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The McMaster Accessibility Council (MAC) is responsible for ensuring the University's adherence to Accessibility Standards under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA). The Council provides a mechanism for planning, reviewing and evaluating the implementation of the AODA Accessibility Standards within the University. MAC is responsible for addressing the identified barriers and developing the plan for the removal and prevention of barriers. MAC will also review work from the previous year to determine if all objectives have been met, identify reasons for unaddressed objectives, and specify how these objectives can be re-instituted going forward. MAC shall review its membership on an annual basis to ensure adequate representation from persons with disabilities. McMaster University introduced its first accessibility plan in compliance with the Ontario Disabilities Act (ODA) in the 2003-2004 academic year. This plan outlined a number of accomplishments McMaster has achieved over the last few years in terms of barrier removal, and active steps taken to prevent barriers. This list is not exhaustive, and McMaster recognizes that individual departments make many efforts to accommodate without necessarily seeking recognition. The university applauds such efforts and encourages continuation of this practice. This document contains a record of known accomplishments as a means of demonstrating its efforts in the removal and prevention of barriers to access for persons with disabilities. This continually expanding 2010-2025 document is but one snapshot of a series of successive plans, and remains to be a model for future accessibility plans. The document retains a progressive plan of activities that forecast full implementation of the AODA standards by 2025. This Plan will be updated annually to reflect progress made towards full compliance with the AODA. Each year, the plan for the current year will be addressed through the McMaster Accessibility Council (MAC).

McMaster Accessibility Council – First Annual Report

McMaster Accessibility Council – Second Annual Report

McMaster Accessibility Council – Fourth Annual Report

McMaster Accessibility Council – Fifth Annual Report

McMaster Accessibility Plan 2012-2025

The McMaster Accessibility Council (MAC) is responsible for ensuring the University's adherence to Accessibility Standards under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA). The Council provides a mechanism for planning, reviewing and evaluating the implementation of the AODA Accessibility Standards within the University. MAC is responsible for addressing the identified barriers and developing the plan for the removal and prevention of barriers. MAC will also review work from the previous year to determine if all objectives have been met, identify reasons for unaddressed objectives, and specify how these objectives can be re-instituted going forward. MAC shall review its membership on an annual basis to ensure adequate representation from persons with disabilities.

McMaster University introduced its first accessibility plan in compliance with the Ontario Disabilities Act (ODA) in the 2003-2004 academic year. This plan outlined a number of accomplishments McMaster has achieved over the last few years in terms of barrier removal, and active steps taken to prevent barriers. This list is not exhaustive, and McMaster recognizes that individual departments make many efforts to accommodate without necessarily seeking recognition. The university applauds such efforts and encourages continuation of this practice. This document contains a record of known accomplishments as a means of demonstrating its efforts in the removal and prevention of barriers to access for persons with disabilities.

This continually expanding 2010-2025 document is but one snapshot of a series of successive plans, and remains to be a model for future accessibility plans. The document retains a progressive plan of activities that forecast full implementation of the AODA standards by 2025. This Plan will be updated annually to reflect progress made towards full compliance with the AODA. Each year, the plan for the current year will be addressed through the McMaster Accessibility Council (MAC).

In 2005, the provincial government enacted the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, (AODA). The goal of this Act is to make Ontario fully accessible to persons with disabilities by 2025.

The following categories arise from the AODA and shall also be reported in the University's annual plan:

  1. Customer Service Standard
  2. Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation (IASR)
    1. Employment
    2. Information and Communication Systems
    3. Transportation
  3. Built Environment

As each of the above standards of the AODA are codified as regulations, creating legal obligations for the University, the annual Accessibility Plan will compare its accomplishments in enhancing accessibility with the formal requirements of each standard. As of September 2012, the Customer Service Standard (O.Reg. 429/07) and the Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation (Or. Reg. 191/11) have been finalized into regulation, and McMaster has met its primary obligations under those regulations, namely the provision of mandatory training for those engaged in the provision of services to members of the public, and the establishment of polices and practices to promote and safeguard accessibility in the areas of Employment and Transportation. In conjunction with the Council of Ontario Universities (COU), efforts are underway to ensure compliance with the Information and Communications aspect of the IASR through the development of tools and resources to provide accessible course materials and training initiatives to support same.

3 (a) This portion of the Accessibility Plan reflects those initiatives that are contained in the standards currently finalized and in force.

AODA Standard/
Regulation Section References

Initiative/
Action

Description

McMaster Completion Status

AODA Compliance Date

Customer Service Standard O. Reg 429/07

Establishment of Policies, Practices and Procedures

Policies and Practices must be compatible with the following principles:

  1. Respect for dignity and independence
  2. Integration
  3. Equality

Specific Policies and Procedures will be developed on:

  1. Use of Service Animals or Support Persons
  2. Notice of Temporary Disruptions

2010 and ongoing

January 1, 2010

Training

Customer Service training must be provided for:

  • Those who interact with members of the public on behalf of the University:
  • Persons who participate in developing the McMaster's policies, practices and procedures governing the provision of goods or services to members of the public or other third parties.

