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Accessibility committee

Summary

The Accessibility committee is a non-partisan advisory working group. It is made up of Québec electors who have personal or professional expertise on issues related to people with disabilities and the exercising of the right to vote. Its members advise us on matters of accessibility. This group is involved in developing solutions that promote voting among people with disabilities.

The Accessibility committee is made up of no more than nine Québec electors. Its members are appointed for a two-year renewable term.

In this section

Roles and responsibilities

Élections Québec:

  • Recruits and appoints the members.
  • Coordinates the work of the committee and sets the meeting agendas.
  • Chairs the meetings of the committee and provides the secretarial services.
  • Convenes the meetings, taking into account the Élections Québec’s calendar of activities and the availability of the largest number of members.
  • Coordinates travel and accommodations for the members.
  • Takes the necessary steps to make available, in the format preferred by each participant, the documents produced to support the work of the committee.
  • Makes the necessary adaptations to promote the contribution of all members to the discussions.
  • Ensures compliance with the operating rules and imposes sanctions in the case of non-compliance.
  • Is responsible for the minutes of Committee meetings and publishes them on its website after their approval by the members present. The minutes of meetings are written in such a way as to ensure the anonymity of the members.
  • Considers the members’ suggestions for improvements.
  • May, after consultation with the members, make changes to the operating rules of the Accessibility committee with a view to ensuring that the rules continue to meet the needs of the institution.

The members of the Accessibility committee:

  • Advise Élections Québec on matters of accessibility.
  • Propose solutions to Élections Québec and measures for meeting the expectations and needs of electors with disabilities.
  • Take part in the discussions and the work of the committee in a spirit of respect and co-operation.
  • Prepare adequately for the work of the committee, especially by reading the preparation documents provided to them prior to the meetings.
  • Attend the meetings regularly.
  • Give advance notice of any expected absence.
  • May consult experts, with the approval of Élections Québec or at the latter’s request, for the purpose of supporting their examination of the matters at hand.
  • Provide opinions to Élections Québec between meetings, as needed.

Members

Testimonials from the nine members of the Accessibility committee:

“In 2020, architectural or other barriers should not prevent citizens from exercising their right to vote in our province. Élections Québec’s Accessibility Committee, which I will have the pleasure of taking part in, will facilitate the achievement of that goal, which, in my opinion, is essential.”

“I’m someone who loves to keep abreast of today’s different political issues. I believe that it is very important for people to have access to information and to be able to vote.”

“Today, my experience allows me to come up with unifying observations and avenues of reflection that enable the various stakeholders to participate in discussions that focus on finding innovative solutions.”

“I have defended the principle of universal accessibility for many years. That’s why I’m happy to be participating collectively in the development of tools designed not only to foster full public participation, but also to ensure that all people can exercise their right to vote with complete autonomy, without exception.”

“I view my interactions with the world through the prism of accessibility. I am excited by the decision-making initiatives undertaken by and on behalf of individuals with disabilities.”

“To ensure that democracy is carried out fully and legitimately, everyone must have access to it. In that same spirit, I see the Accessibility Committee’s role as ensuring that all voters are able to exercise their fundamental right to vote, regardless of any disabilities.”

To come

“My journey over the past 20 years has led me to hone my problem-solving skills. The right to vote is the cornerstone of democracy. The way I see it, exercising that right is fundamental. That’s why I focus all my energy on finding solutions.”

“For many years, I have been personally and professionally involved in the promotion and implementation of universal accessibility in order to remove barriers and encourage the social participation of people with disabilities.”

Meetings of the committee

Frequency

The Accessibility committee will meet twice a year, as needed.

Location

Meetings will usually be held in Montréal or in our offices, in Québec City. To facilitate participation, the meeting location is determined based on the members’ place of residence.

language

The activities of the working group will be conducted in French. The documents needed for the group’s work will also be in French only.

Closed doors

Committee meetings are not open to the public. Only committee members, members of our personnel and any experts invited by the latter may attend. On the other hand, the minutes of the meetings will be made public. Everything said during the meetings, however, shall remain anonymous. Hence, the minutes of the meetings are written in such a way as to ensure the anonymity of the members (who said what).

