FSCO's AODA Report Card for 2013

The Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO) is responsible for regulating insurance, pension plans, credit unions and caisses populaires, mortgage brokering, loan and trust companies, and co-operative corporations in Ontario.   FSCO’s legislative mandate is to provide regulatory services that protect the public interest and enhance public confidence in the sectors it regulates.


FSCO is committed to providing exceptional service to the public and other clients.   Access to our services by persons with disabilities is one of our key customer service commitments.   We recognize that implementing initiatives to improve accessibility, helps reach more people now and will prepare us for the future.


FSCO’s 2012-2018 multi-year accessibility plan outlines the policies and actions FSCO will implement to provide accessible services to all of its stakeholders based on the requirements of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) and related regulations. This Annual Report Card summarizes what FSCO has done as of December 31, 2013 to meet and exceed the requirements.


Customer Service

What is it?

FSCO is committed to ensuring that people with disabilities experience excellent customer service that not only meets, but exceeds their expectations. This includes all interactions with our clients over the telephone, in-person or by e-mail. To do this, staff need to know about the barriers faced by persons with disabilities and how they can be accommodated.

Why it is important:

People with disabilities should have the same kind of access to services as everyone else.

What we did:

All FSCO staff received customer service training, regardless of whether or not they have front-line interactions with members of the public. Staff learned how to provide appropriate, equitable and respectful customer service.


Training was focussed on a number of important areas including improving our ability to:
  • Recognize different barriers faced by people with disabilities
  • Distinguish the specific needs of people with different disabilities
  • Respond appropriately to a customer with a disability
  • Learn what to do if a person with a disability is having difficulty accessing services
  • Understand and review the legal requirements of the customer service standard

This training is also provided to new staff as part of FSCO’s orientation training and is completed within 4 months of their hire date.


Information & Communications

What is it?

FSCO is committed to communicating with persons with disabilities in ways that take into account their disability. This means staff will communicate in a way that enables people with disabilities to communicate effectively for purposes of using, receiving and requesting FSCO services and facilities. FSCO interacts with its customers by written correspondence, email, FSCO’s website, TTY, or in person.

Why it is important:

For FSCO to become a leader in accessibility for all stakeholders, it is important that all information and communication material be available in an accessible format.

What we did:

FSCO completed the first three phases of its website and web content accessibility plan which was developed from the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG).  For more information on WCAG you can visit the Web Accessibility Initiative website [New Window].


Phase One included a website accessibility status and infrastructure, capability and risk assessments.


Phase Two consisted of training and infrastructure modification.  Appropriate staff have been trained with the specifics of WCAG 2.0 level A & AA. Additionally, industry standard software has been installed on web developer’s and tester’s computers. Accessible HTML templates have been created and are in use.  All new website content and new forms created as of January 1, 2014, will have an accessible version available.


Phase Three involved website content. Content created before December 31, 2011 that does not already conform to WCAG 2.0 Level A has been updated to WCAG 2.0 Level AA. Web content created between January 1, 2012 and December 31, 2013 meets WCAG 2.0 level A requirements. Content created after January 2014 will be WCAG 2.0 Level AA compliant.


An accessible version of the Financial Services Tribunal website was created - and it meets the WCAG 2.0 level A requirements for both new and existing content.


Employment Standards

What is it?

FSCO will continue to develop and implement employment practices to encourage persons with disabilities to participate fully in all aspects of the organization.

Why it is important:

It’s the law. Employers must provide employment accommodation, to the point of undue hardship. Beyond legislative requirements, the benefits of employment accommodation are widely recognized as important factors in contributing to organizational and personal wellness.

What we did:

FSCO developed an internal site which provides management with easy access to tools and resources to address accessibility and other human resource matters. This portal site includes:
  • Employment Accommodation & Return To Work Operating Policy
  • Employment Accommodation Preparation Key Steps & Guidance
  • Employment Accommodation & Return to Work Protecting Privacy Facts
  • Direct access to the OPS wellness site which has a variety of other resources.


What is it?

FSCO purchases various goods and services to ensure it is able to meet its mandate. As an agency of the Government of Ontario, FSCO purchases goods and services in accordance with government procurement policies and practices.  Accessible procurement considers the needs of people with disabilities at all stages of the procurement process.

Why it is important:

It is important for our processes to be inclusive. Goods and/or services that are accessible not only meet the needs of people with disabilities but are beneficial to the general public as well.
In addition, when accessibility is considered at the outset, projects are better designed and costly changes can be avoided.

What we did:

In order to meet AODA requirements regarding procurement, FSCO has implemented a detailed checklist to address procurement issues as they affect FSCO. This checklist asks staff responsible for the procurement to:
  • Review the definitions of “disability”, “barrier” and “accessibility”.
  • Conduct an assessment to determine whether these types of goods or services could create barriers for people with disabilities, whether they are members of the public or OPS employees.
  • Include accessibility considerations in the procurement business case.
  • Develop the related procurement documents and include relevant accessibility specifications based on the barriers identified.
  • Document and retain information relating to r compliance with accessibility requirements.
  • Ensure that the successful vendor meets their accessibility obligations throughout the term of the contract.


What is it?

FSCO is committed to training all staff on Ontario’s accessibility laws and on the Human Rights Code as it relates to people with disabilities. Through ongoing education and awareness, FSCO will give staff the knowledge and skills they need to meet or exceed compliance requirements.  This will include providing alternate formats, hosting accessible meetings and creating documents, processes and policies with accessibility in mind.

Why it is important:

Accessibility training gives both management and employees the practical knowledge and tools to apply to their everyday work.

What we did:

FSCO implemented mandatory training on the Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation (IASR) and Ontario Human Rights Code. The training provided an overview of the IASR and the action the OPS is taking to comply, as well as understanding how the Human Rights Code relates to standards under the AODA and the rights of people with disabilities. The target date for completion was December 31, 2013. As of that date not all staff completed the training. Follow up activity was initiated to ensure all staff complete the training by April 30, 2014.


Additional training sessions were offered:

  • Training of Web and Forms Editors to create accessible HTML and PDF documents.
  • Training of Web Coordinator in Accessibility Guidelines and Best Practices.
  • Training for the web developers on the specifics of WCAG 2.0, level A & AA
  • All-staff awareness campaigns on different disabilities and available resources.
  • FSCO management training on the Attendance Management Program and Performance Management have been updated to include AODA/accommodation plan implications.

Our Commitment 

FSCO is committed to not only meeting accessibility requirements, but becoming a leader in accessibility in the Ontario Public Service. We are taking action on our initiatives and full implementation of the multi-year accessibility plan is our ultimate goal. We will continue to identify and remove barriers in order to create accessible spaces and services that everyone can use.

We would like to hear from you


We are still at the early stages of our accessibility transformation. To support our success in meeting the needs of our clients, we welcome any comments and suggestions on FSCO’s services, including whether our services were accessible.

Financial Services Commission of Ontario
5160 Yonge Street, 16th Floor
P.O. Box 85
Toronto, Ontario, M2N 6L9
Phone: 416 226 7850
Toll Free: 1 800 668 0128
TTY: 1 800 387 0584