Accessibility

Ontario has mandatory accessibility standards in five areas of daily life including customer service, design of public spaces, employment, information and communication and transportation.  Dysart et al is committed to complying with the AODA and the accompanying standards in order to create a barrier free society.

ACCESSIBLE FORMATS AND COMMUNICATION SUPPORT

Dysart et al will arrange for the provision of information in an alternate format that is accessible to the person with disabilities upon request at a cost that is no more than what would be charged for the standard format.

Alternate formats could include large print, colour contrast, electronic formats, etc.

Communication supports could include use of plain language, providing a staff person to read documents aloud, providing a voice recorder for those unable to write, etc.

Any documentation on this website is in a pdf format that can be enlarged or edited by the user as well as allowing programs to read content aloud.

Requests for alternate formats for documentation or communication supports should be addressed to the Municpal Clerk/Accessibility Coordinator for assistance.   Requests can be made in person, via email on the phone or in whatever mode of communication is suitable for the person with the disability seeking the service.  Contact information is on the sidebar at the right hand side.

JOINT ACCESSIBILITY PLAN

Dysart et al is represented on the County of Haliburton Joint Accessibility Committee by our Municipal Clerk and work with the Committee to prepare a five year Accessibility Plan as required under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA).   The 2018-2022 Multi-year Joint Accessibility plan can be reviewed in detail at the Dysart Branch of the Haliburton County Public Library or online by clicking on the link on the side bar.

The 2018-2022 Multi-Year Joint Accessibility Plan identifies barriers along with a work plan and solutions to address those barriers.  Each year, this is updated to ensure that we continue to meet our targets.   This tool will be used to implement policies, practices and procedures and training and to identify and evaluate projects to remove barriers.

ACCESSIBLE CUSTOMER SERVICE

Dysart et al strives to ensure that we provide exceptional customer service.  Goods and services will be provided in a manner that promotes dignity and independence.  Persons with disabilities will be given equal opportunity to access goods and services from our Municipality.

All of our staff, Council and committee members are required to be trained with regard to Accessible Customer Service.   Third party contractors and consultants who perform work with the public on our behalf are also required to provide records that they have undertaken training in this regard.

DYSART ET AL EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT PLAN

The Dysart et al Emergency Management Plan outlines steps that will be taken in the event of an emergency.  The formal plan is appended to the sidebar at the right for your review.

NOTICE OF DISRUPTION OF MEETINGS OR SERVICES

Any changes to meeting or event dates or locations or general service disruptions of any nature, will be posted on the home page of this website for ease of access by all users.

FEEDBACK PROCESS

Feedback from the public is encouraged as it will help us identify barriers that we may not be aware of which results in continuous improvements throughout the community.

Feedback may be provided in any format that meets the needs of the person living with a disability.  Feedback related to accessibility should be directed to the Municipal Clerk as the designated Accessibility Coordinator.  The Clerk will respond as soon as practical to advise that the feedback has been received and to determine what a suitable action might be to remedy the issue.  There is a form that may be used for this purpose on the sidebar at the right.

ACCESSIBLE TRANSPORTATION

The DYMO Bus provides accessible transit services in and around Haliburton Village.   If you are living with a disability and require transportation assistance, please see the link on the sidebar for more information regarding this specialized accessible public transit service.

ACCESSIBLE EVENT PLANNING

If you are planning an event in a public space in Dysart et al, we ask that accessibility considerations be given such as ensuring accessible toilets, barrier free paths of travel, etc.  Information regarding hosting an accessible event can be found on the sidebar on the right.

LOCAL BARRIER REMOVAL PROJECTS

Over the past few years, Dysart et al has been identifying and removing barriers both in the workplace and throughout the broader community.   All new municipal buildings and significant renovations require accessibility review by a panel of persons living with various types of disabilities.  Since this legislation has been enacted, several projects have enhanced accessibility to our residents and visitors.

Streetscape changes on both York and Highland Street assist greatly with accessibility as curbs, sidewalks, accessible parking spaces, audio traffic signals, and parking meter placement have all been designed specifically with greater accessibility in mind.

Renovations to the A.J. LaRue Arena include several new accessibility features including an inclined lift to the viewing stands to integrate patrons more fully, accessible washrooms, accessible entryways and a new accessible changeroom and shower.

The Haliburton Highlands Museum has undergone significant renovations in the past couple of years which includes a lift to the second floor, accessible entryways, washrooms and ramps from the parking area.

The Dysart et al Administration Building itself saw a major addition in the past decade which allowed the Council Chambers to be moved to the main floor and the creation of a new public accessible washroom making our services fully accessible to the public.

The new standards require us to consider accessibility when we make purchases and provide services.  We try to integrate this thinking into our every day planning on a go forward basis.   In 2011, Council adopted an electronic agenda format which means anyone can access agendas, minutes and reports on line using personal assistive devices if necessary.  When replacing a swing set in the Head Lake Park, the Parks Department purchased an accessible swing as part of the structure to ensure that children have opportunities for play as well.

There are some things we can’t do anything about due to age and location of structures, but anything new or changed will include consideration of accessibility requirements.  For example, recently, we purchased new portable toilets for use in various parks and made sure they were accessible versions.  We’ve also created new permanent accessible privies in Head Lake Park.

The progress isn’t always readily noticeable, especially for those struggling to get around, but a review of the barrier removal initiatives over the last decade will demonstrate that things are being accomplished and organizations and businesses are getting on board where they can as well.   Our local ski resort has the first covered surface lift in Canada meaning people using sit skis or adaptive equipment can get to the top of the hill much easier.

If you are building a new home or even renovating, consider barrier free design for your own long term living needs.  Simple changes like widening doorways and installing lever type handles, a ramped entranceway and creating an accessible bathroom are all design considerations that can be worked into new construction plans with minimal cost difference.  They may not seem like necessary things now, but even a temporary disability like a broken leg can leave you wishing you’d planned ahead.