ARCH Strategic Plan 2010-2013

ARCH Disability Law Centre
October 2010

Strategic Planning Committee:
Sharon Twilley, Marianne Park, Dianne Wintermute, Edgar-André Montigny, Doreen Way and Ivana Petricone


Board and Staff of ARCH Disability Law Centre met together on September 24 and 28, 2010 to consider ARCH’s future plans for the next three years.  The process involved reaffirming a shared vision, mission, values and principles. Strategic objectives were set to achieve our vision.

The sessions were facilitated by Gary Furlong.  This Strategic Plan was developed from the outcome of the Board and Staff meetings and from Staff meetings to develop Goals and Measurements. The Strategic Planning Committee prepared the final report.  The Plan was considered and adopted by the Board of Directors of ARCH on November , 2010.


ARCH’s Strategic Planning Process was informed by surveys completed by people with disabilities, our community partners and community legal clinics. ARCH received 88 surveys, which were summarized for consideration by the Board and Staff.  Several survey answers are important to note here:
•    55% of the surveys received were completed by persons with a disability and another 11% by family members of a person with a disability
•    The most important areas of concern for ARCH’s primary clients were seen to be the following:
-    Access to Justice
-    Human Rights                 
-    Access to Services
-    Financial Need
-    Accessibility
-    Law Reform
-    People Living with Intellectual Disabilities

•    75% of those responding consider ARCH to be a trusted resource for low-income Ontarians to turn to when facing discrimination and/or other legal issues.
•    70% of those responding consider ARCH to be a leading voice in Ontario disability law, policy and litigation.
•    20% of those responding said they had not heard of ARCH
•    Several respondents made particular note that ARCH was not known in the northwest and in the more remote areas of the province; 14% responded that ARCH serves the entire province.



A world in which all people with disabilities enjoy social justice and equal participation in society and our communities


ARCH Disability Law Centre, as a specialty legal clinic with a provincial mandate, undertakes to achieve this Vision by:
•    Ensuring our work has Ontario wide impact

•    Focusing on, identifying and removing systemic barriers

•    Addressing issues that have an impact on low income people with disabilities, including the root causes of poverty

•    Empowering people with disabilities

•    Being recognized as experts in the law as it affects people with disabilities

•    Addressing the heightened disadvantage, marginalization and exclusion faced by people with disabilities by reason of factors such as gender, race, age, language, economic status and sexual orientation.


ARCH is guided by the following set of core values:

•    The dignity and worth of all persons with disabilities must be respected;

•    Persons with disabilities have the right to life, self-determination, and full participation in a society free from barriers to their inclusion and integration;

•    Persons with disabilities themselves are in the best position to determine their own priorities;

•    All persons have a common responsibility to create communities accessible to all persons with disabilities.

Additionally, ARCH is guided by the following set of core organizational principles:

•    ARCH operates in accordance with the above core values;

•    ARCH is a community-based organization, governed by a Board of Directors composed of a majority of persons with disabilities;

•    ARCH is accountable to persons with disabilities in Ontario, its members and its funders.


The group identified four strategic objectives to guide ARCH’s activities over the next three years.

Strategic Objective #1

Identify, Assess & Address Key Legal Issues on the Law as it Affects PWD

  Goal Measurement Timeline
  Identify priority areas of focus for ARCH work for 2011 to 2013 by reviewing consultation documents, surveys, progress on former strategic plan, tracking issues raised in program areas.

•    Staff has identified Priority areas that are clearly understood by all staff

•    Board has approved Priority areas as relevant and important for the disability community

•    Tracking system is in place allowing analysis of issues raised within Priority areas

November 2010

January 2011


February 2011

  Set end goals for each priority area in consultation with community groups, individuals and community partners.

