Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities

Accessibility for Ontarians With Disabilities Customer Service Policy

The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (AODA) is provincial legislation with the purpose of  developing, implementing and enforcing accessibility standards for persons with disabilities with respect to the provision of goods and services, employment, information and communications, transportation and the built environment, on or before January 1, 2025.

Ontario Regulation 429/07 entitled “Accessibility Standards for Customer Service” came into force January 1, 2008 and applies to all organizations as of January 1, 2012. This regulation establishes accessibility standards specific to customer service for organizations that provide goods or services to members of the public or other third parties.

This policy, in accordance with the Accessibility Standards for Customer Service Ontario Regulation 429/07, addresses the following:
  • The provision of goods and services to persons with disabilities.
  • The use of assistive devices by persons with disabilities.
  • The use of service animals and support persons by persons with disabilities.
  • Notice of temporary disruption in services and facilities.
  • Staff training.
  • Feedback regarding the provision of goods and services to persons with disabilities.
  • Notice of availability and format of documents.

Policy Statement

Toronto Children’s Care Inc. (TCC Inc.), operating as Ronald McDonald House Charities Toronto, in keeping with our mission, values and principles shall make every effort to ensure that our policies, practices and procedures adhere to the guiding principles in the Accessibility Standard for Customer Service/Ontario Regulation 429/07 and AODA.

This policy applies to all TCC Inc. Board members, employees and volunteers who deal with the public, families requiring our goods and services or other third parties.

TCC Inc. is committed to providing access to services for people with disabilities. Goods and services will be provided in a manner that is based upon the principles of dignity, independence, integration and equal opportunity to all our clients. The provision of goods and services to persons with disabilities will be accommodated wherever possible. TCC Inc. will ensure that persons with disabilities will benefit from the same services as other clients.

Definitions

Accessible: means capable of being entered or reached, approachable; easy to get at; capable of being influenced, obtainable; able to be understood or appreciated.

Assistive Device: means a device used to assist persons with disabilities in carrying out activities or in accessing services.

Dignity: means respecting and treating every person including persons with disabilities as valued and as deserving of effective and full service, like any other client.

Disability: refers to:
  • 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.

Guide Dog: refers to a dog trained as a guide for a person who is blind and having a qualification prescribed by regulation.

Goods and Services: refers to goods and services provided by TCC Inc.

Independence: shall mean freedom from control or influence of others; freedom to make your own choices.

Service Animals: shall mean animals that are used because of a person’s disability.

Support Person: means, in relation to a person with a disability, another person who accompanies him or her to help with communication, mobility, personal care, medical needs or with access to goods and services.

Providing Goods and Service to Persons with Disabilities

TCC Inc. is committed to excellence in serving all clients including persons with disabilities and will carry out its functions and responsibilities to ensure that its policies, practices and procedures are consistent with the following values:
  • TCC Inc.’s goods and services are provided in a manner that respects the independence and dignity of persons with disabilities.
  • Persons with disabilities are given opportunity equal to that of persons without disabilities to obtain, use or benefit from the goods and services provided by TCC Inc.
  • TCC Inc.’s provision of goods and services to persons with disabilities is integrated with those provided to persons who do not have disabilities unless an alternative measure is necessary to enable a person with a disability to obtain, use or benefit from TCC Inc.’s goods and services.
  • TCC Inc. encourages open two-way communication and expects persons with disabilities to communicate their need for accommodation or assistance if how that need can be met is not readily apparent.

Communication

TCC Inc. is committed to communicating with persons with disabilities in ways that take into consideration their disability. To ensure this:
  • TCC Inc. staff and volunteers who deal with clients and other third parties will be trained on how to interact and communicate with clients with disabilities guided by the principles of dignity, independence and equality;
  • When communicating to a person with a disability, TCC Inc. staff and volunteers will communicate in a manner that takes into account the person’s disability and will make reasonable effort to ensure that the person with the disability understands the contents of the communications.
  • Reasonable efforts shall be made to ensure that communication in all formats, whether verbal, written or electronic, is presented in a manner that is accessible. Any special requests regarding communication shall not be unreasonably declined.

Use of Assistive Devices

TCC Inc. is committed to supporting the use of assistive devices by persons with disabilities to obtain, use or benefit from our goods and services. TCC Inc. will ensure that our staff and volunteers are trained and familiar with various devices that may be used by person with disabilities while accessing the goods and services we provide.

