Planning for inclusion

Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) inclusive planning checklists

Integrating accessibility into your initial planning saves money and time (it’s far more expensive to retrofit). The resources on this page are designed to help you plan with accessibility and inclusivity in mind.

At the start of the planning process, ask yourself the following questions:

  1. Is accessibility a part of your planning from the start?
    1. Understand what accessibility means in the context of your project.
    2. Consider if your project supports the four principles of accessibility:
      1. Dignity – self-respect and the respect of others
      2. Independence – do things without unnecessary help from others
      3. Integration – same service, same way
      4. Equal Opportunity – same options, chances and benefits
    3. Include a statement with regards to accessibility in the terms of reference for committees, task forces and projects. The statement should indicate how accessibility concerns will be considered.
  2. Do you know the end users for your project?
    1. Consider:
      1. Who will interact with project/new service, and when
      2. What type of interactions?
      3. Are there impacts for certain types of disabilities?
    2. It may be useful to develop personas to assess end user impacts as you progress.
  1. Will your project design create barriers to accessibility?
    1. For example, in the Dana Porter Library, the positioning of recycle bins beside the elevator doors on one side and the floor directory on the other has meant that the garbage bin is often placed in front of the elevator button.
  2. Who are your stakeholders?
    1. Involve people with disabilities in your planning.
      1. The Co-ordinator for Library Services for Persons with Disabilities can link you with the campus AccessAbility Services.

Resources

Know your users

  1. Web Accessibility in Mind (WebAIM) has articles describing disability types and simulations of the effects of different disabilities.
  2. The Low Hanging Fruit of Web Accessibility (PDF) presentation from Drexel University gives four student personas, slides 9 to 12.
  3. Open Accessibility Everywhere Group (OAEG) has developed 
    personas of people with disabilities for a software development project. Curb Cut: Personas of Persons with Disabilities gives many more examples.
  4. We can develop personas to fit our own projects, as described in Accessibility in User-Centred Design: Personas.

Checklists:

Books:

Accessible design for the built environment
NA 2545. P5C35x 2004. Porter & Musagetes

Accessibility Information Toolkit for Libraries (from Ontario Council of University Libraries)

Clearing our path: universal design recommendations for people with vision loss
NA 2545. V57M32x 2009. Porter Controlled Access

Universal design in higher education: from principles to practice
LC 4818.38. U55 2008. Porter & Centre for Teaching Excellence

The universal design file: designing for people of all ages and abilities (PDF)
(from North Carolina State University)