Accessibility: all staff to be trained

When it comes to making all government build­ings accessible in Wellington County, there is more cost involved than just to the construction of the build­ings.

Administration, finance, and personnel committee chair­man John Green told council during his report recently that the “cost is becoming ex­treme.”

That was in answer to a question by councillor Mark MacKenzie, who wanted to know how the training will be done.

Green explained that every staff member in the county will have to be trained in various aspects of the new accessibility legislation.

Human Resources adminis­trator Andrea Lawson said in her report that training will en­compass “the principals of in­te­gration, independence, dignity and equal opportunity to ensure the highest level of inclusion.”

Green said the program will be a big one, and he is unsure how long staff would have to become familiar with the act.

Lawson said a county staff member has been working with the local municipalities, and those staff members will be trained by county staff, and then take the training back to the employees of the lower tier municipalities.

They can train themselves,” she said.

She added, though, that all the training must be completed by Dec. 31, and that it includes everyone. By everyone, she mean not only full time em­ployees, but part timers and stud­ents, too.

All that training is a man­datory program laid down by the provincial government.

Wellington County has been a leader in accessibility pro­grams in Ontario, and county staff have been asked to make a presentation on how the acces­sibility strategy was developed, policy devel­opment, and train­ing initiatives at the Asso­ciation of Municipal Clerks and Treasurer’s Association meet­ing later this month.