Accessibility & Inclusion Index

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In your view, what are the strengths of this prototype?

Covers all aspects of AODA. Organization is the right size to implement certificate program in Ontario. Have an established background company SenseAbility - the groundwork is complete.

This company already has a indexed guidance tool as a base to start. Like the model of "US" instead of "us and them".

I believe that creating awareness of the benefits to business and making the approach subjective is exactly what is needed as many business owners struggle with getting on board with things that don't feel easily quantifiable. If they don't immediately/obviously see a ROI, the idea gets pushed aside.

I do like that the prototype addresses the difference in business needs/resources based on size of company.

Already existing tool may speed up ability to launch the program. However, not many details on this tool were provided, so difficult to comment on whether the existing tool is adequate or scaleable.

the focus on identifying opportunities for improvements and education and collaboration (best practices) between members/businesses.

Good language

Logical progression from what organization currently does and their inclusion index, business group meeting needs of business group

This model is based on the Cdn Business SenseAbility framework which is already established with its own assessment toll. They have know partners and resources.

Framework is already in place
Allows individual businesses to participate at a comfortable and deliverable level above and beyond AODA

A voluntary program that provides incentives to improve accessibility without subjective or arbitrary conditions. Business leaders (public and private) are well aware of the challenges and costs involved, and should be allowed to pursue accessibility goals at a financially acceptable rate. Competitive demands are better at achieving sustainable, meaningful results than regulatory intrusion.

Experience of the proponent and the categories of assessment being a good fit for businesses in general. Also the understanding that accessibility challenges can be distinct for small and large businesses.

Already work for people with all different disabilities

Increase awareness of the bottom line of business

The categories listed below seem very inclusive:
Physical accessibility & inclusive design
Digital accessibility, Recruitment & employment, Accommodation, Products and services, development, Sales & Marketing practices, Customer, vendor, supplier, partner accessibility

Good outcome with good attitudes to promote a good approach

Existing assessment tool

Members only portal

Much in place to move forward quickly with existing leadership and governance

Having government and members funding will make this process more viable

- Recognizes and promote individual business for their accessibility and inclusion efforts in all areas of their business
- Voluntary business participation
- Offers best practices for many areas
-Does not publicly expose businesses that do not achieve high values in scoring, this may increase participation as it takes the fear factor out of participating
-Optional training and events

Change from Them and Us to Us mentality. Need details on business certification process.

Seems to be a comprehensive plan that is seeking buy-in in a format that is reflective of competitive business vs direction to adhere to mandated standards. Good ground work completed, and would like to know more about the DII. Will raise business knowledge, awareness, and encourage action for change within business

The company already has infrastructure and programs in place to measure accessibility and the rate of adoption/compliance of member companies.

tool to assess and measure accessibility and organization's inclusiveness

Taken from the Business point of view. Tied together with similar initiatives. Like the emphasis on universal design. Like the five year vision

Tools to help a business measure it's accessibility and also customize a plan to achieve inclusiveness. Also resources to connect businesses and reports that show progress.

led by a business-oriented non-profit - therefore may have good traction with SMEs.

business case is taken into account well; inclusive and covers all disability categories

- Emphasis on the cultural shift to "us" not "us" and "them." Creating an accessibility culture, rather than focussing solely on the benefits to business.
- Has developed an index for measuring accessibility which can act as the framework for a certification process.
- Developed by an organization which aims to generate greater inclusivity across the province.
- Web portal is appealing.

Organization is already a leader in this industry

How could this model be improved?

Understand that the "town of Sarnia" is not a small business. The small businesses that have to follow the AODA regulations are small factories and retail stores composed of one owner, several workers, a couple of office people, a few delivery people and a salesmen or two. I guess I am saying you need to re-look at your pilot group selection.

Not sure if the index tool is adaptable to all business, big or small.

My concern is that the proposal feels very internal. Since SenseAbility is focus on hiring of people with disabilities, it would need to shift its focus to ensure that the program is well rounded and reflects ALL aspects of accessibility in business.

The proposal states that businesses that do not achieve a high level of scoring will NOT be publicly exposed. True accessibility, in my opinion, requires transparency. Much like the BBB, consumers, potential employees etc. should be able to make informed decisions regarding their interactions with a company. By shielding companies that do not do well, a person with a disability may find themselves in an inaccessible or potentially undignified interaction with the company simply because they were not allowed access to information.

Not clear how end users/consumers are consulted or otherwise involved in developing the existing tool.

Overall, this proposal seems rather proprietary and self-promoting in nature. Tools to help businesses should be open for public use - is that the case here? Unclear.

Media impact, use of media to promote this idea

sustainability of lead organization - it has only existed for a couple years and is formed by a network of businesses. Need to address how individuals with disabilities are involved in process of assessment, need to develop index to meet small, medium and large businesses, partnerships with agencies that represent people with disabilities + need to develop promotion strategy. Excluding businesses that don't meet AODA not valuable for customers.

The need to assess fee options as it may not be affordable for a lot of organizations. The model indicates private companies but does not necessarily identify the NPO sector. It does not mention a tiered approach nor does it mention WCAG.

Pilot strategy needs some additional thought / clarification

The existing model can easily have a Certification arm built around the base model. It would need to be separate and managed by a separate Board to set standards and ensure fairness.

Funding may not be sustainable and model for nominal fees for certification may need to be revisited.

- Fees could be an issue for budget reasons, and model does not state the amount
- Needs more clarification on the disAbility Inclusion Index (DII).

More information given on certification process. More details on fee process.

I think they need to revisit there pilot model to ensure better inclusion of all types of businesses form the sole proprietor to multi-national conglomerate.

The approach and preparation to offer more general services to companies of all sizes seems cumbersome.

would like to know more about recruitment of members

More information on what is required, clear evaluation metrics

the notion of an 'objective assessment of accessibility' is very appealing to SMEs but it is not necessarily what works for people with disabilities (due to diverse needs). All models that seek to standardize and objectify are, in my view, old-school - they do not recognize that with digital platfroms and onine communities, we can now define more fluid, dynamic success criteria and communicate them through networks that bring together not just needs, but also skills and talent and capacity to meet those needs. This model is very traditional and looks like what a business association wants, not what the community wants.

don't like that business with poor ratings won't be revealed so people with disabilities can't make informed choices - we need full transparency; too much business biased perspective, internal focus, proprietary and self promoting; too much focus on voluntary participation - won't rise the bar much; too much focus on perceived high costs

- Through the web portal, provide members with a forum for discussion and sharing of ideas alongside the proposed best practices and expert advice.
- Develop a fee structure that is fair yet not restrictive of smaller organizations.
- Universal standards may conflict in some areas which could make it difficult to reflect the diverse needs of individuals and organizations.
- Incentivize the public posting of inclusivity scores for top-performers to encourage other organizations - keep this inline with the current ideas to prevent shaming and fear of participation for low-scorers.

Is this model likely to raise public awareness of accessibility?

Chart summary for "Is this model likely to raise public awareness of accessibility?"

Is this model likely to influence a business to change its practices?

Chart summary for " Is this model likely to influence a business to change its practices?"

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5 stars413.79%
4 stars931.03%
3 stars1137.93%
2 stars413.79%