Use of Service Animals

  • Any individuals with disabilities who are accompanied by a service animal will be permitted to enter the facility and keep the animal with them in areas where the public are allowed, unless the animal is excluded by law.
  • For health and safety reasons, service animals will be prohibited from entering some areas. Ontario Regulation 562 under the Health Protection Act states that animals are not allowed in places where food is manufactured, prepared, processed, handled, served, displayed, stored, sold or offered for sale. Other types of service animals may not be included in this exemption. In the event that the service animal is excluded by law, TCC Inc. will make efforts to provide another means of accommodating the person with disabilities.
  • Service animals that provide assistance in guiding persons with disabilities may be identified by any of the following methods.
    • The animal may wear a service animal vest, harness or saddle pack.
    • The animal may be observed providing assistance.
    • The person may have a letter from a medical practitioner that they require the animal for assistance.
    • The person may show a valid ID or training certificate from a recognized service animal training school.
  • Vests that are worn by a guide dog or service animals are usually symbolic of the service that they provide to a person with disability:
    • Seeing Eye Dogs (SED): Wear white vests
    • Hearing Ear Dogs (HED): Wear orange vests
    • Seizure Response Dogs (SRD): Wear yellow vests
    • Autism Assistance Dogs (AAD): Wear purple vests
    • Special Skills Dogs (SSD): Wear blue vests
In the event that there is a person who has an allergy or is fearful of a guide dog/service animal and who will be dealing with the person with the disability, TCC Inc. will make reasonable efforts to accommodate both persons while respecting their needs.

Use of Support Persons

  • TCC Inc. is committed to welcoming any person with a disability who is accompanied by a support person and ensures that they will both be permitted to enter the premises together. Any person with a disability accompanied by a support person will not be prevented access to that support person while receiving goods and services from TCC Inc., subject to appropriate measures in respect of confidentiality, if required.
  • All areas accessible to the public will also be accessible to persons with disabilities and their support persons.
  • TCC Inc. employees and volunteers will communicate directly to the person with the disability unless otherwise instructed. A support person may be asked to wait in another area while confidential and/or personal information is exchanged.  If the support person is required to assist with such communications, TCC Inc. will take appropriate measures to ensure consent and confidentiality, as required in the circumstances.
  • The support person is required to abide by the same rules and regulations as any other person in the facilities.
  • At times TCC Inc. may require that a person with a disability be accompanied by a support person when this is necessary to protect the health and safety of the person with the disability or TCC Inc. employees and volunteers.

Notice of Temporary Disruption to Facilities or Services

  • In the event that some of the services and facilities usually used by persons with disabilities to access the TCC Inc. goods and services are not available due to a temporary disruption, TCC Inc. will provide a notice within a reasonable time frame of an unplanned disruption and if the disruption is planned advance notice will be provided.
  • Notices will contain the following information.
  • Reason for disruption
  • Expected duration
  • Notices will be displayed in a conspicuous place on the TCC Inc. premises and in a format that considers the types of disabilities of the persons who typically use the disrupted service.

Training

  • TCC Inc. will ensure that appropriate training will be provided to all employees and volunteers who deal with the families, the public or other third parties and all those who are involved in the development and approval of client service policies, practices and procedures. Training will be provided in a manner that is consistent with the requirements of Ontario 429/07.
  • Training will include the following topics:
    • The purpose and scope of AODA, together with the requirements of Ontario Regulation 429/07.
    • How to interact and communicate with persons with various types of disabilities.
    • How to interact with people with disabilities who use an assistive device or require assistance of a service animal or a support person.
    • How to use the assistive devices available on TCC Inc. premises and otherwise made available by TCC Inc. for persons with disabilities.
    • What to do if a person with a disability is having difficulty in accessing goods and services at TCC Inc. premises.
    • TCC Inc. policies, procedures and practices relating to AODA in providing goods and services.

Feedback Process

  • TCC Inc. is committed to meeting the needs of families and clients, and addressing the unique requirements of persons with disabilities. Any comments or feedback on our services as to how these expectations are being met are welcomed and appreciated.
  • Feedback or complaints received from persons with disabilities will be recorded and reported to the Operations Manager and will be discussed with the Family Service Manager and the Director of Programs and Operations. TCC Inc. will make every effort to inform the complainants on the progress and outcomes relating to such complaints in accessible formats. TCC Inc. will ensure that any complaint or feedback will be addressed in a timely fashion.
  • Feedback with regard to the way TCC Inc. provide goods and services to people with disabilities can be made in the following ways:
    • In person at the reception or Family Services offices.
    • By phone at  416-977-0458.
    • By fax at 416-977-8807.
    • By e-mail: info@rmhctoronto.ca.
    • By mail: 240 McCaul Street, Toronto, Ontario M5T 1W5.

Modifications of TCC Inc. AODA Policy

TCC Inc. develops and updates policies, procedures and practices that respect and promote the dignity and independence of people with disabilities as well as integration and equal opportunity. Therefore, no changes will be made to this policy before considering the impact on people with disabilities. Any other TCC Inc. policy that does not respect and promote the dignity and independence of people with disabilities will be modified or removed. TCC Inc. will provide policy and procedure documents produced in an alternative format upon request.

Questions about this Policy

This policy exists to provide service excellence to any person with disabilities. If anyone has any questions about this policy, or if the purpose of a policy is not understood, please contact the Office Manager, Anita Price at 416-977-0458 or aprice@rmhctoronto.ca.