Accessibility

STANDARD:
The Home is committed to respecting the dignity and independence of persons with disabilities including Residents, Employees, visitors and other persons.  We are also committed to providing people with disabilities the same opportunity to obtain, use and benefit from the goods and services that we make available to others.

In this regard, the Home will adhere to all apects of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (AODA), including the customer service accessibility standards set out in Regulation 429/07.

All Employees are expected to adhere to this policy, failing which may result in disciplinary action, up to and including termination, as well as other potential action.

DEFINITIONS:
For the purposes of this policy, the Home adopts the definitions set out in the AODA and Regulation 429/07, including the following:

"Disability", means: 

(a) "any degree of physical disability, infirmity, malformation or disfigurement that is caused by bodily injury, birth defect or illness and, without limiting the generality of the foregoing, includes diabetes mellitus, epilepsy, a brain injury, any degree of paralysis, amputation, lack of physical co-ordination, blindness or visual impediment, deafness or hearing impediment, muteness or speech impediment, or physical reliance on a guide dog or other animal or on a wheelchair or other remedial appliance or device,
(b) a condition of mental impairment or a developmental disability,
(c) a learning disability, or a dysfunction in one or more of the processes involved in understanding or using symbols or spoken language,
(d) a mental disorder, or
(e) an injury or disability for which benefits were claimed or received under the insurance plan established under the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act, 1997; ("handicap")."

"Service Animal", means:

An animal that is used by a person for reasons relating to his or her disability, in cases that are either readily apparent or confirmed by a letter from a physician or nurse.

"Support Person", means:

A person that accompanies a person with a disability in order to assist him/her with communication, mobility, personal care or medical needs or with access to goods and services.

PROCEDURE:
A. COMMUNICATION

  1. We are committed to communicating with persons with disabilities in a respectful manner that takes into account the disability, thereby enabling them to access goods, services and care provided by the Home.
  2. We will communicate with persons with disabilities through a variety of formats, including large print materials, Easy English, graphic and written signage, telephone, email and in person.
  3. When preparing materials for distribution, we will consider the format of the material and its accessibility to the target audience.  We will also provide information about events and services in a variety of formats.
  4. On request, we will provide information in alternative formats, wherever possible.

B. ASSISTIVE DEVICES

  1. We are committed to supporting persons with dsiabilities to use assistive devices when necessary to access our goods, services or care.
  2. If a person with a disability is not be able to access goods, services or care an assistive device, we will take all reasonable steps to assist the person in accessing the goods, services or care, including the identification of aletrnative means to access the goods, services or care.

C. USE OF SERVICE ANIMALS AND SUPPORT PERSONS:

  1. We are committed to welcoming persons with disabilities who are accompanied by a service animal.  Accommodation will be made for service animals taking into consideration the safety of others and any laws that exclude service animals. If a service animal is excluded by a law, we will put in place other measures to ensure that the person with a disability is able to access goods, services, or care.
  2. We are committed to welcoming persons with disabilities who are accompanied by a support person.  The person with a disability and the support person will be permitted to enter the premises together and the person with the disability will not be prevented from having access to the support person while on the premises.  In certain limited instances, we may require a person with a disability to be accompanied by a support person when on the premises, but only if the support person is needed to protect the health and safety of the person with the disability or others on the premises.

D. TEMPORARY SERVICE DISRUPTIONS:

  1. We are committed to making all reasonable efforts to prvide notice of a planned or unexpected disruption in our facilities or services. The notice disruption will:
    i. Include information about the reason for the disruption, including its anticipated duration and a description of alternative facilities or services, if any, and
    ii. Be posted at a conspicuous place on the premises, or communicated in another manner that is reasonable in the circumstances.

E. TRAINING OF STAFF:

  1. Training will be provided to all Employees and volunteers on all policies and procedures that relate to the Accessibility Ontario Disabilities Act. The Act states that: "obligated organization shall ensure that training is provided on the requirements of the accessibility standards referred to in this Regulation and on the Human Rights Code as it pertains to persons with disabilities to, (a) all employees, and volunteers; (b) all persons who participate in developing the organization’s policies; and (c) all other persons who provide goods, services or facilities on behalf of the organization. O. Reg. 191/11, s. 7 (1)."

2.  The training will include at a minimum the following:

a) A review of the purposes of the AODA

b) A review of the Customer Service Accessibility Standards, as set out in Regulation 429/07

c) How to interact and communicate with persons with various types of disabilities.

d) How to interact and communicate with persons who use an assistive device, or who require the assistance of a service animal, or a support person.

e) How to use equipment or devices available on the premises or otherwise provided by the Home, that may help with the provision of goods, services or care.

f) What to do if a person with a disability is having difficulty accessing the goods, services or care provided by the Home.

g) This policy, as well as other policies and procedures relating to customer service accessibility standards.

3.  Training will be provided to Employees and Volunteers at orientation and retraining will be done when changes are made to the policy.

F. RECORDKEEPING:

  1. We are committed to keeping records that document our implementation of the AODA customer service accessibility standards, and
  2. We will maintain records of training provided with respect to the AODA customer service accessibility standards, as described above.

G. FEEDBACK PROCESS:

  1. We are committed to seeking and responding to feedback on the provision of our goods and services to persons with disabilities.
  2. We welcome feedback as it encourages continuous improvement in our goods and services and gives us opportunities to improve our performance.
  3. Feedback about the delivery of goods and services to persons with disabilities may be provided by completing the Client Service Response (CSR) Form; in person; or via email, telephone or otherwise.
  4. We will ensure that we review all feedback provided and deliver a response within 14 days. 

H. NOTICE:

  1. We will ensure that we notify all persons receiving goods, services or care from the Home that the documents required by Regulation 429/07 are available upon request.
  2. The above notice will be posted at a conspicuous place on the premises, or communicated in another manner that is reasonable in the circumstances.

OUTCOME:
This policy and its procedures address the accessibility requirements of Regulation 429/07 under the AODA.

ADDITIONAL REFERENCES:

  1. Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005, including Regulation 429/07: Accessibility Standards for Customer Service.
  2. Accessbility Standard for Customer Service: Getting Started Guide for Employers (Prepared by Government of Ontario)
  3. Human Resources Manual, Code of Conduct and Business Ethics, Policy ID #E-10.
  4. Public Information Binder