily injury, birth defect or illness and, without limiting the generality of the foregoing, includes diabetes, mellitus, epilepsy, a brain injury, any degree of paralysis, amputation, lack of physical co-ordination, blindness or visual impediment, deafness or hearing impediment, muteness or speech impediment, or physical reliance on a guide dog or other animal or on a wheelchair or other remedial appliance or device
  • A condition of mental impairment or a developmental disability
  • A learning disability, or a dysfunction in one or more of the processes involved in understanding or using symbols or spoken language
  • A mental disorder, or
  • An injury or disability for which benefits were claimed or received under the insurance plan established under the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act, 1997

Mandate

The mandate of the Accessibility Advisory Committee (AAC) is to annually review and advise Council on the implementation and effectiveness of the County’s annual Accessibility Plan as outlined in the Ontarians with Disabilities Act, RSO 2009/AODA. The AAC will report to Haldimand Council through the Committee in Council.

Composition

Members

  • The AAC shall be composed of a maximum of nine (9) members, one of which shall be an elected member of Council, and one of which will be a Haldimand County staff member appointed by the CAO
  • A majority of the members must be persons with disabilities. These committee members shall be representative of different types of visible and invisible disabilities noted on the ODA, 2001, such as persons with physical (visual, speech, hearing, deaf, brain injury, use of a wheelchair); cognitive (intellectual impairments); perceptual (learning disability); and mental health disabilities.
  • A minority of the members may be persons who do not have a disability, but meet one of the following criteria:
    • Parent/guardian representing children with disabilities
    • Persons interested in issues relating to persons with disabilities
    • Members shall be a minimum of 18 years of age
  • Members shall be residents of Haldimand County
  • Members shall be considered based on their special expertise, experience, dedication and commitment to the mandate of the Committee in promoting and facilitating a barrier-free municipality to all persons with disabilities
  • Council, at its discretion, may review the composition of this Committee and its Terms of Reference to ensure that its representative of persons with disabilities and is working effectively
  • Members may call upon the expertise of representatives from organizations to provide information regarding accessibility matters.

Roles and Responsibilities

  • Members shall be or become familiar with the Ontarians with Disabilities Act/AODA and the Terms of Reference
  • Members shall declare any situation that is or has the potential to be a conflict of interest, (e.g. pecuniary interest)
  • Members will be guided by Haldimand County’s Code of Conduct Policy No. 01-19
  • A chair and vice-chair will be elected annually by the membership at the first meeting of each year
  • The Chair shall act as the spokesperson to the staff liaison regarding issues such as agendas, minutes, and requests, for information
  • The Vice-Chair will perform all duties of the Chair in his/her absence.

Staff Liaison

  • Provide the Haldimand County’s Accessibility Plan annually to the AAC for review
  • Advise members of the AAC on Haldimand County matters pertaining to accessibility
  • Prepare agenda (with Chair) and supporting materials for distribution to members
  • Provide clerical/clerking assistance for the AAC
  • Direct the AAC recommendations and motions to Council through Council in Committee and report back to AAC
  • Ensure that required assistance is available for members with disabilities.

Appointment/Term

  • Membership/vacancies on the Haldimand County Accessibility Advisory Committee shall be publicly advertised in local newspapers and on the County Website. Applicants shall be submitted to the Clerk
  • Members shall be appointed by Haldimand County Council
  • Shall be concurrent with the length of term of Council, or until their successors are appointed by Council

Resignations

  • Any resignation from the Accessibility Advisory Committee shall be tendered in writing to the Chair of the AAC who will advise Council through the Staff Liaison
  • In order to maintain a high level of commitment, members may be asked by Council to resign if they have been absent for three consecutive meetings without good reason

Remuneration/Re-imbursement of Expenses

  • Members of the AAC will serve without remuneration
  • Members who are persons with disabilities will be provided with resources related to their disability and that are deemed necessary for them to fully participate in the Committee (i.e., sign language interpretation services, Braille translation services, transportation, support care services, etc.)

Meetings

  • Meetings may be held quarterly or at the call of the Chair and are open to the public.
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