AODA Policy

OVERVIEW

Value Statement
The Multicultural Council of Windsor and Essex County is committed to excellence in serving all customers including people with disabilities.

Purpose of the AODA
The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) was passed in 2005. Under the Act, the Ontario government requires accessibility standards in place for the following organizational areas:

  • Customer service
  • Employment
  • Information and communications
  • Transportation
  • Built environment

The Accessibility Standard for Customer Service applies to all people or organizations in Ontario that provide goods or services, and have one more employees It affects private, non-profit and public sectors:

  • Private
  • Non-profit
  • Public

Assistive devices
We will ensure that all staff are trained and familiar with various assistive devices that may be used by customers with disabilities while accessing our goods or services.

Communication
We will communicate with people with disabilities in ways that take into account their disability. In addition, accessible format of documentation will be provided to clients with disability upon request.

Employment
The Multicultural Council of Windsor and Essex County is an equal opportunity employer is committed to be fair and equitable in its recruitment process. As such, individuals with disabilities during the recruitment, assessment, and selection processes will be accommodated, upon request. In addition, if a selected applicant requires accommodation, the Multicultural Council of Windsor and Essex County will coordinate with the applicant, to ensure that necessary accommodation is made available, to reflect the applicant’s accessibility needs. Additionally, should an employee require accommodation as part of their return to work due to an injury, the MCC can provide reasonable accommodation upon request. Employee must submit the Return to Work Plan form and will be required by the employee to submit to their Immediate Supervisor, for review and approval.

Emergency Response Plan
As per the requirements outlined within The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA), all employers, upon request, shall provide individualized workplace emergency response information to employees who have identified that they have a disability and require accommodation. Additionally, should an employee require accommodation to the organizational emergency response plan, the employee must submit the Emergency Response Plan Request Form form and will be required by the employee to submit to their Immediate Supervisor, for review and approval.

Service animals
We welcome people with disabilities and their service animals. Service animals are allowed on our premises.

Support persons
A) The MCC welcomes persons who are accompanied by a support person. Any person with a disability who is accompanied by a support person will be allowed to enter the premises with his or her support person. At no time will a person who is accompanied by a support person be prevented from having access to his or her support person, provided that the interaction between the person and his /her support person does not compromise client staff relationship or MCC ability to provide service. B) In the case where a fee will be charged for the admission of a support person, the fee will be communicated and posted accordingly by the program through our website, brochure or other public method.

Notice of temporary disruption
The MCC will provide notice in the event of a planned or unexpected disruption to services or facilities for customers with disabilities to access the MCC’s programs and services. Although the MCC cannot provide the same guarantee in emergency temporary disruptions situations, every reasonable effort will be made to give adequate notice.
A notice regarding a temporary disruption will include information about the reason for the disruption, its anticipated duration, and a description of alternative facilities or services, if available. The notice will be placed in relevant conspicuous locations on our premises and, when appropriate shall be placed on the MCC website.

Training
The MCC will provide training about accessible goods and services to all employees, volunteers and students who interact with members of the public who wish to obtain, use or benefit from services provided by the MCC. In addition, training will be provided to employees as part of the orientation training for new employees/volunteers/students on an ongoing basis whenever changes are made to relevant policies, procedures and practices. The training will be provided as soon as practicable after the new employee is assigned his/her duties. Training will include a review of the purpose of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act 2005, the requirements of the Customers Service standard, and information about the following:

  • How to interact and communicate with people with various types of disabilities.
  • The MCC’s policies, practices and procedures relating to the provision of services to persons with disabilities.
  • How to interact with persons with disabilities who use an assistive device or require the assistance of service animal or a support person.
  • How to use equipment or devices available at the MCC that may help with the provision of services to a person with a disability.
  • What to do if a person with a disability is having difficulty accessing the MCC’s services.

Training will be provided on an ongoing basis and will be altered as needed

Feedback process
Customers who wish to provide feedback regarding the way in which The MCC provides goods and services to people with disabilities can be provided, via e-mail, at contact@themcc.com. All feedback will be directed to the Human Resources Generalist. Customers can expect to hear back in 10 business working days. Complaints will be
addressed according to our organization’s regular complaint management procedures.

Modifications to this or other policies
Any policy of The MCC that does not respect and promote the dignity and independence of people with disabilities will be modified or removed.

INTERACTING AND COMMUNICATING WITH PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES GUIDELINE

1. People with Physical Disabilities
Disability Overview: Few individuals with physical disabilities require use of a wheelchair. Someone with a spinal cord injury may use crutches while someone with severe arthritis or a heart condition may have difficulty walking longer distances.
Tips:

  • If you need to have a lengthy conversation with someone who uses a wheelchair or scooter, consider sitting so you can make eye contact at the same level.
  • Don’t touch items or equipment, such as canes or wheelchairs, without permission.
  • If you have permission to move a person’s wheelchair, don’t leave them in an awkward, dangerous or undignified position, such as facing a wall or in the path of opening doors.

2. People with Vision Loss
Disability Overview: Vision loss can restrict someone’s ability to read, locate landmarks or see hazards. Some customers may use a guide dog or a white cane, while others may not.
Tips:

  • When you know someone has vision loss, don’t assume the individual can’t see you. Many people who have low vision still have some sight.
  • Identify yourself when you approach and speak directly to the customer.
  • Ask if they would like you to read any printed material out loud to them (for example, a schedule of fees).
  • When providing directions or instructions, be precise and descriptive.
  • Offer your elbow to guide them if needed.

