Crossroads Children’s Centre

MULTI-YEAR ACCESSIBILITY PLAN

INTRODUCTION AND STATEMENT OF COMMITMENT

In 2005, the government of Ontario passed the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (the AODA). It is the goal of the Ontario government to make Ontario accessible by 2025. The Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulations (IASR) under the AODA require that effective January 1, 2014, Crossroads Children’s Centre establish, implement, maintain and document a multi-year accessibility plan which outlines the organization’s strategy to prevent and remove barriers for persons with disabilities and to meet its requirements under the IASR.

Under the AODA, the following accessibility standards set certain requirements that are applicable to Crossroads Children’s Centre:

  • Customer Service;
  • Information and Communications;
  • Employment; and
  • Proposed Accessibility Standards for the Built Environment

This multi-year plan outlines Crossroads Children’s Centre’s strategy to prevent and remove barriers to address the current and future requirements of the AODA, and in order to fulfill Crossroads Children’s Centre’s commitment as outlined in Policy 1.4.4 Accessibility, and  the Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulations (IASR) under the AODA.

In accordance with the requirements set out in the IASR, Crossroads Children’s Centre will:

  • Establish, review and update this plan in consultation with persons with disabilities as needed, and as the agency complies with each of the requirements over time;
  • Post this plan on its website (www.crossroadschildren.ca);
  • Report as required on its website (www.crossroadschildren.ca) on the progress of the implementation of this plan;
  • Provide this plan in an accessible format, upon request; and
  • Review and update this plan at least once every five years.

CORE PRINCIPLES OF THE PLAN:

We endeavor to ensure that the plan and related practices and 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. Integration – 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.

ACCESSIBILITY STANDARDS FOR CUSTOMER SERVICE

Commitment:

Since 2012, Crossroads Children’s Centre has been in compliance with the Accessible Customer Service Regulation under the AODA, and will continue to comply with that regulation.

The plan applies to all persons who, on behalf of Crossroads Children’s Centre, deal with clients, members of the public or other third parties. This includes our employees, volunteers, students, and contracted services, except where otherwise noted.

Crossroads Children’s Centre is committed to excellence in serving all clients, family members, and visitors, including persons with disabilities, and it will carry out its functions in a manner which delivers an accessible customer service experience.

Crossroads is committed to providing its services in a way that respects the dignity and independence of persons with disabilities. This commitment will be integrated wherever possible and will ensure that persons with disabilities will benefit from the same services, in the same place and in a similar way as other persons.

Action Taken:

The following measures have been implemented by Crossroads Children’s Centre:

  1. Ensuring all persons who, on behalf of Crossroads Children’s Centre, deal with the public or other third parties, and all those who are involved in the development and approvals of customer service policies, practices and procedures, as well as all others providing services to our clients, are trained to communicate and provide the best possible customer service to all customers, clients, family members and visitors, including persons with disabilities;
  1. Ensuring staff are trained and familiar with various assistive devices that may be used by persons with disabilities who are accessing Crossroads Children’s Centre’s goods or services;
  1. Ensuring completion of accessibility training is tracked and recorded;
  1. Offering to communicate with clients or other persons by email or if appropriate, in person, if telephone communication is not suitable to their needs;
  1. Ensuring persons accompanied by a guide dog or other service animal in areas of Crossroads Children’s Centre open to the public are accommodated;
  1. Ensuring that if a person with a disability is accompanied by a support person, the support person is accommodated. If the support person is assisting the client participating in an Crossroads Children’s Centre event or program, but that person is not participating in the event/program on his or her own behalf, the support person is not charged a fee to attend the event/program;
  1. Providing notice in the event of a planned or unexpected disruption of service or inaccessibility of facilities used by persons with disabilities, by placing such notices at all public entrances on Crossroads Children’s Centre premises. If the disruption is long-term, Crossroads Children’s Centre posts an announcement on its website informing persons of the location, duration of the disruption and alternate solutions;
  1. Continuing to welcome and appreciate feedback from persons with disabilities through multiple communication channels;
  1. Including the above-mentioned items in a Crossroads Children’s Centre policy on AODA – Customer Service Standard which is accessible to all employees and is included on our website crossroadschildren.ca.
  1. An “Accessibility” tab has been added to the footer of the website www.crossroadschildren.ca, to communicate Crossroads Children’s Centre’s accessible customer service policy including related procedures and guidelines; and
  1. Reporting compliance with the customer service standard on the Accessibility Compliance Reporting tool at ServiceOntario’s One-Source for Business website.

This was completed prior to the required legislative compliance: December 31, 2012
INTEGRATED ACCESSIBILITY STANDARDS REGULATION (IASR)

 EMERGENCY PROCEDURES, PLANS OR PUBLIC SAFETY INFORMATION

Commitment:

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

Action Taken:

The following measures were implemented by Crossroads Children’s Centre effective January 1, 2012:

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 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 contacting reception at 613-723-1623×232

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 requester.

