TVO Media Education Group (TVO) is delighted to present the TVO Accessibility Plan, in alignment with the Accessible Canada Act (2019) (the “ACA”) and in accordance with the CRTC Accessibility Reporting (the “Regulations”). As an organization committed to inclusivity and equal access for all, we recognize the importance of providing accessible content and services to individuals with disabilities. Our Accessibility Plan outlines our progress as well as strategies and initiatives to enhance accessibility, ensuring that our programming, services, and products reach and serve a diverse audience.
The Accessible Canada Act, which came into effect July 2019, seeks to create a barrier-free Canada by setting accessibility standards for organizations in various sectors, including broadcasting. It aims to promote and protect the rights of individuals with disabilities, fostering a society that values and supports their inclusion. At TVO, we are dedicated to embracing the principles and requirements of this legislation.
For over fifty years, TVO has served as the Ontario Government’s partner in educational communications, leveraging technology to bring new learning opportunities to communities across the province. Everything we do is rooted in our education mandate and the unique opportunity we have to provide content not found anywhere else in the Canadian broadcasting system.
TVO’s Accessibility Plan is a comprehensive roadmap that outlines our commitments, objectives, and actions to improve accessibility within our organization in accordance with the ACA and the requirements set out in the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (AODA). By implementing this plan, we aim to remove barriers and provide equal opportunities for individuals with disabilities to engage with our content and services.
By implementing our Accessibility Plan, we will not only meet the requirements of the Accessible Canada Act but also create a more inclusive broadcasting environment that celebrates the diversity of our audience. We are committed to monitoring our progress, reviewing our accessibility measures, and adjusting as needed to ensure continuous improvement.
If you wish to request TVO’s Accessibility Plan in an alternative format, or provide feedback, TVO can be reached by:
TVO Media Education Group
Box 200, Station Q
M4T 2T1 Canada
Main reception: 1-800-613-0513 or 416 484 2600
Customer Service: 1-800-463-6886 or 416-484-2665
TVO engaged various internal and external processes to develop the accessibility plan. Consultations assisted in engaging the principles of the AODA and ACA into action through discussions with and review by persons of disabilities, including Accessible Media Inc. (AMI), the Oakville Accessibility Advisory Committee, the Canadian National Institute for the Blind (CNIB), and the Alliance for Equality of Blind Canadians (AEBC). Additionally, the vendor contracted to support our compliance with WCAG 2.0 AA is comprised of a diverse team of engineers, programmers, eLearning experts, and consultants, many of whom have disabilities themselves.
TVO will actively continue to collaborate with disability organizations, advocacy groups, and experts to gather feedback, stay informed about emerging accessibility trends, and continuously improve our accessibility initiatives.
TVO is committed to creating an equitable workplace with a culture of inclusion in which every employee feels welcome, valued, respected, and included, with no barriers or limitations to where they can contribute and what they can achieve.
We believe in creating a workforce that reflects the diversity of the public we serve through equity in attracting, hiring, promoting and leadership opportunities for all employees and the full talent pool. We are continually reviewing our policies and our actions to identify and take action to address discriminatory practices so that we can take immediate action to address them.
TVO provides accommodation to employees and applicants with disabilities, including assistive technology, modified workstations, and accessible meeting spaces. We will also work with external organizations to provide accessibility-related accommodations as needed.
TVO informs its employees of its policies to support employees with disabilities, including but not limited to policies on the provision of employment accommodations that consider an employee’s accessibility needs.
The availability of accommodations is communicated to employees, candidates, and the public throughout the recruitment cycle. This includes advising of said availability when applicants are individually selected to participate in an assessment or selection process and notifying successful applicants of the policies for accommodating employees with disabilities. If a selected applicant requests an accommodation, TVO will consult with the applicant and provide or arrange for the provision of a suitable accommodation that considers the applicant’s disability.
TVO provides individualized workplace emergency response information to employees with disabilities as follows:
- If the disability is such that the individualized information is necessary, and the employer is aware of the need for accommodation due to the employee’s disability.
- If the employee who receives individual workplace emergency response information requires assistance and with the employee’s consent, TVO shall provide the workplace emergency information to the person designated by TVO to provide assistance to the employee.
- As soon as practical, after becoming aware of the need for accommodation due to the employee’s disability.
