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AODA- Accessibility Standards for Client Service Policy

Intent

This policy is intended to meet the requirements of Accessibility Standards for Client Service, Ontario Regulation 429/07 under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005, and applies to the provision of goods and services to the public or other third parties, not to the goods themselves.
All goods and services provided by Herizon House shall follow the principles of dignity, independence, integration and equal opportunity.

Definitions

Assistive Device – Is a technical aid, communication device or other instrument that is used to maintain or improve the functional abilities of people with disabilities. Personal assistive devices are typically devices that clients bring with them such as a wheelchair, walker or a personal oxygen tank that might assist in hearing, seeing, communicating, moving, breathing, remembering and/or reading.
Disability – The term disability as defined by the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005, and the Ontario Human Rights Code, refers to:
• 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;
• A condition of mental impairment or a developmental disability;
• A learning disability or dysfunction in one or more of the processes involved in understanding or using symbols or spoken language;
• A mental disorder; or
• An injury or disability for which benefits were claimed or received under the insurance plan established under the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act, 1997.
Guide Dog – Is a highly-trained working dog that has been trained at one of the facilities listed in Ontario Regulation 58 under the Blind Persons’ Rights Act, to provide mobility, safety and increased independence for people who are blind.
Service Animal – as reflected in Ontario Regulation 429/07, an animal is a service animal for a person with a disability if:
• It is readily apparent that the animal is used by the person for reasons relating to his or her disability; or
• If the person provides a letter from a physician or nurse confirming that the person requires the animal for reasons relating to the disability.
Service Dog – As reflected in Health Protection and Promotion Act, Ontario Regulation 562 a dog other than a guide dog for the blind is a service dog if:
• It is readily apparent to an average person that the dog functions as a service dog for a person with a medical disability; or
• The person who requires the dog can provide on request a letter from a physician or nurse confirming that the person requires a service dog.
Support Person – As reflected in Ontario Regulation 429/07, a support person means, in relation to a person with a disability, another person who accompanies him or her in order to help with communication, mobility, personal care, medical needs or access to goods and services.

