Accessibility Policy

ACCESSIBILITY

In 2005, the government of Ontario passed the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act or “AODA.”  It is the goal of the Ontario government to make Ontario accessible by 2025.  The Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulations (“IASR”) under the AODA require that The Care Company implement a multi-year accessibility plan which outlines its strategy to prevent and remove barriers for people with disabilities and to meet its requirements under the IASR.

The Care Company will ensure that its policies, practices, and procedures for providing its services are consistent with the principles outlined in the applicable provincial Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA). The accessibility policy demonstrates The Care Company’s commitment to becoming more accessible. 

The AODA was enacted for the purpose of developing, implementing, and enforcing accessibility standards to ensure that customer service is available to everyone, including persons with disabilities specifically: 

  • The services are provided in a manner that respects the dignity and independence of persons with disabilities.

  • The provision of services to persons with disabilities and others will be integrated unless an alternate measure is necessary, whether temporarily or permanently, to enable a person with a disability to obtain, use or benefit from the services.

  • Persons with disabilities will be given an opportunity equal to that given to others to obtain, use and benefit from the services that comply with the legislated Accessibility Standards Act for Customer Service. 

 

DEFINITIONS:

Disability: (Source Guide to the Accessibility Standards for Customer Service. Ontario Regulation 429/07).

  1. 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 coordination, blindness or visual impediment, deafness or hearing impairment, muteness or speech impediment, or physical reliance on a guide dog or other animal or on a wheelchair or other remedial appliance or device,

  2. A condition of mental impairment or a developmental disability,

  3. A Learning disability, or a dysfunction in one or more of the processes involved in understanding or using symbols or spoken language,

  4. A mental disorder, or

  5. An injury or disability for which benefits were claimed or received under the insurance plan established under the latest Workplace Safety and Insurance Act.

The definition includes disabilities of different severity, visible as well as non-visible disabilities, and disabilities with effects that may come and go.

Personal Assisted Devices: (Source: Guide to the Accessibility Standards for Customer Service, Ontario Regulation 429/07) Products or services that can help an individual carry out daily activities with greater ease and independence, such as a walker, a personal oxygen tank, TTY (Telephone Teletype), or amplification systems.

Service Animal: (Source: guide to the Accessibility Standards for Customer Service, Ontario Regulation 429/07) An animal is a service animal when it is readily apparent that the animal is used for reasons relating to a disability or the person with a disability has a letter from a regulated health professional that states the animal is required for disability-related reasons.

 

Support Person: (Source: Guide to the Accessibility Standards for Customer Service, Ontario Regulation 429/07) A person who accompanies an individual with a disability to assist with communication, mobility, personal care of medical needs or with access to goods or services. The support person could be a paid personal support worker, a volunteer, a friend, or a family member.

 

PROCEDURE

1.1 Communication. We communicate with people with disabilities in ways that consider their disabilities. We train staff who communicate with customers on how to interact and communicate with people with various types of disabilities. We can communicate with customers by email, fax, or letter if telephone communication is not suitable to their communication needs or is not available. The Chief Operating Officer will provide such documents requested in a format that considers the person’s disability.

1.2 Telephone services. We are committed to providing fully accessible telephone service to our customers. We train staff to communicate with customers over the telephone in clear and plain language and to speak clearly and slowly. The Care Company provides a telephone number on the website for all customers, including persons with disabilities who want to respond with customer service feedback. 

 

1.3 Assistive devices. We are committed to serving people with disabilities who use assistive devices to obtain, use or benefit from our services. Staff are trained on how to interact with persons, who require an assistive device and devices available to help provide service or support to a person with a disability. Service recipients are permitted to keep their assistive devices with them while accessing the services unless the client or others’ health and safety are at risk or where there is a risk of damage to any person or property. 

