Guelph Wellington Seniors Association (GWSA) will ensure that all locations used by GWSA are known to be accessible facilities. GWSA recognizes that the key principles of accessibility are independence, dignity, integration and equality. We are committed to complying with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) and the Ontario Human Rights Code.
The Accessibility Policy is available at GWSA offices. Accessible formats of this policy will be made available upon request. The policy will be reviewed annually. GWSA employees, co-op and practicum students, volunteers and Board members will be kept informed of changes.
The goal of GWSA is to meet expectations of people who are supported while welcoming family members and other visitors. Comments on our services regarding how well those expectations are being met are welcomed and appreciated. Feedback may identify areas that require change and encourage continuous service improvements.
Feedback regarding the provision of services to people with disabilities can be made in person, by telephone, email or in writing. A form for feedback and/or suggestions will be available at GWSA sites and posted on the GWSA website. Feedback will be directed to the GWSA’s Accessibility Co-ordinator for review and follow-up. GWSA will address the feedback within ten (10) business days of its receipt.
GWSA will review and revise other policies to ensure they respect and promote the dignity and independence of people with disabilities.
Accessibility Feedback Forms
The Accessibility Feedback Forms are available at GWSA offices to ensure that anyone has an opportunity to identify barriers that they encounter while attending GWSA programs or services.
The forms are reviewed by the GWSA’s Accessibility Co-ordinator when they are received in consultation with the person to address or remove the identified barrier as deemed applicable and feasible.
We will review our policies to ensure that they respect and promote the dignity and independence of people with disabilities and will be modified or removed.
Accessible Formats and Communication Supports
GWSA is committed to meeting the communication needs of people with disabilities.
To ensure the best possible customer service, GWSA encourages open, two-way communication with all people interacting with the GWSA to ensure the need for accommodation or assistance is met.
When asked, we will provide information and communications materials in accessible formats or with communication supports as promptly as is feasible. This includes publicly available information about our goods, services and facilities, as well as publicly available emergency information.
People who identify themselves as requiring alternative communication formats will be offered alternative communication in a format that meets their needs.
People with disabilities who rely on assistive devices will be able to access their devices when they are using GWSA services.
The person with the disability is responsible for ensuring that his assistive device is operated in a safe manner that does not put others at risk for injury.
We will ensure that our staff members are trained and familiar with various assistive devices we have on site or that we provide that may be used by customers with disabilities while accessing our goods or services.
GWSA welcomes people with disabilities and their service animals. Service animals are allowed on the parts of our premises that are open to the public.
There may be restrictions in areas that are otherwise governed by other laws such as the Health Protection and Promotions Act (section 59e). If the service animal is legally excluded, GWSA will provide alternate measures to enable a person with a disability to obtain, use or benefit from GWSA services (e.g. teleconference, alternate meeting place).
Support Person (as defined under AODA legislation)
People with a disability who are accompanied by a Support Person will be permitted to enter GWSA premises with their Support Person to equally benefit from the programs and services.
GWSA will ensure that the person with the disability is not prevented from having access to their Support Person while both are at GWSA.
Where fees for programs, goods or services are required, advance notice will be provided to the support person.
Where there is a disruption at a particular location or to a service used to allow a person with a disability access to GWSA goods or services, GWSA will provide notice to the public of the disruption, including the expected duration of the disruption and a description of alternative facilities or services that may be available.
In the event of a planned or unexpected disruption to services or facilities for customers with disabilities, GWSA will notify customers promptly. This clearly posted notice will include information about the reason for the disruption, its anticipated length of time, and a description of alternative facilities or services, if available.
The notice will be placed at all GWSA locations.
GWSA will notify the public and staff that, when requested, we will accommodate disabilities during recruitment and assessment processes and when people are hired.
An employee with a disability who requests an accommodation will provide the request in writing to the manager’s attention. The employee must include a physician’s note that provides information relating to the nature of the disability (not a diagnosis); specifically: the factors that require consideration for an accommodation and whether the request is for a temporary or a permanent accommodation. The accommodation will include ongoing review and/or a specific end date.
An individualized Return to Work Plan will be developed, whenever feasible, for those employees who have been absent from work due to a disability and who require a temporary or permanent disability-related accommodation in order to return to work.
If needed, we will provide customized workplace emergency information to employees who have a disability. If using performance management, career development and redeployment processes, we will take into account the accessibility needs of employees with disabilities.
Workplace Emergency Response
GWSA will develop and have in place a written process for the development of documented individual accommodation plans for employees and volunteers with disabilities.
An employee with a disability who requires assistance in the event of an emergency will complete the Self-Assessment Form and forward to the Human Resources Management committee. Once received, the Human Resources management committee will work with the employee to develop an individualized emergency response plan. (Forms are available.)
Staff/Co-op Students/Volunteer Training
All employees, practicum and co-op students and volunteers of GWSA are required to successfully complete Accessibility training as part of the orientation process into GWSA.
In addition there is a required annual review of the Accessibility Policy and Plan by all staff, practicum and co-op students and volunteers (HR to provide the forms for signature). There will be notifications sent and/or refresher sessions offered whenever the Accessibility Policy and/or Plan is revised.