2010 and ongoing

Training is accessible at: www.mcmaster.ca/accessibility

January 1, 2010

Feedback Process

Establish an accessible process for receiving and responding to feedback about the manner in which McMaster provides goods or services to persons with disabilities.

The information about the process will be readily available to the public.

2010 and ongoing

January 1, 2010

Part I - General

AODA Standard/
Regulation Section References

Initiative/
Action

Description

McMaster Completion Status

AODA Compliance Date

Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation O. Reg. 191/11, s. 3

Part I

General

Establishment of Accessibility Policies

s. 3(1) Every obligated organization shall develop, implement and maintain policies governing how the organization achieves or will achieve accessibility through meeting its requirements referred to in this Regulation

2011 and ongoing

McMaster Accessibility Policy
is available at:
http://www.mcmaster.ca/policy/
General/HR/Accessibility.pdf

January 1, 2013

Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation O. Reg. 191/11, s. 4

Accessibility Plans

s. 4(1) Designated public sector organizations shall,

  1. establish, implement, maintain and document a multi-year accessibility plan, which outlines the organization's strategy to prevent and remove barriers and meet its requirements under this Regulation;
  2. post the accessibility plan on their website, if any, and provide the plan in an accessible format upon request; and
  3. review and update the accessibility plan at least once every five years

2011 and ongoing
McMaster University Accessibility
Plan is available at:
http://www.mcmaster.ca
/accessibility/plan.html

January 1, 2013

Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation O. Reg. 191/11, s. 4

s. 4(2) Designated public sector organizations shall establish, review and update their accessibility plans in consultation with persons with disabilities and if they have established an accessibility advisory committee, they shall consult with the committee.

2011 and ongoing

January 1, 2013

Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation O. Reg. 191/11, s. 4

s. 4(3) Designated public sector organizations shall,

  1. prepare an annual status report on the progress of measures taken to implement the strategy referenced in clause (1)(a); and
  2. post the status report on their website, if any, and provide the report in an accessible format upon request.

2011 and ongoing

January 1, 2013

Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation O. Reg. 191/11, s. 5

Procuring or acquiring goods, services or facilities

s. 5(1) Public sector organizations shall incorporate accessibility criteria and features when procuring or acquiring goods, services or facilities, except where it is not practicable to do so.

2011 and ongoing

January 1, 2013

s. 5(2) If a designated public sector organization determines that it is not practicable to incorporate accessibility criteria and features when procuring or acquiring good, services or facilities, it shall provide, upon request, an explanation.

2011

January 1, 2013

Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation O. Reg. 191/11, s. 6

Self-service kiosks

s. 6. Without limiting the generality of section 5 designated public sector organizations shall incorporate accessibility features when designing, procuring or acquiring self-service kiosks.1

2013 and ongoing

January 1, 2013

Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation O. Reg. 191/11, s. 7

Training

s. 7(1) Every obligated organization shall ensure that training is provided on the requirements of the accessibility standards referred to in this Regulation and on the Human Rights Code as it pertains to persons with disabilities to,

  1. all employees, and volunteers;
  2. all persons who participate in developing the organization's policies; and
  3. all other persons who provide goods, services or facilities on behalf of the organization.

January 1, 2014

1"Kiosk" means an interactive electronic terminal, including a point-of-sale device, intended for public use that allows users to access one or more services or products or both.

Part II - Information and Communication Standards

AODA Standard/
Regulation Section References

Initiative/
Action

Description

McMaster Completion Status

AODA Compliance Date

Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation O. Reg. 191/11, s. 11

Part II

Information and Communication Standards

Feedback

s. 11 (1) Every obligated organization that has processes for receiving and responding to feedback shall ensure that the processes are accessible to persons with disabilities by providing or arranging for the provision of accessible formats and communications supports, upon request.

2010 and ongoing (see aoda@mcmaster.ca feedback box)

January 1, 2014

Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation O. Reg. 191/11, s. 12

Accessible formats and Communication Supports

s. 12 (1) Except as otherwise provided, every obligated organization shall upon request provide or arrange for the provision of accessible formats and communication supports for persons with disabilities,

  1. in a timely manner that takes into account the person's accessibility needs due to disability; and
  2. at a cost that is no more than the regular cost charged to other persons.

January 1, 2015

s. 12 (2) The obligated organization shall consult with the person making the request in determining the suitability of an accessible format or communication support.

January 1, 2015

s. 12 (3) Every obligated organization shall notify the public about the availability of accessible formats and communication supports.

