May 16, 2013

Regional Accessibility Forums 2013:  Engaging Effectively with your Community

An update from Diya Gill, Manager of Education

I am pleased to give readers and update on the Regional Accessibility Forums being hosted by the Accessibility Directorate of Ontario (ADO) in partnership with OMSSA, as well as to draw your attention to the guides OMSSA has developed in conjunction with this work.

May 16, 2013


Regional Accessibility Forums 2013:  Engaging Effectively with your Community

An update from Diya Gill, Manager of Education

I am pleased to give readers and update on the Regional Accessibility Forums being hosted by the Accessibility Directorate of Ontario (ADO) in partnership with OMSSA, as well as to draw your attention to the guides OMSSA has developed in conjunction with this work.

The first three forums, held in New Liskeard, Sault Ste. Marie and Burlington, have been very well received. These forums brought together members of municipal Accessibility Advisory Committees (AACs) and municipal staff who work with and support these committees to network with colleagues from other municipalities. Local community organizations who work with or provide services to people with disabilities also attended.

Each event provided:

  • §  A legislative review, updates, and latest resources from the Accessibility Directorate to assist attendees in implementing the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act and making Ontario accessible.
  • §  Presentations from municipalities such as Huntsville and Orangeville on some of the key success strategies they have put in place to make their communities accessible.
  • §  A discussion on using social media tools to engage with community and municipality, and the challenges in ensuring accessibility of this media.
  • §  Keynote address by Victoria Nolan, Paralympian (Rowing).
  • §  A presentation by OMSSA on their work in developing guides for conducting accessible public engagement.

The presentations from these forums will be posted on OMSSA’s website once the forums have all concluded. Three more forums remain and are still open for registration - Toronto - May 22, 2013, London - May 29, 2013, and Ottawa - June 20, 2013 (immediately after the OMSSA Learning Symposium.)


New resources from OMSSA on Conducting Accessible Public Engagement

OMSSA has developed two resource guides with financial support and expertise provide by the Accessibility Directorate of Ontario’s EnAbling Change Partnership Program.

The guides provide tips, strategies and pull-out checklists to help public sector, non-profit and private sector organizations make their public or stakeholder engagement accessible.  They have been written in a format that makes them easily applicable to any organization, whether public sector, non-profit or private sector.

The resources are:

  • Guide to Accessible Public Engagement - This guide provides tips and strategies on how to engage with people with disabilities in an accessible and inclusive community consultation process of public decision-making.
  • Guide to Conducting Accessible Meetings - This guide provides checklists and tips on how to make the process and mechanics of meetings accessible.

Both guides are available in printable (PDF) and accessible (Word) formats in both English and French.   Click here to download.


Ontario Government Outlines Strategies to Support Northern Municipalities

Last week Premier Kathleen Wynne met with leaders from Northern Ontario communities and highlighted several strategies that would create jobs and help grow Northern economies. As part of the 2013 Budget, the province has proposed a $100 million fund for small, rural, and Northern municipalities to address roads, bridges and other critical infrastructure.

Ontario Government Offering More Support to Study and Train in French

Premier Kathleen Wynne announced new support that will help more Francophone students study in French in the field of their choice.

Starting in 2013-14, Ontario's Francophone students who travel a minimum of 80 kilometres to attend full-time studies in French will qualify for the Ontario Distance Grant, no matter where they live in the province. The grant will expand opportunities for approximately 1,000 more Francophone students to study in French anywhere in Ontario.

The government is committed to supporting a prosperous Francophone community in Ontario through initiatives in education, health and culture.


Statistics Canada Releases Resources on Education Indicators in Canada

The Pan-Canadian Education Indicators Program (PCEIP) provides a statistical portrait of the elementary, secondary and postsecondary education systems through the following products:

Tables - These tables update or add to those published in previous issues of Education Indicators in Canada: Report of the Pan-Canadian Education Indicators Program.

Fact sheets – The Education Indicators in Canada: Fact Sheets series provides an "at-a-glance" overview of particular aspects of education in Canada and summarizes key data trends in selected tables.

Education Indicators in Canada: An International Perspective – This annual report combines international statistics from the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) with comparable provincial and territorial figures. The first report was published in September 2009.

HandbookEducation Indicators in Canada: Handbook for the Pan-Canadian Education Indicators Program provides brief, general descriptions of the data sources and methodology behind the indicators.

The Pan-Canadian Education Indicators Program (PCEIP) is an ongoing initiative of the Canadian Education Statistics Council, a partnership between Statistics Canada and the Council of Ministers of Education, Canada. PCEIP products are prepared by the two organizations in collaboration with the provincial and territorial departments and ministries responsible for education and training. They are aimed at policy makers, practitioners and the general public.


