Accessibility Policy

NAME:  Accessibility Policy
MANUAL:  General Policy Manual
CODE #:  WE-SE-10
EFFECTIVE DATE:  Februrary 27, 2015
LAST REVISION DATE:  June 26, 2012

1.  PURPOSE
To provide an overview of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA, 2005) and ensure employees, contractors, students and volunteers are informed and understand the legislation and the requirements under the regulations..

2.  SCOPE
This policy applies to all employees, contractors, students and volunteers..

3.  POLICY
The WECHC believes in accessibility for all people under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA – 2005). WECHC is committed to excellence in serving all individuals and providing services and programs in compliance under this Act.  In accordance with the AODA, WECHC will take the steps possible to ensure access to employment, student placement, volunteer opportunities, the Centre’s facilities, programs and services for any individual with a disability.

4.  PRACTICE

  • Accessibility means giving people of all abilities opportunities to participate fully in everyday life.
  • The provincial government enacted the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) in 2005 to make Ontario, (includes public, non-profit and private sectors), accessible by 2025. 
  • The Act lays the framework for the development of province-wide mandatory standards on accessibility in all areas of daily life and allows the government to enforce them.
  • Ontario currently has accessibility standards in five areas:

1. Customer Service

2. Employment

3. Information and communications

4. Transportation

5. Design of Public spaces

  • The Customer Service Standard (Ontario Regulation 429/07) was the first standard introduced which sets out some of the following (Refer to the Resource Guide for additional information): 

o WECHC welcomes individuals with disabilities and their service animals.  Service animals are allowed on the parts of our premises that are open to the public.
o An individual with a disability who is accompanied by a support person will be allowed to have that person accompany them on our premises.
o In the event of a planned or unexpected disruption to services or facilities for individuals with disabilities, WECHC will notify individuals promptly by posting a notice which will include information about the reason for the disruption, its anticipated length of time, and a description of alternative facilities or services, if available. 
o WECHC will provide training to employees, students, volunteers and others who deal with the public or other third parties on their behalf.  Training will be provided as part of the orientation to WECHC and reviewed on an on-going basis.  Training information will include:

• an overview of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005;
• the requirements of the customer service standard;
• WECHC’s plan related to the customer service standard;
• how to interact and communicate with people with various types of disabilities;
• how to interact with people with disabilities who use an assistive device or require the assistance of a service animal or a support person;
• what to do if an individual with a disability is having difficulty in accessing WECHC’s facilities, program and/or services.

• Opportunities will be provided for individuals to provide feedback on the accessibility of WECHC programs and services. 

• WECHC will document and provide a multi-year accessibility plan, including the identification, removal and prevention of barriers for persons with disabilities employed with and accessing the Centre’s programs and services.

• The Integrated Accessibility Standard Regulations, IASR (Ontario Integrated Regulation 191/11) is the second standard enacted on July 1, 2011.  It includes the Employment, Information and Communication and the Transportation Standards.

• Under the IASR, the WECHC is committed to:

o Train staff and volunteers on Ontario’s accessibility laws and on accessibility aspects of the Ontario Human Rights Code that apply to persons with disabilities;
o Consider the needs of people with disabilities when designing, procuring or acquiring self-serve kiosks;
o Consult with people with disabilities and provide information and communications materials in accessible formats or with communication supports, as requested and based on legislated requirements;
o Fair and accessible employment practices during an employee’s work life-cycle, and accommodate disabilities during recruitment and assessment processes and upon hire, as requested;
o Create individual accommodation plans and/or provide workplace emergency information for any employee who has a disability;

• Take the steps possible to ensure access for the Design of Public Spaces when building or making major modifications to public spaces.

• Complaints related to the accessibility of WECHC facilities, programs and services will be addressed in accordance with the Centre’s complaint management procedure.

• Any policies that do not respect and promote the dignity and independence of people with disabilities will be modified or removed.

• WECHC’s Accessibility Plan will be posted and made available, as requested.

• Refer to the Resource Guide for Accessibility – Providing Services to Individuals with Disabilities.

5.  RELATED DOCUMENTS

  • Resource Guide - Accessibility – Providing Services to Individuals with Disabilities.

 

Original Policy Approval Date:  June 26, 2012

Policy Revisions Subsequent to Original Approval

Number Initiator Reason Who Date Approver
1 Dir, HR Revision of policy format Consultant June 28, 2013 CEO
2 Dir, HR Revision of policy format Dir, HR February 27, 2015 Dir, HR