The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) was enacted by the Government of Ontario to develop, implement, and enforce Accessibility Standards in order to achieve accessibility for Ontarians with disabilities with respect to goods, services, facilities, accommodation, employment, buildings, structures and premises throughout Ontario by year 2025. Accessibility Standards include the Accessible Customer Service Standards (O. Reg. 429/07), the Integrated Accessibility Standard Regulation (IASR)-including the areas of Information & Communication, *Transportation, Employment and the Design of Public Spaces (O. Reg. 191/11).
The West Nipissing Childcare Corporation is committed to meeting the accessibility needs of persons with disabilities and to proactively identify, remove and prevent barriers to inclusion by complying with the requirements set out in the Accessible Customer Service Standard and the Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation (IASR). The West Nipissing Childcare Corporation will meet the requirements in four distinct areas including customer service, information and communications; employment; and the design of public spaces, as well as the general requirements within the Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation.
The policy is intended to provide the overarching framework to guide the review and development of other West Nipissing Childcare Corporation policies, standards, procedures, and guidelines to comply with the standards developed under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act 2005, S.O. 2005, and c. 11. (AODA as follows:
- Customer Service (Ontario Regulation 429/07)
- General Requirements (Integrated Accessibility Standards, O. Reg. 191/11)
- Information and Communication (Integrated Accessibility Standards, O. Reg. 191/11)
- Employment (Integrated Accessibility Standards, O. Reg. 191/11)
- Design of Public Spaces (Accessibility Standards of the Built Environment) (Integrated Accessibility Standards, O. Reg. 191/11)
* The Transportation Standards do not apply to the West Nipissing Childcare Corporation as they are for transportation services only.
This policy responds to the needs of all who require WSIB programs and services. This policy applies to all employees of the West Nipissing Childcare Corporation, and any individual or organization providing programs, goods, services or facilities on behalf of the West Nipissing Childcare Corporation.
The Accessibility needs of persons with disabilities will be met in a timely manner and in keeping with the principles of independence, dignity, integration and equality of opportunity. The West Nipissing Childcare Corporation’s commitment to customer service excellence includes delivering fully accessible and inclusive programs and services designed to meet individual needs in a way that reflects these principles and the West Nipissing Childcare Corporation values of integrity, trust and fairness.
ACCESSIBILITY STANDARD: A rule that persons and organizations have to follow to identify, remove and prevent barriers.
ACCESSIBLE FORMATS: May include, but are not limited to, large print, recorded audio and electronic formats, braille and other formats usable by persons with disabilities;
COMMUNICATION SUPPORTS: May include, but are not limited to, captioning, alternative and augmentative communication supports, plain language, sign language and other supports that facilitate effective communications;
MOBILITY AID: Means a device used to facilitate the transport, in a seated posture, of a person with a disability;
MOBILITY ASSISTIVE DEVICE: Means a cane, walker or similar aid;
COMMUNICATIONS: Means the interaction between two or more persons where information is provided, sent or received;
CONVERSION READY: Means an electronic or digital format that facilitates conversion into an accessible format;
INFORMATION: Includes data, facts and knowledge that exists in any format, including text, audio, digital or images, and that which conveys meaning.
The West Nipissing Childcare Corporation will meet the requirements of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act in accordance to the compliance requirements set out in the Integrated Accessibility Standards (o. Reg. 191/11) for large public sector organizations. The compliance date for each requirement is listed below, with all dates effective January 1 of the compliance year.
ACCESSIBLE CUSTOMER SERVICE STANDARD (2010)
The Accessibility Standards for Customer Service, Ontario Regulation 429/07 (hereafter referred to as the Customer Service Standard), came into effect January 1, 2008. The West Nipissing Childcare Corporation, as a government organization, is required to comply by January 1, 2010.
The Customer Service Standard encompasses all levels of customer service. Specifically, the requirements to be completed and implemented by January 1, 2010 are:
- Establish and maintain policies, practices and procedures on providing programs and services to persons with disabilities,
- State in the policies how the WNCCC will facilitate the use of assistive devices; service animals/and support persons; how WNCCC will communicate with persons with disabilities; how the WNCCC will communicate disruptions in service with disabilities; how the WNCCC trains our employees; and how customers can provide feedback.
- Make reasonable efforts to ensure WNCCC policies, practices and procedures are consistent with the core principles of independence, dignity, integration and equality of opportunity as defines by the AODA.
- Train employees, volunteers, contractors and others who provide programs and services to WNCCC customers on the policies as stated above.
- Post Customer Service Standard policy on our website.
- Provide an accessible feedback mechanism for WNCCC customers, including provisions for response to that feedback and for taking action.
ESTABLISHMENT OF ACCESSIBILITY PLANS AND POLICIES (2013)
The WNCCC maintains policies governing how the requirements under the AODA will be met, and will provide policies in an accessible format, upon request.
The WNCCC will establish, implement and maintain a multi-year Accessibility Plan. The will outline WNCCC’s strategy to prevent and remove barriers and meet its requirements under the AODA.
The WNCCC will:
- Review and update the Accessibility Plan at least every five years.
- Establish, review and update their Accessibility Plan in consultation with persons with disabilities.
- Prepare an annual status report on the progress of measures taken to implement Accessibility Plan.