Completed prior to the required legislative compliance: January 1, 2012
WORKPLACE EMERGENCY RESPONSE INFORMATION

Commitment:

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.

Action Taken:

The following measures were implemented by Crossroads Children’s Centre:

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.

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.

Completed prior to the required legislative compliance: January 1, 2012
TRAINING 

Commitment:

Crossroads Children’s Centre is committed to implementing a process to ensure that all employees, volunteers, third-party contractors who provide goods, services and facilities on Crossroads Children’s Centre’s behalf, and persons participating in the development and approval of Crossroads Children’s Centre’s policies, are provided with appropriate training on the requirements of the IASR and on the Ontario Human Rights Code as it pertains to persons with disabilities, and are provided with such training as soon as practicable.

Planned Action:

In accordance with the IASR, Crossroads Children’s Centre will:

Determine and ensure that appropriate training on the requirements of the IASR and on the Ontario Human Rights Code as it pertains to persons with disabilities, is provided to all employees, volunteers, third-party contractors who provide goods, services and facilities on Crossroads Children’s Centre’s behalf, and persons participating in the development and approval of Crossroads Children’s Centre’s policies;

Ensure that the training is provided to persons referenced above as soon as practicable and that the training content and method of delivery is appropriate for the duties and responsibilities of the employee’s position;

Keep and maintain a record of the training provided, including the dates that the training was provided and number of individuals to whom it was provided;

Ensure that training is provided on any changes to the prescribed policies on an ongoing basis.

Required legislative compliance: January 1, 2015
Implemented:  January 2014

 INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION STANDARDS

Commitment:

Crossroads Children’s Centre is committed to making company information and communications accessible to persons with disabilities. Crossroads Children’s Centre will incorporate new accessibility requirements under the information and communication standard to ensure that its information and communications systems and platforms are accessible and are provided in accessible formats that meet the needs of persons with disabilities.

  1. Feedback, Accessible Formats and Communication Supports

Planned Action:

In accordance with the IASR, Crossroads Children’s Centre will:

Upon request, provide or arrange for the provision of accessible formats and communication supports to persons with disabilities in a timely manner, taking into account the person’s accessibility needs;

Provide, upon request, and if available, accessible formats (eg, large print, audio or braille) and communication supports (eg, plain language, captioning, sign language) for receiving and responding to feedback from persons with disabilities.

Required legislative compliance: January 1, 2015 – Feedback

Required legislative compliance: January 1, 2016 – Accessible formats & Communication Supports
Implementation timeframe: January 1, 2014 to January 1, 2015 (as applicable)
Completion date: January 1, 2015

  1. Accessible Websites and Web Content

Planned Action:

In accordance with the IASR, Crossroads Children’s Centre will:

Ensure that new content placed on the website www.crossroadschildren.ca conforms to the World Wide Web Consortium Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0, Level A;

Ensure that the website www.crossroadschildren.ca conforms to WCAG 2.0 Level AA by January 1, 2021.

Required Legislative Compliance: January 1, 2014 – WCAG 2.0 Level A – new websites and web content,

Required Legislative Compliance: January 1, 2021 – WCG 2.0 Level AA – all websites and web content
Implementation timeframe: January 1, 2013 to December 31, 2017
Completion date: TBD

 EMPLOYMENT STANDARDS

 Note:  AODA employer obligations regarding employment do not apply to volunteers or unpaid persons.

  1. Recruitment

Commitment:

Crossroads Children’s Centre is committed to fair and accessible employment practices that attract and retain employees with disabilities. This includes providing accessibility across all stages of the employment cycle.

Planned Action:

In accordance with the IASR, Crossroads Children’s Centre will do the following:

  1. Recruitment – General

Crossroads Children’s Centre will notify employees and the public of the availability of accommodation for applicants with disabilities in the recruitment process. This will include:

  • A review and, as necessary, modification of existing recruitment policies, procedures and processes;
  • Specifying that accommodation is available for applicants with disabilities, on Crossroads Children’s Centre’s website and on job postings;
  • Working with suppliers (eg, Charityvillage.ca) to ensure external Web pages are compliant with the Information and Communication Standards under the IASR’s requirements.
  1. Recruitment, Assessment and Selection

Crossroads Children’s Centre will notify job applicants, when they are individually selected to participate in an assessment or selection process, that accommodations are available upon request in relation to the materials or processes to be used in the assessment/selection process. This will include:

  • A review and, as necessary, modification of existing recruitment policies, procedures and processes;
  • Inclusion of availability of accommodation notice as part of the script in the scheduling of an interview and/or assessment;

If a selected applicant requests an accommodation, Human Resources will consult with the applicant and, if possible, arrange for provision of suitable accommodations in a manner that takes into account the applicant’s accessibility needs due to disability.

  1. Notice to Successful Applicants

When making offers of employment, Crossroads Children’s Centre will notify the successful applicant of its policies for accommodating employees with disabilities. This will include:

  • A review and, as necessary, modification of existing recruitment policies, procedures and processes;
  • Inclusion of Crossroads Children’s Centre’s policies on accommodating employees with disabilities in offer of employment letters.

