The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (AODA) was passed by the Ontario Legislature to establish standards that ensure a more accessible Ontario.
Charitable organizations are required to comply with the regulation that requires Accessibility Standards for Customer Service by January 1, 2012. The regulation requires that service delivery be provided in a way that promotes independence, integration, and equality of opportunity.
Assistive Device – A device used to assist persons with disabilities in carrying out activities or in accessing the services of persons or organizations covered by the Customer Service Standard.
- 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;
- a condition of mental impairment or a developmental disability;
- a learning disability, or a dysfunction in one or more of the processes involved in understanding or using symbols or spoken language;
- a mental disorder; or
- an injury or disability for which benefits were claimed or received under the insurance plan established under the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act, 1997.
Service Animal – Any animal used by a person with a disability for reasons relating to the disability where it is readily apparent that the animal is used by the person for reasons relating to his or her disability; or where the person provides a letter from his physician or nurse confirming that he or she requires the animal for reasons relating to his or her disability; or a valid identification card signed by the Attorney General of Canada or a certificate of training from a recognized guide dog or service animal training school.
Support Person – A person who accompanies a person with a disability in order to assist him or her with communication, mobility, personal care or medical needs, or with access to goods or services.
The policy applies to all employees, volunteers, contractors, and partners who interact with the general public on behalf of the Association.
The Learning Disabilities Association of Windsor – Essex County is committed to recognizing the diverse needs of individuals with learning disabilities and those who support them by striving to provide services that are accessible to all persons.
The Association will promote accessible customer service through the development of policies, procedures, and practices that consider all persons with disabilities. The guiding principles are the promotion of independence, dignity, integration, and equality of opportunity.
General Accessible Customer Service Practices
- The Association’s services are provided in a way that promotes independence, dignity, integration, and equality of opportunity.
- The Association’s programs and services enhance an individual’s ability to fully integrate into the community, whereby increasing citizenship.
- Persons with disabilities are given equal opportunity to access the programs and services of the organization.
- The Association will communicate with a person with a disability in a manner that allows them to access information.
- A person with a disability may provide his/her own assistive device for the purpose of using the Association’s program and services. It is the responsibility of a person with a disability to ensure that his/her assistive device is operated in a safe and controlled manner at all times.
- Persons with a disability may enter the premises operated by the Association and may access the Association’s programs and services accompanied by a service animal. If it is not readily apparent that the animal is a service animal, the Association may request the individual provide a letter from a doctor or a nurse confirming the person requires the service animal related to his/her disability. The person may also provide a valid identification card signed by the Attorney General or a certificate of training from a recognized service dog training school, as confirmation of need.
- It is the responsibility of the person with a disability to ensure that the service animal is kept in control at all times. When a service animal is unruly or disruptive, the person with a disability may be asked to remove the service animal or be refused service. If this occurs, the Association will make reasonable effort to accommodate the person in other ways.
- A person with a disability may enter the premises and access programs and services with a support person. Additionally, the Association may require the person with a disability be accompanied by a support person to ensure the health and safety of the person and others. Usually, a fee will only be charged to the person with a disability and not the support person; if a fee is required due to the nature of the activity, the person with the disability will be notified in advance.
- When disruptions occur to the Association’s accessible features or services, the Association will provide notice by posting the information in visible places, or on the Association’s website (www.ldawe.ca), or by any other method that may be reasonable under the circumstances as soon as reasonably possible.
- The Association will provide documents in a variety of formats, using clear language, when required by a person with a disability.
- LDAWE is committed to providing high quality service to persons with disabilities and those who support them.
- Feedback on programs and services is welcomed and may be given in person, by telephone, in writing, in an electronic format, and through other methods.
- Persons with disabilities and those who support them are notified about the policy and the feedback process in the Association newsletter, on the Association website, and will be made available in hardcopy upon request.
- The Association will ensure that the employees, volunteers (including Board Members), and contractors are given training regarding the Accessibility Standards for Customer Service. The amount and format of the training given will be tailored to suit the nature of the position.
- The Association will record those who have received training, when training was received, and type of training received.
- The content of the training will include:
- A review of the AODA.
- The requirements of the Accessibility Standards for Customer Service (Ontario Regulation 429/07).
- Review of the Association’s Accessible Customer Service Policy.
- How to interact with persons with disabilities who use assistive devices and service animals.
- Review accommodation and support available to persons with disabilities through the Association.
Complete required government reports regarding Accessible Customer Service.