Region of York, Lisa Gonsalves

Across the Region and the Province, The Regional Municipality of York is considered a best practice leader and accessibility champion. As the Director responsible for this portfolio, Lisa is central to this important work, both behind the scenes and in the spotlight, always committed, hard-working and passionate about accessibility and disability issues. Lisa’s achievements include:

“Innovation, Forward Thinking and Sustainability”

Always one to say yes to opportunities to help further accessibility, Lisa’s achievements include:

• Consulting with the Province of Ontario to influence the proclamation of the Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2001 (ODA)
• Embedding accessibility champions throughout the corporation from the Regional Chairman to across all senior management
• Leading the Region in implementing the ODA and the transition of the organization to the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (AODA)
• Leading the development of York Region's ODA framework and planning processes
• Leading the creation and recruitment process for York Region's first Accessibility Advisory Committee
• Leading the embedment of accessibility into Regional service delivery and business planning practices, with over 750 accessibility initiatives implemented across all departments and York Regional Police
• One of the founding members of the Ontario Network of Accessibility Professionals (ONAP) which connects accessibility professionals across Ontario
• Creating a culture in York Region that considers accessibility in everything that we do

 “Positively and Measurably Advance the Accessibility Experience”

Above and beyond compliance with accessibility legislation, Lisa leads strategic solutions to establish a progressively accessible organizational culture including:

• Leading the creation of, and being awarded a Government of Ontario EnAbling Change grant to develop an online Accessibility Self-Assessment Tool for Organizations to measure accessibility in organizations over time
• Leading the development of AODA training modules that offer employees and volunteers more than is legislated for stronger corporate accessibility
• Leading to the creation of the York Region AODA Staff Committee which was responsible for ensuring the ADOA was successfully implemented across the Region and then morphing the committee into the Diversity and Inclusion Staff Committee that focuses on creating a welcoming and inclusion workplace with accessibility at the forefront
• Demonstrating her commitment to accessibility issues outside of the workplace as a member of the Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO) Barrier Free Working Group