York Region takes unprecedented steps to help organizations and businesses become more accessible

New online accessibility self-assessment tool is being launched in York Region, the first of its kind in Canada

NEWMARKET, ON, Aug. 24, 2016 /CNW/ - The Regional Municipality of York has launched a new voluntary, web-based resource to help organizations and businesses identify what they can do to become more accessible. Beyond Compliance: Accessibility Self-Assessment Tool for Organizations was developed by York Region as an EnAbling Change Project with the Government of Ontario and is the first of its kind in Canada.

"York Region is strongly committed to helping our organizations and businesses become more inclusive and welcoming to people with disabilities," said York Region Chairman and CEO Wayne Emmerson. "People of all abilities have something valuable to offer and this new tool will help ensure we can attract and retain our best and brightest employees."

This revolutionary new tool is free, confidential and easy to use. After completing an online survey about leadership, communication, employment practices, goods and services, training and development and physical spaces, organizations are provided with information and resources for accessibility improvement.

Beyond compliance does not measure an organization's compliance with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA), the tool is designed to help organizations identify what they can do to go above and beyond basic compliance.

An estimated 149,500 York Region residents over the age of 15 are living with a disability. As York Region's population continues to grow this number will increase, demonstrating the importance of businesses and organizations to become even more accessible and inclusive.

To begin an assessment, please visit beyondcompliancetool.ca 

For more details on the tool and what York Region is doing to a create more inclusive region, visit york.ca/inclusiveYR  

The Regional Municipality of York consists of nine cities and towns and provides a variety of programs and services to almost 1.2 million residents, 50,000 businesses and 580,000 employees. More information about the Region's key service areas is available at york.ca/regionalservices 

SOURCE York Region

Image with caption: "Government of Ontario (CNW Group/York Region)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20160824_C7239_PHOTO_EN_759168.jpg

Image with caption: "York Region (CNW Group/York Region)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20160824_C7239_PHOTO_EN_759170.jpg

Audio with caption: "Interview with Kim Adeney, Accessibility, Program Manager with York Region". Audio available at: http://stream1.newswire.ca/media/2016/08/24/20160824_C7239_AUDIO_EN_759207.mp3

For further information: Media Contact: Ben Sangster, Health Educator - Public Relations, The Regional Municipality of York, Phone: 1-877-464-9675 ext. 72131, Email: ben.sangster@york.ca

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