Introduction

This Accessibility Status Report is the annual update on the progress of measures taken to improve accessibility and implement the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (AODA) and the Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation (Ontario Regulation 191/11). This Status Report includes the accessibility initiatives that were completed in 2019 to implement the strategies outlined in the City of Sarnia’s Multi-Year Accessibility Plan and other items that emerged that required the removal and solutions to barriers to make the community more accessible.

Sarnia Accessibility Advisory Committee

The City of Sarnia Accessibility Advisory Committee (SAAC) was formed in 2002. The goal of the committee is to advise City Council on matters pertaining to persons with disabilities in the community, as defined in the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) and the Integrated Accessibility Standard Regulation (IASR). The committee strives to improve the identification, removal and prevention of barriers faced by people with disabilities. SAAC is responsible for monitoring federal and provincial government directives and regulations, conducting research on accessibility, public education, and liaising with local stakeholder groups on accessibility matters. Meetings are held on every third Wednesday of the month from 3:00 to 4:30 at City Hall. All meeting are open to the public. For more information about SAAC, please contact the Accessibility Coordinator at 519-332-0330 ext. 3307 or access@sarnia.ca.

As part of the AODA, the City of Sarnia has the responsibility to consult with SAAC on the following:

  • Accessibility Plans
  • Accessible Formats and Communications Supports
  • Recruitment, Assessment or Selection Process
  • Bus Stops and Shelters
  • Accessible Taxicabs (in the process of completing report)
  • Recreational Trails and Beach Access Routes (City of Sarnia Standard Created)
  • Outdoor Public Use Eating Areas
  • Outdoor Play Spaces (Consulted on the creation of Canatara Park Playground/Standard Created)
  • Exterior Path of Travel
  • Downtown Accessible Parking
  • Obtaining Services of Public Spaces
  • General Maintenance of Public Spaces

Legislation

Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA)

The AODA was established in 2005 and was created to address discrimination against persons with disabilities in Ontario. The purpose of the act is to “develop, implement and enforce accessibility standards in order to achieve accessibility for Ontarians with disabilities in respect to goods, services, facilities, accommodation, employment, buildings, structures, and premises on or before January 1, 2025.” (Service Ontario, 2006)

Integrated Accessibility Standard Regulation (IASR)

The IASR standards were created as part of the AODA. These standards are rules that businesses and organizations in Ontario have to follow to identify, remove and prevent barriers so that people with disabilities have more opportunity to participate in everyday life.

The IASR is broken down into five standards:

  • General Requirements
  • Customer Service
  • Information and Communication
  • Employment
  • Transit
  • Design of Public Spaces

The IASR is currently going through a review by the provincial government with additions being considered under each standard.

The IASR is currently going through a review by the provincial government with additions being considered under each standard.

2020 Review of the 2019 Accessibility Plan

The City of Sarnia is committed to making services, programs, buildings and spaces accessible to all people living or visiting the community. The following is information on how the City of Sarnia has proceeded in accomplishing the goals set-out in the 2019 accessibility report.

What is required/plannedWhat was accomplished
Accessibility Summit Hosted Accessibility Summit on October 29, 2019. Guest Speakers Included:
·         David Burrows as MC
·         Crawford Technologies
·         Fran Betts (Urban Polling)
·         The Unstoppable Tracy
·         Alfred Spencer (Ministry of Accessibility and Senior Affairs)
City of Sarnia Accessibility Awards Presented seven businesses with the Sarnia Accessibility Awards
·         RBC Lambton Mall Road – Prelude to Excellence (large business)
·         Junior Baker – Prelude to Excellence (small business)
·         The Judith and Norman Alix Art Gallery Staff for Artpod Program– Exceptional Leadership in Customer Service
·         Holly Wenning, Amy Mayea, Jenn-Brown Nead for Expressive Arts Program – Creating Opportunity for an Accessible Community
·         Patodia Eye Institute – Exceptional Accessible Physical Environment
·         Detroit Metro Shuttle Inc.  – Going Above and Beyond Award
·         Sarah Nishimura-Nissen – Champion for Inclusive Employment Award
·         Amber Harding – Emerging Leader in Accessibility and Inclusion
– Lynne Betteridge for Women in Touch – Age-Friendly Sarnia Award
Provincial Committee on Accessibility – Chosen by the Director of the Accessibility Directorate of Ontario to be a member of a provincial committee on accessibility
– Guest Speaker for three Provincial Webinars on Accessibility

