Information For Those With Disabilities

 

Oshawa Temple, Family Services and Thrift Store

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Ontario accessibility standards: Several laws in Ontario address accessibility and some requirements have existed since the 1980s. Since then, progress on accessibility has been made in some areas and by some organizations.  Despite this, accessibility remains limited. People with disabilities still do not have equal access to services, employment, transportation, information or buildings that others in Ontario enjoy. They cannot count on accessibility being available. The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 was passed with the goal of creating standards to improve accessibility across the province.

Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (AODA)

Section 1
Purpose

1.  Recognizing the history of discrimination against persons with disabilities in Ontario, the purpose of this Act is to benefit all Ontarians by,

(a) developing, implementing and enforcing accessibility standards in order to achieveaccessibility for Ontarians with disabilities with respect to goods, services, facilities, accommodation, employment, buildings, structures and premises on or before January 1, 2025; and

(b) providing for the involvement of persons with disabilities, of the Government of Ontario and of representatives of industries and of various sectors of the economy in the development of the accessibility standards. 2005, c. 11, s. 1.

The purpose of the accessibility standards is to move organizations in Ontario forward on accessibility. The standards will set requirements in a number of key areas and will be reviewed at l         east every five years. New requirements may be added. Ontario will move step by step towards accessibility that is widespread and commonplace, accessibility that people with disabilities can count on, on a daily basis. In this way Ontario will fully benefit from the contributions, involvement and spending power of people with disabilities.

Examples

  • A person with a arthritis has a disability that over time may increase in severity
  • A person with a brain injury has a disability that is  not visable
  • A person with multiple[le sclerosis has a disability that causes them to experience periods when the condition doers not have an effect on daily routine and other periods when it does.

 “disability” means,

(a) 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,

(b) a condition of mental impairment or a developmental disability,

(c) a learning disability, or a dysfunction in one or more of the processes involved in understanding or using symbols or spoken language,

(d) a mental disorder, or

(e) an injury or disability for which benefits were claimed or received under the insurance plan established under the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act, 1997; (“handicap”)

It is important to understand that information about a disability is personal and private and must be treated confidentially. In most cases it will not be necessary to ask for proof of a disability. Through implementing the customer service standard, accessibility will simply become part of everyday service delivery. Some providers such as schools, colleges and universities may require proof of disability because of the type of services that they provide. In such cases, these providers may be subject to privacy-related laws with respect to that information.

The following requirements of the customer service standard apply to all providers that are covered by the standard. If you are a provider, you must:

  1. Establish policies, practices and procedures on providing goods or services to people with disabilities.
  2. Use reasonable efforts to ensure that your policies, practices and procedures are consistent with the core principles of independence, dignity, integration and equality of opportunity.
  3. Set a policy on allowing people to use their own personal assistive devices to access your goods and use your services and about any other measures your organization offers (assistive devices, services, or methods) to enable them to access your goods and use your services.
  4. Communicate with a person with a disability in a manner that takes into account his or her disability.
  5. Allow people with disabilities to be accompanied by their guide dog or service animal in those areas of the premises you own or operate that are open to the public, unless the animal is excluded by another law. If a service animal is excluded by law, use other measures to provide services to the person with a disability.
  6. Permit people with disabilities who use a support person to bring that person with them while accessing goods or services in premises open to the public or third parties.
  7. Where admission fees are charged, provide notice ahead of time on what admission, if any, would be charged for a support person of a person with a disability.
  8. Provide notice when facilities or services that people with disabilities rely on to access or use your goods or services are temporarily disrupted.
  9. Train staff, volunteers, contractors and any other people who interact with the public or other third parties on your behalf on a number of topics as outlined in the customer service standard.
  10. Train staff, volunteers, contractors and any other people who are involved in developing your policies, practices and procedures on the provision of goods or services on a number of topics as outlined in the customer service standard.
  11. Establish a process for people to provide feedback on how you provide goods or services to people with disabilities and how you will respond to any feedback and take action on any complaints. Make the information about your feedback process readily available to the public.

If you are a designated public sector organization or other provider with 20 or more employees, you must:

  1. Document in writing all your policies, practices and procedures for providing accessible customer service and meet other document requirements set out in the standard.
  2. Notify customers that documents required under the customer service standard are available upon request.
  3. When giving documents required under the customer service standard to a person with a disability, provide the information in a format that takes into account the person’s disability.

