Why It Matters!
Accessibility and inclusion are assets for your organization as they can help you attract staff and make their work environments more amenable. By creating accessible and inclusive spaces, you will be welcoming nearly one quarter of the population of BC that have a disability, as well as the people they travel with. You will also be making your organization more accessible to parents who use strollers, to delivery and maintenance people that might be working on your property, and to your own employees.
Accessibility and inclusion practices are for everyone!
This Guide will take you step-by-step through the process of establishing an Accessibility Advisory Committee.
Generic Orientation Guide your committee can use (will download as a PowerPoint document). Remember to customize it.
The legislation was developed to be flexible so that committees could be developed that were effective and responsive. Committees may include members from inside or outside of the organization. Where it’s possible, organizations should try to ensure that:
- At least half of the members should be persons with disabilities or represent disability-serving organizations
- Reflect the diversity of British Columbians and have Indigenous representation
Remember: Successful, long-lasting communities almost always start off small, simple and focused, and then grow organically over time—adding breadth, depth and complexity in response to the changing needs of the members, and the changing conditions of the environment.
You might want to canvass to see if there are any accessibility experts that can support your initial efforts before you put out a call for committee members. We suggest working with these experts to identify a preliminary vision for the committee. Will you focus on internal or external accessibility challenges? The answer to these questions will help you target committee members that will be a good fit and will be of interest to potential recruits. The final committee may change course but doing this preliminary step may help with the focus of the committee. Go to the Accessibility Consulting Network page to see if there are experts to meet your needs.
While British Columbia’s approach is unique and doesn’t have the same requirements as other jurisdictions, here are some broad guidelines offered by Nova Scotia and Ontario.
Nova Scotia Guide – a guide developed by the Province of Nova Scotia to assist municipalities comply with the Accessibility Act
Ontario Guide – a comprehensive guide from the Province of Ontario to assist municipalities comply with the AODA