Transportation

What is required/plannedWhat was accomplished
Accessible Conventional/Specialized Transit – Installed bus stop at Strangway Centre
– Added “Seniors” fair at lower rate than regular bus pass
Continue to promote accessible conventional transit in Sarnia Offered one orientation sessions on conventional transit for seniors and people with disabilities

Design of Public Spaces

What is required/Panned What was accomplished
City of Sarnia Public Library (planned to be completed in February 2020) – Installed accessible entrance on the main floor with access to elevator after hours
 
– Added two accessible washrooms on the second floor
Canatara Park Playground – Partnered with Rotary of Sarnia Lambton to design and install an accessible playground at Canatara Park
Beaches – Created accessible beach standard for the City of Sarnia
Charge N’ Go (charging stations for mobility devices) Program – Maintained Charge N’ Go and consulted on expanding the program to other municipalities throughout the Province and Canada
Complete renovations to Lawrence House Ramp X The scope of the Lawrence House Ramp was moved to 2020 budget due to complications and expansion of the project
Cox Youth Centre Pool and Splashpad Washroom Added an accessible washroom with adult change table to Cox Youth Centre Pool and Splashpad

Creating Age-Friendly Community


What is required/planned

What was accomplished
In the Implementation Stage of the Age-Friendly Action Plan
 – Hosted Age-Friendly Expo at Sarnia Arena that hosted 100 vendors and thousands of visitors
Continue to implement the Age-Friendly Action Plan through seven sub-committees, 79 volunteers and over 30 partnering agencies
 
– Hosted an All Committees Meeting that all volunteers were invited
 
– Launched Age-Friendly Sarnia-Lambton web portal and paper resource booklet
 
– Housing Fair hosted 20 vendors, 9 speaks and two demonstrations
 
– Launched Adopt-A-Driveway pilot matching volunteers with 20 participant’s with disabilities
 
– Launched Home Share pilot matching students with seniors in homes to help with light housework

– Helped launch Volunteer Sarnia website with the Volunteer Association of Sarnia Lambton
 
– Six wayfinding signs were installed at Centennial Park and the downtown to help people navigate the area

Sarnia Building Standard

What is required/planned What was accomplished
Accessible Design Standards – Adopted the Ottawa Accessible Design Standards to provide standards when renovating or building new

Priorities for 2018

  • Hire architect to develop drawings to make Faethorne House (Bright’s Grove Library/Gallery in the Grove) more accessible
  • Add accessible washroom to East Street Fire Hall
  • Renovate existing accessible ramp at Lawrence House Art Gallery
  • Expand Accessibility Awards to highlight past winners and keep nominations open all year
  • Develop report on accessible taxis and submit to Sarnia City Council with recommendations
  • Hire consultant to develop a Accessibility/Age-Friendly Plan
  • Expand summer student training to include assisting children with various disabilities
  • Installation of Canoe and Kayak Launch
  • Planning and installation of Audio Signals at Pedestrian Crossings

The City of Sarnia is dedicated to the removal of barriers that may exist in our facilities, spaces and programming and will continue to ensure that our new renovations or builds do not create new barriers to people with disabilities. SAAC continues to meet monthly to advise staff on these projects and to help the city to continuously move forward to a barrier free community for many individuals that call Sarnia home. Although it is impossible to make the City of Sarnia accessible to everyone, the City of Sarnia and SAAC are committed to identifying and developing accessible solutions to barriers for people with disabilities and will continue to do so into the next decade.

For more information about how the City of Sarnia is becoming more accessible please contact access@sarnia.ca or call 519-332-0330 ext. 3307.