January 1, 2015

Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation O. Reg. 191/11, s. 13

Emergency procedure plans, or public safety information

s. 13 (1) In addition to its obligations under section 12, if an obligated organization prepares emergency procedures, plans or public safety information and makes the information available to the public, the obligated organization shall provide the information in an accessible format or with appropriate communication supports, as soon as practicable, upon request.

January 2012 and ongoing

January 1, 2012

Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation O. Reg. 191/11, s. 14

Accessible websites and web content

s. 14 (2) Designated public sector organizations and large organizations shall make their internet websites and web content conform with the World Wide Web Consortium Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0, initially at Level A and increasing to Level AA

  • January 1, 2014 � new internet websites and web content on those sites must conform with WCAG 2.0 Level A.
  • January 1, 2021 � all internet websites and web content must conform with WCAG 2.0 Level AA, other than,
    1. success criteria 1.2.4 Captions (Live), and
    2. success criteria 1.2.5 Audio Descriptions (Pre-recorded).

Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation O. Reg. 191/11, s. 15

Educational and training resources and materials, etc.

ss. 15(1) Every obligated organization that is an educational or training institution shall do the following, if notification of need is given:

  1. 1. Provide educational or training resources or materials in an accessible format that takes into account the accessibility needs due to a disability of the person with a disability to whom the material is to be provided by,
    1. procuring through purchase or obtaining by other means an accessible or conversion ready electronic format of educational or training resources or materials, where available, or
    2. arranging for the provision of a comparable resource in an accessible or conversion ready electronic format, if educational or training resources or materials cannot be procured, obtained by other means or converted into an accessible format.
  2. Provide student records and information on program requirements, availability and descriptions in an accessible format to persons with disabilities.

2013 and ongoing

January 1, 2013

Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation O. Reg. 191/11, s. 16

Training to educators

s. 16 (1) In addition to the requirements under section 7, obligated organizations that are school boards or educational or training institutions shall provide educators with accessibility awareness training related to accessible program or course delivery and instruction.

2013 and ongoing

January 1, 2013

s. 16 (2) Obligated organizations that are school boards or educational or training institutions shall keep a record of the training provided under this section, including the dates on which the training is provided and the number of individuals to whom it is provided.

2013 and ongoing

January 1, 2013

Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation O. Reg. 191/11, s. 17

Producers of educational or training material

s. 17 (1) Every obligated organization that is a producer of educational or training textbooks for educational or training institutions shall upon request make accessible or conversion ready versions of the textbooks available to the institutions.

(2) Every obligated organization that is a producer of print-based educational or training supplementary learning resources for educational or training institutions shall upon request make accessible or conversion ready versions of the printed materials available to the institutions.

January 1, 2015 � for accessible or conversion-ready versions of textbooks

January 1, 2020 - for accessible or conversion ready versions of printed materials that are educational or training supplementary learning resources

Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation O. Reg. 191/11, s. 18

Libraries of educational and training institutions

s. 18 (1) Subject to subsection (2) and where available, the libraries of educational or training institutions that are obligated organizations shall provide, procure or acquire by other means an accessible or conversion ready format of print, digital or multimedia resources or materials for a person with a disability, upon request.

(2) Special collections, archival materials, rare books and donations are exempt from the requirements of subsection (1).

2012 and ongoing (see TD Coordinator for Library Accessibility Services)

JJanuary 1, 2015 � for print-based resources or materials

January 1, 2020 � for digital or multimedia resources or materials

Part III - Employment Standards

AODA Standard/
Regulation Section References

Initiative/
Action

Description

McMaster Completion Status

AODA Compliance Date

Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation O. Reg. 191/11, s. 22

Part III Employment Standards

Recruitment, general

s. 22 Every employer shall notify its employees and the public about the availability of accommodation for applicants with disabilities in its recruitment processes.

2012 and ongoing January 1, 2014

Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation O. Reg. 191/11, s. 23

Recruitment, assessment or selection process

s. 23 (1) During a recruitment process, an employer shall notify job applicants, when they are individually selected to participate in an assessment or selection process, that accommodations are available upon request in relation to the materials or processes to be used.

(2) If a selected applicant requests an accommodation, the employer shall consult with the applicant and provide or arrange for the provision of a suitable accommodation in a manner that takes into account the applicant's accessibility needs due to disability.

2012 and ongoing January 1, 2014

Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation O. Reg. 191/11, s. 24

Notice to successful applicants

s. 24 Every employer shall, when making offers of employment, notify the successful applicant of its policies for accommodating employees with disabilities.

2012 and ongoing January 1, 2014

Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation O. Reg. 191/11, s. 25

Informing employees of supports

s. 25 (1) Every employer shall inform its employees of its policies used to support its employees with disabilities, including, but not limited to, policies on the provision of job accommodations that take into account an employee's accessibility needs due to disability.

