ACCESSIBILITY POLICY

Crossroads will ensure that services are accessible to all clients and that its policies, practices and procedures are consistent with the following principles:

  1. Services shall be provided in a manner that respects the dignity and independence of persons with disabilities.
  2. Persons with disabilities shall be given an opportunity equal to that given to others who obtain and benefit from our services.

POLICY:

Our Commitment:

Crossroads strives at all times to provide its services in a way that respects the dignity and independence of people with disabilities.  We are committed to giving people with disabilities the opportunity to access our services in the same place and in a similar way as other clients.

Communication:

We will strive to communicate with people with disabilities in ways that take their disability into account.   We will train staff who communicate with clients on how to interact and communicate with people with various types of disabilities.

Telephone Services

We are committed to providing fully accessible telephone services to our clients.  We will strive to communicate with clients over the telephone in clear and plain language and will speak clearly and slowly.

We will offer to communicate with clients by appropriate alternate methods if telephone communication is not suitable to their communication needs or is not available.

Assistive Devices

We are committed to serving people with disabilities who require assistive devices to use our services.  We will ensure that our staff are familiar with various assistive devices that may be used by clients with disabilities while accessing our services.

Use of Service Animals and Support Persons

Crossroads is committed to welcoming people with disabilities who are accompanied by a support person or service animal.  At no time will a person with a disability who is accompanied by a support person be prevented from having access to his or her support person while on our premises.  We will also ensure that all staff and students are properly trained on how to interact with people who are accompanied by a service animal.

Notice of Temporary Disruption

Crossroads will provide clients with notice if a planned or unexpected disruption occurs for any event or services usually used by people with disabilities when possible.  This notice will include information about the reason for the disruption, its anticipated duration, and a description of alternate facilities or services if available.

The notice will be placed at all public entrances.

PROCEDURES

Core Principles 

Crossroads will endeavor to ensure that all procedures are consistent with the following four (4) core principles:

  1. DignityPersons with a disability must be treated as valued persons as deserving of service as any other person.
  2. Equality of Opportunity – Persons with a disability should be given an opportunity equal to that given to others to obtain, use and benefit from our services.
  3. 3Integration – Wherever possible, persons with a disability should benefit from our services in the same place and in the same or similar manner as any other person. In circumstances where integration does not serve the needs of the person with a disability, services will, to the extent possible, be provided in another way that takes into account the person’s individual needs.
  4. Independence – Services must be provided in a way that respects the independence of persons with a disability. To this end, we will always be willing to assist a person with a disability but will not do so without the express permission of the person.

Customer Service Standard:

Crossroads Children’s Centre will meet all the requirements of the AODA, Customer Service Standard, including creating a policy which includes: training of staff and volunteers regarding assistive devices that could be used by other staff, volunteers, clients, family members or visitors to the agency; tracking of training records; accommodation for the use of support animals wherever possible; providing notice of a disruption in service; and welcoming feedback from people with disabilities. The details are provided in the Multi-Year Accessibility Plan, Accessibility Standard for Customer Service.

Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation (IASR):

Crossroads Children’s Centre, as a non-profit organization with less than 50 employees, is committed to meeting the requirements of the IASR prior to the due dates set out in the Regulation, which range from January 1, 2014 to January 1, 2021 as listed below:

January 1, 2014  requirements:

  • This policy has been written and will be revised over time, as the required items listed below are completed.
  • A Multi-Year Accessibility Plan has been completed and is available on crossroadschildren.ca.
  • New content on our website will conform to the WCAG 2.0 Level A guidelines by January 1, 2021.

January 1, 2015 requirements:

  • Training for staff and others will be provided on the Ontario Human Rights Code as it pertains to persons with disabilities.
  • Offers of employment will include notification of our policies on accommodation for persons with disabilities.
  • Accessible formats (eg large print or audio) for feedback processes will be available, if possible, and upon request.

January 1, 2017 requirements:

  • Our employees and the public will be notified about the availability of accommodation for applicants during the recruitment process.
  • Candidates who are selected to go through the recruitment process will be notified that accommodation is available upon request.
  • The offer of employment will include notification of our policies on accommodation, or inclusion of the policy itself.
  • If possible, Crossroads Children’s Centre will provide accessible formats and communication supports to an employee, upon request, and as required to do their job, and in consultation with the employee.
  • Crossroads Children’s Centre will develop a process to develop documented individual accommodation plans for disabled employees.
  • Crossroads Children’s Centre will develop and implement a Return to Work process for employees who have been absent from work due to a disability.
  • Crossroads Children’s Centre will take into account the accessibility needs of disabled employees as well as individual accommodation plans with regard to performance management and career development.

January 1, 2021

  • Crossroads Children’s Centre’s website crossroadschildren.ca and all content will conform to WCAG 2.0 Level AA by this date, as required. 

EMERGENCY PROCEDURES, PLANS OR PUBLIC SAFETY INFORMATION

Crossroads Children’s Centre is committed to providing and maintaining premises that respect the dignity and independence of persons with disabilities.

Emergency procedures, plans and public safety information that are prepared by Crossroads Children’s Centre and made available to the public, will be made available in an accessible format or with appropriate communication supports, as soon as practicable, upon request.

The request for emergency procedures, plans and public safety information in an accessible format, as well as feedback relating to accessibility issues in general, may be made in any of the following ways:

  • In person at the Reception desk at 1755 Courtwood Crescent in Ottawa;
  • By telephone at 613-723-1623×225. Ask for the Director of Finance;
  • In writing to: Director of Finance, Crossroads Children’s Centre, 1755 Courtwood Crescent, Ottawa, ON K1Y 3B7
  • By fax: (613) 723-7393 to the attention of the Director of Finance;
  • Electronically by sending an email to: llaham@crossroadschildren.ca;
  • By completing Crossroads Children’s Centre’s Accessibility Feedback Form which may be found at Reception and on the Centre’s website www.crossroadschildren.ca.

Those who make such a request may expect to hear back within 72 hours of leaving their request, provided that contact information has been provided by the requestor.

WORKPLACE EMERGENCY RESPONSE INFORMATION

Where Crossroads Children’s Centre is aware that an employee has a disability and that there is a need for accommodation, individualized workplace emergency response information will be provided to the employee as soon as practicable if such information is necessary given the nature of the employee’s disability.

The agency has made a commitment to provide individualized workplace emergency response information procedures which will be developed for employees with disabilities, as required.

Where required, Crossroads Children’s Centre provides assistance to specific disabled employees, with the disabled employees’ prior consent, to help them evacuate the workplace in case of an emergency or disaster. These plans for providing assistance will be set out in individualized emergency plans for the employees, upon notification by the employee’s supervisor to the Executive Director or Associate Executive Director.

These individualized emergency plans will be communicated to the employees’ respective supervisor and the Joint Health and Safety Committee, on an ‘as needed’ basis.

On an ongoing and regular basis, and as per the applicable terms of the IASR, Crossroads Children’s Centre will review and assess general workplace emergency response procedures and individualized emergency plans to ensure accessibility issues are addressed.

Accommodation of Ambulatory Disabilities in case of Elevator Outage

Crossroads maintains office availability on the first floor for clients to be seen in case of elevator malfunction.