Accessibility Help & Advice
Leader of the Project: David Pereyra
As Ontario businesses work towards accessibility there is an increasing need for supports and expertise in understanding inclusion and for mechanisms to develop a culture of inclusion that can help Ontario fulfil its barrier-free goals. aha! Project will focus on developing best practices for inclusive community engagement by small businesses (service firms with 50 or less employees and manufacturers with 100 or less employees). The project will provide businesses with practical and sustainable steps for increasing accessibility and inclusion, while simultaneously building the capacity of community organizations and individuals with disabilities who take part in the processes. In addition, the team will gain an enhanced understanding of the business cases and corporate strategy implications of diversity and accessibility.
The primary objective of aha! Project will be to develop and maintain a community of expert advisors from the disability community who will collaborate in workshops, accessibility challenges and sensitivity training activities for small business employers in Ontario. These activities will be as diverse as setting/learning policies, designing built environments, developing services, creating accessible workflow, and workshops.
The project team will reach out to small businesses in the GTA and other regions through a variety of mechanisms including AXS map-a-thons Accessibility ratings on the map-a-thon will provide a baseline for accessibility improvements and the evaluation process will provide an opportunity to recruit the small business owner/manager to take advantage of the accessibility help and advice offered through aha! Our goal is to provide practical help in developing a more inclusive environment for the public and for employees and to help cultivate a greater understanding of what it means to be inclusive. We see this understanding—the “aha! moment” of inclusion—as a cornerstone for developing a barrier-free Ontario.
aha! is an initiative created by the Inclusive Design Research Centre at the Ontario College of Art and Design University. Aha! is an Enabling Change Project with the Government of Ontario.