 

1.4 Documentation and Billing. All published documents can be made available in hard copy, large print and email if required. We are committed to providing invoices in many formats to all our clients’ e.g., hard copy, large print, email etc. We will answer any questions clients may have about the content of the invoice in person, by telephone or email. We are committed to providing accessible invoices to all our customers. Invoices will be provided in alternative format upon request. We will answer any questions customers may have about the content of the invoice in person, by telephone or email or large print email. All documents relating to Accessibility Standards are available to customers/clients when requested The Care Company provides notice in the client welcome package that the documents required by the provincial Accessibility Standards for Customer Service are available upon request (if applicable).

 1.5 Use of service animals and support persons.  We are committed to welcoming people with disabilities who are accompanied by a service animal on the parts of our premises that are open to the public. We will also ensure that all staff, volunteers, and others dealing with the public are professionally trained in how to interact with people with disabilities who are accompanied by a service animal. Any person with a disability who is accompanied by a support person will be allowed to enter The Care Company’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.

The Care Company will:

  • Not touch a service animal without permission

  • Not offer food or treats to service animals

Clients will: 

  •  Ensure the service animal is kept in control at all times and is well behaved. 

  •  Ensure the service animal is not a threat to health and safety. 

  • Ensure that the service animal has up-to-date immunizations.

 

1.6 Notice of temporary disruption. The Care Company provides customers with notice in the event of a planned or unexpected disruption in 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. When possible, disruptions that are known in advance will be posted on all communication boards.

 

1.7 Emergency Procedures. In the event of an emergency, The Care Company management shall enact their Emergency Response Plan. The plan will include aspects of communicating and assisting staff and visitors with a self-disclosed accessibility challenge and a higher level of priority. Staff members who require assistance during emergency situations are asked to voluntarily advise their manager of their requirements, at time of hire or when a requirement for assistance is known, to safely evacuate the facility. Individual plans are to be created, and copies of the same are to be kept confidential and will only be shared with consent to the Health and Safety Committee.

 

1.8 Reporting. The Care Company will file the Accessibility Compliance Report as per government requirements. The status of the Multi-year Accessibility Plan can be seen here.

1.9 Training for The Care Company Staff. The Care Company provides training to all employees, volunteers and others who deal with the public. Accessibility Customer Service training will be provided to all Care Company staff including managers, supervisors, administrative staff and field staff, all full time, and part-time staff as well as all volunteers. Training is to be provided on an ongoing basis to address changes to legislation and to reflect changes in our policy. Records of Training will be kept by the Human resources Coordinator, including the dates that training was provided and the content of the training program. Training will include the following: The Care Company staff and volunteers provide services and staff and volunteers trained upon hire and as changes occur to the policies, procedures, and practices. 

The training includes: 

  • Policy and procedures relating to Accessibility Standards for Customer Service.

  • Interacting and communicating with a person with various disabilities.

  • Procedures to follow when a person with a particular disability is having difficulty accessing service.

  • How to interact with persons who require an assistive device, service animal or support person.

  • How to use or obtain the necessary training on equipment or assistive devices available to help provide service or support to a person with a disability. 

  •  What to do if a person with a disability is having difficulty in accessing The Care Company's services.

  • Those involved in policy development will receive additional training about providing goods or services to the public. 

  • This training will be done as part of our mandatory training program each year. For all staff members that join our team after this point, this training will be provided within their new hire training classes. Ongoing training will be provided with respect to any changes to the Care Company’s policies, practices, and procedures

1.10 Feedback. The Care Company is committed to providing exceptional customer service. We appreciate feedback from our clients and staff, especially related to the way we provide services to people with disabilities. All feedback should be directed to our management team in the method most preferred by the client or staff. 

Feedback Process: If you have a question, issue, or complaint, please contact us using one of the methods below:   


Phone: (416) 422-2273

Fax: (416) 479-8330

Email: HR@Carecompany.com

Mail: The Care Company

Attn: Human Resources

1213 Bayview Ave, Unit 3

Toronto, Ontario

M4G 2Z8

REFERENCES

Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005

Ontario Regulation 429/07

About the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (AODA)