Accessibilty at Conestoga

Conestoga College is committed to ensuring its programs, services and facilities are accessible to those studying, visiting and working at the college.

Conestoga’s AODA policies, procedures and multi-year plan outline the actions the college is taking to comply with the requirements of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) and the Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation (IASR).

Academic accommodations

Are you a Conestoga student? Learn about our accessible services through Accessible Learning.

Alternate formats

If you are visiting Conestoga and require something in an alternate format, call Information Services at 519-748-5220, ext. 3656 or email askme@conestogac.on.ca.

The purpose of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (AODA) is to ensure that all Ontarians have fair and equitable access to programs and services and to improve opportunities for persons with disabilities. The Act will eventually cover all of these areas:

  • Customer Service Standards
  • Information and Communication
  • Employment
  • Transportation
  • Built Environment

The Customer Service Standard was the first standard to become law as regulation. This standard provides guidelines and examples of how persons with disabilities can be served and accommodated when accessing services or participating in programs.

The next three standards - Information and Communication, Employment, and Transportation have been combined under one regulation, the Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation (IASR) . This is now law and the requirements are being phased in between 2011 and 2021. In addition to the standards listed above, there are also the General Requirements that apply across the IASR.

Please refer to the IASR Regulations document, which also includes the Timelines for Compliance with the IASR.

According to the Customer Service Standards, the college must ensure that:

  • Goods or services must be provided in a manner that respects the dignity and independence of persons with disabilities.
  • The provision of goods or services to persons with disabilities and others must be integrated unless an alternate measure is necessary, whether temporarily or on a permanent basis, to enable a person with a disability to obtain, use
    or benefit from the goods or services.
  • Persons with disabilities must be given an opportunity equal to that given to others to obtain, use and benefit from the goods or services. O. Reg. 429/07, s. 3 (2).

Your responsibilities

All employees will complete AODA Customer Service Standard training that includes information on:

  • The Accessibility Standard for Customer Service and how it will help welcome students with disabilities
  • How to assist students with different kinds of disabilities
  • How to help students who use assistive devices, like wheelchairs
  • How to welcome students who use service animals, such as guide dogs
  • What a support person does and how to help students who are accompanied by a support person
  • What to do when a student with a disability needs help accessing goods and services

Training is provided at the time of hiring and on an ongoing basis.

Further information is available below regarding accessible communications.

As well, to assist staff and faculty in their work with people of varying abilities, we have developed a Teaching tips handout (pdf) and a Customer service guide (pdf).

Your rights

Employees of Conestoga and qualified job applicants selected for an interview are eligible for accommodation if they require it.

Employees with disabilities who require accommodation should submit a written request to their supervisor. This request should include documentation reflecting the nature of the request, medical grounds for the request, and any other appropriate supporting information.

More detailed information on the process is contained in the Accommodation for employees with disabilities procedure.

AODA training

Training is an important part of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) which mandates wide-scale education on topics such as: customer service, accessible education and human rights.

Technical issues

Please note: The training modules are currently not working. New employees who require this training will be contacted when the modules are fixed.

Customer Service: In this 17-minute module, you will learn about the AODA’s Customer Service Guidelines as well as how to recognize and respond to students who have specific types of disabilities. This workshop must be completed by all Conestoga faculty, administrators and support staff.

IASR and the Ontario Human Rights Code: In this 40-minute module, you will learn about the four standards for new Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation:  Transportation, Built Environment, Information and Communications, and Employment. As part of this module, you will review five videos developed by the Ontario Human Rights Commission on the AODA and the Ontario Human Rights Code. This workshop must be completed by all Conestoga faculty, administrators and support staff.

Making Education Accessible: In this 15-minute module, Conestoga educators will learn more about Accessibility at Conestoga, Designing Accessible Education, the Accessibility Mandate at Conestoga and Ideas for Increasing Classroom Accessibility. This workshop must be completed by all Conestoga educators (e.g. faculty, technologists, technicians and Chairs).

Conestoga College is committed to ensuring that its programs, services, and facilities are accessible. Our journey to accessibility is guided by the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA). As a result of AODA legislation, all Ontario organizations are expected to "upon request provide or arrange for the provision of accessible formats and communication supports for persons with disabilities".

Typically accessible communication refers to either converting a document into an alternate format (such as braille) or formatting a document when it is being created so that can be more easily accessed by persons with disabilities.

The Accessibility Services department's Adaptive Technology Lab is your contact should you have a request to provide a document in an alternate format (such as braille or TTY).

Note: If you are an employee, and do not have Microsoft Office 2016 on your work computer, contact the IT Service Desk at 519-748-5220 x3444, to have it installed, or visit the IT Downloads page. Using Office 2016 will enable you to use all of the accessibility features in Word, Excel and PowerPoint.

Alternate formats

Alternate formats involve the conversion of information from one format into another in order to make the content more accessible. Conestoga's Accessibility Policy and Multi-year Plan details the range of general, academic and library resources that are eligible for conversion into an alternate format.

The most common examples of alternate formats is the conversion of print material into:

  • Large print
  • Braille
  • Audio/mp3
  • Daisy
  • Electronic Text
  • TTY
  • Kurzweil

If a student requires course material in an alternate format as part of their academic accommodation, Accessibility Services will work with the faculty and the student to make sure it is provided in a timely way. For any questions around alternate formats call the Adaptive Technology Lab at 519-749-5220 ext. 3643.

If you are a visitor to Conestoga and require something in an alternate format, please email askme@conestogac.on.ca.

