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Our Commitment


Ryerson University is committed to providing an accessible learning and employment environment for students, employees and members of the Ryerson community. We are committed to the principles of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA), and aim to ensure that dignity, integration and equality of opportunity are embedded in all aspects of the University culture.

Ryerson's approach to furthering the principles of the AODA is that all members of the University have a shared responsibility to support access and inclusion. Underpinning this approach is a commitment to the practice of universal design which addresses accessibility systemically. Further, we continue to identify, remove and prevent barriers to accessibility and full participation.

Ryerson is committed to:

  • Accessibility in the Classroom;
  • Accessibility in the Workplace;
  • Accessibility on Campus.

Access Ryerson Multi-Year Accessibility Plan 2016 - 2019


Access Ryerson is Ryerson’s cross campus accessibility initiative with a goal to identify, remove and prevent barriers to the full inclusion of persons with disabilities. In 2012, as per AODA requirements, we moved to a multi-year accessibility plan format. Past plans are listed here.

The 2016-2019 Access Ryerson multi-year accessibility plan is based on four key objectives created in conjunction with the 2014-2019 Academic Plan and are underpinned by the principles of the AODA and Access Ryerson’s Principles and Values.

1. Education and Awareness
  • improves accessibility competencies of staff, faculty and students

  • supports innovation in teaching practices, enriches experiences of inclusion, and improves efficiencies and sustainability by building in accessibility at the start

  • increases collaboration and participation in accessibility initiatives – creates champions


How we will get there:

  • address perceptions and misconceptions held about people disabilities by our own community members

  • ensure awareness of legal obligations with regard to accessibility and accommodation

  • increase Access Ryerson profile by proactively reaching out to all departments and faculties

  • work with Communication and Awareness Working Group to establish long term communication plan

  • work with RU Student Life, Tri-mentoring and RyeAccess to increase engagement and awareness of students with disabilities

2. Support Accessibility Competency and Practice

We need to support staff, faculty and students to be knowledgeable accessibility champions. Over the next 5 years we will build upon web based resources currently available on the Access Ryerson website to the extent that the Ryerson community:

  • is informed about what tools and guides exist and where to find them

  • knows who to contact if they have an accessibility related enquiry or want to report an accessibility barrier

  • knows how to provide feedback on an accessibility related issue

  • faculty have the knowledge and tools they need in order to fully support students with disabilities

 

How we will get there:

Training

  • Work with HR Training initiatives to update and improve AODA online training (2015)
  • Work with EDI Education and Awareness Coordinator to infuse accessibility training with an overall EDI strategy

Tools and Resources

Continue to provide tools and resources via Ryerson’s Accessibility Website, e.g.

  • Procurement guidelines – to be rolled out in partnership with the COU
  • Adapt OPS Inclusion Lens for Ryerson use (2015/2016)

Accessibility Standards

  • Work with Access Ryerson Built Environment Working Group to create Ryerson Accessibility Standards document

Consultation

  • Work with Universal Design for Learning Working Group to continue to develop accessibility related supports for faculty
  • Proactively reach out to all departments and faculties to consult on accessibility best practices
3. Community Engagement
Two of the key principles underpinning Access Ryerson’s overall strategy are collaboration and shared responsibility. In addition to external partners, we want to engage as many people as possible within all sectors of the university. We need them to understand why change is necessary and inspire and motivate them to become accessibility champions.
 

How we will get there:

  • establish external advisory committee with leaders within the disability community

  • seek opportunities to partner with external groups

  • establish Student Engagement Working Group as part of Access Ryerson organization structure

  • generate wider representation on Advisory Committee to ensure cross campus participation and contribution

  • host/cohost disability and accessibility related events throughout the year, i.e. United Nations International Day for Persons with Disabilities, AODA related events

4. Compliance and Accountability

Access Ryerson strives to go beyond simple AODA compliance - being able to say we are AODA compliant does not equal full accessibility and inclusion.

As a large institution, measuring compliance presents a number of challenges. Primary among these is the decentralization of processes, particularly in the area of employment and websites. We must develop strategies to address these challenges

How we will get there:

Update Multi-Year Accessibility Plan

  • The initial current plan covers 2012-2015. Planning is underway to update it to 2016-2019 which will bring it in line with the Academic Plan.

Accessibility Standards

  • We are currently in the process of developing our own standards of accessibility over and above AODA standards in addition to establishing clear directives around responsibility.

Training

  • Training will be enhanced to include all legal requirements under the Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation of the AODA as well as how it relates to the Ontario Human Rights Code.

Establish Baseline Data

  • In order to be able to measure progress, we need to establish baseline data. This will include tracking training and improving process for tracking and feedback.

Reporting

  • Under the AODA Ryerson must file a compliance report every two years. During the 2014-2019 Academic Plan period reports will be filed in 2015, 2017 and 2019. In addition, annual reports will be included as part of the overall Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion report.

Past Accessibility Plans


Ryerson has launched a new accessibility initiative and has transitioned from an annual ODA reporting structure to a multi-year plan as per AODA requirements commencing 2013.