Purpose

The Integrated Accessibility Standards (Regulation 191/11) under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (AODA) came into force on July 1, 2011. The regulation establishes standards to address barriers that persons with disabilities face in the areas of information and communications, employment, and transportation. The requirements under these standards are not a replacement or substitution for the requirements of the Ontario Human Rights Code.

The purpose of this policy is to ensure that The Placement Office complies with the Government of Ontario’s integrated accessibility standards.

Application and Scope

This policy applies to all employees of The Placement Office, agents, volunteers and contracted service staff.

Policy Statement

The Placement Office is committed to creating an inclusive culture across the organization by preventing and removing barriers for persons with disabilities. Where it is not possible to remove barriers, The Placement Office will make efforts to accommodate persons with disabilities in a timely, effective and suitable manner. The Placement Office supports the principles of the AODA and the Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation. As a small private sector organization, The Placement Office’s goal is to ensure accessibility for our employee’s whether in the workplace or at public events that are held by The Placement Office. The Placement Office will provide training to its employees on the requirements of accessibility standards and on the Ontario Human Rights Code as it pertains to persons with disabilities.

The Placement Office ensures that any personal information concerning an individual’s disability cannot be released without written consent of the individual and must be managed in a manner that is consistent with Freedom of Information Guidelines and Personal Information Protection Guidelines, where appropriate. Where the employment process requires the release of confidential information to a third party (such as a client), the third party, and any person or department delegated by that third party, will be required to ensure that confidentiality is protected.

Procuring or acquiring goods, services or facilities

The Placement Office will incorporate accessibility features and criteria when procuring or acquiring goods, services or facilities, except where not practicable to do so. Where it is deemed not practicable to do so, The Placement Office will provide an explanation upon request.

Accessibility policies

Through this AODA Integrated Accessibility Standards policy and related accessibility policies, The Placement Office confirms our commitment to meet the needs of persons with disabilities in a timely manner. The Placement Office will make these documents publicly available and provide them in an accessible format upon request.

Accessibility plans

The Placement Office will maintain a multi-year accessibility plan and review and update it once every five years. The Placement Office will post the plan on its website and provide it in accessible format upon request. The Placement Office will file an annual status report on the progress of measures taken to implement its strategy, post the report on its website and provide it in accessible format upon request.

Information and Communications

Feedback – The Placement Office will ensure that its processes for receiving and responding to feedback are accessible to persons with disabilities and will notify the public about the availability of accessible formats and communications supports.

Accessible formats and communication supports – The Placement Office shall provide or arrange for accessible formats and communication supports for persons with disabilities in a timely manner that takes into account each person’s accessibility needs. The Placement Office will consult with the person making the request to determine the suitability of an accessible format or communication support. Communications supports will be provided at a cost that is no more than the regular cost charged to other persons. Any public notification will be based on availability of alternative formats upon request.

Accessible websites and web content – The Placement Office will make its internet website and web content conform to World Wide Web Consortium Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0, initially at Level A and increasing to Level AA, except where not practicable to do so.

Employment

The Placement Office policies and practices are intended to build an inclusive and accessible work environment free from discrimination and harassment.

Recruitment – The Placement Office uses a variety of methods including, internet postings, newspaper ads, roadside advertisements and referrals. The Placement Office will look to ensure that its’ recruitment methods are available in other means for people with disabilities. Any accommodation to this will be available upon request.

Assessment – The Placement Office will assess a person with a disability in the same manner as any person (i.e. – screening, testing, interviewing, reference, police check, any certifications (FKL drivers, AZ truck drivers, CVOR), computer skills). The Placement Office will make accommodations where available.

Selection – When selected for an assignment with The Placement Office, a person with a disability will be notified in accessible means to that person. The candidate will then be communicated The Placement Offices’ policies to support people with disabilities as well as a general orientation that will be tailored to the individual. Based on the assignment for the candidate, it will be discussesd as to what accomodations will be made at the Client site. Communication with the candidate and The Placement Office will continue over the course of his/her employment.

Retention – It is the goal of The Placement Office to achieve the same objective of job retention for any of its temporary employees. The Placement Office has the right to request an Individual Accessiblity Plan to ensure the employees needs are being met. The Placement Office upon request from its employee seeking advancement will contact the client directly and disclose any information back tot he employee. Where a person with a disability is injured or disabled on the job, The Placement Offices’ Return to Work or Work Reintegration policy will be followed allowing for accomodations upon availability.

Definitions

Barrier: anything that prevents a person with a disability from fully participating in one or more aspects of society, including a physical barrier, an architectural barrier, information or communications barrier, attitudinal barrier, technological barrier, policy or practice.

Standard: according to the AODA, sets out what a person or organization must do to achieve accessibility for persons with disabilities to whom the standard applies.

Small private sector organization: a small private sector organization with fewer than 50 employees, such as The Placement Office.

Communication: may include, but are not limited to, plain language, sign language and other supports that facilitate effective communications.

Accessible formats: may include, but are not limited to, large print, recorded audio and electronic formats, Braille and other formats usable by persons with disabilities.
Feedback: any comments, compliments, suggestions or complaints provided to The Placement Office by its customers.

Disability: according to the Ontario Human Rights Code, as referenced by AODA, means:

i. 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

ii. a condition of mental impairment or a developmental disability

iii. a learning disability, or a dysfunction in one or more of the processes involved in understanding or using symbols or spoken language

iv. a mental disorder

iv. an injury or disability for which benefits were claimed or received under the insurance plan established under the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act, 1997

(Disabilities may differ in severity, may be visible, invisible, and have effects which may come and go).

Information: includes data, facts and knowledge that exists in any format, including text, audio, digital or images.

References and Forms

• Ontario Human Rights Code
• Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005
• Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation 191/11