Required legislative compliance: January 1, 2016
Implementation timeframe: August 2013 to December, 2015
Completion date: July 2015

  1. Informing Employees of Supports

In accordance with the IASR, Crossroads Children’s Centre will inform all employees of policies that support employees with disabilities.

This will include:

  • Informing current employees and new hires of Crossroads Children’s Centre’s policies supporting employees with disabilities, including policies on the provision of job accommodations that take into account an employee’s needs due to disability;
  • Providing information under this section as soon as practicable after the new employee begins employment, specifically in the orientation process;
  • Keeping employees up to date on changes to existing policies on job accommodations with respect to disability;

Where an employee with a disability so requests it, Crossroads Children’s Centre will provide or arrange for provision of suitable accessible formats and communications supports for:

  • Information that is needed in order to perform the employee’s job;
  • Information that is generally available to employees in the workplace.

In meeting the obligations to provide the information that is set out in the paragraph above, Crossroads Children’s Centre will consult with the requesting employee in determining the suitability of an accessible format or communication support.

Required legislative compliance: January 1, 2016
Implementation timeframe: January 1, 2014 to December 31, 2015
Completion date: July 2015

  1. Documented Individual Accommodation Plans and Return to Work Process

Commitment:

Crossroads Children’s Centre will incorporate new accessibility requirements under the IASR to ensure that barriers in accommodation and return to work processes are eliminated and corporate policies surrounding accommodation and return to work are followed, where applicable.

Planned Action:

Crossroads Children’s Centre’s existing policies include steps that Crossroads Children’s Centre will take to accommodate an employee with a disability and will be revised to include a section on facilitating an employee’s return to work after absenteeism due to disability, and a section on the development of documented individual accommodation plans.

Documented individual accommodation plans will include the following elements, in accordance with the provisions of the IASR:

  • the manner in which the employee requesting accommodation can participate in the development of the plan;
  • the means by which the employee is assessed on an individual basis;
  • the manner in which Crossroads Children’s Centre can request an evaluation by an outside medical or other expert, at Crossroads Children’s Centre’s expense, to assist Crossroads Children’s Centre in determining if and how accommodation can be achieved;
  • the manner in which the employee can request participation of a representative from his or her workplace;
  • steps that will be taken to protect the privacy of the employee’s personal information;
  • the frequency in which individual accommodation plans will be reviewed and updated and the manner in which this will be done;
  • the way in which a denial of a plan will be communicated, if an individual accommodation plan is denied;
  • the means of providing the individual accommodation plan in a format that takes into account the employee’s accessibility needs;
  • any other accommodation that is to be provided to the employee will be included in the plan;
  • individualized workplace emergency response information, if any is required;
  • any information regarding accessible formats and communication supports that have been provided for or arranged, in order to provide the employee with:
  • Information that is needed in order to perform the employee’s job;
  • Information that is generally available to employees in the workplace.

Crossroads Children’s Centre will develop, implement and document a Return to Work process for employees who have been absent from work due to a disability and who require accommodation in order to Return to Work. The focus will be on non-WSIB injuries and illnesses.

Required Legislative compliance: January 1, 2016
Implementation timeframe: August 2013 to December 31, 2015
Completion date: TBD

  1. Performance Management, Career Development and Redeployment

Commitment:

Crossroads Children’s Centre will take into account the accessibility needs of employees with disabilities, as well as individual accommodation plans:

  • When using its performance management process in respect of employees with disabilities;
  • When providing career development and advancement to its employees with disabilities;
  • When redeploying employees with disabilities.

Planned Action:

In accordance with the IASR, Crossroads Children’s Centre will:

Review, assess and, as necessary, modify existing policies, procedures and practices to ensure compliance with the IASR;

Take the accessibility needs of employees with disabilities and, as applicable, their individualized accommodation plans, into account when:

  • Assessing performance
  • Managing career development and advancement
  • Redeployment is required

Review, assess and, as necessary, include in Performance Management training, accessibility criteria;

Take into account the accessibility needs of employees with disabilities when providing career development and advancement to its employees with disabilities, including notification of the opportunity to request accommodations on internal job postings;

Take into account the accessibility needs of employees with disabilities when redeploying employees.

Required legislative compliance: January 1, 2016
Implementation timeframe: August 2013 to December 31, 2015
Completion date: TBD

PROPOSED ACCESSIBILITY STANDARDS FOR THE BUILT ENVIRONMENT

The goal of the proposed standard is to remove barriers in public spaces and buildings, as applied to newly constructed or redeveloped buildings after January 1, 2017. When the standard is finalized and comes into force, Crossroads Children’s Centre will ensure that any applicable requirements set out in the standard are followed.

Required legislative compliance: January 1, 2017
Implementation timeframe: August 2013 to December 31, 2016
Completion date: TBD