November 24, 2009 Region of Peel Accessibility Advisory Committee (AAC)
Page Content:
1. Call to Order
2. Approval of Minutes
3. Approval of Agenda
4. Communication Items
5. Presentations
6. Reports
7. Other Business
8. Next Meeting
9. Adjournment

 

REGION OF PEEL

ACCESSIBILITY ADVISORY COMMITTEE (AAC)


MINUTES


AAC-2009-9

 

The Region of Peel Accessibility Advisory Committee met on November 24, 2009 at 1:06 p.m. in the Council Chamber, Region of Peel Administrative Headquarters, Suite A, 10 Peel Centre Drive, Brampton.

Members Present: H. Bajwa; G. Barnes; S. McFadden¨; W. Goursky; S. Hames; J. Hardman; N. Husain; E. Kolb*; J. Spry; M. Tymkow
 
Members Absent: R. Paterak, due to other municipal business
 
Also Present:

Region of Peel: N. Trim, Chief Financial Officer and Commissioner of Corporate Services; J. Menard, Commissioner of Human Services; J. Payne, Acting Director and Deputy Regional Clerk; J. Daly, Acting Manager, Regulatory Compliance; M. Sikand, Accessibility Planning Specialist; H. West, Legislative Specialist; V. Montesdeoca, Committee Clerk

Community Stakeholder: S. Douglas, United Way of Peel Region

_____________________________________
*See text for arrivals
¨See text for departures


William Goursky, Chair, presided.


1. CALL TO ORDER

William Goursky, Chair of the Region of Peel Accessibility Advisory Committee called the meeting to order at 1:06 p.m. and welcomed everyone present.

William Goursky introduced Sharon Douglas from United Way of Peel Region in the capacity of community stakeholder for the AAC.

 

2. APPROVAL OF MINUTES

RECOMMENDATION AAC-25-2009:

That the minutes of the October 20, 2009 Region of Peel Accessibility Advisory Committee (AAC-2009-8) meeting, be approved.


3. APPROVAL OF AGENDA

RECOMMENDATION AAC-26-2009:

That the agenda for the November 24, 2009 Region of Peel Accessibility Advisory Committee meeting be amended to include a memo from the Commissioner of Human Services regarding Housing Support to People with Visual and Hearing Impairments, to be dealt with under Other Business - Item 7a;

And further, that the agenda for the November 24, 2009 Region of Peel Accessibility Advisory Committee meeting be amended to include an update from Glenn Barnes, Committee member, regarding Human Services Centres, to be dealt with under Other Business - Item 7b;

And further, that the agenda for the November 24, 2009 Region of Peel Accessibility Advisory Committee meeting be approved, as amended.

See also Other Business - Items 7a and 7b

 

4. COMMUNICATION ITEMS

a. Ministry of Community and Social Services, Letter dated November 2, 2009, Providing Notification of the January 1, 2010 Reporting Requirement for the Customer Service Accessibility Standard

Received

b. Province of Ontario, Consultation Paper titled "Ontario's Long-Term Affordable Housing Strategy"

Received

In June 2009 the Ontario Government announced the consultation process on the Long-Term Affordable Housing Strategy. Ontario's Long-Term Affordable Housing Strategy Consultation Paper has been released and the Provincial Government is requesting input and comments, thus providing the framework for the strategy.

William Goursky suggested that a working group be formed to review the consultation paper and gather opinions for submission. The deadline for submission is December 31, 2009. The following members volunteered to be on the working group to review the Long-Term Affordable Housing Strategy: Glenn Barnes, William Goursky, Naz Husain and Maureen Tymkow.

STAFF DIRECTION AAC-09-2009-1:

That Clerk's staff notify, via e-mail, to the Long-Term Affordable Housing Strategy working group available dates to hold meetings to discuss the Strategy.

 

5. PRESENTATIONS

a. Michael Wright, Chair, Peel Advisory Working Group on Older Adults' Housing (PAWGOAH) and Pat Chrisjohn, Policy Analyst, Human Services, Presenting an Update on the Initiatives Undertaken by PAWGOAH

Received

Michael Wright, Chair, Peel Advisory Working Group on Older Adults' Housing (PAWGOAH) provided an overview of PAWGOAH which was created in June 2000 to assist in addressing the current and future affordable housing needs of older adults in the Region of Peel. He indicated that PAWGOAH has many community partnerships including participation in the International Day of Persons with Disabilities event, providing articles for the Care Guide Magazine, and involvement in the Peel Manor apartment building project.

Michael Wright indicated that PAWGOAH provides presentations on housing initiatives, as well as, consultations on housing policies including Peel's draft housing strategy.