2012 and ongoing January 1, 2014

s. 25 (2) Employers shall provide the information required under this section to new employees as soon as practicable after they begin their employment.

2012 and ongoing January 1, 2014

s. 25 (3) Employers shall provide updated information to its employees whenever there is a change to existing policies on the provision of job accommodations that take into account an employee's accessibility needs due to disability.

2012 and ongoing January 1, 2014

Integrated Accessibility Standards RegulationO. Reg. 191/11, s. 26

Accessible formats and communication supports for employees

s. 26 (1) In addition to its obligations under section 12, where an employee with a disability so requests it, every employer shall consult with the employee to provide or arrange for the provision of accessible formats and communication supports for,

  1. information that is needed in order to perform the employee's job; and
  2. information that is generally available to employees in the workplace.
January 2014 and ongoing January 1, 2014

s. 26 (2) The employer shall consult with the employee making the request in determining the suitability of an accessible format or communication support.

January 2014 and ongoing January 1, 2014

Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation O. Reg. 191/11, s. 27

Workplace emergency response information

s. 27 (1) Every employer shall provide individualized workplace emergency response information to employees who have a disability, if the disability is such that the individualized information is necessary and the employer is aware of the need for accommodation due to the employee's disability.

January 2012 and ongoing January 1, 2012

s. 27 (2) If an employee who receives individualized workplace emergency response information requires assistance and with the employee's consent, the employer shall provide the workplace emergency response information to the person designated by the employer to provide assistance to the employee.

January 2012 and ongoing January 1, 2012

s. 27 (3) Employers shall provide the information required under this section as soon as practicable after the employer becomes aware of the need for accommodation due to the employee's disability.

January 2012 and ongoing January 1, 2012

s. 27 (4) Every employer shall review the individualized workplace emergency response information,

  1. when the employee moves to a different location in the organization;
  2. when the employee's overall accommodations needs or plans are reviewed; and
  3. when the employer reviews its general emergency response policies.
January 2012 and ongoing January 1, 2012

Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation O. Reg. 191/11, s. 28

Documented individual accommodation plans

s. 28 (1) Employers shall develop and have in place a written process for the development of documented individual accommodation plans for employees with disabilities.

January 2012 and ongoing

s. 28 (2) The process for the development of documented individual accommodation plans shall include the following elements:

  1. The manner in which an employee requesting accommodation can participate in the development of the individual accommodation plan.
  2. The means by which the employee is assessed on an individual basis.
  3. The manner in which the employer can request an accommodation can be achieved.
  4. The manner in which the employee can request the participation of a representative from their bargaining agent, where the employee is represented by a bargaining agent, or other representative from the workplace, where the employee is not represented by a bargaining agent, in the development of the accommodation plan.
  5. The steps taken to protect the privacy of the employee's personal information
  6. The frequency with which the individual accommodation plan will be reviewed and updated and the manner in which it will be done.
  7. If an individual accommodation plan is denied, the manner in which the reasons for the denial will be provided to the employee.
  8. The means of providing the individual accommodation plan in a format that takes into account the employee's accessibility needs due to disability.
January 2012 and ongoing January 1, 2014

Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation O. Reg. 191/11, s. 29

Return to work process

s. 29 (1) Every employer, other than an employer that is a small organization,

  1. shall develop and have in place a return to work process for its employees who have been absent from work due to a disability and require disability-related accommodations in order to return to work; and
  2. shall document the process.
2012 and ongoing January 1, 2014

ss. 29 (2) The return to work process shall,

  1. outline the steps the employer will take to facilitate the return to work of employees who were absent because their disability required them to be away from work; and
  2. use documented individual accommodation plans, as described in section 28, as part of the process.
2012 and ongoing

s. 29(3) The return to work process referenced in this section does not replace or override any other return to work process created by or under any other statute.

2012 and ongoing January 1, 2014

Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation O. Reg. 191/11, s. 30

Performance management

s. 30 (1) An employer that uses performance management in respect of its employees shall take into account the accessibility needs of employees with disabilities, as well as individual accommodation plans, when using its performance management process in respect of employees with disabilities.

January 2014 and ongoing January 1, 2014

Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation O. Reg. 191/11, s. 31

Career development and advancement

s. 31 (1) An employer that provides career development and advancement to its employees shall take into account the accessibility needs of its employees with disabilities as well as any individual accommodation plans, when providing career development and advancement to its employees with disabilities.

January 2014 and ongoing January 1, 2014

Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation O. Reg. 191/11, s. 32

Redeployment

s. 32 (1) An employer that uses redeployment shall take into account the accessibility needs of its employees with disabilities, as well as individual accommodation plans, when redeploying employees with disabilities.

