UGDSB continues to make waves in accessibility work

GUELPH – The Upper Grand District School Board has been making many changes when it comes to accessible education.

As a requirement to the government’s Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA), school boards are required to implement a multi-year accessibility plan and annual accessibility report.

On Nov. 12, the Annual Accessibility Report for 2018-2019 was received by the UGDSB board of trustees and was passed at the Nov. 26 board meeting.

Some highlights of the report include:

– accessibility work has been embedded into school curriculum;

– the Terry James Resource Centre (TJRC) has continued its work with vendors to ensure that accessible resources with built-in accessibility features are available to students;

– the TJRC DVD lending program has been phased out and replaced with a system that allows for closed captioning video;

– the UGDSB continues to use accessible formats at all stages of advertising for employment from the job advertisements through the recruitment process;

– the Accessibility Steering Committee with plant operations have continued to use the accessibility audit of 2015 to prioritize renovations and upgrades that improve accessibility in three main areas: barrier-free front access, accessible washrooms for students and staff, and accessible universal washrooms for public use;

– the Student Support and Program Services department has continued to support students in the classroom with accessible technologies; and

– accessibility education has continued to move out of the classroom this year with programs like the board’s sledge hockey program and Empowerment Day.

Most recently, the UGDSB officially launched the Patrick Anderson Wheelchair Basketball program, which sees students learning to include all by learning the fundamentals of the sport.