Michael Wright stated that there is resistance from the private sector in developing accessible housing due to cost. He suggested that PAWGOAH and AAC work more closely together since accessibility and the housing needs of older adults are very closely intertwined. Pat Chrisjohn, Policy Analyst, Human Services Department requested suggestions from the AAC to strengthen the focus and convey the importance of accessibility in housing.

William Goursky suggested that the Universal Housing Standards be used as a reference source. He advised that the Standards refer to the Region of Peel housing projects however, the private sector may benefit from the information.

Jim Hardman, Committee member informed that the Canadian Hearing Society also provides services to older adults and offered his contact information so that other United Way funded agencies can also have access to the information.

Naz Husain, Committee Vice-Chair, noted that older adults are more likely to develop a disability. She suggested that the Mississauga Standards on Accessibility be used as a reference tool.

Glenn Barnes, Committee member noted that the key in conveying the message of accessible housing is to educate developers, builders and the community. He suggested that there should be a focus on the loss of business opportunities by not addressing accessible housing needs for a growing aging population.

Regional Chair Emil Kolb arrived at 1:25 p.m.

b. David Hodkin, Public Affairs Associate, Employee and Business Services, Presenting the Accessibility Advisory Committee Communication Strategy

Received

David Hodkin, Public Affairs Associate, Employee and Business Services, provided a history of the development of the AAC Communication Strategy to create awareness of issues relating to accessibility. He advised that the communication strategy will help align the program objectives as it provides goals and tools for all communications. David Hodkin reviewed the process undertaken to develop the strategy and indicated most of the objectives will be initiated in the upcoming year. The Committee unanimously approved the Communication Strategy.

RECOMMENDATION AAC-27-2009:

That the Region of Peel Accessibility Advisory Committee Communication Strategy be endorsed;

And further, that staff update the Region of Peel Accessibility Advisory Committee Communication Strategy as deemed necessary.

c. Janet Menard, Commissioner, Human Services and Stella Danos-Papaconstantiou, Manager, Transition and Integration, Presenting the New Service Delivery Model

Received

Janet Menard, Commissioner of Human Services explained that the Human Services Department was created in 2007 as part of a corporate reorganization. The creation of the department provided an opportunity to streamline services and improve service delivery, with the amalgamation of Peel Living, Ontario Works and Children's Services. Through consultations with clients, staff and stakeholders, the Human Services Department has developed a service delivery model designed to improve service delivery to the community. Applicants will have a common contact centre where a range of services are provided. Janet Menard welcomed any feedback from the Committee on how to improve service delivery from an accessibility perspective. Due to time constraints Janet Menard suggested scheduling a separate meeting to discuss the service delivery model in more detail.

Naz Husain congratulated Janet Menard and the Human Services staff for undertaking this initiative and breaking down the barriers in accessing human services. She also encouraged staff from all regional departments to participate in the AAC meetings to share information and increase knowledge on issues related to accessibility.

The Committee proposed forming a working group that will meet early in 2010 to discuss and review the Committee's involvement in the Human Services Service Delivery Model. The following members volunteered to be on the working group: Harvinder Bajwa, William Goursky, Jim Hardman, Naz Husain and Jan Spry.


7. OTHER BUSINESS

Additional Item - Item 7a was dealt with:

a. Housing Support to People with Visual and Hearing Impairments in the Region of Peel

Received

See also Approval of Agenda

Janet Menard provided Committee members with a memo relating to housing support for persons with visual and hearing disabilities. The memo was in response to a concern raised by a visually impaired Region of Peel resident who had difficulty in finding housing in Peel Region.

William Goursky noted that due to time limitations, a separate meeting should be held to review and discuss the matter. The following members volunteered to meet and discuss housing support for people with visual and hearing impairments: William Goursky, Naz Husain and Jan Spry.

STAFF DIRECTION AAC-09-2009-2:

That Clerk's staff notify, via e-mail, to the Committee members who volunteered to discuss housing support for people with visual and hearing impairments, available meeting dates.

d. Lisa Jones, Transportation Accessibility Specialist, Accessible Transportation, Public Works, Providing an Update Regarding Accessible Transportation in the Region of Peel

Withdrawn

e. Harry Christakis, Architect, HCA Architecture, Chris Bullock, Manager, Development and Construction, Employee and Business Services, and Cristina Raviele, Project Manager Real Property Asset Management, Providing a Review of the Coptic Church Project - City of Brampton, Ward 2

Received

Chris Bullock, Manager, Development and Construction, Employee and Business Services provided an overview of the Coptic Church residential housing project located on Hurontario Street north of Mayfield Road. The four storey senior's apartment building will hold 94 units. Chris Bullock pointed out that the builder has advanced the project with construction set to begin in the spring of 2010 and is therefore seeking site plan approval from the ACC.

