30 September 2011

Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities

Since many of the members of our hobby come from the “senior” sections of society, we probably have more than our share of mobility and other health issues. The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 is intended to ensure that all Ontarians, no matter what their level of ability, are able to receive goods and services in a manner that respects their dignity and independence. The Act has been in place for several years but not-for-profits organization like OGS and its branches, must be in compliance by 1 January 2012.

OGS will be providing training to all persons who are providing services to the public in the name of OGS. This includes not only the OGS Board of Directors and office staff but also Branch Executives and other volunteers who meet the public in our name. This training will be rolled out later this fall.  The training is still being refined but should include using the resources to be found in the OGS Member’s Only area and reading various documents that are available from the Government of Ontario. Others can find information at http://www.mcss.gov.on.ca/en/mcss/programs/accessibility/index.aspx. By completing this training OGS can ensure that people with disabilities have the same opportunity to access our goods and services.

In most cases, Ottawa Branch uses facilities such as Library and Archives Canada and the new City of Ottawa Archives, so we have been in compliance with the Act or similar federal regulations for some time. Volunteers at the old City Archives took some training there and the new volunteers will soon get the opportunity. Members and non-members will benefit from the access to genealogical resources.

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