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Integrated Accessibility Policy

Introduction

This Policy is intended to reinforce the commitment of Addiction Services for York Region (ASYR) to accessibility and outlines how the agency will meet the requirements of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA).

 

Scope

This Policy applies to all ASYR Personnel (Members of the Board of Directors, operational volunteers, employees, contract personnel and student placements).

 

Commitment

ASYR supports the principles of the AODA and is committed to meeting the requirements of the Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation. ASYR will work to prevent and remove barriers and to provide fair accommodation for people with disabilities. Inclusiveness is one of our agency’s values and promotion of integration and equity is reflected in all that we do.

 

Policy Statement

Addiction Services for York Region (ASYR) is committed to meeting all requirements under AODA. This includes workplace emergency response plans, fair and accessible employment practices, provision of information and customer service.

The provision of goods and services to persons with disabilities will be integrated wherever possible. Persons with disabilities will benefit from the same services, in the same place and in a similar way as other stakeholders.

 

Definitions

Disability

  1. Any degree or combination of physical disability, malformation, disfigurement or infirmity that is caused by birth defect, bodily injury, 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 coordination, blindness or visual impairment, deafness or hearing impairment, hearing loss, loss of speech or impediment or physical reliance on a service animal or on a wheelchair or other remedial appliance or device
  2. A condition of mental impairment or a developmental disability
  3. A learning disability, or a dysfunction in one or more of the processes involved in understanding or using symbols or spoken language
  4. A mental disorder
  5. An injury or disability for which  benefits were claimed or received under the insurance plan established under the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act, 1997.

 

Accessible

Easy to get at, capable of being influenced, obtainable; able to be understood or appreciated; capable of being entered or reached, approachable.

 

Accommodation

An adjustment made to enable a person with a disability to perform the essential duties or requirements of the position.

 

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.

 

Dignity

Respecting and treating every person including persons with disabilities as avalued and as deserving of effective and full service as any other stakeholder.

 

Goods and Services

Goods, services and programmes provided by ASYR to individuals, the community or other organizations/agencies

 

Independence

Freedom to make your own choices; freedom from influence or control of others

 

Service Animals

Animal(s) used by a person with a disability. Examples include guide dogs, oftentimes used by persons with hearing impairment, visual impairment and/or to alert an individual of an oncoming seizure.

 

Support Person

A person who has been hired or chosen by a person with a disability to provide services or assistance with mobility, personal care, medical needs, communication or with access to goods and/or services

 

General Principles

 

Provision of Goods and Services to Persons with Disabilities

ASYR is committed to excellence in serving all individuals, including persons with disabilities and will carry out its functions and responsibilities to ensure that policies, practices and procedures are consistent with the following principles:

  • Goods and/or services are provided in a manner that respects the dignity and independence of person with disabilities
  • The 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 ASYR’s goods and/or services
  • Persons with disabilities are given an opportunity equal to that of persons without disabilities to obtain, use or benefit from goods and/or services
  • Communicating in a manner that takes into account the customer’s disability
  • To ensure the best possible service, ASYR encourages two-way communication and expects persons with disabilities to communicate their need for accommodation or assistance

 

Procedures

 

Communication

Addiction Services for York Region (ASYR) is committed to communicating with persons with disabilities in ways that take into account their disability:

  1. ASYR Personnel will be trained in how to interact and communicate with constituents with disabilities guided by the principles of dignity, independence and equality;
  2. Constituents with disabilities will be offered alternative communication formats that will meet their needs as promptly as feasible;
  3. Documents will be provided to constituents in an alternative format such as large print or a text only e-mail that can be read by a computer;
  4. If telephone communication is not suitable for a constituent’s needs, alternative forms of communication will be offered;
  5. In the event that a planned temporary service disruption occurs that would limit a person with a disability from gaining access to ASYR goods and services, ASYR will make the disruption known to constituents via messages posted on the agency’s website at www.asyr.ca and/or notices will be posted in the main office and satellite offices regarding the disruption of access to goods and services.

 

Notices will include information about the reason for the disruption, its anticipated duration, alternate means of accessing services, if applicable, and a description of the alternative services.
 

If an unexpected disruption occurs, ASYR will make every effort to accommodate persons with disabilities by providing goods and services by alternative means – eg: using an alternative time and place for providing goods and services or other assistive measures.

 

Use of Assistive Devices, Service Animals and Support Persons

ASYR will ensure that access, use and benefit of goods or services are not compromised for persons with disabilities who require assistive devices or who are accompanied by a service animal or support person.

 

Assistive Devices

Persons with disabilities may use their own assistive devices, as required, when accessing goods and/or services provided by ASYR.

In cases where assistive devices present a safety concern or where accessibility might be an issue, other reasonable measure will be used to ensure the access of goods and services an example of this is open flames and oxygen tanks cannot be near one another for safety reasons, therefore the accommodation of a client with an oxygen tank may involve ensuring the client is in a location that would be considered safe for both the client and the agency. Another example is when elevators are not present and where an individual requires assistive devices for the purposes of mobility, service will be provided in a location that meets the needs of the client.

It is the responsibility of the person with a disability to ensure that his or her assistive device is operated in a safe and controlled manner at all times.

