Message from the Minister
Last November, I announced the launch of a public engagement process to create a made-in-Ontario accessibility certification program. At that time, I invited Ontarians to step forward and embrace the challenge of developing this innovative program.
I’m happy to report that seven organizations have submitted a certification prototype. I want to personally thank them — and the hundreds of Ontarians who have participated in this process — for meeting that challenge head-on.
Everyone who submitted a prototype brought a high degree of innovation, enthusiasm, and respect for the process to their proposed models for accessibility certification. This is true of all the participants, who have engaged with us over the past five months.
It’s been exciting to see the public weigh in on all seven prototypes. The comments and ideas that have been received indicate that certification would help more Ontario businesses demonstrate their commitment to serving people of all abilities. At the same time, customers would find it easier to identify leading accessible businesses and organizations that put their needs front and centre.
A report summarizing the prototypes has been posted on certifiedforaccess.ca, and public comments on this report are being accepted until May 31.
I encourage you to continue contributing your ideas and opinions to strengthen this collaborative and open process.
I’m confident that accessibility certification can help strengthen Ontario’s culture of inclusion, increase job opportunities for people with disabilities, and grow our economy. It’s another step we’re taking to fulfill our Action Plan commitments and build an accessible province by 2025.
I’d like to thank you for doing your part to support accessibility. Your contributions are helping us build an accessible Ontario everyone can be proud of.
The Final Report of the Accessibility Certification Consultation is available for review.
The report provides an overview of the three-phase process that engaged over 400 members of the accessibility advocacy, business, not-for-profit, academic, and broader public sector communities to discuss the viability, risks, and design of an accessibility certification model. Central to the report are the accessibility certification prototypes, submitted by seven organizations inspired by the discussion throughout the consultation, as well as the set of guiding principles developed by working groups in the previous phase of the public engagement process.
Certification Model Prototypes
Seven groups have answered our open call by submitting an accessibility certification model prototype.
The seven prototypes are meant to showcase the range of ideas and ongoing work being done in the community to raise the bar on accessibility. Some are more detailed, some more high-level; some offer a complete picture of a certification model, while others illustrate how they might lend their expertise to a broader whole. All are based on our Phase 1 discussion and Phase 2 working group recommendations.
The goal is not for the prototypes to compete, but rather for the prototype authors and for you the public to identify and build support around good ideas and opportunities for collaboration.
Public comments on the Certification Model Prototypes were accepted between April 10 and April 25, 2016.
Phase 3 Challenge: Open Call for Model Prototypes
At the beginning of this process, Minister Duguid challenged a third party organization, group of organizations, or association of individuals to take on the task of designing and implementing the accessibility certification model. Responses to this challenge were accepted until April 1, 2016.
For more information,
- Download the Challenge Information Sessions summary in PDF format; or
- Download the Challenge Information Session summary in Microsoft Word format
Phase 2 Report
The report of the work and recommendations of the phase 2 working groups is available for review. The working groups, composed of stakeholders from all corners of the accessibility and business communities, took a closer look at what an accessibility certification program would actually look like and how it would function. Visit the Phase 2 Report section to review the report.
Phase 1 Report
The Phase 1 Report provides a checkpoint in the process to identify the main issues to be addressed in Phase 2 as we work towards a viable certification model for accessibility in Ontario.