How does it work?

FAQs: Beyond Compliance: Accessibility Self-Assessment Tool for Organizations

See the guidebook for details about the development, contents and use of Beyond Compliance: Accessibility Self-Assessment Tool for Organizations. The following FAQs are provided for quick reference:

Why was this accessibility self-assessment tool developed?

Ontario’s accessibility legislation establishes a strong foundation for creating an accessible Ontario. Many organizations that have completed what is required by law want to go beyond compliance and are looking for best practices to follow, but there are few resources for organizations to turn to. Beyond Compliance: Accessibility Self-Assessment Tool for Organizations was developed to help fill that gap and increase access for people of all abilities in organizations.

How does the Beyond Compliance assessment tool work?

Beyond Compliance is organized under six key areas of organizational responsibility, with questions that are based on best practices to create an accessible organization. After you complete an area you receive an assessment of your organization on a scale from preparation to action, with a percentage result. Based on your answers your organization can see where it lies on the accessibility spectrum for that area, as well as overall. You then identify areas to improve and strategies to complete those tasks. Reassessment on a scheduled basis can show organizational change over time.

How was the tool developed?

Beyond Compliance was produced by The Regional Municipality of York with support from the Government of Ontario. It was created by a team of experts in the fields of accessibility, research and evaluation survey development. All components of this tool are based on best practices in the broad area of organizational accessibility within Ontario, Canada, and North America. Organizations from all sectors across Ontario participated in the development of the tool including focus groups and pilot testing. See the acknowledgements page for a list of participating organizations.

How do I begin?

Use of the tool is confidential. To gain access to the tool you will need to go to the login page and create a password. This password can be shared with colleagues to allow collaboration and sharing of results. The first time you login you will link to an anonymous demographics survey. Subsequent logins will bypass this page and move you directly into the tool.

Can I check out the online tool before deciding to use it in my organization?

You must login to explore the tool’s online features. The guidebook and instructional video have been designed to provide information about the tool’s development, contents, use and features. The guidebook includes the assessment questions at a glance and can be downloaded and printed. You can also use these resources to promote the use of the tool to other potential users in your organization.

Why is demographic information being collected?

The Government of Ontario has a goal of creating an accessible Ontario by 2025. To help measure this, this assessment tool will collect information about the types of organizations interested in being accessibility champions by using it. All results are anonymous, non-identifying and are not traced back to your organization.

Who has access to the assessment results?

Only your organization will have access to your answers. All results are anonymous, non-identifying and are not traced back to your organization. Though a database will exist with the information, the use of login codes will ensure that your personal answers remain anonymous. The Government of Ontario may use some of the anonymous data to help measure progress towards creating an accessible Ontario by 2025.

Who should participate in filling out the assessment?

Beyond Compliance is not meant to be a survey completed by all staff in an organization. Respondents should be individuals who can respond insightfully to questions regarding the accessibility of your organization. Depending on the type and size or your organization, the leadership team, board members and additional key staff members may be the right respondent group. Different sections can also be completed by different content experts.

Can multiple users complete the assessment?

Simply share the login name and password to allow collaboration and sharing of results between multiple users. You can choose to complete the self-assessment in a group setting or individually, with results shared back and forth online. You have the option to record comments or questions to colleagues in a text box provided for each question. The tool has also been designed so multiple users can be working on it at the same time.

Note: Please keep your login and password in a safe place. To ensure anonymity lost login and password information cannot be retrieved. If you forget your login or password, you will have to re-register and will lose all progress.

How is the tool organized?

The tool is organized under six key areas of organizational responsibility: leadership, communication, training and professional development, employment practices, goods and services, and physical spaces. Your organization can choose to assess all six areas or pick the one or more areas you want to work on first. Areas not assessed now can be assessed at a later date.

What is the measurement scale for each question?

The best practice measurements represent what is needed to have an increasingly accessible organization. Since it is a self-assessment tool, an organization should evaluate itself honestly against each question. The measurement scale for each question is:

5 = Currently Implemented
4 = Mostly Implemented
3 = Early Stages of Implementation
2 = Planning Stages
1 = Not Yet Planned

This measurement scale is then reflected in the assessment results and the organization can use those results to inspire changes to its operations and practices.

What happens at the conclusion of my assessment?

When your assessment is complete you can download and save your assessment and then will have the opportunity to complete your assessment. Upon pressing the complete button, your assessment session will be finalized and you will no longer be able to change or access your results. You are encouraged to re-assess your organization and implement new accessibility strategies on a scheduled basis. Each time you re-assess your organization you will create a new user name and login account.

How often should this self-assessment be repeated?

Beyond Compliance provides an aggregate view of your organization’s accessibility and helps you identify new initiatives for improvement. Repeated on a scheduled basis the tool can also track change in your organization over time. For optimal use it is suggested that the assessment be completed every 12 to 18 months and that similar positions in the organization complete it for consistency.

What are the internet requirements for this online tool?

Beyond Compliance requires a broadband internet connection and a modern standards-based Web browser, such as current versions of Chrome or Firefox, Safari 9, Android Browser 4, Internet Explorer 11 or higher.