January 2014 and ongoing January 1, 2014

Part IV - Transportation Standards

AODA Standard/
Regulation Section References

Initiative/
Action

Description

McMaster Completion Status

AODA Compliance Date

Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation O. Reg. 191/11, s. 76

Part IV

Transportation Standards

Public sector organizations

s. 76 (1) Designated public sector organizations described in paragraphs 2, 3 and 4 of Schedule 1 that are not primarily in the business of transportation, but that provide transportation services, shall provide accessible vehicles or equivalent services upon request.

July 2011 and on going January 1, 2011

Proposed Standards

3 (b) This portion of the Accessibility Plan provides and overview of the proposed standards that are not yet finalized or in force. This section reflects that despite the lack of final detail, McMaster University is aware of what actions and initiatives, broadly speaking, it will be required to implement in order to meet the spirit of letter of the standards once they are finalized.

Proposed Built Environment Standard

As of September 2012, the Built Environment Standard for the interior spaces is still under development. However in August 2012, a proposed regulation for (exterior) Public Spaces was circulated for comment. Most notable about this draft are the requirements related to Accessible Parking, outdoor public eating areas, as well as service counters and waiting areas in locations where services are provided.

The Built Environment standard relevant to interior spaces is still being developed by the Ministry, and will likely be closely related to the Building Code. In the meantime, McMaster continues to address accessibility issues that may fall within the purview of the Built Environment Standard on an as needed basis. It is anticipated that the Standard will set firm time lines for the completion of accessibility initiatives that McMaster may already be in the process of implementing.

Barriers Previously Addressed

Many improvements have been made over the years at McMaster with regard to physical access, policies, staffing, etc. Some of the more notable items are listed below, but this list is not exhaustive. Where possible dates have been identified. The progress of accessibility achievements at McMaster is categorized in accordance with the five AODA focus areas, and further sub-divided in terms of those barrier-removal initiatives that were undertake pre- and post- the enactment of the AODA. This list reflects accessibility initiatives that are not specifically prescribed under the AODA regulations. For tracking compliance with AODA regulations, please refer to the chart in section 3 (a) in the Accessibility Plan.

Customer Service Standard

Pre-AODA Initiatives
  • Open Forum meetings and disability-specific presentations provided to faculty and department heads
  • Poster campaign with McMaster students with disabilities (2003, 2004, 2005)
  • Consultation with the Senior Management Team of the University regarding obligations under the Ontarian’s with Disabilities Act (2001), the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (2005) and Human Rights. A plan will be presented to bring the ODA annual plans into the University’s annual budget cycle.
  • Volunteer note-taker services developed for students with disabilities (1999)
  • Peer mentor and tutor program developed for students with learning and other disabilities (1998)
  • Senate Policy Regarding Students with Disabilities passed in 2003 highlights commitment to flexibility and creativity in accommodation of students with disabilities, both undergraduate and graduate

  • Residence contract clause developed retaining the option to reallocate residence rooms to meet accessibility needs
  • Housing and Conference Services established priority for students with disabilities in housing allocation process
  • Learning Disability Specialist funded to provide students with learning disabilities support (1993)
  • Coordinator, Library Services for Students with Disabilities converted to full time (2005). Coordinator is responsible to work with students regarding alternate text format, reference services, and material acquisition.
  • Career counselor designated to work with students with disabilities on employment and career issues. Peer support as well.
  • Peer support services coordinating one-to-one volunteer assistance, library resource support and alternate format transcription, learning support resources, and mental health support groups
  • Creation of Manager of Disability Services and University Lead on disability matters (2005)
  • Administrative support provided to the Manager of Disability Services (2005)
  • Review and refinement of Program Coordinator support to students with disabilities services within the Centre for Student Development (2005)
  • McMaster Accessibility Council established in 2009
  • President's Advisory Committee on Building an Inclusive Community (PACBIC) working group on access and accommodation established in
    2009

  • Exams Office (Office of the Registrar) assumed responsibility for administration of all December, April and deferred exam accommodations for students with disabilities
  • Special Consideration Bursary established to assist students with disabilities and administered by Student Financial Aid & Scholarships (2002)
  • Undertake a review of policies regarding part-time versus full time status in undergraduate programs for students with disabilities (2007).
Post-AODA Customer Service Initiatives
  • McMaster University Policy on Accessibility (Accessibility Policy) approved in March 2010. This policy reflects the University’s commitment to fostering, creating and maintaining a barrier-free environment for all individuals. Further the policy provides Guidelines on specific accessibility considerations in accordance with the AODA. The guidelines developed in line with AODA Customer Service standard include principles and protocols with respect to the following:
    1. Use of Assistive Devices
    2. Service Animals and Support Persons
    3. Notice of Temporary Disruptions in Service
    4. Providing Feedback and Complaints

