Towards a More Inclusive Library. Complying with the AODA Customer Service Standard. Annie Bélanger Janet Wason April 2010. Why?. The Standard permeates every aspect of our public-facing work. It’s everyone’s responsibility. Overview. AODA AODA Customer Service Standard
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Towards a More Inclusive Library Complying with the AODA Customer Service Standard Annie Bélanger Janet Wason April 2010
Why? • The Standard permeates every aspect of our public-facing work. • It’s everyone’s responsibility.
Overview • AODA • AODA Customer Service Standard • Impacts on the Library • The University • Guideline Development • Working Group • Process for doing • Sustainability • Ongoing compliance • Overview of staff sessions • Ongoing training
Outcomes • Understand the AODA Customer Service Standard. • Accessibility vs. Accommodation • Our obligations • Our commitment • Know how to approach revisions of guidelines, procedures, and practices. • Set the direction for future training and sustainable compliance.
Modules Q&A • Did you have questions about the Modules? • Anything you’d like to know more about? • What did you take away?One example?
Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (AODA) • The Vision: to make Ontario fully accessible by 2025. • Only jurisdiction in Canada with legislation setting out a comprehensive goal of accessibility in areas that affect the daily life of persons with disabilities. • First jurisdiction in the world to move to a regulatory system of legislation mandating accessibility.
AODA – The Five Standards Now law: • Customer Service (2008) Under ministerial review: • Built Environment • Employment • Information and Communications • Transportation
AODA – The Standards, cont’d • Public and private sector compliance. • Inclusive, consensus-based approach to developing standards: • Persons with disabilities and their service organizations were part of the development process.
Accessibility • Environment is what disables people. • We need to design for universal access. • Plan in order to prevent barriers. • Accessibility is everyone’s responsibility. Ask yourself: Is there anything “here” that might present a barrier?
Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2001 (ODA) • What is it? • Public sector required to develop and file an accessibility plan. • Library’s endeavours resulted in our accessibility plan, September 2003. • http://www.lib.uwaterloo.ca/News/UWLibDocs/access/plan.html • Highlighted the definitions of ‘disability’ and ‘barrier’. • Why is the AODA better? The ODA: • Has no regulations. • Is based on the idea of accommodation.
ODA & Accommodation • Assumption of ‘normal’ activity • Responsibility of ‘disabilities’ office • Modify environment one person at a time • Reactive rectification of barriers • Requires person to disclose A ‘barrier’ is anything that stops a person with a disability from fully taking part in society because of that disability.
Shift in Approach Accommodation Accessibility Problem is with the environment Proactive Integrate accessibility in planning Universal design • Disability or problem is with the person • Reactive • Individualized solution Note: The duty to accommodate continues!
Barriers • Types: • Physical • Architectural • Information or communications • Attitudinal • Technological • Systemic • Key insight: • Think in terms of barriers; don’t focus on the person’s [dis]ability. Can you think of an example of each type of barrier?
Print Disabilities • Prevent people from reading standard print. • Can be due to a visual, perceptual or physical disability. • E.g., vision impairment, a learning disability or a disability that prevents the physical holding of a book. • For full access, ensure the provision of: • Publications in multiple formats, such as Braille, audio, large print and electronic text. • Assistive technology From: Library and Archives Canada: Initiative for Equitable Library Access
Full Participation The Vision • A video: • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zWzUF293uX0 • Steve Kuusisto • A professor of creative writing at the University of Iowa. • Joint appointment in public humanities at the Carver Center for Macular Degeneration. • What caught your attention?
A Closer Look • The Vision: Ontario is the only jurisdiction in the world to require public and private sector organizations to train their staff on accessible customer service.
Who is Responsible? • Faculty & Staff • Full-time; Part-time • Contract; co-op; casuals • Volunteers • ... Anyone acting on our behalf...
Definition of ‘Customer Service’ • Interaction between a customer and a service provider of goods and service. • Customer is one who engages in such an interaction in order to receive goods or services. • May be voluntary or involuntary. • Providers include third parties and volunteers.
Who are the Library’s Customers? • Students • Faculty & Staff • Visitors • …
Q&A – Who are Your Customers? • Acquisitions • Cataloguing • Circulation • Facilities • Information Services and Resources • Library Administration • Site Libraries • Special Collections • Systems
Four Principles • DIGNITY • Self-respect, respect of others • INDEPENDENCE • Do things without unnecessary help from others • INTEGRATION • Same service, same way • EQUALITY OF OPPORTUNITY • Same options, chances, and benefits
What is the University doing for compliance? University
What the University is Doing… • The University has created policy statements to comply with the AODA. • The University is offering training using the COU modules. • More information available on the homepage of the Office for Persons with Disabilities. • http://www.adm.uwaterloo.ca/infosa/disabilities/
What do we have to do? What are the AODA requirements? Impacts on the Library
Training • Train staff, volunteers, ...: • who interact with the public or other third parties on your behalf. • who are involved in developing our policies, procedures and practices on the provision of library services. • Document training framework and guidelines.