Harry Christakis, Architect, HCA Architecture explained the external features of the building including a garden and patio area. He noted that the building meets Ontario's building code on barrier-free requirements.

Chris Bullock further highlighted some of the internal accessibility features which include:

William Goursky inquired who the developer will be for the project. Chris Bullock responded that Martinway Construction has been retained for this project and noted that the company is very familiar with the Region's Universal Accessible Standards.

Maureen Tymkow inquired why the handrail has been placed only on one side of the corridor. Chris Bullock responded there are budgetary constraints to reconfigure the space and that adding a second handrail would reduce the turning radius within the space. William Goursky requested that perhaps other options be explored regarding the installation of handrails.

Councillor Sandra Hames inquired as to why there were only three accessible units in the building noting that one out of seven people in Peel has a disability. She advised that it costs more to retrofit the units at a later date. Chris Bullock responded that the units are built to be easily converted to an accessible unit should the need arise in the future.

Naz Husain noted that 3 barrier-free parking spaces may not be enough considering the amount of older adults that will be occupying the building. Chris Bullock commented that there is a shared facilities agreement with the adjoining church to the north of the building site should additional parking space be required.

Glenn Barnes suggested that consideration be given to providing the barrier-free parking spaces at the rear entry/exit points to ensure closeness to the accessible units.

The following recommendation was considered and supported by the Committee:

RECOMMENDATION AAC-28-2009:

That the overview provided to the Region of Peel Accessibility Advisory Committee (AAC) on November 24, 2009 by Region of Peel Development and Construction staff regarding the site plan for the Coptic Church Project - City of Brampton, Ward 2, be received;

And further, that notification of the support of the Region of Peel Accessibility Advisory Committee for the Coptic Church site plan, as presented, be provided to the City of Brampton, Planning, Design and Development Department.


6. REPORTS

a. Region of Peel Accessibility Planning Specialist Activity Report - International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPD) Update (Oral)
Update by Meenu Sikand, Accessibility Planning Specialist, Region of Peel

Received

Meenu Sikand, Accessibility Planning Specialist informed that planning for the International Day of Persons with Disabilities is progressing well. She noted that close to 220 people have registered for the event, eleven vendors have been retained for the display tables and keynote speakers were confirmed. Meenu Sikand stated that the press release for the event has generated interest by the Mississauga News and the Brampton Guardian. William Goursky noted that the media release may be available on-line.

Naz Husain inquired what percentage of the registrants were internal regional staff versus external guests. Meenu Sikand commented that approximately 80 per cent are external guests representing various organizations.

Councillor Sue McFadden departed at 2:25 p.m.

b. Employment Accessibility Standards Development Committee Update (Oral) - Nil

c. Accessible Transportation Standards Development Committee (Oral) - Nil


7. OTHER BUSINESS

Additional Items - Items 7a and 7b:

a. Housing Support to People with Visual and Hearing Impairments in the Region of Peel

This item was dealt with earlier in the meeting

b. Human Services Centres

Received

See also Approval of Agenda

Glenn Barnes informed the Committee about an initiative underway to bring together a number of charitable, non-profit organizations throughout the Region of Peel under one facility called the Human Services Centre. The objective is to reduce rental costs while sharing meeting rooms, common areas, office equipment and administrative expenses. Glenn Barnes inidicated that he will be advocating for a wellness/fitness centre to be incorporated into the facility and also stressed the need for a community health centre geared to persons with disabilities. Glenn Barnes encouraged anyone interested in obtaining more information regarding the initative to contact the United Way of Peel.

William Goursky stated that there was a great need for such a facility in Peel. He raised a concern as to the location of this type of facility since it would need to be central for all to access. Glenn Barnes stated that discussions are underway to locate a facility in Mississauga with "satellite offices" located in Brampton and Caledon.

Jim Hardman noted that he was aware that two locations were being considered, possibly with more locations to follow.

 

8. NEXT MEETING

The next meeting of the Region of Peel Accessibility Advisory Committee is scheduled for Tuesday, January 26, 2010, at 1:00 p.m., Council Chamber, 5th floor, Regional Administrative Headquarters, Suite A, 10 Peel Centre Drive, Brampton, Ontario.

Please forward regrets to Veronica Montesdeoca, Legislative Technical Coordinator, (905) 791-7800, ext. 4384 or at veronica.montesdeoca@peelregion.ca.


9. ADJOURNMENT

The meeting adjourned at 2:58 p.m.