Built Environment Standard

Pre-AODA Initiatives
  • Residence buildings designed and built with level access, elevators, accessible washrooms and laundry facilities, with adjoining rooms for attendant care when required (2003)
  • Ramp to Chester New Hall (2004)
  • Renovations to Hamilton Hall accessible washrooms, improved accessibility (2005)
  • McMaster University Student Centre – Centre for Student Development and Student Health Services located in this new facility (2001)
  • Renovations to Alumni Memorial Hall to make it accessible (2004)
  • Elevator for access to University Hall (1992)
  • Accessibility audit of Ivor Wynne Centre (2004)
  • Signage improvement campaign (2004-2005)
  • Automatic door operators installed at all necessary building entrances (annually)
  • Attendant-style single use wheelchair accessible washrooms addressed in all academic buildings on campus (annually)
  • Classroom retrofits with accessible work stations (annually)
  • Parking policy to adopt numerous accessible parking spaces (1990)
  • Change rooms in Ivor Wynne Centre modified for access (2003)
  • Information Technology building access provided with ramp to the building’s main entrance, and additional classroom modifications
  • Elevator installed in the mezzanine of the Ivor Wynne Centre
  • Lift installed in the Commons building providing second and basement floor access (1990) / upgraded in 2009
  • Use of urban Braille design on all new pedestrian walkways on campus (2005 Main entrance, and previously)
  • Completed audit for Ivor Wynne Centre and David Braley (2009)
  • Completed outdoor pathway design in Arts Quad to ensure full accessibility (2010)
  • Completed expansion of the Nuclear Research Building, including the addition of an elevator (2011)
  • Added and elevator to the expansion of the Spinal Cord Injury Clinic at Ivor Wynne Centre (2011)
  • Added a ramp to the entrance of Moulton Hall residence (2011)
  • Replaced the asphalt pathways linking University Club with Residences and Arts buildings with weather-resistance concrete (2011)
  • Incorporated several additional pedestrian pathways between McMaster University Student Centre (MUSC) and Parking lots B and C (2011)
  • Replaced the signage at all University accessible lifts to identify Security Services as the resource for key access and assistance (2011)
  • Sidewalk replacement at the Main Street entrance and Forsyth Avenue South – includes the installation of three-metre sidewalks with urban Braille. In addition, improvements to the pedestrian crosswalk at this entrance include barrier-free, raised crossing, recessed lighting within the crosswalk and pedestrian rails to guide pedestrians to marked crossings. (2012)
  • Walkway replacement near the Burke Science Building, alongside the Refectory Rathskeller Building and between Edwards Hall and Chester New Hall (2012)
  • Installation of new pedestrian three-metre wide sidewalks with urban Braille to improve access to Parking Lot E and Parking Lot I (2012)
  • Installation of a Cell Phone Waiting lot between the Michael DeGroote Centre for Learning (MDCL) and Divinity College (2012)
  • Installation of Elevator Voice Annunciators in Togo Salmon Hall, Burke Science Building and Nuclear Research Facility (2012)
  • Installation of an accessible washroom in Thode Library (2012)
  • Installation of 14 door operators in various buildings across campus (2012)

  • Upgrade fire alarms to include visual (flashing light) notification in washrooms in the Student Centre (2012)
  • Conduct a campus-wide Accessibility Audit to identity accessibility priorities to be submitted for budget approval (2012)

Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation

General

Pre-AODA Initiatives
  • Establish an Accessibility Plan outlining how the organization achieves accessibility (2010)
  • Established and maintain a multi-year Accessibility Plan (2010)

Employment Standard

Pre-AODA Initiatives
  • Ergonomic furniture and workstation adaptations made for faculty and staff with disabilities (as needed)
  • Establishment of an access fund, under the administration of Human Resources, for staff to support the costs of accommodation in the workplace (1991)

Information & Communications Standard

Pre-AODA Initiatives
  • Development of assistive technology lab in Commons Basement to include more types of assistive hardware and software (2003)
  • Assistive hardware and software purchased by departments for individual use by faculty and staff with disabilities (as needed)
  • Purchase of new technologies for use by students with disabilities including a Braille laptop computer (Braille Lite), Tiger Brail embosser capable of producing tactile graphics, computer screen enhancers, text to speech software, speech to text software, closed circuit televisions, scanners, and optical character recognition software, among others (ongoing as technology changes)
  • Virtual tour and map of campus buildings and accessible entrances (under development)
  • Creation of a tactile campus map for students with visual impairments (2003)
  • Full-time Learning Strategist and full time assistive technologist provided to assist students with learning disabilities (2002)
  • Systems Administrator in the Centre for Student Development available to provide technical support to students with disabilities (1998)
  • Creation of a Campus Map Mobile Application to assist with wayfinding and routing foot travel across campus (2011)
  • Development of a Mobile version of the Student Accessibility Services website (2011)

The University and MAC as well as the President's Advisory Committee on Building an Inclusive Community (PACBIC), recognize that further steps need to be taken to help McMaster become completely barrier free, physically, academically, attitudinally, and socially. As such, the Annual Plan presented above reflects a commitment to engage in incremental initiatives in accordance with the AODA and the expectation that the University will be free of attitudinal, physical and social barriers by the year 2025. The process will be meaningful and effective as the committee endorses a consistent and resolute approach to barrier removal and prevention.