- Post the Accessibility Plan and status report on the WNCCC website and make it available in an accessible format and with communication supports, upon request.
PROCUREMENT OF GOODS, SERVICES, FACILITIES AND KIOSKS (2013)
When procuring goods, services, self-service kiosks or facilities, the WNCCC will incorporate accessibility criteria and features, unless it is not practicable. If not practicable, the WNCCC will provide an explanation, upon request.
All WNCCC employees, volunteers and third party providing goods and services on the WNCCC’s behalf will be required to undergo training on the requirements of the AODA accessibility standards and on the Human Rights Code as it pertains to persons with disabilities.
INFORMATION & COMMUNICATIONS STANDARD
The Information and Communications Standard outlines requirements for organizations to create, provide and receive information and communications in ways that are accessible for people with disabilities.
Feedback on how services were delivered to people with disabilities will be invited, forwarded to the appropriate personnel, responded to, documented and tracked. Feedback will be collected by phone, TTY, by email via WNCCC website and in person at any of the WNCCC’s service locations. Feedback will be accepted in accessible formats and with other communication supports as required.
ACCESSIBLE FORMATS AND COMMUNICATION SUPPORTS (2015)
When communicating with a person with a disability, WNCCC employees, volunteers and third party contractors will do so in a manner that takes into account the person’s disability using accessible formats and communication supports.
EMERGENCY PROCEDURES, PLANS AND INFORMATION (2012)
The WNCCC will provide all existing public emergency procedures, plans and public safety information, upon request in an accessible format with appropriate communication supports in a timely manner.
EMPLOYMENT ACCESSIBILITY STANDARD
The WNCCC will post information about the availability of accommodations for applicants with disabilities in its recruitment process. Job applicants who are individually selected for an interview
and /or tested will be notified that accommodations for material to be used in the process are available, upon request. The WNCCC will consult with any applicant who requests an accommodation in a manner that takes into account the applicant’s disability. Successful applicants will be notified about the WNCCC’s policies for accommodating employee’s with disabilities as part of their offer of employment.
ACCESSIBLE FORMATS AND COMMUNICATION SUPPORTS FOR EMPLOYEES (2014)
The WNCCC will inform employees of the policies used to support employees with disabilities, including policies on the provision of job accommodations that take into account an employee’s accessibility needs due to disability. The WNCCC will provide this information to new employees as soon as practicable after they begin their employment and provide information to all employees whenever there is a change to existing policies on the provision of job accommodations that take into account an employee’s accessibility needs due to disability.
Upon an employee’s request, the WNCCC will consult with the employee to provide or arrange for the provision of accessible formats and communication supports for:
- Information that is needed in order to perform the employee’s job; and
- Information that is generally available to employees in the workplace.
WORKPLACE EMERGENCY RESPONSE INFORMATION (2012)
An individualized workplace emergency response plan will be developed for each employee with a disability. This information will be provided, with the employee’s consent, to the person designated to provide assistance. The information will undergo review when the employee moves to a different location, when the employee’s overall accommodation needs or plans are reviewed and when the WNCCC reviews its general emergency response plan.
DOCUMENTED INDIVIDUAL ACCOMMODATION PLAN (2014)
The WNCCC has a written process for the development and maintenance of documented individual accommodation plans for employees with disabilities in accordance with the requirements set out in s. 28 of the IASR.
PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT AND CAREER DEVELOPMENT AND REDEPLOYMENT (2014)
The WNCCC will take into account the accessibility needs of its employees with disabilities as well as any individual accommodation plans when providing career development, performance management and when considering redeployment.
DESIGN OF PUBLIC SPACES STANDARDS (ACCESSIBILITY STANDARDS FOR THE BUILT ENVIRONMENT (2016)
When the WNCCC newly constructs or redevelops public spaces, it will do so in keeping with the requirements set out in Section IV.1 of the Integrated Accessibility Standards, The Design of Public Spaces Standards (Accessibility Standards for the Built Environment).
WNCCC Executive Committee is accountable:
- For the governance of the policy.
- For corporate liability for compliance with legislative requirements, including human costs and human rights issues.
- To support and promote the policy in their area of direct report and throughout the organization.
- To drive the culture to a high level of understanding regarding disability and accommodation.
WNCCC Healthy Workplace Centre is accountable:
- To raise awareness and communicate with all personnel about WNCCC Accommodation Policy
- To provide education and training about WNCCC Accommodation policy and Work Safe Program.
- To participate and co-operate with all parties to facilitate workplace accommodation.
- To act as a liaison between the department.
- To oversee AODA planning and AODA updates.
WNCCC Executive Director and Supervisors are Accountable:
- To raise awareness to facilitate understanding of the policy.
- To foster open and constructive communication around accessibility.
- To demonstrate sensitivity and respect confidentiality of information.
- To participate and co-operate to facilitate workplace accommodation.
- To ensure their employees complete the required accessibility training.
Employees are accountable:
- To participate and cooperate with all parties to facilitate workplace accommodation.
- To complete the required accessibility training.
Failure to comply with the AODA regulations can results in administrative penalties as deemed in the Integrated Accessibility Standards.
Employees who fail to comply with this policy may be subject to disciplinary action.