3. People with Hearing Loss
Disability Overview: People who have hearing loss may be deaf, deafened or have difficulty hearing. They may also be oral deaf – unable to hear, but prefer to talk instead of using sign language. These terms are used to describe different levels of hearing and/or the way a person’s hearing was diminished or lost.
Tips:

  • Once a customer has identified themselves as having hearing loss, make sure you are in a well-lit area where they can see your face and read your lips.
  • As needed, attract the customer’s attention before speaking. Try a gentle touch on the shoulder or wave of your hand.
  • If your customer uses a hearing aid, reduce background noise or move to a quieter area.
  • If necessary, ask if another method of communicating would be easier (for example, using a pen and paper).

4. People who are Deafblind
Disability Overview: A person who is deafblind may have some degree of both hearing and vision loss. Many people who are deafblind will be accompanied by an intervenor, a professional support person who helps with communication.
Tips:

  • A customer who is deafblind is likely to explain to you how to communicate with them, perhaps with an assistance card or a note.
  • Speak directly to your customer, not to the intervenor.

5. People with Speech or Language Impairments
Disability Overview: Cerebral palsy, hearing loss or other conditions may make it difficult for a person to pronounce words or may cause slurring. Some people who have severe difficulties may use a communication board or other assistive devices.
Tips:

  • Don’t assume that a person with speech impairment also has another disability.
  • Whenever possible, ask questions that can be answered with “yes” or a “no”.
  • Be patient. Don’t interrupt or finish your customer’s sentences.

6. People with Learning Disabilities
Disability Overview: The term “learning disabilities” refers to a variety of disorders. One example is dyslexia, which affects how a person takes in or retains information. This disability may become apparent when a person has difficulty reading material or understanding the information you are providing.
Tips:

  • Be patient – people with some learning disabilities may take a little longer to process information, to understand and to respond.
  • Try to provide information in a way that takes into account the customer’s disability. For example, some people with learning disabilities find written words difficult to understand, while others may have problems with numbers and math.

7. People with Intellectual Developmental Disabilities
Disability Overview: Developmental or intellectual disabilities, such as Down Syndrome, can limit a person’s ability to learn, communicate, do everyday physical activities and live independently. You may not know that someone has this disability unless you are told.
Tips:

  • Don’t make assumptions about what a person can do.
  • Use plain language.
  • Provide one piece of information at a time.

8. People with Mental Health Disabilities
Disability Overview: Mental health issues can affect a person’s ability to think clearly, concentrate or remember things. Mental health disability is a broad term for many disorders that can range in severity. For example, some customers may experience anxiety due to hallucinations, mood swings, phobias or panic disorder.
Tips:

  • If you sense or know that a customer has a mental health disability, be sure to treat them with the same respect and consideration you have for everyone else.
  • Be confident, calm and reassuring.
  • If a customer appears to be in crisis, ask them to tell you the best way to help.

9. Interacting with People Who Use Assistive Devices
Disability Overview: An assistive device is a tool, technology or other mechanism that enables a person with a disability to do everyday tasks and activities, such as moving, communicating or lifting. Personal assistive devices can include things like wheelchairs, hearing aids, white canes or speech amplification devices.
Tips:

  • Don’t touch or handle any assistive device without permission.
  • Don’t move assistive devices or equipment, such as canes and walkers, out of your customer’s reach.
  • Let your customers know about accessible features in the immediate environment that are appropriate to their needs (e.g. public phones with TTY service, accessible washrooms, etc.).

10. Interacting with People Using Service Animals
Disability Overview: People with vision loss may use a guide dog, but there are other types of service animals as well. Hearing alert animals help people who are deaf, deafened, oral deaf, or have difficulty hearing. Other service animals are trained to alert an individual to an oncoming seizure.
Tips:

  • Remember that a service animal is not a pet. Avoid touching or addressing them.
  • If you’re not sure if the animal is a pet or a service animal, ask your customer.

11. Interacting with People Accompanied by a Support Person
Disability Overview: Some people with disabilities may be accompanied by a support person. A support person can be a personal support worker, a volunteer, a family member or a friend. A support person might help your customer with a variety of things from communicating, to helping with mobility, personal care or medical needs.
Tips:

  • If you’re not sure which person is the customer, take your lead from the person using or requesting your goods or services, or simply ask.
  • Speak directly to your customer, not to their support person.

12. Assisting People With Disabilities Who Need Help Accessing Organizational Goods or Services
Tips:

  • If you notice that your customer is having difficulty accessing your goods or services, simply ask “How can I help you?”

 

INTEGRATED ACCESSIBILITY STANDARDS

What is Integrated Accessibility Standards
The Integrated Accessibility Standards regulation, remove barriers for individuals with disabilities in the following areas: Information and Communication, Employment, Transportation.

Areas Relevant to the MCC
Information and Communications

  • Enabling websites and web content accessible according to the World Wide Web Consortium’s Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0.
    /Example: A video is posted on the MCC website. The video is captioned for people with hearing loss.
  • Accessible formats and communications supports for people with disability upon request.
    /Example: MCC pamphlets are available in different formats (i.e. text only), upon request.
  • Accessible feedback process available for clients with disability upon request.

Employment

  • Job applicants are informed that the recruitment and hiring processes will be modified to accommodate their disabilities, upon request.
  • Written process available for developing and documenting individual accommodation plans for employees with disabilities, upon request.
  • Individualized emergency response information for employees with disabilities provided when necessary.

 

ONTARIO HUMAN RIGHTS CODE

What is the Human Rights Code?
The Ontario Human Rights Code requires organizations to accommodate people with disabilities to the point of undue hardship.

What is the Difference Between Integrated Accessibility Standards and Ontario Human Rights Code?
The Ontario Human Rights Code and the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act both deal with accessibility, but are two very different pieces of legislation. The Ontario Human Rights Code is an individual, complaints-based legislation that addresses discrimination. The Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation, created under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, applies to all organizations in Ontario and will increase accessibility for all.

Other formats of the policy are available upon request.

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