Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities
AEC is committed to providing an environment that is accessible and inclusive to all persons who work, or use the services of the organization.
AEC will work to eliminate or minimize the adverse effects of barriers, including physical, environmental, attitudinal, communication and technological barriers that may prevent the full participation of individuals with disabilities in the organization.
AEC will provide employees, and to others as deemed appropriate, with opportunities for education and access to information regarding disability and the organizations policies on disability. At the same time, AEC will endeavour to protect the privacy, confidentiality and autonomy of its employees and clients with disabilities.
The core principles in meeting the service needs of those with disabilities are as follows:
- Dignity – Goods and services are provided in a manner that is respectful to persons with a disability and does not diminish the person’s importance.
- Independence – Accommodating a person’s disability means respecting their right to do for themselves and to choose the way they wish to receive goods and services.
- Integration – Persons with disabilities can access all goods and services. This may require alternative formats and flexible approaches. It means inclusiveness and full participation. This is a fundamental human right.
- Equal Opportunity – Service is provided to persons with disabilities in a way that their opportunity to access goods and services is equal to that given to others.
1. PURPOSE: The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (“AODA”) is provincial legislation designed for the purpose of developing, implementing and mandating accessibility standards in order to achieve accessibility for persons with disabilities, with respect to goods, services, facilities, accommodation, employment, buildings, structures and premises. The first regulation developed under the AODA is the Accessibility Standards for Customer Service (the “Standards”), which established standards relating to customer service for organizations that provide goods and services to members of the public or third parties. All private and non-profit organizations in Ontario are required to be compliant with the Standards by January 2012.
2. SCOPE: This policy applies to all employees and agents of AEC International.
3. DEFINITION: The term "disability" is defined as follows in the Ontario Human Rights Code, as amended from time to time:
- 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.
4. COMMUNICATION WITH PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES: When communicating with a person with a disability, AEC will do so in a manner that takes into account the person’s disability and, to the extent possible, will act on requests from an individual regarding communication needs and preferences.
5. NOTICE OF PLANNED OR UNPLANNED DISRUPTION IN SERVICES AND FACILITIES: In the event of a service disruption affecting employees, clients, contractors or members of the general public, the AEC will take reasonable steps to report such disruption to its employees and clients in a timely fashion through appropriate information channels. Notice of the disruption will include information about the reason for the disruption, its anticipated duration and a description of alternative facilities or service that are available.
6. ASSISTIVE DEVICES: Personal assistive devices are permitted in all areas of AEC to which employees and the public have access. The provision, use and safety of personal assistive devices are the responsibility of the person with a disability.
7. SERVICE ANIMALS: Persons with a disability who are accompanied by a service animal may access the premises of AEC if the public has access to such premises and the animal is not otherwise excluded by law.
- If a service animal is excluded by law, AEC will ensure that alternate means are available within reasonable time and location to provide persons with a disability access to the agencies services.
8. SUPPORT PERSONS: AEC welcomes staff, clients and visitors who are accompanied by a support person, when the support person has been hired or chosen by the person with a disability to accompany them in order to assist in accessing goods or services and/or for the purposes of providing support with mobility, personal assistance and/or communication. Individuals who are accompanied by a support person are encouraged to inform relevant persons of their participation.
- Where there are fees for admission, membership or participation in an event organized by AEC, persons with a disability shall be expected to pay the same fee as other attendees, but no admission fee shall be charged to their support person.
9. FEEDBACK & REPORTING INCIDENTS: Feedback about the delivery of services to persons with disabilities is welcomed, as it may identify areas that require change and assist in continuous service improvement. Such feedback may be by telephone, in person, in writing, or by email to Human Resources (or designate).
- Any worker or client experiencing issues of concern related to this policy are encouraged to report such incident or concern by telephone, in person, in writing, or by email to Human Resources (or designate).
- When feedback is received, AEC will address the feedback and respond to the individual providing the feedback within 10 business days.
10. TRAINING: AEC shall provide training on AODA client/customer service to all current employees and contractors. New employees will be provided such training as part of their orientation. This training shall include a review of the AODA, the Standards and this policy. The training will address how to interact and communicate with persons with disabilities and those who use an assistive device or require the assistance of a service animal or a support person. Training will also be provided on the use of various assistive devices and what to do if a person with a disability is having difficulty in accessing the organizations goods and services.
11. AEC will not tolerate any type of discrimination on the basis of disability or handicap within the workplace or at work related activities.
12. A worker who subjects another worker, volunteer, client or other person to discrimination on the basis of disability, or refuses to provide service in accordance with this policy may be subject to disciplinary action up to and including immediate termination for cause, depending on the severity of the conduct.
13. All managers, supervisors and workers are equally responsible for complying with the terms of this policy in the workplace.
14. Every worker is responsible for promptly reporting to his/her supervisor or manager any issues of concern and/or opportunities for improvement related to this policy.
15. Every manager or supervisor is responsible for promptly responding to and investigating any issues of concern in accordance with this policy.
16. This policy is not intended to discourage or prevent any worker from exercising any other legal rights pursuant to any law.
17. This policy is available to any member of the public and AEC will, to the extent possible, provide the policy to an individual in a format that is accessible to them.