The Certified for Access Process

This process has been iterative in its structure and implementation, remaining flexible in response to community needs and discussion along the way.

Phases 1 and 2 (November 2015 - March 2016)

Through roundtable sessions, online feedback, and one on one discussions, Phase 1 identified barriers, challenges and opportunities surrounding accessibility in Ontario. Some participants expressed serious concerns that certification would undermine legally mandated standards in the province. The majority, however, saw a recognition-based approach as a worthwhile endeavour, a separate but complementary tool in larger ecosystem of efforts to drive accessibility and inclusive design.

This document is the result of Phase 2 discussions, where five working groups delved further into key themes identified during Phase 1. Working group members are people of all abilities, representing a broad range of accessibility advocates, business, and certification experts that expressed interest to the Certified for Access team. These working groups met up to five times each, with the following two objectives:

  1. To provide recommendations on how the assigned focus area will fit in an accessibility certification model.

  2. To identify key considerations and risks associated with the assigned focus area.

Online questionnaires allowed the general public to weigh in on the same questions as the working groups, creating a feedback loop between in person and online discussion. The principles and recommendations included below reflect the combined effort, knowledge, and experience of a rich and diverse group of individuals beyond just the five working groups.

Citizens with Disabilities Ontario Accessible Conferencing System

This process brought together participants from across the country and from the United States. As such, Deloitte worked with Citizens with Disabilities Ontario to hold initial meetings via their Talking Communities accessible conferencing system. This virtual meeting room is accessible for screen reader and keyboard-only users and allows speakers to talk in turn, display documents, and communicate by text chat. This allowed participants to communicate and collaborate as best suited their needs.

Phase 3 (March - April 2016)

The certification model is intended to be independent and voluntary, to be delivered by a non-government third party. One intended outcome of this consultation is to encourage the emergence of leadership from an independent organization, a consortium of organizations and/or a joint venture of individuals to implement the third party certification model.

Based on the working group recommendations, organizations interested in leading the certification model will prepare a brief model prototype and implementation plan. This proposal will outline the organization’s take on the working group recommendations and the capacity required to develop and lead a sustainable model. The intent is to provide the public the opportunity to respond to more substantial prototypes for certification and to provide potential certifiers with more information on community needs and preferences.

All proposed models from interested organizations will be posted to certifiedforaccess.ca for two weeks, during which time participants in the process and members of the public may weigh in and comment on the different prototypes. At the end of this period, Deloitte will prepare a report summarizing the feedback received and the community’s preferences as to a potential lead certifier or certifiers.

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