 

Guide Dogs, Service Animals and Service Dogs

A client with a disability that is accompanied by a guide dog, service animal or service dog will be allowed access to premises that are open to the public unless otherwise excluded by law. “No pet” policies do not apply to guide dogs, service animals and/or service dogs.

Service animals are not permitted where food preparation is being undertaken or, as otherwise disallowed by law. In the rare case where a service animal is to be denied access to a facility or meeting room, other accommodations may be afforded, such as teleconference, delivery of goods or services at an alternate time or location or other assistive measures available to ensure equality of outcome.

 

Support Persons

If a person with a disability is accompanied by a support person, ASYR will ensure that both persons are allowed to enter the premises together and that the client is not prevented from having access to the support person.

There may be times where seating and availability prevent the client and support person from sitting beside each other. In these situations, ASYR will make every reasonable attempt to resolve the issue.

In situations where confidential information might be discussed, consent will be obtained from the client, prior to any conversation where confidential information might be discussed.

 

Training

ASYR will provide AODA customer service training to all employees and to volunteers and others who deal with the public or other third parties on their behalf, and all those who are involved in the development and approvals of constituent service policies, procedures and protocols. ASYR will also provide training to ASYR personnel in accordance with the Integrated Accessibility Standard Regulation.

Training will be provided as part of new ASYR Personnel orientation and on an ongoing basis as necessary to ensure that individuals stay current with the Policy, Procedures and Protocols related to AODA.

 

Individualized Emergency Response Plans

Addiction Services for York Region will provide individualize workplace emergency response information to Employees who have a disability, if the disability is such that the individualized information is necessary, and if Addiction Services for York Region is aware of the need for accommodation due to the employee’s disability.  Addiction Services for York Region will provide this information as soon as practicable after becoming aware of the need for accommodation.

Where the Employee requires assistance, ASYR will, with the consent of the Employee provide the workplace emergency response information to the person designated by ASYR to provide assistance to the Employee.

ASYR will review the individualized workplace emergency response information when the employee moves to a different location in the organization, when the Employee’s overall accommodation needs or plans are reviewed and ASYR reviews its general emergency policies.

 

Recruitment, Assessment or Selection Process

By July 2016, ASYR will notify its Employees and the public about the availability of accommodation for applicants with disabilities in its recruitment process.

ASYR will notify job applicants when they are individually selected to participate further in an assessment or selection process that accommodations are available upon request in relation to the materials or processes to be used.

If a selected applicant requests an accommodation, ASYR will consult with the applicant and provide, or arrange for the provision of, a suitable accommodation in a manner that takes into account the applicant’s accessibility needs due to disability.

By July 2016, when making offers of employment, ASYR will notify the successful applicant of its policies for accommodating Employees with disabilities.

 

Informing Employees of Supports

By July 2016, ASYR will inform its Employees of its policies, procedures and protocols (and any changes to them) used to support Employees with disabilities, including but not limited to, procedures and protocols on the provision of job accommodations that take into account an Employee’s accessibility needs due to disability.  ASYR will provide this information to new Employees as soon as practical after commencing employment.

 

Accessible Formats and Communication Supports for Employees

By January 2016, upon the request of an Employee with a disability, ASYR will consult with the Employee to provide, or arrange for the provision of, accessible formats and communication supports for information that is needed to perform the Employee’s job, and information that is generally available to other Employees.

In determining the suitability of an accessible format or communication support, ASYR will consult with the Employee making the request.

 

Documented Individual Accommodation Plans

ASYR will maintain a written process for the development of documented individual accommodation plans for Employees with disabilities.

If requested, information regarding accessible formats and communication supports provided will also be included in individual accommodation plans.

In addition, the plans will include individualized workplace emergency response information (where required), and will identify any other accommodation that is to be provided.

 

Return to Work Process

By July 2016, ASYR will develop and have in place a documented return to work process for its Employees who have been absent from work due to a disability and who require disability-related accommodations in order to return to work.

The return to work process will outline the steps ASYR will take to facilitate the return to work and will include documented individual accommodation plans as part of the process.

This return to work process will not replace or override any other return to work process created by or under any other statute (e.g. the Ontario Workplace Safety Insurance Act, 1997).

 

Performance Management, Career Development and Advancement and Redeployment

By July 2016, ASYR will take into account the accessibility needs of Employees with disabilities, as well as individual accommodations plans, when conducting performance management, providing career development and advancement to Employees, or when redeploying Employees.

 

Feedback

This policy exists to achieve service excellence in providing services to clients, employees and volunteers with disabilities. Any questions about this or other accessibility policies should be referred to Human Resources or the Executive Director.  Comments may be provided through the completion of the Customer Feedback form or by contacting Human Resources.

Feedback will be used to improve service. Anyone providing feedback will receive a response in the format in which the feedback was received.

 

Related Documents

1. Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005

2. Accessibility Standards for Customer Service Policy

3. Assistive Devices Inventory

4. Customer Feedback Form

5. AODA Employment Standards Policy

6. Definitions

7. ASYR Code of Conduct

8. ASYR Ethics Policy

9. ASYR Client Rights and Responsibilities