Policies, Practices, Procedures • Establish policies/guidelines, practices and procedures for the provision of library services to persons with disabilities. • To be consistent with the 4 principles. • To be communicated with and accessible by users with disabilities.
Documentation • Document in writing the accessible customer service policies, practices and procedures. • Notify customers (users) that these documents are available on request. • Alternate formats must be available.
Feedback Process • Establish a feedback process [for users]. • Variety of ways – in-person, e-mail, telephone, web, etc. • Must specify how you will deal with feedback, and within what time-frame. • Document the feedback process. • Make information about it public. • a and within reviewed by whom, response timelines...]
Communication • Ensure that ways of communicating take into account a person’s disability. • Provide information in a format that is accessible to the user. • Use plain language.
Notice of Service Disruptions • Document a process for providing notice of temporary disruptions [to users]. • Especially for facilities and services that are used by persons with disabilities. • Notice must: • Include reasons, anticipated duration, any alternative facilities or services. • Be posted in a conspicuous place, website, etc.
Assistive Devices • Set a process for people to use their own personal assistive devices to access library services. • FM systems • Wheelchairs, scooters • Walkers • Communication boards
Service Animals • Allow service animals. • Types of service animals: • Guide dog • Hearing or signal animal • Mobility assistance animal • Seizure response animal • Therapeutic assistance animal
Support Persons • Allow support persons for users accessing library services. • Support person may be mandatory for health or safety reasons. • Support persons: • Guides • Interpreters • Note-takers, scribes, readers • Personal care
Taking stock of our current environment Building on our strengths
Brainstorm • What are we already doing? • How are we promoting and supporting accessibility? • Let’s build a list!
Library Statement of Commitment • "The University of Waterloo Library endeavours to provide equitable access to library facilities and materials to all members of its community. In acknowledging the need for alternatives by some individuals to standard library services, and in modifying both the physical structure and policies within the library system, the library is working towards providing independent access by everyone to the library's resources.“ http://www.lib.uwaterloo.ca/access/index.html#about
A Brief List of Achievements • Policies, Programs, Services: • Statement of commitment to equitable access • Library Services for Persons with Disabilities • Information service offered in various ways • Electronic Access: • Databases, journals, books • Website initiatives
A Brief List of Achievements • Physical Environment and Facilities: • Sliding doors (Porter), automatic door openers (Davis), doors always open (UML) • Split-level and electronically adjustable service desks • Electronically adjustable workstations on Porter floors main, 3 and 5 • Signage
A Brief List of Achievements • Communications & Awareness: • Staff awareness sessions • Adaptive Technology Centre and Library Services for Persons with Disabilities part of ISR training program, and... • ... On the Circulation Services staff web
Creating a More Inclusive Library Policies, Practices & Procedures
Some Definitions… • Policies/Guidelines • what you intend to do, including any rules for staff. • Procedures • reflect your policies • describe how you will go about providing service OR the steps staff are expected to take in certain situations. • Practices • what you do on a day-to-day basis, including how your staff actually offer or deliver services. • may be informal or written.
The Library as a whole needs to tackle this requirement as well as the departments within the Library. How do we get it done? AODA Policy Working Group
What is it? • Cross-departmental working group to: • Create a framework for guideline development. • Coordinate the creation/revision of library-wide policies/guidelines, procedures and practices needed for compliance. • The working group will be reporting to Lib Exec and the Library Managers group.
What Will it Achieve? • Create project plan and liaise with departments. • Assess existing policies/guidelines, practices and procedures as relating to compliance. • Establish needed policies/guidelines, practices and procedures for compliance. • Create a framework for procedure documentation: • Provide guidance and support for departmental level policies/guidelines. • Create needed library-level policies/guidelines. • Create toolkit for future planning. • Create a communication plan about policies/guidelines. • Prepare staff sessions to present new/updated policies.
Towards Compliance Areas of Focus • Communication Expectations • Feedback Process • Reporting of Barriers • Service Disruption Notices • Service Philosophy • Staff Training
Towards Compliance Process • Review work guidelines, practices, and procedures. • Document policies/guidelines, practices, and procedures for providing accessible service. • Train staff on new/revised policies/guidelines, practices, and procedures. • Communicate the availability of the new/revised document(s) with users.
Who’s Who? • Administrative Sponsor: Sharon Lamont • Members: • Chair: Annie Bélanger • Library Services for Persons with Disabilities: Janet Wason • Circulation: Wish Leonard, Alex McCulloch • Communications: Mary Stanley • Facilities: Eric Boyd • ISR: Jennifer Haas • Small Department Representative: Kathy MacDonald • Systems: Carl Nagel