Board Accessibility Policy

1.0 Purpose

The Peterborough Victoria Northumberland and Clarington Catholic District School Board is committed to improving opportunities and providing services to our students, parents/guardians, the public, and our staff that are free of barriers and biases. The Board strives to ensure that key principles of independence, dignity, integration, and equality of opportunity are reflected and valued in our learning and working environments. Our conduct shall demonstrate our belief in the strength diversity brings to our communities.

2.0 Policy

It is the policy of the Peterborough Victoria Northumberland and Clarington Catholic District School Board to support the rights of all persons with disabilities by providing equal opportunities to participate in our school communities with respect, independence, and dignity.

3.0 Guidelines

  1.  The Director of Education shall be responsible for the Board's obligations of the "Accessibility for Ontarians With Disabilities Act, 2005."
  2. The Board shall acknowledge what it has already achieved and shall continue to move towards a school system in which no new barriers are created and existing ones are removed.
  3. The Board shall integrate planning for accessibility into existing corporate strategic and other planning processes.
  4. The Board shall address accessibility in internal and external programs, practices, policies, services, and facilities.
  5. The Board shall ensure that the Catholic Education Centre, each secondary school, and at least one elementary school in each community served by the P.V.N.C. Catholic District School Board is physically accessible according to the Board's criteria. The Board's criteria includes designated parking, and at least one accessible entrance, classroom, washroom, library, gym, and clear paths of travel to the aforementioned areas.

4.0 Terms and Definitions

4.1 Assistive Device

An assistive device is any device used by people with disabilities to help with their daily living. Assistive devices include a range of products such as wheelchairs, walkers, white canes, oxygen tanks, electronic communication devices.

4.2 Barrier

A barrier is anything that prevents a person with a disability from 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, a policy, or practice: ("obstacle")

4.3 Customer

A customer is any person who uses the services of the School Board.

4.4 Disability

As Defined by the Human Rights Code - Section 10 (1):
  • 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 or a developmental disability
  • a learning disability, or a dysfunction in one or more of the processes involved in understanding or using symbols or spoken language
  • a mental disorder
  • an injury or disability for which benefits were claimed or received under the insurance plan established under the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act, 1997: ("handicap")

4.5 Family of Schools

A family of schools is the Catholic secondary school and the Catholic elementary schools within the geographic area that feed into it.

4.6 Physical Accessibility Criteria

The Catholic Education Centre, each secondary school, and a minimum of one school for each community where a Catholic school exists, must be physically accessible according to the following criteria:
  • designated parking areas with appropriate signage
  • cut-away curb
  • exterior and/or interior ramps with appropriate slopes and handrails as required
  • a minimum of one automatic door entrance
  • accessible gym
  • accessible library
  • a minimum of one accessible washroom
  • a minimum of one accessible classroom
  • clear path of travel in entrances and hallways leading to gym, library, washroom, and classroom
  • visually defined contrasts when any change of level occurs.

4.7 Service Animal

A service animal is an animal that is being used because of a person's disability, and this is either readily apparent or is supported by a letter from an appropriate professional. The animal must be certified and trained by a licensed and registered trainer to support the person's needs.

4.8 Support Person

A support person is a person who assists or interprets for a person with a disability as they access the services of the Board.
A support person is distinct from an employee who supports a student in the system.

5.0 References/Related Documents

  • Accessibility for Ontarians With Disabilities Act, 2005 - governed by the Ministry of Citizenship
  • Ontario Education Services - Accessibility Working Group - Guide book for Policy Exemplar - Accessibility Standards for Customer Service
  • Access Ontario - Breaking Barriers Together
  • Human Rights Code - Duty to Accommodate
  • Assessment Act
  • Blind Persons' Rights Act
  • The Building Code Act, 1992
  • Corporations Tax Act
  • Income Tax Act
  • Education Act
  • Ontario Disabilities Support Program Act, 1997
  • The Workplace Safety and Insurance Act, 1997
  • The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms

6.0 Related Policies

  • Policy 101, Community Use of Board Facilities
  • Policy 405, Occupational Health and Safety
  • Policy 706, Valuing Diversity
  • Policy 810, Out-of-School Activities
  • Old Policy 905, Access to and Management of Information
  • Old Policy 915, Collection, Protection of and Access to Personal Information of Private Individuals

7.0 Related Forms

  • Special Transportation Request for Special Education
  • Request for Special Transportation for Medical Reasons

8.0 Approved by Board

October 25, 2005

9.0 Effective Date

January 26, 2010

10.0 Policy Review Date

January 2015

11.0 Review By

  • Special Education Services
  • Communication Services
  • Accessibility for All Committee