This section of the web site contains maps and transit information to help make your campus experience as accessible as possible. Please refer to the links below, or on the left of the page, for more parking and transit information.

Accessible Building Maps

This map provides you with floor maps for a range of campus buildings. Each floor can be highlighted by facility such as coed or accessible washrooms, elevator or lift access, hallway paths and more.

Accessible Parking at McMaster 

Parking Services provides accessible parking permits for individuals with a Ministry of Transportation Parking Permit or for those who require accessible parking on a temporary basis.

General Campus Map

Take a virtual tour of the campus with the McMaster basic tour.

How to get to McMaster 

Directions on how to get to McMaster.

Public Transportation

Public Transportation

There are many accessible transportation options available for getting to the McMaster campus:

For directions to campus and general transit information, please see the How to get to McMaster web site. Once on campus accessible parking options are available.

You can find information about accessible public transit options from:

Service Disruption Notices

Current service disruption notices can be found at the following sites:

McMaster Libraries service disruptions

McMaster Health Sciences Library service disruptions

McMaster Facility Services alerts and shutdowns

What is a Service Disruption?

Service disruptions are an interruption to a regular service or facility. Under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) Customer Service Regulation, McMaster University is required to notify the students, employees, and the public when public services or facilities are temporarily unavailable. Examples of a service disruption may include the following:

  • Utility shutdowns in a particular building for a specified period of time 
  • Construction or maintenance work that restricts access to an entrance of a building or a particular floor or department
  • Breakdown of public elevators or lifts
  • Unexpected closure of offices that serve the public

The service disruption notice should include the following information:

  • Name of the affected service or facility
  • Expected duration of the disruption
  • Alternative means of accessing the service of facility (if available)
  • Who to contact for assistance
  • Any other relevant information 

A template for a service disruption notice can be downloaded here: Service Disruption Template (Word)

Reporting a Service Disruption

The timely reporting of service disruptions is an important part of an accessible campus.

When am I required to notify the public about a service disruption?


From the AODA legislation,

(1) If, in order to obtain, use or benefit from a provider’s goods or services, persons with disabilities usually use particular facilities or services of the provider and if there is a temporary disruption in those facilities or services in whole or in part, the provider shall give notice of the disruption to the public.
O. Reg. 429/07, s. 5 (1).

Where can I report a service disruption?


Notice of a service disruption should be posted in a conspicuous location for persons with disabilities who may be using the facility. The Daily News has a mechanism for reporting service disruptions, which you are encouraged to use.

What information should I include in a notification of service disruption?


When notifying the public about a service disruption, include:

  • the reason for the disruption,
  • its anticipated duration, and
  • a description of alternative facilities or services, if any are available.

Who requires AODA Customer Service training?

  • All McMaster staff, graduate students and faculty are required to take the AODA Training.
  • Ask Carlita to add info re: how to access the training and how to get a record of completion.

What do I need to do as a supervisor?

  • AODA training is an on-going requirement; therefore any new hires, incoming graduate students, student leaders and volunteers must receive training upon orientation to their respective roles at the University.

What is a disability?

What is the difference between accessibility and accommodation?

What does 'duty to accommodate' mean?

What does it mean when it is said that 'organizations are required to accommodate someone to the point of undue hardship'?

Accessible Restrooms

Where are the accessible washrooms on campus?

Do I need a key to use any of the accessible washrooms on campus?

Can these washrooms be used at any time?

Are any of these washrooms equipped with emergency telephones, etc

Parking

Where can I find accessible parking on campus?

Who should I contact if I require accessible parking on campus however none is available near the building/entrance I must use?

Who should I contact if I suspect accessible parking is being misused?

Evacuation Situations

What is the fire evacuation procedure for persons with physical disabilities who cannot exit the building via the staircase on their own and do not have anyone to assist them?

I've recently incurred an injury or impairment that impedes me from walking up and down stairs safely. Should I tell someone?

What buildings on campus have a dual emergency alarm system using both noise and strobe lighting?

If I have a question regarding emergency procedures who should I contact?

Able-ism

Able-ism is a form of discrimination or social prejudice against persons with disabilities.

Accessibility

Accessibility is the opportunity to access programs, services, devices and the environment at the time they are needed without encountering barriers.

Accommodation

Accommodation is a means of preventing and removing barriers that impede full participation and access based on the prohibited grounds of discrimination. Accommodation is a reactive process that is triggered when an individual identifies their need to be accommodated. For example; a religious or a disability related accommodation.

