Middlesex County Accessiblity Advisory Committee Terms of Reference

Terms of Reference for the Middlesex County Accessibility Advisory Committee (AAC)

Mandate

The County of Middlesex Accessibility Advisory Committee is established in accordance with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) and shall assist Middlesex County Council and local municipal councils in improving opportunities for persons with disabilities to participate in County programs and services.

The Accessibility Advisory Committee will achieve this goal by advising Middlesex County Council and local municipal councils on the development and implementation of a multi-year accessibility plan as required by the Act with a focus on the identification and removal of barriers to persons with disabilities.

Participating municipalities include: County of Middlesex, Municipality of Adelaide Metcalfe, Municipality of Lucan Biddulph, Municipality of Middlesex Centre, Municipality of North Middlesex, Municipality of Southwest Middlesex, Municipality of Strathroy-Caradoc, Municipality of Thames Centre and the Village of Newbury.

Definitions

“barrier” means anything that prevents a person with a disability from fully participating in all aspects of society because of his or her disability, including a physical barrier, an architectural barrier, an information or communication barrier, an attitudinal barrier, a technological barrier or policy barriers.

“disability” means

Any degree of physical disability, infirmity, malformation or disfigurement that is caused by bodily injury, birth defect or illness and, without limiting the generality of the foregoing, includes diabetes mellitus, epilepsy, a brain injury, any degree of paralysis, amputation, lack of physical coordination, 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;

A condition of mental impairment;

A condition of a developmental disability;

A learning disability, or dysfunction in one or more of the processes involved in understanding or using symbols or spoken language;

A mental disorder; or,

An injury for which benefits were claimed or received under the insurance plan established under the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act, 1997;

Composition

The County of Middlesex Joint Accessibility Advisory Committee shall consist of five to nine members in combination with the following:

  1. The majority of members (minimum three) must be persons with disabilities as defined under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act
  2. A representative of an organization representing persons with disabilities.
  3. A caregiver for a person with a disability.

In addition, the Warden shall be an ex-officio member.  Two members of County Council will be appointed for the term.

Members will be appointed by County Council for the term of Council or until their successors are appointed. All appointments are at the pleasure of Council.  Members are eligible for re-appointment.

A majority of members appointed including at least one elected member are required to constitute a quorum. 

Compensation

Members shall be compensated in accordance with the existing policies of the County of Middlesex.

Reimbursement of Expenses

Members who are persons with disabilities will be provided at the County’s expense with the resources related to their disability that are deemed necessary for them to fully participate in the Committee activities. The resources could include such things as transportation, sign language translation, Braille transcription etc. Any equipment shall remain the property of the County of Middlesex. 

Reporting Structure

The County of Middlesex Accessibility Advisory Committee shall report to County Council through the CAO or County Clerk. The presentation of Committee activities shall be in the form of Report containing a record of those present at the meeting, the items considered and the recommendations of the Committee. The Committee shall report to County Council on an annual basis. 

Resources

The County Clerk’s Department will provide administrative support, including the preparation of reports to the Committee of the Whole, distribution of agendas and the general administrative co-ordination of the meetings.  Other staff resources will be available as required.

Procedure

All meetings will be conducted in accordance with the County of Middlesex Procedural By-law and practices.

The Committee does not have the authority to specifically direct the activities of County staff.

Chair and Vice Chair

The Chair and Vice Chair of the Committee shall be elected at the first meeting of the Committee for the term of council. 

Duties

The County of Middlesex Joint Accessibility Advisory Committee shall;

Work with County staff in the preparation of the Joint Multi Year Accessibility Plan in consultation with local municipalities for consideration by Middlesex County Council and local municipal councils.

Review municipal site plans described in Section 41 of the Planning Act.

Advise councils about the requirements and implementation of accessibility standards and the preparation of accessibility reports and such other matters for which the participating councils may seek its advice.

Perform other functions that are specified in the Regulations of the Ontarians with Disabilities Act and the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act.

Advise Councils on the accessibility for people with disabilities to a building, structure or premise that the council purchases, constructs or significantly renovates, or for which the council enters into a new lease.

Meetings

Meetings will be held on an as needed basis at the Call of the Chair or as directed by the Committee. The Committee will meet a minimum of two times per year. 

Approved by Middlesex County Council on November 8, 2016

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