What is ACAT?

The Advisory Committee on Accessible Transit (ACAT) is a group of 15 volunteer members who provide advice and recommendations to the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) Board and TTC staff on matters pertaining to accessible public transit in the City of Toronto. These matters include removing barriers to accessibility and improving the customer experience for persons with disabilities and seniors.

The Role of ACAT

The committee represents the public transit needs and concerns of seniors and persons with disabilities. The range of disabilities is defined by the Ontario Human Rights Code and includes but is not limited to physical, cognitive, sensory and mental health conditions.

ACAT works collaboratively with TTC staff to provide consultation, education and advice, in an advisory capacity.

Prerequisites to Join ACAT

Applicants must meet the following requirements:

  1. Must be a resident of Toronto
  2. Must use the conventional TTC or Wheel-Trans
  3. Must be a person with a disability, and/or be a senior, or must have a demonstrated knowledge/interest in accessible transit issues and represent the needs and concerns of persons with disabilities and seniors who use the TTC.
  4. Must be available for meetings as required.
  5. Must be familiar with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA), the Ontario Human Rights Code and related accessibility standards and/or guidelines and legislation as they pertain to public transit.

ACAT Organization

ACAT is made up of the ACAT Executive Committee, the ACAT General Committee and four subcommittees.

The ACAT Executive Committee consists of 3 elected members: The Chair and two Vice-Chairs.

The ACAT committee consists of 15 volunteers broken down as follows:

  • At least eight persons with disabilities.
  • At least two seniors.
  • A maximum of three advocates for people with disabilities exclusive of the members above. These members must have a demonstrated knowledge of and interest in accessible transit issues.

Eight ACAT members shall constitute a quorum for every ACAT General or Special meeting.

Members of ACAT are appointed for a period of up to three years.

One-third of the members are replaced each year.

Retired members may reapply for a subsequent term following a one-year absence from ACAT.

Two to four ACAT Pool members (alternates) will also be appointed each year for a one-year term. ACAT Pool members may be called on by the ACAT Executive and TTC staff to fill a vacancy in the course of a year.

An ACAT pool member who fills a vacancy for less than 12 months, may reapply to be an ACAT member without serving the one-year absence requirement from ACAT membership.
 
Members of the ACAT Committee are appointed by and report to the TTC Board.

The four subcommittees are:

  1. Communications Subcommittee
    This body reviews communications affecting accessibility and usage of TTC services by persons with disabilities and seniors.
  2. Design Review Subcommittee
    This subcommittee reviews and makes recommendations on design improvements to TTC vehicles and facilities. Other initiatives include but are not limited to Easier Access and TTC accessible design standards.
  3. Service Planning Subcommittee
    Advises the TTC on matters related to buses, streetcars and the subway. Operational procedures, training, policy development and the Annual TTC Public Forum on Accessible Transit are some of the other matters they cover.
  4. Wheel-Trans Operations Subcommittee
    Provides advice on Wheel-Trans operational and service matters.

Selection and Appointment Process

The selection process for ACAT membership starts with the public’s solicitation through advertisements in local newspapers and/or other forms of communication available at the TTC.

Applicants must review Information for ACAT 2021 Applicants along with ACAT New Applicant FAQ to be eligible to apply for ACAT membership. Selected applicants are interviewed and evaluated by a four (4) person selection committee consisting of two (2) TTC staff representatives, personnel from the City of Toronto and ACAT’s Chair or Vice-Chair. The selection committee then makes its recommendations to the TTC Board of Directors who make the final decision. Individuals who are appointed to ACAT will attend an orientation on the roles and responsibilities of ACAT and will be given all the pertinent documents.

Location and Frequency of ACAT Meetings

The ACAT General Committee meets every last Thursday of each month from approximately 1 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Currently, ACAT is meeting online using WebEx video conferencing software. This platform also permits committee members to call in to meetings. It is expected that ACAT will continue to meet virtually for the foreseeable future until Toronto Public Health recommends that in-person gatherings can be held again without physical distancing requirements.

In-person meetings are held at the TTC Head Office, 1900 Yonge Street, 7th-floor Boardroom. This location is directly above the Davisville Station on Line 1 (Yonge-University), which is accessible.

All meetings are held during business hours.

Members of the ACAT General Committee must participate in two of the four subcommittee meetings which meet as issues arise. A commitment of between 10 to 15 hours a month is required.

The ACAT Executive Committee that consists of three elected members meets quarterly with the TTC Board Chair, the TTC Board Vice-Chair and the TTC CEO or his/her designates.

The ACAT Chair or designate attends the Toronto Accessibility Advisory Committee (TAAC).

Current ACAT Priorities

Here are some of the current initiatives that will require member participation:

  • The Wheel-Trans Appeal Panel
  • The reregistration of legacy Wheel-Trans customers
  • Review the Access Hubs and bus routes that support the Family of Services initiative
  • Improve the use of PRESTO
  • Review and provide advice on designs for TTC Easier Access construction projects
  • Provide input on accessible policy and training matters
  • Provide ongoing first-hand advice during COVID-19 pandemic
  • Review and provide feedback on communications campaigns 

Application Process

Applicants can apply between:

September 3, 2020 to September 17, 2020

The deadline for submission of applications is September 17, 2020

Completed applications can be mailed to:

Wheel-Trans
580 Commissioners Street
Toronto, Ontario M4M1A7

Applications may also be emailed to acat@ttc.ca or faxed to 416-338-0126.

A Review Panel will evaluate all applications. The panel consists of the ACAT Chair, City of Toronto Human Rights Officer and two TTC staff members.

Only candidates selected for interviews will be contacted. Members are chosen based on qualifications and the ACAT Terms of Reference.

Resources for Information about ACAT