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What’s hot in hr : Accessibility. ACCESSIBILITY FOR ONTARIANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT, 2005. Accessibility. Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act 2005 (AODA)

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What s hot in hr accessibility

What’s hot in hr: Accessibility

ACCESSIBILITY FOR ONTARIANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT, 2005


Accessibility
Accessibility

  • Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act 2005 (AODA)

  • Allows for the making and enforcement (including inspections) of accessibility standards and prescribes penalties for violation of such standards

  • Customer Service Standard for the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (Regulation 429/07)

  • Accessible Employment Standards (Regulation 191/11)

    • Small organizations (less than 50 employees): implementation 2016-2025

    • Starting January 1, 2012, organizations will need to provide their employees with disabilities with emergency response information that is tailored to the employee’s needs, if the disability requires it.


Who do the customer service regulations apply to
Who do the customer service regulations apply to?

  • The Regulations “establish accessibility standards for customer service and it applies to every designated public sector organization and to every other person or organization that provides goods or services to members of the public or other third parties and that has at least one employee in Ontario.”

  • Slightly different standards for organization with 20 or more employees (greater documentation) and organization with less than 20 employees


What is covered by the regulations
What is covered by the regulations?

  • Establish policies, practices and procedures governing the provision of its goods or services to persons with disabilities, which must cover:

    • Respect for dignity and independence of persons with disabilities

    • Services to be of an integrated nature unless otherwise necessary to enable a person with a disability to obtain, use or benefit from the goods or services.

    • Equal opportunity to obtain, use and benefit from services

    • Use of assistive devices to obtain, use or benefit from services


Areas covered by the standards
Areas covered by the standards

  • Use of service animals and support persons

  • Notice of temporary disruption (to accessible services)

    • “Notice of the disruption must include information about the reason for the disruption, its anticipated duration and a description of alternative facilities or services, if any, that are available.”

    • Posted (in buildings, website, etc.)

  • Training for staff about the provision of its goods or services to persons with disabilities

    • For anyone who deals with any member of the public, governance positions

    • ASAP and ongoing

  • Developing a process for obtaining and responding to feedback about the manner in which goods and services are provided to persons with disabilities

  • Where an organization has more than 20 employees: documenting actions relating to the standards and filing an accessibility report with the Ontario Government

  • Provision of documents required by the Act in a format that takes into account the person’s disability


When do we need to comply
When do we need to comply?

  • January 1, 2012

  • Failure to meet the requirements stipulated in the Act can result in significant monetary penalties


Accessibility is not one size fits all
Accessibility is not one size fits all

  • 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.

  • Each organization needs to consider how they can provide goods or services to people with disabilities in light of their services, type of organization, resources and the options available for providing accessibility.


Example
Example

  • A customer who is blind and reads Braille may need to know exactly what is on her bill but be unable to read a print copy. Different organizations may approach this situation in a range of ways.

  • At a small coffee shop, a waiter or cashier might read the bill to the person. A florist shop might offer to read a bill by phone. A mid-sized utility company might offer monthly bills in Braille to customers who register for the service and then might hire another company to print and send the Braille bills. A larger utility with more customers who use Braille and in-house technical expertise might determine that it is more cost effective to purchase equipment that lets the utility create its own monthly bills in Braille and may also offer an accessible website that allows bill viewing and payment online.


Resources
Resources

  • Ministry of Community and Social Services: guide and template of an accessibility plan, as well as tools to train staff

  • http://www.mcss.gov.on.ca/en/mcss/programs/accessibility/customerService/Under20.aspx

  • Ontario Government Guide to Accessibility Standards (see www.ethics-matters.ca/links)

    • Step by step instructions on how to comply with the AODA including excellent examples

  • HRPA Webinars: http://www.hrpa.ca/ProfessionalDevelopment/Pages/AODAWebinars.aspx


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