The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) is an Ontario law that came into effect in June 2005, which requires the provincial government to work with the public and private sectors and the disabled community to jointly develop standards to be achieved in stages of 5 years or less. Following AODA, the Accessibility Standard for Customer Service, Ontario Regulation 429/07 came into force on January 1, 2008. The Ontario government’s goal is a fully accessible Ontario for people with disabilities by 2025. The purpose of AODA is to “improve opportunities for people with disabilities for their involvement in the identification, removal and prevention of barriers to their full participation in the life of the province”. This Act mandated certain public sector organizations to write, approve, endorse, submit, publish and communicate their accessibility plans. The first standard to be enforced is the Customer Service Standard. Organizations providing goods or services to the public must understand their obligations under the Customer Service Standard. All public service organizations must prove compliance with the Act by January 2010 and private by January 2012. The AODA compliance requires individuals and organizations in various industries and capacities to follow accessibility standards in five areas of doing business or interacting with the public. These five categories of standards are: information and communications; customer service; transportation; employment, and design of public spaces. These standards were developed by committees with representation from different sectors, including people from the disability community. Seasons Centre for Grieving Children is committed to providing excellent customer service to all clients, inclusive of individuals with disabilities. To be in compliance with the AODA, SCGC provides specific services for individuals with a disability:
We will communicate with individuals with disabilities in ways that take into account their disability.
We welcome individuals with disabilities and their service animals are allowed in all areas of Seasons Centre that are open to the public.
We welcome support persons accompanying individuals in ways that take into account their disability.
Notice of Service Disruption
We will notify stakeholders if there is a disruption in Seasons Centre services usually used by individuals with disabilities. We will explain the reasons for the disruption, how long it will last, and if alternate facilities or services are available. We may not be able to give advance notice if it is an emergency disruption.
We are committed to training all employees, volunteers, students and others who deal with the public or other third parties on our behalf on:
- Accessible customer service
- Requirements of the Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation
- Aspects of the Human Rights Code that related to accessibility
We will incorporate accessibility criteria and features when procuring, or acquiring goods, services or facilities. If it is not practicable to do so, we will provide an explanation, upon request.
Information and Communications
We will communicate with individuals with disabilities in ways that take into account their disability. When asked, we will provide information about our organization and its services, including public safety information, in accessible formats or with communication supports. We will also meet website requirements in accordance with timelines set out in the Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation.
We will notify employees, potential hires and the public that accommodations can be made during recruitment and hiring. We will notify staff that supports are available for those with disabilities. We will put in place a process to develop individual accommodation plans for employees. Where needed, we will also provide customized emergency information to help an employee with a disability during an emergency. Our performance management, career development and redevelopment processes will take into account the accessibility needs of all employees.
Changes to Policies
We will modify or remove a policy that does not respect and promote the dignity and independence of individuals with disabilities.
To this end, policies with clear accountability have been implemented that affirm and protect the right to care and treatment which is accessible, inclusive, secure, and respectful to all. We welcome feedback, including feedback about our services to individuals with disabilities. Individuals who wish to provide feedback can either send their submission by phone or mail.