Captioning

Conestoga's commitment to accessible media

In an ongoing effort to meet the needs of our community, Conestoga is committed to providing captioning and describing web videos. Moving forward, the expectation is that:

  • new videos are purchased with closed captioning and described video or with the permissions to add them
  • appropriate permissions are obtained from the copyright holder prior to downloading and/or captioning any video found on the Internet
  • Conestoga created videos will be captioned prior to upload/distribution

Who does this apply to?

This information applies to all staff, faculty, administrators, and third party providers for all areas of Conestoga who wish to post video online for use by Conestoga students.

What are the top reasons that Conestoga needs to caption?

Captioned videos allow you to:

  • Make your content fully accessible to people who have hearing loss.
  • Reach all members of our learning community, including visual learners.
  • Compensate for noisy backgrounds or where sound isn’t allowed.
  • Provide a solution for poor audio quality.
  • Allow you to quickly browse the video by reading the associated text as you drag the controller
  • View the correct spellings of people, places, and things.
  • Catch details that normally go unnoticed.
  • Meet or exceed compliance with the W3C Web Accessibility Guidelines adapted by the AODA in Ontario.
  • Provide additional support for people who are learning English as a second language.

What is captioning?

Closed captioning displays audio as text on-screen synchronized with the dialogue of the speaker.

What difference does captioning and visual description make to a person who is hard of hearing or deaf?

The video, “Why Captioned Media?” provides a useful example of the added benefit of closed captioning.

Why is a transcript not enough?

Transcripts are only appropriate if there is no way a video can be captioned fast enough. Try reading a transcript and watching a video silently at the same time. Much of the meaning will be lost to the viewer because it is impossible to properly review two different formats at the same time.

Can an American Sign Language (ASL) interpreter just interpret the video for the student?

  • It is difficult for an ASL interpreter to keep up with the pace of a video which usually moves along more quickly than regular conversation.
  • It is difficult for a student to watch an interpreter and a video at the same time.

What is the process for captioning at Conestoga?

Faculty will be alerted to the need to caption videos through an accommodation letter or request, usually emailed to the faculty. The letter will request captioning of all videos and turning on captioning for all videos shown in class.

Faculty should contact the media technician in the library to discuss the options for captioning non-faculty created videos. Be aware that the process for captioning a video may be lengthy.

To learn about how an instructor can create captions for videos delivered through eConestoga, please contact eConestoga@conestogac.on.ca.

What is Described Video?

Described Video is a secondary audio stream that describes nonverbal actions and graphics displaying on-screen during a video. This allows Visually Impaired Persons to understand actions, illustrations, and other visual elements of a media object.

What is the process around described video?

Faculty will be alerted to the presence of a low vision or blind student in their class through an accommodation letter. The letter will request that all videos be reviewed to see if Described Video is necessary. Some videos are highly descriptive already. The student can review the material ahead of time to ensure they can access all of the content.

Faculty should contact the media technician in the library to discuss the options for descriptive audio for non-faculty created videos. Be aware that the process may be lengthy.

To learn about how an instructor can create a description track for videos delivered through eConestoga, please contact eConestoga@conestogac.on.ca.

If a descriptive video accommodation has been received from Accessibility Services, descriptive audio must be turned on in every class.

Who can help me with this process?

  • The library’s media technician, Jennevie Orio-Bebel ext. 2808

Copyright and captioning

Written permission from the copyright owner is required before any audiovisual work can be closed captioned. For more information about copyright-related to audiovisual materials, please see our copyright guide or contact the library’s media technician Jennevie Orio-Bebel.

Creating accessible content

Need help creating accessible content? Visit our SharePoint site for a variety of resources.

Conestoga College is committed to making conestogac.on.ca as accessible and usable as possible.

Assistive technology

The Conestoga College website should be compatible with recent versions of the following screen readers:

  • Jaws
  • ZoomText
  • NVDA
  • VoiceOver

The site should also be compatible with screen magnifiers and speech recognition software.

How do I change the text size and screen resolution?

Depending on which web browser you are using, this can be done in the following ways:

  • Internet Explorer: select View > Text size
    or hold Ctrl and roll your mouse wheel if you have one
  • Mozilla Firefox: select View > Text size
    or hold Ctrl and roll your mouse wheel if you have one
  • Opera: select View > Zoom
    or hold Ctrl and roll your mouse wheel if you have one
  • Safari: select View > Make text bigger
    or hold Ctrl and roll your mouse wheel if you have one

Alternatively, you can change the resolution of your computer screen to make the entire screen display larger or smaller. Depending on which sort of computer you are using, this can be done in the following ways:

  • Microsoft Windows computer:
    select Start > Control Panel > Display > Settings
  • Apple Macintosh computer:
    select System Preferences > Displays > Resolution

How do I change the colours?

You can use your web browser options to choose your own colours. Depending on which web browser you are using, this can be done in the following ways:

  • Internet Explorer: select Tools > Internet Options > General > Colors
  • Mozilla Firefox: select Tools > Options > Content > Colors
  • Opera: select Tools > Preferences > Fonts and Page Style
  • Safari: select Safari > Preferences > Appearance

Conformance to standards

We strive to meet the World Wide Web Consortium’s Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0, in accordance with the Accessibility Standard for Information and Communications of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act.

Tools and programs

We rely upon the following tools to help us ensure that conestogac.on.ca is as accessible as possible:

Leave feedback

You should contact us if you have trouble using conestogac.on.ca. We welcome your suggestions for helping us to make improvements.