1. Purpose and Scope
The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (AODA) is Provincial Legislation with the purpose of developing, implementing and enforcing accessibility standards in order to achieve accessibility for persons with disabilities with respect to goods, services, facilities, accommodation, employment, buildings, structures and premises on or before January 1, 2025.
Ontario Regulation 429/07 entitled “Accessibility Standards for Customer Service” came into force on January 1, 2008. This regulation establishes accessibility standards specific to customer service for public sector organizations and other persons or organizations that provide goods and services to members of the public or other third parties.
This policy is in accordance with the Accessibility Standards for Customer Service Ontario Regulation 429/07 and 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 by persons with disabilities
• The use of support persons by persons with disabilities
• Notice of temporary disruptions in services and facilities
• Staff training
• Customer feedback regarding the provision of goods and services to persons with disabilities
• Notice of availability and format of documents and meetings
This Policy applies to all members of the School’s community. The York School community includes employees and students at The York School, members of The York School’s Board of Governors, contractors, service providers, visitors, including invitees, guests or persons who have no ongoing connection to the school but are on campus. 2. Policy Statement
It is the policy of The York School that its working, living and learning environments will be maintained free from discrimination and harassment as prohibited by the Ontario Human Rights Code (1962), and the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (1995) (AODA).
It is the policy of The York School that every employee, student and customer has a right to equitable treatment with respect to employment, services, goods, and facilities, without discrimination in accordance with the provisions of the Ontario Human Rights Code (1962). Goods and services will be provided in a manner that is based upon the principles of dignity, independence, integration and equal opportunity to all of its customers. The provision of goods and services to persons with disabilities will be integrated wherever possible. 3. Definitions (from Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005)
Disability: Shall mean,
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
Accessible shall mean capable of being entered or reached, approachable; easy to get at; capable of being influenced, obtainable; able to be understood or appreciated.
Assistive Device shall mean 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 shall mean respecting and treating every person including persons with a disability as valued and as deserving of effective and full service as any other customer.
Independence shall mean freedom from control or influence of others, freedom to make your own choices.
Guide Dog shall mean a dog trained as a guide for a person who is blind and having the qualifications prescribed by the regulations.
Goods and Services shall mean goods and services provided by The York School.
Service Animals shall mean animals that are used as a service animal for a person with a disability.
Support Person shall mean an individual hired or chosen by a person with a disability to provide services or assistance with communication, mobility, personal care, medical needs or with access to goods or services. 4. Providing Goods and Service to Persons with Disabilities
The York School is committed to excellence in serving all customers 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:
a) The York School’s goods and services are provided in a manner that respects the dignity and independence of persons with disabilities;
b) The provision of The York School’s 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 The York School’s goods or services;
c) Persons with disabilities are given an opportunity equal to that of persons without disabilities to obtain use or benefit from The York School’s goods and services, and
d) To ensure the best possible customer service, The York School encourages open two-way communication and expects persons with disabilities to communicate their need for accommodation or assistance if it is not readily apparent how that need can be met. 4.1 Communication
The York School is committed to communicating with persons with disabilities in ways that take into consideration their disability. To ensure this,
a) The York School staff will be trained in how to interact and communicate with customers with disabilities guided by the principles of dignity, independence and equality;
b) Customers with disabilities will be offered alternative communication formats that will meet the needs of the customer as promptly as feasible;
c) Documents will be provided to customers in an alternative format that will meet the needs of the customer in a timely fashion, and
d) If telephone communication is not suitable for customer’s needs, alternative forms of communication will be offered as required. 4.2 Use of Service Animals, Assistive Devices, and Support Persons
The York School will ensure that the 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, guide dog or support person. 4.2.1 Service Animals
Service animals, such as, but not limited to Guide dogs, Hearing dogs, Seizure Response dogs, and other certified service animals shall be permitted entry to all The York School’s facilities except where food preparation is being undertaken or, as otherwise disallowed by law. 4.2.2 Assistive Devices
Persons with disabilities shall be permitted to obtain, use or benefit from goods or services through the use of their own assistive devices. Exceptions may occur in situations where the School has determined that the assistive device may pose a risk to the health and safety of a person with a disability or the health and safety of others on the premises. In these situations, if a person with a disability is hindered from accessing goods or services, The York School will accommodate the customer by providing an alternative where possible.
It should be noted that 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.
The York School will ensure that staff is trained as required to use assistive devices available on our premises, including, but not limited to computers and required software, electronic recorders and other devices that may become available. 4.2.3 Support Persons
The York School is committed to welcoming customers 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 The York School’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 the The York School premises.
If admission to an event is permitted and fees are payable to The York School, the support person is permitted to attend at no cost for admission. Cost for other services (e.g. food, lodging etc.) will be the responsibility of the support person.
If a support person is necessary for the health and safety of a person with disabilities, or for the health and safety of other persons, the School will require the accompaniment of a support person on the School’s premises.
The customer shall determine whether a support person is necessary, however, where an employee believes that a support person should be in attendance to protect the health and safety of the customer or others, the following criteria shall be used in consulting with the customer:
- when there is a significant risk to the health and safety of the person with a disability or to others (the mere possibility of risk is insufficient);
- when the risk cannot be eliminated or reduced by other means;
- when the assessment of the risk is based on consideration of the duration of the risk, the nature and severity of the potential harm, the likelihood that the potential harm will occur, and the imminence of the potential harm; and
- when the assessment of the risk is based on the individual's actual characteristics, not merely on generalizations, misperceptions, ignorance or fears about a disability.
Students are required to provide their own support person(s). Students are expected to inform the School that they will be attending classes with a support person. 4.3 Billing
We are committed to providing accessible invoices to all of our customers and will make every effort to provide alternative formats of invoices in a timely manner upon request. 4.4 Notice of Temporary Disruption to Facilities or Services
In the event that a planned temporary service disruption occurs that would limit a person with a disability from gaining access to The York School’s facilities, goods or services, The York School will make the disruption known to customers in the following ways:
a) The Facilities Department will post notice of the service disruption on School premises in the area where the service disruption is located
b) Messages will be posted on the The York School web site at www.yorkschool.com
c) Notices of service disruption will be announced over the School voicemail and email systems
Notices will include information about the reason for the disruption, its anticipate duration, alternate service locations if applicable, and a description of alternative facilities or services if available from the affected service department.
If an unexpected disruption occurs, every effort will be used to accommodate persons with disabilities. 5. Staff Training
The York School will provide AODA customer service training to all staff.
This training will be provided as a condition of employment to all new staff and on an ongoing basis for staff to ensure all staff stays current with any policy or procedural changes as it relates to the AODA Customer Service Standard. 6. Feedback Process
The ultimate goal of The York School is to meet the needs of our customers, while paying attention to the unique requirements of our customers with disabilities. Comments on our services regarding how well those expectations are being met are welcomed and appreciated.
Feedback regarding the way The York School provides goods and services to people with disabilities can be made through contacting the Director of Finance and Operations, Katie Leopold at firstname.lastname@example.org or
416-926-1325, ext. 1110. The Director of Finance and Operations will investigate and resolve issues as required and communicate the results to the individual who initiated the feedback. 7. Format of School Policies
The York School develops and updates policies, procedures and practices in such a manner as to respect and promote the dignity and independence of people with disabilities, as well as integration and equality of opportunity. The York School will provide policy and procedure documents produced by the School in an alternative format upon request, within a reasonable amount of time.