Guidelines

In accordance with the Accessibility Standards for Client Service, Ontario Regulation 429/07, this policy addresses the following:
A. The Provision of Goods and Services to Persons with Disabilities;
B. The Use of Assistive Devices
C. The Use of Guide Dogs, Service Animals and Service Dogs
D. The Use of Support Persons
E. Notice of Service Disruptions
F. Client Feedback
G. Training
H. Notice of Availability and Format of Required Documents
A. The Provision of Goods and Services to Persons with Disabilities
Herizon House will make every reasonable effort to ensure that its policies, practices and procedures are consistent with the principles of dignity, independence, integration and equal opportunity by:
• Ensuring that all clients receive the same value and quality;
• Allowing clients with disabilities to do things in their own ways, at their own pace when accessing services as long as this does not present a safety risk;
• Using alternative methods when possible to ensure that clients with disabilities have access to the same services, in the same place and in a similar manner;
• Taking into account individual needs when providing services; and
• Communicating in a manner that takes into account the client’s disability.
B. The Use of Assistive Devices
Client’s Own Assistive Device(s)
Persons with disabilities may use their own assistive devices as required when accessing services provided by Herizon House.
C. Guide Dogs, Service Animals and Service Dogs
A client with a disability that is accompanied by guide dog, service animal or service dog will be allowed access to premises.
Food Service Area
A client with a disability that is accompanied by guide dog or service dog will be allowed access to our kitchen and pantry.
Other types of service animals are not permitted into food service areas due to the Health Protection and Promotion Act, Ontario Regulation 562 Section 60.
Exclusion Guidelines
If a guide dog, service animal or service dog is excluded by law (see applicable laws below) Herizon House will offer alternative methods to enable the person with a disability to access services, when possible (for example, securing the animal in a safe location and offering the guidance of an employee).
Applicable Laws
Food Safety and Quality Act 2001, Ontario Regulation 31/05: Animals not intended for slaughter or to be euthanized are not allowed in any area or room of a meat plant. It also makes an exception for service dogs to allow them in those areas of a meat plant where food is served, sold or offered for sale to clients and in those areas that do not contain animals or animal parts and are not used for the receiving, processing, packaging, labeling, shipping, handling or storing of animals or parts of animals.
The Health Protection and Promotion Act, Ontario Regulation 562 Section 60, normally does not allow animals in places where food is manufactured, prepared, processed, handled, served, displayed, stored, sold or offered for sale. It does allow guide dogs and service dogs to go into places where food is served, sold or offered for sale. However, other types of service animals are not included in this exception.
Dog Owners’ Liability Act, Ontario: If there is a conflict between a provision of this Act or of a regulation under this or any other Act relating to banned breeds (such as pitbulls) and a provision of a by-law passed by a municipality relating to these breeds, the provision that is more restrictive in relation to controls or bans on these breeds prevails.
Recognizing a Guide Dog, Service Dog and/or Service Animal:
If it is not readily apparent that the animal is being used by the client for reasons relating to his or her disability, Herizon House may request verification from the client.  Verification may include:
• A letter from a physician or nurse confirming that the person requires the animal for reasons related to the disability;
• A valid identification card signed by the Attorney General of Canada; or,
• A certificate of training from a recognized guide dog or service animal training school.
Care and Control of the Animal:
The client that is accompanied by a guide dog, service dog and/or service animal is responsible for maintaining care and control of the animal at all time.
Allergies
If a health and safety concern presents itself for example in the form of a severe allergy to the animal, Herizon House will make all reasonable efforts to meet the needs of all individuals.
D. The Use of Support Persons
Herizon House will allow support persons onto the premises and will ensure the client is not prevented from having access to the support person. All support persons will be required to sign the Herizon House External Visitor Confidentiality form and adhere to keeping the location information of Herizon House confidential. Examples of support persons are (but no limited to) caseworker from another community agency, personal support worker, community advocate).
E. Notice of Service Disruptions
Service disruptions may occur due to reasons that may or may not be within the control or knowledge of Herizon House. In the event of any temporary disruptions to facilities or services that client’s with disabilities rely on to access or use Herizon House’s services, reasonable efforts will be made to provide advance notice. In some circumstances such as in the situation of unplanned temporary disruptions, advance notice may not be possible.
Notifications will include:
In the event that a notification needs to be posted the following information will be included unless it is not readily available or known:
• Information regarding services that are disrupted or unavailable
• Reason for the disruption;
• Anticipated duration; and
• A description of alternative services or options.
Notification Options
When disruptions occur Herizon House will provide notice by:
• posting notices in conspicuous places including at the point of disruption, at the main entrance and the nearest accessible entrance to the service disruption and/or on the Herizon House website;
• If it is safe to do so clients with appointments will be contacted
• If deemed necessary posting to the website, leaving notice on our administration phone line and verbally through our crisis line
• By any other method that may be reasonable under the circumstances.
F. Client Feedback
Herizon House shall present clients with the opportunity to provide feedback on the service provided to clients with disabilities.
Information about the feedback process will be readily available to all clients and notice of the process will be made available through our staff, posted notifications and through the intake process when clients enter into our services
Submitting Feedback – Clients can submit feedback to:
Executive Director
21012- 314 Harwood Avenue South
Ajax, ON
L1S 7H2
Clients who wish to provide feedback beyond our feedback forms can choose to do so verbally to any Herizon House management staff including the Executive Director.
G. Training
Training will be provided to:
• All employees and volunteers of Herizon House
• Those who are involved in the development and approval of client service policies, practices and procedures.
Training Provisions
As reflected in Ontario Regulation 429/07, regardless of the format, training will cover the following:
• A review of the purpose of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005.
• A review of the requirements of the Accessibility Standards for Client Service, Ontario Regulation 429/07.
• Direction on how to interact and communicate with people with various types of disabilities.
Training Schedule
Herizon House will provide training as soon as practicable. Training will be provided to new employees and volunteers during their orientation. Revised training will be provided in the event of changes to legislation, procedures and/or practices. Refresher training will be made available periodically to staff and volunteers.
Record of Training
Herizon House will keep a record of training that includes the dates training was provided and the number of employees who attended the training.
H. Notice of Availability and Format of Documents
Herizon House shall notify clients that the documents related to the Accessibility Standard for Client Services are available upon request and in a format that takes into account the client’s disability. Copies can be made in larger print, staff can read aloud the document and it can be arranged to be read in the language of the clients choosing. Notification will be given by posting the information in a conspicuous place owned and operated by Herizon House, the Herizon House’s website and/or any other reasonable method.
Administration
If you have any questions or concerns about this policy or its related procedures please contact:
Executive Director
21012- 314 Harwood Avenue South
Ajax, ON
L1S 7H2
This policy and its related procedures will be reviewed as required in the event of legislative changes or changes to agency procedures.
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