Accessibility at the OSC
Welcome to the OSC’s Accessibility webpage. This contains the OSC’s commitment to providing an accessible and inclusive environment that meets the needs of individuals with disabilities, our multi-year accessibility plan for meeting our obligations under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (the AODA), our policies with respect to the specific accessibility standards that have been developed, and contact information that will allow you to make inquiries or provide feedback with respect to accessibility at the OSC.
Accessibility for all Ontarians
The AODA became law on June 5, 2005. Under this legislation, the Government of Ontario has 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. It sets out specific requirements for the provision of goods and services to individuals with disabilities. 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 becomes applicable on January 1, 2016 with additional standards for accessibility in the built environment to be addressed at a later date under the Building Code Act, 1992.
The OSC has a mandate to protect investors from unfair, improper, or fraudulent practices, and to foster fair and efficient capital markets and confidence in capital markets.
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.
What we are doing to make the OSC accessible
1. Policies and Planning
The OSC has developed a Customer Service Policy that sets out our obligations in providing goods and services to individuals with disabilities in an accessible manner.
The OSC is currently developing policies to address the Information and Communications, Employment, and the Design of Public Spaces Standards, in accordance with the Integrated Accessibility Standard.
The OSC will monitor and update all of its accessibility policies on an ongoing basis to promote compliance with our AODA obligations.
Finally, the OSC is developing and will maintain a multi-year accessibility plan designed to remove and prevent barriers and promote accessibility for individuals with disabilities. The plan and related policies are being informed by consultations with 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.
Further, the OSC is committed to ensuring 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:
- Customer Service Policy
- Employment Policies
- Information and Communications Policy (including Web Accessibility Policy)
- Multi- year Accessibility Plan
5. Commission Enforcement Proceedings
The OSC has introduced a number of assistive devices to enhance the accessibility of its hearing rooms and has a stand-alone unisex accessible washroom on the 17th floor in the vicinity of the hearing rooms. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org as soon as practicable so that reasonable accommodations can be arranged.
6. Built Environment
Through recent renovations, 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 unisex 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.
Questions and Feedback
Contact us if you have a question or want to provide feedback concerning accessibility at the OSC. We are committed to accessibility at the OSC and we welcome your feedback. If you are not satisfied with the level of accessibility provided, you are encouraged to contact us.
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. Upon request, the OSC will endeavour to provide information and public documentation in an accessible format.