In order to better meet the needs of its customers with mobility impairments, in 2007 the AMT created a disabled persons transport advisory committee. Discussions held during meetings with committee members served to lay the groundwork for the AMT’s Accessibility Policy, adopted in 2008.
The policy aims to maintain or improve accessibility and services for all users, in particular persons with disabilities or functional limitations, by reducing or, wherever possible, eliminating obstacles that impede their use.
The AMT website and accessibility
In May 2010, the Quebec Treasury Board adopted the Standard sur l'accessibilité d'un site Web (SGQRI 008-01), applicable to provincial government organization websites, by introducing an obligation to conform to the standard by May 9, 2012 at the latest. However, if organizations are unable to meet standards by this date, they must justify their failure to comply.
The AMT is making every effort to meet the standards set, but it must completely redesign its website in order to adequately meet the standards. The technologies and process used do not currently enable the agency to make the information accessible on its website. This redesign will be carried out over the course of 2013. For the time being, we are processing every accessibility request and we are striving to meet our customers’ needs.
From this perspective, the AMT’s Accessibility Policy is clear and mentions that the information on the network as well as the documentation distributed by the AMT and posted on its website must be accessible. In addition, the AMT is committed to gradually adapting its tools and information with a view to making them accessible.
The AMT develops an action plan and an accessibility development plan
Given the growing ageing population, it is predicted that an increasingly significant portion of public transit customers will face mobility and service accessibility challenges. This fact, coupled with a willingness to improve travel conditions for persons with functional limitations as well as the population as a whole, is guiding the agency’s actions. In this context, the AMT has adopted an Action plan with regard to handicapped persons as well as an Accessibility development plan stemming from its Accessibility Policy, which will provide a framework for measures to improve service accessibility. Eventually, all users will benefit from this overall accessibility improvement.
Action plan with regard to handicapped persons
The Action plan complies with article 61.1 of the Act to secure handicapped persons in the exercise of their rights with a view to achieving social, school and workplace integration (RSQ, chapter E-20.1). The Action plan with regard to handicapped persons is a corporate plan that deals with the accessibility of the head office, developments and acquisitions linked to the head office and communications. The topics covered include the hiring of handicapped persons and access to information. Established on a three-year basis, the plan is followed up annually. An internal committee composed of representatives from each unit works to meet the objectives.
Because the AMT’s activity sector is public transit, this aspect is the subject of another plan: the Accessibility development plan (art.67 of the Act). Passenger transport is therefore not addressed in the Action plan.
Accessibility development plan for the AMT network
This plan complies with article 67 of the Act to secure handicapped persons in the exercise of their rights with a view to achieving social, school and workplace integration (RSQ, chapter E-20.1). The Accessibility development plan aims to ensure, within a reasonable period, public transportation for handicapped persons within the territory served. This measure affects all of our projects and includes projects specific to improving accessibility.
Moreover, in addition to the accessibility of the regular network, the AMT is also responsible for supporting, expanding, coordinating and promoting paratransit services for persons with disabilities in the Greater Montreal Area. The AMT gives financial assistance to Para-Transit Agencies (PTA) via the Metropolitan paratransit aid program in order to support and integrate their services.