Allowance and reimbursement of travel expenses

The members receive an allowance equal to $250 per day (taxable) for their participation in the meetings. The allowance covers preparation time prior to meetings, travel time to Québec City or the location planned for the meeting, as well as all costs incurred, excluding travel expenses.

Travel and meal expenses to participate in meetings, as well as the cost of accommodations, when required, are reimbursed according to an Élections Québec directive and based on the Directive sur les frais remboursables lors d’un déplacement et autres frais inhérents (Directive on reimbursable travel expenses and other related costs, in French only) issued by the Secrétariat du Conseil du trésor of the Gouvernement du Québec.

Conduct expected of members

This section sets out the conduct expected of the Accessibility committee members in the performance of their duties. The guidelines presented in this section alone cannot detail all appropriate and inappropriate behaviours. Each member is responsible for performing his or her duties with discernment and honesty.

Respect

The members of this working group must treat each other, the institution and everyone with whom they are called upon to interact with consideration and respect. They must work in a spirit of collaboration with each other and be good listeners and open-minded, so that all members can express themselves freely. The members respect the freedom of speech and ideas of their colleagues.

Competency

The members perform their work on the committee to the best of their knowledge, skills and ability. They prepare seriously and diligently for meetings and read the documents provided. They demonstrate curiosity and strive to provide thoughtful, knowledge-based opinions. Last, the members attend the meetings regularly and participate actively in the work of the committee.

Impartiality

The members are politically neutral when performing their work on the committee. They avoid partisanship and act on their own behalf independently of any political party. In addition, they make proposals and recommendations consistent with the impartiality of Élections Québec and in the interest of all electors, without discrimination.

Throughout their term, the members exercise discernment in their public expression of political opinions that could affect the perception that citizens have of the committee. The members are asked to consult us when in doubt.

Loyalty

The members honour their commitments and fulfill their duty toward their colleagues and Élections Québec to ensure the collaboration of all and the effectiveness of the work.

The members must not disclose any information or document provided or verbally discussed in the context of the work of the committee, except when otherwise specified by Élections Québec. This applies both during and after their term on the committee.

In order to promote open and frank discussions, what members say during meetings remains anonymous. Hence, whenever talking about the Accessibility committee and its work, the members will refrain from attributing comments or opinions to a specific member, both during and after their term.

The members do not take positions publicly on behalf of Élections Québec and must act in their own name only.

Integrity

The members act fairly and honestly. They ensure that their decisions and recommendations are made in the public interest. They avoid putting themselves in situations where they could become beholden to someone who could exert undue influence on them in the performance of their duties.

The members must not act in such a way as to obtain an unfair advantage for themselves or a third party as a result of their duties or any information to which they may be privy in the course of their duties, either during or following their term on the committee.

The members must avoid putting themselves in situations where there is a potential conflict of interest or the appearance of a conflict of interest. They must complete and sign the form Déclaration relative aux conflits d’intérêts (in French only) at the start of their term on the committee and must ensure that such declaration remains up-to-date throughout their term. Accordingly, the members must advise us in a timely manner of any new conflict of interest or appearance of a conflict of interest that may arise and sign an amended declaration to this effect. Depending on the nature of the conflict of interest, we will determine whether it is appropriate to exclude the member in question temporarily from the discussions of the committee or necessary to end the member’s term.

End of a member’s term

A member’s term on the committee comes to an end after a two-year period. We may, however, renew the member’s term.

Resignation

Members may resign from their position. In such case, they must provide us with written notice of their intention to resign.

Absences

We may end a member’s term when such member fails to attend a meeting of the committee without valid reason.

Failure to comply with operating rules

The members agree to abide by the operating rules contained in this document. We may end the term of any member who fails to comply with these rules.

Non-eligibility

A member’s term ends as soon as the member no longer meets the established conditions of eligibility.

Replacing a member

When a seat becomes vacant, we may appoint a new member, as deemed necessary.

Minutes

If you would like to know more about the work of the Accessibility committee, we encourage you to read the minutes of the committee’s meetings (in French only).

Other resources

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