The individualized workplace emergency response information is reviewed when the employee moves to a different location in the organization, when overall accommodations needs or plans are reviewed, and when the employer reviews its general emergency response policies.
TVO provides ongoing training and resources to our employees, fostering awareness and understanding of accessibility principles. This enables us to better serve our audience and integrate accessibility into our daily operations.
Training programs have been developed and implemented to raise awareness among employees about accessibility requirements and best practices. Developers, content creators, and information technology personnel receive training on Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 AA. Accessibility Standards for Customer Service training is provided to all employees. Educators are also provided with accessibility awareness training related to accessible program or course delivery and instruction.
In addition, TVO’s commitment to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion promotes a sense of belonging in our organization. The development of the program has also included training sessions in intersectionality and unconscious biases at all levels.
Upon request, TVO provides educational or training resources or materials in an accessible format that considers accessibility needs due to the disability of the employee.
A record of all training is maintained and redeployed as necessary.
The Built Environment
TVO has 13 locations across Ontario, Canada (10 of which are owned and 3 of which are leased).
Although TVO is a tenant in its office building, we aim to ensure equal access and usability for all individuals, regardless of their abilities or disabilities, and strive to eliminate barriers and promote inclusivity, allowing everyone to navigate and use the built environment independently and with dignity. The office building and our occupied floors include the following to remove barriers:
- Accessible entrances are provided, including ramped access and elevators for individuals who use wheelchairs or have mobility impairments.
- Designated accessible parking spaces are provided.
- Accessible pathways and clear circulation routes including corridors and hallways wide enough to accommodate wheelchairs.
- Ramps and elevators to access different levels, with appropriate signage and wayfinding aids for individuals with visual impairments.
- Accessible restrooms are available on each level of TVO’s office, including space for wheelchair maneuverability, grab bars, and accessible sinks.
- Signage and information is provided in both visual and tactile formats. Braille and tactile signage is provided at and in the elevators.
- Spaces have been designed to accommodate assistive devices such as wheelchairs, walkers, or mobility aids. This includes ramps, elevators, and adjustable workstations.
- The Emergency Evacuation Plan ensures the safe evacuation of individuals with disabilities during emergencies.
- The current state of accessibility across our other built environment of spaces (transmitter sites) differs as accessibility requirements may vary depending on local building codes, regulations, standards, and year of construction.
Prevention of barriers is our primary goal and work is ongoing to remove barriers within existing spaces. We are actively engaged in identifying, removing, and preventing barriers through various means including removing obstructions from interior paths, improving ease of entrance, and deployment of our ergonomics policy for safe, efficient workspaces and for the prevention of ergonomic hazards.
Information and Communication Technologies (ICT)
TVO ensures that information and communication technology systems are accessible to individuals with disabilities. By adopting inclusive design principles and implementing accessibility standards, TVO enhances the usability and availability of its digital resources for all users.
TVO’s compliance with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 AA, throughout the development and maintenance of its ICT systems, ensures that all digital content, including websites, documents, and multimedia, is accessible to individuals with disabilities.
TVO regularly monitors and evaluates the accessibility of its ICT systems and performs periodic accessibility audits and testing to identify and address any accessibility gaps or issues. TVO has also established a maintenance plan to ensure continued compliance as technologies evolve.
By implementing this Accessibility Plan for ICT, TVO ensures that its digital resources are accessible to individuals with disabilities, promoting inclusivity and equal access to information. Regular reviews, monitoring, and continuous improvement support TVO’s commitment to maintaining and enhancing accessibility.
Communication and feedback processes (other than ICT)
Continuous and regular evaluation and feedback from users with disabilities help identify areas for improvement and ensure ongoing accessibility in accordance with TVO’s feedback processes filed with the CRTC on June 1, 2022.
TVO actively seeks feedback from individuals with disabilities to ensure that our products and services meet their needs. We have established accessible channels for communication and a feedback mechanism to receive comments, suggestions, and complaints related to accessibility. By ensuring that individuals with disabilities can reach out to us, provide input, and seek assistance regarding accessibility-related matters, we are able to use the information to continuously improve our accessibility practices.
Requests for an alternate format of our documents or feedback may be provided by telephone, in writing, electronically through our online form, electronically through email, in person, or through other reasonable methods. Feedback may be submitted anonymously.
