Why is accessibility important?
People with disabilities represent a large and growing part of our population. About 1.8 million or 15.5 per cent of Ontarians have a disability. When we apply these statistics to the Town of Essex this means that over 3,000 of our 20,427 residents live with a disability. By 2026, as the population ages, it is estimated that 16 per cent of people in Canada will have a disability.
Addressing accessibility in the Town of Essex
The Town of Essex is committed to responding to the needs of an accessible community through:
- The Essex Accessibility Advisory Committee which provides advice and recommendations to Council on accessibility issues within our community;
- Accessible Customer Service training for all Town of Essex employees and contractors providing services to the Town of Essex;
- A Feedback Form that allows persons with disabilities to provide input on how we have or have not met the needs of persons with disabilities;
- A Multi-Year Accessibility Plan was adopted by Council on July 14, 2014 and describes how the Town will meet accessibility standards over the next five years;
- Council agendas provided in an accessible format starting in 2013; and,
- Providing an accessible website.
The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (AODA)
The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 became law on June 13, 2005. Under this landmark legislation, the provincial government will develop required standards that will identify, remove and prevent barriers for people with disabilities. The vision of the act is to have an accessible Ontario by 2025.
The Accessibility Standards addressed in the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act cover the following five key areas:
- Customer Service Standard
- Information and Communication Standard
- Transportation Standard
- Employment Standard
- Built Environment Standard
The launch of our new website in June 2013 is an important step toward meeting the requirements of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005. View our Website Accessibility page to find out more.