Family Day Care Services (Family Day) is committed to ensuring that policies, practices and procedures we establish reflect the principles of integration, independence, dignity and equal opportunity for persons with disabilities. We are committed to meeting the needs of people with disabilities in a timely manner and will do so by removing and preventing barriers to accessibility where possible, and by meeting requirements under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (AODA) and related Ontario Regulation 191/11 on Integrated Accessibility Standards.
To demonstrate our commitment to providing accessible services that allows persons with disabilities to fully participate in community activities by receiving services in a similar way as provided to other customers by meeting the requirements of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act in such areas as training, accessible communication, respectful customer service, accessible employment and physical spaces.
This Policy applies to all Family Day staff, contractors and partners.
Definitions Used for the Purposes of This Policy
- Accessibility – The term accessibility means giving people of all abilities opportunities to participate fully in everyday life. It is used to describe how widely a service, product, device, or environment is available to as many people as possible. Accessibility can be seen as the ability to access and benefit from a system, service, product or environment.
- Barriers — Barriers are obstacles that limit access and prevent people with disabilities from fully participating in society. Most barriers are not intentional. Barriers usually arise because the needs of people with disabilities are not considered from the beginning.
- Disability – Ontario’s accessibility law adopts the definition for disability that is in the Ontario Human Rights It defines disability broadly as:
- 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 service animal or on a wheelchair or other remedial appliance or device;
- a condition of mental impairment or a developmental disability;
- a learning disability, or a 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
The definition includes disabilities of different severity, visible as well as non-visible and disabilities the effects of which may come and go.
- Staff – For the purposes of this Policy, only refers to permanent/contract and casual staff, volunteers and students.
- Contractors and Partners – For the purposes of this Policy, only refers to individuals who provide services on behalf of Family Day.
- Customers – Refers to people who receive Family Day services.
- Guide Dog – A dog trained to guide the blind.
- Service Animals – Animals that have been trained to perform tasks that assist people with disabilities.
- Support Person – A person that helps a person with a disability to overcome barriers and protects the health and safety of the person with a disability and/or others.
Family Day will provide training to all new staff, contractors and partners on Ontario’s accessibility laws and on accessibility aspects of the Ontario Human Rights Code that apply to persons with disabilities.
Training will offered in alternative formats at the request of the individual.
The content of training will provide guidance on:
- a review of the purposes of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 and the requirements of standards related to Customer Service;
- a review of practices and procedures relating to the provision of services to people with disabilities;
- how to interact and communicate with people with various types of disabilities;
- how to interact and communicate with people with various types of disabilities who use assistive devices;
- how to interact with and serve people with disabilities who require the assistance of a guide dog or other service animal;
- how to interact with and serve people with disabilities who require the assistance of a support person;
- what to do if a person with disability is having difficulty in accessing the Agency’s services;
- how a person with disability can provide feedback in regards to the Agency’s accessibility
Information and Communication
Family Day will strive to make written information and other forms of communication more accessible by considering the needs of people with disabilities during the planning stage of services.
Family Day will communicate with an individual with a disability in a way that takes into account their disability. The Agency will consider how the disability affects the way that the person expresses, receives or processes communications. Where possible, Family Day will ask the person directly how to communicate with them.
Upon request, Family Day provides information and communications materials in accessible formats or with communication supports. This includes publicly available information about our services and facilities, as well as publicly available emergency and safety information.
Changing the usual method of communication
The following are examples of strategies and methods that Family Day will use to communicate in a variety of ways:
- using plain language to make a document easier to read for people with certain learning disabilities;
- using e-mail to communicate with customers who are deaf or have speech impairments;
- providing written hand-outs of commonly spoken information;
- using large print for people who have low vision;
- providing easy-to-read, simplified summaries of materials for people with developmental or intellectual disabilities;
- offering phone service rather than requiring in person service for people with physical disabilities;
- offering the assistance of a staff person to complete a transaction.
This policy is available to the public on our website. Family Day’s website and content conform with internationally recognized Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0, Level AA”.
Family Day will strive to identify barriers and remove them, in order to provide customer service that is more accessible to people who have disabilities.
· People with disabilities who use assistive devices or services
Family Day will facilitate the use of the personal assistive devices on its premises such as wheelchairs, walkers, white canes, oxygen tanks, portable chalk boards and electronic communication devices.
· Guide dogs or service animals
Guide dogs or service animals may accompany persons with disabilities in those areas of Family Day’s premises that are open to the public. If a service animal is excluded by another law or where another person’s health and safety could be seriously impacted by the presence of the service animal, Family Day will facilitate other options to provide service to the person.
Where an animal is not a trained guide dog and it is not readily apparent to an average, informed person that the animal is a service animal, Family Day will ask the person using the service animal for a letter from a doctor or nurse that states the animal is needed because of a disability.
· People with disabilities who use a support person
A support person will be welcome in those areas of the premises that are open to the public only if the support person is necessary to protect the health or safety of the person with the disability or the health or safety of others on the premises. Appropriate behaviour is expected of a support person just as it is of the customer with the disability and all other customers.
· Notice of temporary service disruption
In the event of a planned or unexpected disruption to services or facilities for individuals with disabilities (e.g., an elevator, ramp, audio announcements or accessible washroom), Family Day will notify customers promptly. This clearly posted notice (see Appendix A) will include information about the reason for the disruption, its anticipated length of time, and a description of alternative facilities or services, if available.
*Please use font size 25-26 and a legal size paper when printing out the Notice
The notice will be placed on the front doors and on Family Day’s website, and a telephone message will be recorded (for Gordon Baker Office – notice will be placed on the East and West entrance doors of the building and on Family Day’s website and a telephone message will be recorded in the general Family Day voice mailbox).
· Feedback on how Family Day provides services to people with disabilities
Family Day welcomes and appreciates comments on its customer service supporting customers with disabilities. Feedback regarding the way the Agency provides services to people with disabilities can be made by:
- sending an email to Human Resources (HR@familyday.com)
- phoning the Manager of Human Resources at (416) 922-9556, extension 2006
- submitting a written suggestion to Family Day Care Services, 155 Gordon Baker Rd, Suite 400, Toronto, ON M2H 3N5, Attn: Manager, Human Resources
Family Day is committed to fair and accessible employment practices. We notify the public and staff that we accommodate disabilities during recruitment and selection processes, and when people are hired.
We create individual accommodation plans and/or workplace emergency information for any employee who has a disability, in accordance with Family Day’s Accommodation Policy.
Family Day takes into account the accessibility needs and accommodation plans of employees with disabilities at all stages of the employment cycle including hiring, performance management, career development, redeployment, return-to-work processes and emergency planning.
Design of public spaces
Family Day will meet the Accessibility Standards for the Design of Public Spaces in Ontario when building or making major modifications to public spaces. Public spaces include:
- outdoor play spaces, like playgrounds;
- accessible off-street parking;
- service-related elements like waiting areas
Family Day has developed a multi-year accessibility plan that outlines how we will meet the requirements of the Integrated Accessibility Standards. The plan is available to the public on our website, or alternatively in an accessible alternative format upon request.
Modifications to Family Day’s policies and procedures
Any policy or procedure of Family Day Care Services that does not respect and promote the dignity and independence of people with disabilities will be modified or removed.
See also: APPENDIX A: Notice of Temporary Service Disruption (download full PDF for appendix)