January 6, 1999
To:Corporate Services Committee
From:Executive Director of Human Resources
Subject:Provision of Attendant Care Services at Public Meetings
To comment on the communication received from Mr. Jean-Paul Gagnon as requested by the Chair, Corporate Services
Funding Sources, Financial Implications and Impact Statement:
There are no immediate financial implications for the City of Toronto arising from this report.
It is recommended that:
City of Toronto departments, agencies, boards and commissions ensure that any notice or communication inviting public
participation clearly indicate that requests for special need services will be accommodated with notice; and, the
appropriate City officials be authorized and directed to take the necessary actions to give effect thereto.
In October 1998, the City Clerk received a communication from Mr. Jean-Paul Gagnon, Manager of Fund Raising, Tobias
House Attendant Care Inc., requesting an opportunity to appear before the Cooperate Services Committee respecting a
proposal made to the Mayor's office requesting that Attendant Care Services become an available feature of all public
meetings hosted by the City of Toronto. Mr. Gagnon believes this would enable more participation by persons with
physical disabilities whose activities of daily living require assistance.
Comments and/or Discussion and/or Justification:
The City of Toronto recognizes the valuable contribution of people with disabilities and achieving accessibility for people
with disabilities continues to be a priority. The City of Toronto Task Force on Community Access and Equity, chaired by
Councillor Joe Mihevc has involved citizens and stakeholder groups in the process of developing strategies and action
plans. The Task Force is in the process of developing a comprehensive and coordinated plan of action to address barriers
to full participation of the City's diverse communities and includes people with disabilities. The consultative process
undertaken by the Task Force will yield a range of solutions, policies and practices for the new city.
In the City of Toronto, the provision of accommodation and special needs services is generally offered at all public
meetings. For instance, accessibility to Council meetings can be achieved through the provision and funding of
communication in accessible formats or provision of sign language interpretation service for people who are deaf or hard
of hearing. Requests for the provision of a sign language interpreter requires some advance notice in order to ensure
arrangements can be made in due time. Similarly, people with physical disabilities who wish to attend public meetings
and whose activities of daily living require assistance could be accommodated with notice.
It is noted that while every attempt is made to fulfill requests for accommodation of special needs services at public
events, the notification may not be clearly indicated or adequately promoted in all departmental communication.
Notification that accommodation is available should also be clear and accessible.
The City of Toronto is committed to achieving accessibility to public meetings of people with disabilities and should
communicate in clear and accessible formats that accommodation will be made available with some advance notice.
Bernita Lee - 397-5251
Executive Director of Human Resources