Wellington North council, staff working to meet accessibility standards

Wellington North council has received Chief Administrative Officer and Clerk Lori Hein­buch’s report on accessibility stan­dards as they apply to customer standards in the town­ship.

Heinbuch said under the requirements of the regulations, the township must have a policy for customer standards that needs to be in place by Jan. 1 for the public sector. She added that training for employees is required.

That would affect all employees, including municipal staff, committee members, volunteers, firefighters, and contractors, she said.

Councillor Dan Yaks said the motion adopts the policy for the township. He stated that Jan. 1 is not very far off to be able to meet all the requirements.

“There’s a lot of things to be implemented.” He asked if there is enough time for the training to be done. Heinbuch said training of all department heads and foremen had taken place, and over the next few weeks, training will be done for the rest of the staff and committee members. She said it is simply that the services must be available if requested.

“We have never had a re­quest for any of this type of service from anyone,” she added. But, she said, the municipality must have it in place.

Yake suspected many municipalities do not have such services in  place. He asked if the municipality is required to train contractors.

Heinbuch said there are two types of training. One is an hour-long powerpoint presentation, while the other is giving a pamphlet that is read, and a sign-off given that it was read.

“It’s just – there’s a lot here,” Yake said. He cited issues listed in the guidelines, and asked if people taking money at the gate at the arena would be aware of the regulations.

“They would receive that training, along with a copy of the policy,” Heinbuch said.

She added a lot of the items are already in place.

Yake stressed the issues are really starting to come forward.

Heinbuch said one of the facilities managers is a member of the accessibility committee and is quite aware of the issues.

Mayor Mike Broomhead said one of the issues that came up at the county level is how it might affect recreational trails.

“If you are required to pave trails, it could be very expensive, and it could stop communities from doing a lot of stuff,” he added.

Council receive the clerk’s report and adopted the policies to be implemented by Jan. 1.