Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) Policy

Title:Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) Policy
Type:Academic
Policy #:Academic-4
Effective Date:March, 2016
Approved By:Board of Governors, June 2015
Last Revision:July 22, 2019
Next Review:December 2020

 Policy

1. Introduction

The College acknowledges its ongoing responsibility to remove barriers to education and services for qualified applicants and students by designing facilities, systems, services and curricula in such a way that accessibility is enhanced and the need for individual accommodation is minimized.

Both the “Accommodation” approach and the “Accessibility” approach are intended to help a person gain access to services, experiences, materials, locales that they have a right to (and are qualified to) participate in or use.

“Accommodation,” is an individual arrangement to meet one person’s specific need by making a temporary change to the service or experience the person wants to engage in. This approach tends to work reactively, treating the problem or barrier to access as a function of the person’s disability. The accommodation tends to leave the service or system itself unchanged.

“Accessibility” is a permanent feature of services, practices, and the environment that the AODA is using to achieve in Ontario by 2025, by way of legislative requirements. The current Standards for Accessible Service under the AODA focus primarily on accessible service delivery practices and personal interaction methods. The proactive “Accessibility” approach sees the barrier as a function of the environment and the design of services, not as a problem within the person. This approach is about changing our services and learning experiences and how we deliver them so that persons with disabilities can access and benefit from them in the same way, at the same time as others do, without undue assistance, in a way that respects their dignity. With this approach, the disability becomes less of an issue in a person’s efforts to meet his/her needs and achieve his/her goals.

The requirements in the AODA are not a replacement or a substitution for the requirements established under the Human Rights Code nor do the standards limit any obligations owed to persons with disabilities under any other legislation.

2. Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to affirm not only our duty and responsibility to comply with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) and its accessibility standards in customer service, but also to articulate the College’s commitment to promoting accessibility for all individuals with dignity and respect.

3. Scope

This policy applies to all members of the college community, and all members of the public who engage with College services.

4. Definitions

Disability: Any degree of physical disability, infirmity, malformation or disfigurement that is caused by bodily injury, birth defect or illness. This includes, but is not limited to diabetes, paralysis, amputation, visual, hearing, or speech impairment, physical reliance on a guide dog, wheelchair or other remedial appliance or device, mental disorder or impairment, developmental disability, learning disability, and/or an injury for which benefits were claimed under the insurance plan established under the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act.

5. Policy 5.1 The College shall comply with and apply the principles and regulations of the AODA to our daily operations so as to provide equal opportunity of access to person with disabilities within the College community.

5.2 The College shall ensure that the access, use and benefit of goods or services are not compromised for persons with disabilities.

5.3 The College shall provide alternative methods of communication to persons with disabilities that accommodate their disability.

5.4 The College shall ensure that staff members who provide goods or services to the public and/or those who develop College policies, procedures or processes, receive training about the provision of goods or services to persons with disabilities.

5.5 If there is a temporary disruption in the facilities or services, the College shall provide alternative accommodations for persons with disabilities.

5.6 The College shall provide training that is specific to the roles and duties of its employees, volunteers and other persons receiving the mandatory training.

5.7 The College shall provide training on an ongoing basis in respect of any changes to the policies and regulations related to AODA and Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation (IASR).

6. Guiding Principles 6.1 The College shall provide goods and services to member of the public based on the following principles:

6.2 Dignity: Services shall be provided in a respectful manner consistent with the needs of the individual.

6.3 Independence: Services for persons with disabilities shall support their independence while respecting their right to safety and personal privacy.

6.4 Equity: Service outcomes for persons with disabilities shall be consistent with services outcomes for persons without disabilities.

6.5 Integration: Services shall be provided in such as way to allow people with disabilities to fully benefit from the same services, in the same place and in the same or similar way as other customers.

7. Cross References to Other Existing Policies or Regulations • Accessible Customer Service Procedures

• Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act

• Accommodation for Persons with Disabilities and/or Medical Issue Policy

• Accommodation for Persons with Disabilities and/or Medical Issue Procedure

• Harassment and Discrimination Prevention Policy

• The Ontario Human Rights Code

8. Policy Ownership

Administrator

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