The form requests the following information:
- Name and contact information, if not submitting anonymously
- The nature of the complaint
- A description of the issue
- Contact preference, if not submitting anonymously
With the exception of anonymous feedback, TVO will acknowledge receipt of all accessibility feedback.
If the form is being completed over the phone, the call will be handled and the form completed by the Manager of External Communications.
Once a feedback form has been received, it will be logged centrally through TVO’s Customer Relations department and sent to the VP, Impact who holds responsibility for forwarding the form to the appropriate TVO team or Manager for review and resolution.
Personal information contained in the form will be used for the purpose of responding to the request.
The Manager of External Communications or VP, Impact will contact the customer to inform them of the progress of the complaint and will provide a response following the completion of any investigation required.
Procurement of Goods and Services
TVO ensures that all new products and services purchased or developed are accessible to individuals with disabilities. TVO includes accessibility requirements in procurement processes and works with vendors to ensure that they understand and meet our accessibility standards.
When procuring products or services, consideration is given to accessibility requirements and ensures that they are included in procurement processes with vendors.
Design and Delivery of Programs and Services
At TVO, we strive to tell diverse stories, and to have the public see themselves in the stories we tell and in the content we produce. We are committed to being increasingly discerning about the images, content, and resources we provide to the public; and to ensuring they align with our belief in and commitment to dismantling unjust systems.
TVO strives to offer accessible programming across our broadcasting platforms, including closed captioning, audio description, and described video. We recognize the importance of making our content available to all viewers, regardless of their abilities.
Closed Captioning: 100% of TVO content is captioned 100% of the time for Broadcast. TVO also makes all content on its streaming platforms available with closed captioning. TVO uses the same high standards of closed captioning for online only content that it does for broadcast.
Audio Description: TVO’s on-screen hosts are trained inhouse on the need for audio description e.g., hosts will describe what is on-screen (charts, graphs, etc.) and read aloud any text slides that are used. Producers can also re-voice segments when the description is not satisfactory. Additionally, when graphics or visuals are used, TVO ensures that they are compliant and do not have competing words, etc.
Described Video: TVO currently averages 57 hours of described video per week of which two or more hours are new described video content. TVO is positioned to provide described video for programming broadcast between 7 p.m. and 11 p.m. (prime time), seven days a week when required by TVO’s Broadcast license. TVO will continue to offer described video on all repeat content that was initially broadcast with described video for the life of the program. TVO will also continue to offer described video for the same content if made available online (tvo.org and tvokids.com). For content that does not contain described video, TVO offers described text alternative files for TVO’s online platforms.
Diversity: At TVO, our strategic focus is to reflect diversity of cultures and viewpoints in all our content and programming. As such, we are discerning about the images, content and learning resources we provide, and we take great care to ensure that communities are represented accurately and are celebrated.
TVO understands that it is essential that all children see themselves in the media they consume. As such, we take great care to ensure that our programming features characters with different genders, body sizes, economic backgrounds, and challenges, and that they represent as many cultures as possible as. TVOkids’ approval of casting includes a prioritization of diverse lead characters/hosts, as well as all on-camera children’s performers.
TVO’s documentaries have a strong record of commissions and acquisitions featuring diverse stories that broaden the perspective of our viewers. We prioritize documentaries featuring underrepresented groups, including disability communities, as well as documentaries that highlight diverse histories, cultures, art, and geographic regions. Our Diversity Policy will include a quantitative benchmark to reflect these commissioning requirements.
TVO is not affected by the Transportation Standard but has ensured that staff are aware of any future changes and positive impact to public transportation.
Accessibility Plan Review
TVO will review and update this Accessibility Plan annually to ensure that it remains current and relevant. We will file our first progress report in accordance with the Regulations on June 1, 2024 which will demonstrate TVO’s ongoing steps to seek input from employees, customers, and external organizations to identify areas for improvement and address any barriers to accessibility.
By implementing this Accessibility Plan, TVO demonstrates its commitment to ensuring that all individuals, including those with disabilities, can access our products and services. We will work diligently to remove any barriers to accessibility and continuously improve our accessibility practices.
TVO demonstrates its commitment to accessibility by making it an integral part of our values, mission, and operations. We ensure that our products and services are accessible to individuals with disabilities, and we will continue to work to eliminate any barriers that may prevent people from accessing our services.