The uOaccessible Advisory Board reports to the Human Rights Office and is chaired by the office’s senior policy adviser, accessibility.
The advisory board meets at least five times a year, as convened by the Human Rights Office.
A majority of the board members constitutes quorum.
The person responsible for accessibility matters at the Human Rights Office serves as the board secretary.
Each year, the board chair must present a progress report about the Multi-year Accessibility Plan, as provided for in Policy 119 — Accessibility. The report covers the current year’s activities and, if necessary, includes recommendations for the AC’s consideration when reviewing the plan.
To fulfill the mandate of the uOaccessible Advisory Board, the board has developed a consultation and engagement framework. The framework will strengthen and formalize the Human Rights Office consultation process, to better meet the office’s commitment to engaging stakeholders.
This framework seeks stakeholder’s input through:
- compliance consultations on specific regulatory and supervisory matters
- stakeholder engagement on wider accessibility and accommodation issues of mutual interest
The Human Rights Office engages and consults with many relevant stakeholders, including, but not limited to:
- members of the University of Ottawa community with disabilities
- HRO partners, as identified under the accessibility policy
- Council of Ontario Universities people with disabilities group
- Canadian Accessibility Network
- other regulators (federal, provincial and municipal)
- the Centre for Students with Disabilities (CSD)
- legal representatives
- disability groups and associations
- recognized subject matter experts and consultants in accessibility
- uOttawa support staff in faculties and services, and professors
- senior leadership
When inviting groups and individuals to discuss a topic, the HRO will make every effort to seek out stakeholders with an interest in the subject matter. Public consultations will be held when the opinions of the University of Ottawa community with disabilities at large are sought.
For example, the uOaccessible Advisory Board will be included in the initial consultations involving the assessment, evaluation, and drafting of Multi-year Accessibility Plans and the annual reports on these plans. Depending on the issues, the HRO may open the consultation to the campus community with disabilities.
Use and disclosure of comments
Comments provided to the HRO regarding, but not limited to, the uOaccessible Advisory Board’s mandate will be considered and applied in accordance with the terms of the specific engagement or consultation process. Terms may include the right of the HRO to reproduce, translate and publish the comments, in whole or in part, on the HRO website with the approval of the uOaccessible board and the consent of participants.
Comments received by the HRO will be subject to the Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act, and may only be disclosed in accordance with their provisions.
The HRO will consult with stakeholders on:
- compliance-related initiatives likely to have a regulatory impact (e.g., Multi-year Accessibility Plan and annual reports on the plan)
- administrative changes likely to have a significant impact on members of our campus community with disabilities (e.g., amendment of Policy 119 — Accessibility)
The main objective of the HRO consultation process is to allow members of our campus community with disabilities to express their views on matters that concern them. This process is also intended to increase the transparency of the HRO’s mandated activities.
Types of consultations
The HRO may use any of the following types of consultations:
Before a more formal consultation process, we may seek input from the uOaccessible board and other campus stakeholders on sensitive or complex subject matters related to accessibility. For example, a pre-consultation could take the form of a document review or a closed-door meeting, and may be followed by an expanded consultation with the campus community living with disabilities and the public. Key messages and relevant documents would be provided for review and comment on a confidential basis.
Through public consultations, we may seek input from members of our campus community on matters that affect them, so that many perspectives are taken into account.
Service provider consultations
Through targeted consultations, we may seek input from internal and external subject matter experts. We would involve these SMEs in compliance-related discussions on matters that could have a significant impact on their operations. Consultations with SMEs would also help the HRO ensure that its compliance materials are still practical and relevant. We intend to use this type of consultation in developing compliance guidance and similar regulatory-related documents.
From time to time, we may select a group of people who represent a cross-section of stakeholders so we can quickly gather the views of a specific group. We would send a draft document directly to specified participants for their review. These consultations may be followed by consultations with SMEs.
The HRO will ensure that consultation timeframes and deadlines give participants a reasonable amount of time to prepare and provide their input. When possible, we will allow 60 calendar days for formal consultations, starting the day the consultation document is posted on the HRO website. There may be a longer response period for complex compliance topics. We will ensure that stakeholders are given adequate notice of the length of the comment period.
Comments and complaints
The uOaccessible board does not handle or respond to complaints and accommodation requests. Campus community members are encouraged to follow the applicable procedures and processes (making complaints and requests under Policy 67a — Prevention of Harassment and Discrimination, contacting SASS, the HR Health and Wellness section, etc.).
The University of Ottawa values any comments or suggestions you may have related to services you’ve received. We invite you to send us your feedback, comments and suggestions so that we can continue improving our services and the level of accessibility across our campus.
Filing a complaint
If you wish to file a complaint, A member of the HRO team will contact you to discuss your concerns as well as provide you with support and information on how to proceed.