Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation
Let’s Talk Science is committed to ensuring compliance with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (AODA). The Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation (Regulation 191/11) (the “IASR”) under the AODA provides standards to increase accessibility for persons with disabilities. The following standards under this regulation apply to Let’s Talk Science: general, information and communications, employment, and design of public spaces. Adherence to the Ontario Human Rights Code and Let’s Talk Science’s Accessible Customer Service Policy (2012) is further supported by this IASR Policy.
Let’s Talk Science is committed to providing a respectful, accessible and inclusive environment for people with disabilities in a timely manner so that persons with disabilities will have the same opportunity to access and benefit from our programs and services. Let’s Talk Science will take into account the person’s disability and respect the individual’s dignity and independence in order to achieve integration and equal opportunity.
Accessible Formats – Include but are not limited to large print, recorded audio and electronic formats, braille and other formats usable by persons with disabilities.
Communication Supports – Include but are not limited to captioning, alternative and augmentative communication supports, plain language, sign language and other supports that facilitate effective communications.
Conversion Ready – An electronic or digital format that facilitates conversion into an acceptable format.
Performance Management – Activities related to assessing and improving employee performance, productivity and effectiveness with the goal of facilitating employee success.
Redeployment – The reassignment of employees to other departments or jobs within the organization as an alternative to layoff, when a particular job or department has been eliminated by the organization.
Redeveloped – A planned significant alteration to a public space. It does not include maintenance activities, environmental mitigation or environmental restoration.
Let’s Talk Science will develop, implement and maintain policies governing how it will achieve accessibility through these requirements.
Accessibility Plan and Reports (effective Spring 2017)
Let’s Talk Science has developed a multi-year Accessibility Plan in accordance with the IASR. The Accessibility Plan documents Let’s Talk Science’s strategy and timelines to meet all applicable standards of the IASR. The Accessibility Plan will be reviewed and updated at least once every five years. The Accessibility Plan is available on the Let’s Talk Science website and can be provided in an accessible format upon request.
Training Requirements (effective January 1, 2016)
Let’s Talk Science will provide training to all Let’s Talk Science employees and volunteers for its employees, volunteers, and other stakeholders who participate in development of Let’s Talk Science policies or who provide goods, services, or facilities in Ontario on behalf of Let’s Talk Science.
Training will include:
- Let’s Talk Science’s IASR Policy
- The Ontario Human Rights Code as it relates to people with disabilities
- The Information and Communications Standard
- The Employment Standard
- Applicable components of the Design of Public Spaces Standard
Specialized training regarding the accessible websites and web content component of the Information and Communications Standard will also be provided to employees whose responsibilities include maintenance of content on web properties operated by Let’s Talk Science. Specialized training on the applicable components of the Design of Public Spaces Standard will also be provided to employees whose responsibilities include management of Let’s Talk Science facilities.
Delivery of training may include any one or more of the following formats: in-person delivery, webinar, on-line material, printed training material, supplemental material and supports such as posters and video clips.
Training will be provided as soon as is reasonably practicable and on an ongoing basis to new employees and as changes to Let’s Talk Science's accessibility policies occur.
Let’s Talk Science will maintain records on the training provided, when it was provided and the number of employees that were trained.
Information and Communications Standard
All information and communications materials and services provided by Let’s Talk Science shall follow the principles of dignity, independence, integration and equal opportunity.
Feedback Process (effective January 1, 2016)
Let’s Talk Science will ensure that all feedback processes (both internal and external), including surveys and evaluation forms are made accessible to clients/customers or employees, upon request.
In accordance with the Accessibility Standards for Customer Service, Ontario Regulation 429/07, Let’s Talk Science will make the availability of accessible feedback formats publicly known.
Accessible Formats and Communication Supports (effective January 1, 2017)
Unless deemed unconvertible, Let’s Talk Science will provide or arrange for the provision of accessible formats and communication supports for persons with disabilities, upon request. Accessible formats and communication supports will be provided in a timely manner and at no additional cost to the individual.
Let’s Talk Science will take into account the person's accessibility needs when customizing individual requests and shall consult with the individual making the request to ensure suitability.
Let’s Talk Science will make the availability of accessible formats and communication supports publicly known.
Emergency Procedures, Plans or Public Safety Information (effective January 1, 2012)
Let’s Talk Science will ensure that any safety and emergency information (e.g. evacuation procedures, floor plans etc.) made publicly available is provided, upon request in an accessible format or with appropriate communication supports.
Accessible Websites and Web Content
(Level A Spring 2017, Level AA effective January 1, 2021)
Let’s Talk Science will ensure compliance with Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 Level A and Level AA. Exceptions under the legislation to Level AA compliance include:
- Success criteria 1.2.4 Captions (Live), and
- Success criteria 1.2.5 Audio Descriptions (Pre-recorded).
Information and Communications Standard Exceptions
The Information and Communications Standard does not apply to:
- Products and product labels;
- Unconvertible information or communications; or
- Information that the organization does not control either directly or indirectly through a contractual relationship.