Adaptive Devices/Technology

Assistive devices and technologies such as wheelchairs, prostheses, mobility aides, hearing aids, visual aids, and specialized computer software and hardware increase mobility, hearing, vision and communication capacities. With the aid of these technologies, people with disabilities are able to enhance their abilities, and are hence better able to live independently and participate in their communities. (Definition adapted from the World Health Organization (WHO) website).

Alternative Format

Alternate formats are other ways of publishing information besides regular print. Some of these formats can be used by everyone while others are designed to address the specific needs of a user.

(Definition taken from http://www.accesson.ca/)

AODA

Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (2005) or AODA is Ontario law that sets forward the obligation of public, private and not-for-profit organizations, with one (1) employee or more must comply with to ensure a barrier-free Ontario for persons with disabilities.

The purpose of the legislation is:

"(a) developing, implementing and enforcing accessibility standards in order to achieve accessibility for Ontarians with disabilities with respect to goods, services, facilities, accommodation, employment, buildings, structures and premises on or before January 1, 2025; and

(b) providing for the involvement of persons with disabilities, of the Government of Ontario and of representatives of industries and of various sectors of the economy in the development of the accessibility standards. 2005, c. 11, s. 1."

For more information on the AODA please see: http://www.accesson.ca/

Ontario Human Rights Code (OHRC) Definition of Disability

Section 10 (1) of the Code defines "disability" as follows:

…means for the reason that the person has or has had, or is believed to have or have had, any degree of;

  • physical disability, infirmity, malformation or disfigurement that is caused by bodily injury, birth defect or illness,
  • diabetes mellitus, epilepsy,
  • a brain injury,
  • any degree of paralysis, amputation, lack of physical co-ordination,
  • blindness or visual impediment, deafness or hearing impediment, muteness or speech impediment, or physical reliance on a guide dog or other animal or on a wheelchair or other remedial appliance or device,
  • condition of mental impairment or a developmental disability,
  • learning disability, or a dysfunction in one or more of the processes involved in understanding or using symbols or spoken language,
  • mental disorder, or
  • an injury or disability for which benefits were claimed or received under the insurance plan established under the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act, 1997

"Disability" should be interpreted in broad terms. It includes both present and past conditions, as well as a subjective component based on perception of disability. Although sections 10(a) to (e) set out various types of conditions, it is clear that they are merely illustrative and not exhaustive. Protection for persons with disabilities under this subsection explicitly includes mental illness,[8] developmental disabilities and learning disabilities.

See more at the Ontario Human Rights Commission website

Prohibited Grounds of Discrimination

The Ontario Human Rights Code prohibits discrimination on the following grounds:

  • race
  • ancestry
  • place of origin
  • colour
  • citizenship
  • ethnic origin
  • family status
  • gender expression/identity
  • marital status (including same-sex partnership status)
  • sex/gender
  • sexual orientation
  • creed/religion
  • receipt of public assistance
  • disability
  • age
  • record of offenses

McMaster's Anti-discrimination policy expands upon the grounds of discrimination in the Code to include the following:

  • Language
  • Accent
  • Dialect
  • Political belief
  • Membership or non-membership in a political organization
  • Membership or non-membership in a trade union, or employee or employer organization

UN Charter of Person’s with Disability Definition of Disability

"Disability results from the interaction between persons with impairments, conditions or illnesses and the environmental and attitudinal barriers that hinder full and effective participation in society on an equal basis with others"

Person with a Disability

The phrase “person with a disability” is the preferred way to refer to people living with various types of disabilities. In general, we should be using person first language, such as a person with low vision, a person with bi-polar disorder, etc.

Sanism (Saneism)/Mentalism

Is a form of ableism and are words used to name the descrimination and oppression, both attitudinal and by actions, towards those labelled or perceived to be 'mentally ill'.

Service Animal

Service animals are animals that have been trained to perform tasks that assist people with disabilities.

For McMaster’s policy on the use of Service Animals, please visit: http://mcmaster.ca/accessibility/

Service Disruptions

Service disruptions are an interruption to a regular service or facility.

Student Accessibility Services (SAS)

Student Accessibility Services (SAS) at McMaster University supports students who have been diagnosed with a disability or disorder. SAS assists with academic and disability-related needs, including:

  • Learning Strategies
  • Note-taking
  • Assistive Technologies
  • Accommodation for Courses
  • Test and Exam Administration
  • SAS Lounge and Events

For more information, please visit the SAS website.

Support Worker

Some people with disabilities rely on support persons for certain services or assistance, such as using the washroom or a person with a speech impairment may use a support person to facilitate communication. A support person may be a paid professional, a volunteer, a family member or friend of the person with a disability. A more specific definition of each term is provided below.

(Definition taken from Accessibility Standard for Customer Service: Employer Handbook)

For McMaster’s policy on the use of Support Workers, please visit: http://mcmaster.ca/accessibility/