Ontario Creates AODA Annual Status Report 2023
In its Multi-Year Accessibility Plan, 2023 to 2027, Ontario Creates committed to publishing annual status updates on progress toward meeting the plan’s goals and milestones. The points below summarize key accomplishments from the 2023 calendar year.
- The agency continued to include accessibility provisions across all funding programs, welcoming applications from people with disabilities, people who are Deaf, as well as other people who face barriers to accessing technology, including an offer of funding support if assistance is needed to fill out program applications and/or to complete project deliverables for successful projects. In 2023, new requirements were added to the guidelines of the Business Intelligence Program (BIP) specifying that reports/studies funded by Ontario Creates must be made available to the public in an accessible format.
- The agency’s commitment to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (including people with disabilities) is incorporated into program guidelines and e-blasts/call for applications.
- The agency actively promoted our employment opportunities to diverse communities and people with disabilities inside and outside the OPS by ensuring postings were circulated to a broad range of groups, OPS employee networks, job boards and organizations supporting diverse communities.
- The agency continued to apply principles of accessibility to both virtual and in-person events where possible, including accessibility-focused language on event invitations, captioning, transcription and ASL interpretation. When scoping potential venues for the agency’s in-person events, venue accessibility is a specific requirement. 2023 examples are Celebrate Ontario, International Financing Forum, IP Market Day and the upcoming Workforce Symposium.
- Ontario Creates continued to offer a diversity enhancement component across all investment programs designed to encourage and provide support to projects that, in their voice, story, language elements or diversity of key creatives, meet the provincial definition of diversity (which includes physical and intellectual ability). Diversity continued to be an evaluation criterion across all investment programs.
- Through the Industry Development Program, Ontario Creates supported a new Industry Resource Centre from the DSO. This online hub will house a robust set of accessibility and disability information related to the Canadian screen industry in an easy-to-use, searchable format. The hub is envisioned as a practical companion piece to the Ontario Creates-supported Best Practices Research Project, which will develop a foundational set of best practices for the industry.
- The DSO was also proactively consulted on its key priorities for the screen sector as the agency prepared its submission to the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC)’s Bill C-11 consultation process.
- Ontario Creates is committed to working with the Disability Screen Office (DSO) on future improvements to the accessibility of applications and programs.
- Through the Magazine Fund, Ontario Creates supported Disability Today with its Thrive Content Campaign, which will utilize digital media to expand the magazine’s reach and relevance within the amputee and practitioner community across North America. The Magazine Fund also supported the Canadian Abilities Foundation with the launch of a variety of job-related, advertising, partnerships and other resources for its Abilities Magazine.