The customer service standard applies to all organizations, both public and private, that provide goods or services either directly to the public or to other organizations in Ontario (third parties) and that have one or more employees in Ontario.

Do my goods have to be accessible?

The standard does not set accessibility requirements for the goods themselves, but rather the way that they are provided to customers. In other words, it is the provision of goods or services to the public or other third parties that must comply with the customer service standard.

  • Policies – what you intend to do, including any rules for staff
  • Procedures – how you will go about it or the steps staff are expected to take
  • Practices – what you actually do on a day-to-day basis, including how your staff actually offer or deliver your services

 Providers must use reasonable efforts to ensure that the policies, procedures and practices they establish because of subsections 3(1) and 3(3) of the standard are consistent with the following principles:

  • Dignity
  • Independence
  • Integration, except when alternate measures are necessary to meet the needs of people with disabilities
  • Equal opportunity. (for definitions of these terms see ‘employer handbook’

There is no single way to provide accessibility. Accessibility can often be achieved in a variety of different ways; by changing a procedure or installing an assistive device or simply by considering the needs of people with disabilities when you create services.

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POLICIES

ACCESSIBLE CUSTOMER SERVICE POLICY PROGRAM
 PROVIDING ACCESSIBLE CUSTOMER SERVICE TO PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES

Communication
Workers will communicate with people with disabilities in ways that take into account their disability. 
Salvation Army supervisors will train workers who communicate with clients on how to interact and communicate with people with various types of disabilities. 

Telephone services 
The Salvation Army is committed to providing fully accessible telephone service to our clients. Workers will communicate with clients over the telephone in an understandable manner, taking into account the client’s disability. 
The Salvation Army will use reasonable efforts to ensure that the Salvation Army ministry units will offer to communicate with customers by other means of communication that may be appropriate for a client, for example, email, TTY and relay services.

Assistive devices 
The Salvation Army is committed to serving people with disabilities who use assistive devices to obtain, use or benefit from our services. The Salvation Army will train workers, when relevant, to be familiar with various assistive devices that may be used by clients with disabilities while accessing our services. 

4. Billing 
The Salvation Army is committed to providing accessible invoices to all of our clients and customers. For this reason, invoices will be provided in the alternative formats upon request, for example hard copy, large print and e-mail. 
The Salvation Army will answer any questions clients and customers may have about the content of the invoice in person, by telephone or in writing. 

Use of service animals and support persons 
The Salvation Army welcomes people with disabilities who are accompanied by a service animal. Workers dealing with the public will be properly trained on how to interact with people with disabilities who are accompanied by a service animal. 
The Salvation Army welcomes people with disabilities who are accompanied by a support person. Any person with a disability who is accompanied by a support person will be allowed to enter Salvation Army’s premises with his or her support person. At no time will a person with a disability who is accompanied by a support person be prevented from having access to his or her support person while on our premises.

Notice of temporary disruption 
The Salvation Army will provide customers with notice in the event of a planned or unexpected disruption in the facilities or services usually used by people with disabilities. This notice 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 at all public entrances and service counters on Salvation Army premises. 

Training for workers 
Salvation Armysupervisors will provide training to all workers who interact with the public and/or are involved in the development and approval of customer service policies, practices and procedures. 
This training will be provided upon orientation and refresher courses will be made available as appropriate.

Training will include the following: 

  • How to interact and communicate with people with various types of disabilities
  • How to interact with people with disabilities who use an assistive device or require the assistance of a service animal or a support person
  • How to use equipment or devices, elevator etc., available on Salvation Army’s premises, or other mechanisms that may help with the provision of services to people with disabilities.
  • What to do if a person with a disability is having difficulty in accessing Salvation Army’s services and how to report customer service feedback.
  • Specific Salvation Army individual ministry units’ policies, practices and procedures relating to the accessible customer service standard for that specific facilities and equipment

Accessible Customer Service Feedback process 
The ultimate goal of The Salvation Army is to meet and surpass client expectations while serving persons with disabilities. Comments on our services are welcome and appreciated.

Feedback regarding the way The Salvation Armyprovides services to people with disabilities can be made by e-mail, in writing or verbally. All feedback will be directed to the ministry unit’s Officer or Executive Director. Clients should receive a response within three business days

Each customer or client may complete an Accessible Customer Service Complaint and Feedback Form.

Oshawa Temple, Family Services and Thrift Store Accessibility Standard for Customer Service