Video from the CCPA Budget Forum featuring Kevin Page

On April 25th, the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives hosted a forum on the changing nature of federal budgets, featuring former Parliamentary Budget Officer Kevin Page. As the keynote speaker, Mr. Page delivered a captivating talk about his time as Canada’s first PBO, and featured a budget panel, including Peter Devries, Mario Seccareccia, Sylvain Schetagne, and David Macdonald.

The event is now available online via The Canadian Parliamentary Affairs Channel (CPAC) in two parts:

Kevin Page at the Podium: Mr. Page speaks about his experience as Canada’s first Parliamentary Budget Officer, how he envisioned the new office, the challenges he faced, and the future of the PBO.

Panel Discussion: Panelists evaluate the 2013 federal budget and whether it addresses the big macroeconomic challenges facing the country.

The Public Affairs Association of Canada 2013 Annual Conference

The Public Affairs Association of Canada is hosting their 2013 Annual Conference

The Art & Science of Public Affairs: Tactics for Today and Tomorrow on June 4, 2013.

The conference is being held at Ladner Gervais LLP Scotia Plaza, Suite 4400, 40 King Street West in Toronto.

For further details visit  or register online.





Delta Ottawa City Centre

June 16-19, 2013


Registration is now open!





The theme of the 2013 OMSSA Learning Symposium, Whole Child = Whole Community, advances the vision that an environment that supports the healthy development and well-being of children is also one that supports all community members.  Through plenary sessions, workshops and interactive methods, this conference will highlight how addressing and integrating issues of poverty, housing, early learning and child care, and employment for the whole community is critical to providing an environment conducive to the healthy growth of children.


With over twenty workshop sessions, three educational tours, networking breakfasts with provincial colleagues, engaging networking opportunities and the Mardi Gras themed awards banquet, this conference offers something for everyone. 

Click here to access the conference website and mobile program, including registration forms.  


Here is just a sample of some of the sector specific workshops being offered:


Children’s Services:

  • No Data, No Problem, No Action: The Early Development Instrument in Action
  • The National Longitudinal Survey of Children and Youth: Understanding the Data
  • Improving Quality in Licensed Child Care in Rural Ontario


Housing and Homelessness:

  • Good Spaces:  Using Good Design Principles to Create Safe Places for At Risk Communities.
  • Investing in Housing and Homelessness Through Municipal-Community Collaboration: The case of Ottawa
  • Building Families' Futures & Opportunities Through Habitat Ownership


Income and Employment:

  • Generation Green: Youth Synergy for Building Efficiency
  • Unlocking the Potential of our Youth
  • Movement to Improvement: Developing Skills for Employability in At Risk Clients


Front Line Staff:

  • Understanding the Social Assistance Management System (SAMS) World
  • Building your Leadership Energy
  • Compassion for You: Compassion Fatigue Support for Human Service Providers


Other sessions include

  • Poster session offering over 20 projects and initiatives celebrating successes in human services
  • Impact of Changes to the French Language Services Act on Third Party Providers: Putting Action into Words
  • Looking Beyond the Food Bank the Transformation to a Community Food Centre
  • Impact Investing and New Funding Models 
  • Working with Rural Partners
  • No Wrong Door
  • Building your Leadership Energy
  • The Other Side Of Austerity
  • Social Determinants of Health: a Life Course Perspective
  • New Directions in Child Welfare
  • Making Public Engagement Accessible          
  • And many more!


For details, exhibit, and partnership opportunities or if you have any questions and require assistance navigating the conference website please contact Christie Abramovic, Events Coordinator at .  For registration inquiries please contact Meagan Shepherd at .



Upcoming OMSSA Education Opportunities!           

Ontario Works Directives

London – May 27 – 29, 2013

Toronto - September 17 - 19, 2013

Click here to Register


This interactive 3 day course will provide you the opportunity to research and apply the new Directives to real life case studies. Refresh your knowledge of the Directives in preparation for the roll out of your SAMS later in 2013!

Additional Information


Email and other Electronic Communications: The

new rules for writing and getting action

Webinar - June 4, 2013 (10:00am – 11:30pm)

Click here to Register

E‐mail is fast and easy for senders, but can be stressful for receivers.  Understanding this imbalance is key to making effective use of e‐mail. Attend this webinar to gain skills and tips to ensure your messages get attention and action.

Additional Information


Effective Risk Based Decision Making: Managing Risk in Working with Community Human Services

June 5 - 6, 2013 - North Bay

September 26 – 27 - Toronto

Click here to Register

Understand how risk management principles apply to human services, and how to apply risk management concepts to improve and support your decision making process. Attend this workshop to learn how to incorporate risk mitigation strategies into your organizational systems, strategies, and decision making practices.

Additional information