Unconvertible Information or Communications
If it is determined, in consultation with the requesting party, that information or communications are unconvertible, Let’s Talk Science will ensure that the individual who made the request is provided with an explanation and a summary of the information.
Let’s Talk Science will classify information or communications as unconvertible where:
- It is not technically practicable to convert; or
- The technology required to make the conversion is not readily available.
Employment Standard (effective January 1, 2017 unless otherwise noted)
Recruitment, Assessment and Selection
Let’s Talk Science will notify employees and the public about the availability of accommodation for job applicants who have disabilities. Applicants will be informed that these accommodations are available, upon request, for the interview process and for other candidate selection methods. Where an accommodation is requested, Let’s Talk Science will consult with the applicant and provide or arrange for suitable accommodation.
Successful applicants will be made aware of Let’s Talk Science's policies and supports for accommodating people with disabilities.
Accessible Formats and Communication Supports for Employees
Let’s Talk Science will ensure that employees are aware of our policies for employees with disabilities and any changes to these policies as they occur.
If an employee with a disability requests it, Let’s Talk Science will provide or arrange for the provision of accessible formats and communication supports for the following:
- Information needed in order to perform his/her job; and
- Information that is generally available to all employees in the workplace.
Let’s Talk Science will consult with the employee making the request to determine the best way to provide the accessible format or communication support.
Workplace Emergency Response Information (effective January 1, 2012)
Where required, Let’s Talk Science will create individual workplace emergency response information for employees with disabilities. This information will take into account the unique challenges created by the individual's disability and the physical nature of the workplace, and will be created in consultation with the employee.
This information will be reviewed when:
- The employee moves to a different physical location in the organization;
- The employee's overall accommodation needs or plans are reviewed; and/or
- Let’s Talk Science reviews general emergency response policies.
Documented Individual Accommodation Plans
Let’s Talk Science must also develop and have in place written processes for documenting individual accommodation plans for employees with disabilities. The process for the development of these accommodation plans should include specific elements, including:
- The ways in which the employee can participate in the development of the plan;
- The means by which the employee is assessed on an individual basis;
- The ways that an employee can request an evaluation by an outside medical expert, or other experts (at the employer's expense) to determine if accommodation can be achieved, or how it can be achieved;
- The steps taken to protect the privacy of the employee's personal information;
- The frequency with which the individual accommodation plan should be reviewed or updated and how it should be done; and
- The means of providing the accommodation plan in an accessible format, based on the employee's accessibility needs.
Performance Management and Career Development and Advancement
Let’s Talk Science will consider the accessibility needs of employees with disabilities when implementing performance management processes, or when offering career development or advancement opportunities. Individual accommodation plans will be consulted, as required.
Return to Work
Let’s Talk Science will develop and implement return to work processes for employees who are absent from work due to a disability and require disability-related accommodation(s) in order to return to work.
The return to work process will outline the steps Let’s Talk Science will take to facilitate the employee's return to work, shall use documented individual accommodation plans (as described in section 28 of the regulation) and be defined in consultation with the employee with the disability.
The accessibility needs of employees with disabilities will be taken into account in the event of redeployment.
Individual accommodation plans will be consulted, as required.
Design of Public Spaces Standard (effective January 1, 2018)
Let’s Talk Science will endeavour to remove barriers in two (2) areas:
- Buildings; and
- Public spaces
Off-Street Accessible Public Parking
Types of Spaces and Access Aisles
Let’s Talk Science will ensure that any newly constructed or redeveloped off-street parking facilities provide the following two (2) types of parking spaces available for persons with disabilities:
Type A – Parking space with a minimum width of 3.4 m; and
Type B – Standard parking space with a minimum width of 2.4 m.
Access aisles will be provided for all accessible parking spaces and will meet the requirements of the Integrated Accessibility Standards, section 80.35.
Let’s Talk Science will ensure that any newly constructed or redeveloped off-street parking facility meets, and where possible exceeds, the required number of accessible parking spaces based on the size of the lot. The number of accessible spaces will be aligned with the requirements specified in the Integrated Accessibility Standards, section 80.36.
Let’s Talk Science will ensure that the proper signage is provided for each accessible parking space. Type A parking spaces will have signage indicating van accessibility.
When constructing or redeveloping an existing waiting area, Let’s Talk Science will ensure that a minimum of 3% of the seating is made accessible. Let’s Talk Science will ensure that there will be at least one (1) accessible seat.
Let’s Talk Science shall ensure that our multi-year accessibility plan addresses:
- Preventive and emergency maintenance procedures for the accessible elements in public spaces; and
- Procedures for temporary disruptions to accessible elements.
Design of Public Spaces Standard Exceptions
There may be times where it is not possible for Let’s Talk Science to meet all technical requirements as outlined within legislation. In these instances, Let’s Talk Science will strive to meet the requirements to the fullest extent to allow for accessible use with particular constraints as addressed in legislation.
This policy will be reviewed regularly to ensure that it is reflective of Let’s Talk Science's current practices and legislative requirements.
Footnote: building infrastructure and design considerations not addressed within the IASR are covered under the Ontario Building Code.