•    Staff has identified end goal/s for each Priority area

•    Board has approved goals for each Priority area as appropriate, and attainable within available resources  

•    Focus groups of community partners have accepted priority areas and goals as relevant and appropriate for P

November 2010


January 2011


February 2011

  Develop strategy and work plan

•    Work plan is completed with appropriate strategies and individual staff identified as leads, and assigned tasks

•    Work plan is clearly understood by all staff

•    Work plan identifies time lines  and work product is identified where appropriate

January  2011
  Quarterly evaluation and  review of progress in completing  work plan

•    Staff have reviewed progress in completing work plan at the first staff meeting of each quarter (January, April, July, October)

•    Progress that satisfies the essential elements of the work plan is achieved in almost all activities

•    In those activities where progress is not achieved, reasons are identified and appropriate action taken

•    Work plan is amended if necessary based on results of quarterly evaluation

•    Results of the quarterly evaluation are reported to the Board at the annual Board/staff planning meeting

To begin April 2011

To begin January 2011


To begin January 2011

To begin January 2011


Strategic Objective #2

Promote Access to Justice for PWD

Goal Measurement Timeline
Continue Summary Advice and Referral program

•    SAR program is responsive to areas of concern to callers

•    SAR program is well-utilized by people with disabilities

•    Contact with people with disabilities informs staff on areas of concern to the community

•    Client Satisfaction Surveys are returned with high indication of satisfaction

•    Legal issues and incidents are tracked to inform planning and program design


Weekly assessment

Review at each planning day

On-going weekly assessment

To begin February 2011

•    Ontario Legal Aid Program is adequately funded and responsive to the needs of people with disabilities with low income

•    ARCH Board of Directors is engaged in ensuring an adequately funded Legal Aid Program

•    Community clinic system is strong with current core values intact

•    Other legal aid services remain accessible for people with disabilities

•    LAO provides funds to all clinics for needs accommodations








Private Bar and Clinics – cultivate pro bono and CLE program

•    Private bar and community legal clinics are informed in our priority areas and disability law issues

•    A comprehensive private bar referral list is developed and maintained

•    Private bar regularly provides pro bono services for PWD


To begin May 2011


Community Development – rights of people with disabilities to justice

•    Each PLE has included an access to justice component

•    Evaluations forms are distributed after each PLE and demonstrate high level of satisfaction



Strategic Objective #3

Increase ARCH Outreach, Promotion, Awareness, Profile

Goal Measurement Timeline
Outreach – hire community legal worker

•    Necessary funding to hire an outreach worker for at least 12 months is secured

•    CLW is hired to do outreach for ARCH

•    Outreach worker establishes contacts with disability organizations and CLCs in all regions of the province

•    Outreach worker delivers/arranges at least one legal information session which includes information about ARCH programs in all regions of the province

January to March 2011

May 2011


May 2011 to  April 2012

May 2011 to  April 2012


Referral Manual •    Referral Manual specific to the needs of PWD is compiled Completed December 2011
Promotional material, i.e. Media kit •    Promotional material ( ARCH brochure, table skirt for community events, media kit) consistent in appearance with all ARCH material and web-based information is produced December 2010 through to February 2011
Develop academic profile


•    Contact with academic programs is initiated

•    Substantive lectures and other forms of course delivery in disability law are delivered by ARCH staff

•    Major scholarly work on disability law and delivering legal services to people with disabilities is produced

January 2011

January 2011


June 2012




Strategic Objective #4

Foster a Healthy Organization

Goal Measurement Timeline
Board to identify policies for renewal and succession.

•    Board has identified policies for renewal at Board/staff Planning Day in the fall and again at a spring meeting

•    Board has considered succession planning so that Board membership is renewed from time to time while maintaining continuity

To begin April 2011


February, 2011


Staff to review communication methods to ensure meaningful and timely dialogue.

•    Staff meetings provide all staff opportunities for input and discussion on work activities

•    Technology is used most effectively and efficiently



Develop protocol by March 2011

Ensure through meetings, surveys and website feedback that we continue to be responsive to the issues of greatest concern to the community


•    Community partners meeting is held each year to inform on ARCH’s priorities; report on accomplishment of goals; and, receive input on priorities

•    Several other fora are employed to ensure responsiveness

To begin April 2011


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