Accessibility at the OSC
The OSC is committed to providing an accessible and inclusive environment. This commitment is set out in our multi-year accessibility plan for meeting our obligations under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (the AODA), and our policies with respect to the specific accessibility standards.
The AODA became law on June 5, 2005. As a result of this legislation, the Government of Ontario developed mandatory accessibility standards to identify, break down, and prevent barriers and increase accessibility for individuals with disabilities in the following areas: customer service, information and communications, employment, transportation, and the design of public spaces.
These accessibility standards are being phased in across the public and private sectors according to specific time tables. The Customer Service Standard came into force for designated public service organizations, such as the OSC, on January 1, 2010.
Mandatory standards for Information and Communications, Employment, and Transportation were combined in an Integrated Accessibility Standard that came into effect on a phased in basis on July 1, 2011. Finally, the Integrated Accessibility Standard was amended on December 12, 2012 to include a Design of Public Spaces Standard which became applicable on January 1, 2016 with additional standards for accessibility in the built environment addressed on January 1, 2015 under the Building Code Act, 1992.
The OSC has a mandate to provide protection to investors from unfair, improper or fraudulent practices, to foster fair and efficient capital markets and confidence in capital markets, and to contribute to the stability of the financial system and the reduction of systemic risk.
In fulfilling our mandate, we are guided by a set of core values that consist of: a commitment to honesty and integrity that is consistent with our legal and ethical obligations; serving with competence, excellence, efficiency, objectivity, and impartiality; and demonstrating respect, fairness, and courtesy in our dealings with the public, our employees, and our colleagues.
These core values underpin our commitment to providing an inclusive environment that meets the accessibility needs of individuals with disabilities. The OSC strives at all times to provide access to goods, services, information, employment opportunities, and our premises in a manner that respects the dignity and independence of individuals with disabilities.
1. Policies and Planning
The OSC has developed an Accessibility Policy that sets out our obligations in providing goods and services to individuals with disabilities in an accessible manner. The OSC has also developed policies to address the Information and Communications, Employment, and the Design of Public Spaces Standards, in accordance with the Integrated Accessibility Standard.
The OSC monitors and updates all of its accessibility policies on an ongoing basis to promote compliance with our AODA obligations. Finally, the OSC maintains a multi-year accessibility plan designed to remove and prevent barriers and promote accessibility for individuals with disabilities.
2. Employment Practices
As an employer of choice, the OSC strives to meet and exceed the requirements of the AODA by ensuring an inclusive, barrier-free, accessible workplace that enables each employee to contribute and perform to their full potential on a day to day basis. We develop our employment policies and practices through an accessibility lens with an objective of achieving a maximum level of engagement and contribution from each OSC employee.
The OSC is committed to providing an inclusive, barrier-free, accessible recruitment process so that all individuals with disabilities who are interested in pursuing and who apply for employment with the OSC are made aware of the accommodation measures available to them throughout the recruitment and hiring process, as well as during employment.
The OSC continues to train all applicable staff on their obligations under the Customer Service Standard, generally, and the Integrated Services Standard in respect of information and communications, employment, and the built environment.
The OSC will communicate on an ongoing basis, both internally and externally, our commitment to inclusivity and accessibility.
We will solicit and respond to feedback with respect to the OSC’s accessibility policies, practices, and procedures.
The OSC has reported, as required, on its compliance with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 and with the Customer Service Standard. We will continue to report, as required, on our compliance with the Act and the specific accessibility standards.
For more details with respect to our specific commitments, please see the following documents:
5. Tribunal Proceedings
The OSC has introduced assistive resources on the 17th floor near the hearing rooms to enhance accessibility, including a stand-alone gender neutral accessible washroom and a Hearings Breakout Room. Individuals can also be accompanied by a service animal and/or a support person in the hearing rooms. If an individual who is participating in an OSC hearing has any accessibility needs that would affect their ability to participate in the hearing, the individual should notify the Office of the Secretary by e-mailing the Registrar at [email protected] in advance so that reasonable accommodations can be arranged.
6. Built Environment
The OSC has endeavoured to remove barriers to accessibility within its leased premises (20 Queen Street West, 20th Floor, Toronto) and has encouraged its Landlord to address building common areas.
Within the OSC’s premises:
- Automated door operators have been installed at public access points and within floor interiors of the OSC.
- Stand-alone gender neutral accessible washrooms are located on the 14th, 17th, 20th, and 21st floors. Public access to the washroom on the 20th floor can be obtained by asking at Reception located on the 20th floor.
- The computer located at the public records window on the 22nd floor has been equipped with a large print keyboard and Zoom Text software.
- A swing arm magnifier/light is available at the public records window on the 22nd floor.
- Hearing rooms have been made wheelchair accessible including counsel’s table and general seating.
- Hearing room sound systems allow headsets to be connected to assist those with hearing impairments.
- Kitchen counters have been designed to provide wheelchair access.
- The OSC can be contacted by TTY at 1-866-827-1295.
In building common areas:
- Automatic door openers have been installed at both the street and the mall entrances to our building.
- The lobby also has wheelchair elevators/lifts at both the street and the mall entrances to our building. Assistance in using these devices is immediately available by pressing the contact button located at the lifts.
- Elevator surrounds have raised lettering and Braille signage to indicate floor numbers.
- Elevator interiors have raised numeric pads for floor selections.
- Audio notification is provided at each elevator lobby to indicate elevator direction (one ring tone for up, two ring tones for down).
The OSC will comply with the requirements of the Design of Public Spaces Standard and will incorporate any changes to the built environment required under the Building Code Act, 1992.
The OSC will provide information and public documentation in an accessible format upon request. Qualified OSC Inquiries Officers are available Monday to Friday between 8:30 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. to take your questions, provide information, and direct you to appropriate resources, depending on your need. If you have a request, question or want to provide feedback concerning accessibility at the OSC, please contact us.