AODA Policy (Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act)

DEFINITIONS  

1.   The following terms have these meanings in this policy:   

a.      “Assistive Devices” – An auxiliary aid such as communication aids, cognition aids, personal mobility aids and medical aids (ie: canes, crutches, wheelchairs, or hearing aids).  

b.      “Disabilities” – As per the Ontario Human Rights Code, disability means:

i.    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 coordination, blindness or visual impairment, deafness or hearing impediment, muteness or speech impediment, or physical reliance on a guide dog or other animal or on a wheelchair or other remedial appliance or device;  

ii.     a condition of mental impairment or a developmental disability;  

iii.    a learning disability or a dysfunction in one or more of the processes involved in understanding or using symbols or spoken language;  

iv.   a mental disorder; or  

v.   an injury or disability for which benefits were claimed or received under the insurance plan established under the Workplace Safe and Insurance Act, 1997; (“handicap”)   

c.      “Employees” – Every person who deals with members of the public or other third parties on behalf of [insert name of organization], whether the person does so as an employee, agent, volunteer or otherwise.  

d.      “Organization”- North Toronto Soccer Club  

e.      “Persons with Disabilities” – Individuals who are afflicted with a disability as defined under the Ontario Human Rights Code (noted above).  

f.       “Service Animals” – Any animal individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of a person with a disability.  

g.      “Support Persons” – Any person whether a paid professional, volunteer, family member, or friend who accompanies a person with a disability in order to help with communications, personal care or medical needs, or with access to goods or services.  

PURPOSE

2.   The purpose of this policy is to fulfill the requirements set out in Ontario Regulation 420/07 of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005, and to establish an Organizational policy for governing the provision of its goods and services to persons with disabilities.  

SCOPE AND APPLICATION  

3.   This policy shall apply to every person who deals with members of the public or other third parties on behalf of the Organization whether the person does so as an employee, agent, volunteer or otherwise. Failure to comply with this policy may result in disciplinary action up to and including termination.  

COMMITMENT  

4.   The Organization is committed to excellence in serving all customers/members including people with disabilities. As such, the Organization will use reasonable efforts to ensure that its policies, practices and procedures are consistent with the following principles:  

    • Club programs will be provided in a manner that that respects the dignity and independence of persons with disabilities.  
    • The provision programs to persons with disabilities, and others, will be integrated unless an alternate measure is necessary, whether temporarily or on a permanent basis, to enable a person with a disability to obtain, use or benefit from the club programs.  
    • Persons with disabilities will be given an opportunity equal to that given to others to obtain, use and benefit from the programs.  
    • Persons with disabilities may use personal assistive devices and/or support persons in the access of goods and services.  
    • When communicating with a person with a disability, employees, volunteers and contractors shall do so in a manner that takes into account the person’s disability.  

    PRACTICES AND PROCEDURES  

    5.   To implement this Policy, the Organization shall establish, evaluate and revise the practices and procedures noted below, as required on providing goods and/or services to persons with disabilities, while following these four core principles:  

      • Dignity  
      • Independence  
      • Integration  
      • Equal Opportunity   

      Assistive Devices  

      6.   The Organization will ensure that staff is trained and familiar with various assistive devices that may be used by customers/members with disabilities while accessing our goods or services. Every employee shall use reasonable efforts to allow persons with disabilities to use their own assistive devices to access goods and/or services.  

      7.   The Organization currently provides the following types of assistive devices at our facilities:

      • Wheelchair ramps at the Eglinton Park field house  
      • Ground level, ramp or elevator access to all gyms used for indoor programs  
      • Ground level access, wheelchair ramps or elevators at all facilities where general or team meetings are held
      • Written documents/policies  
      • Enlarged font available on website    

      Communication  

      8.   The Organization will offer a variety of methods of communication and interact with people with disabilities in ways that take into account their disability.   

      Service Animals  

      9.   Service animals offer independence and security to many people with various disabilities. The Organization welcomes people with disabilities and their service animals on the parts of our premises that are open to the public.  

      10.  Examples of service animals include:  

        • Dogs used by people who are blind  
        • Hearing alert animals for people who are deaf, deafened or hard of hearing  
        • Animals trained to alert an individual to an oncoming seizure and lead them to safety.  

        11.  Every employee will allow persons with disabilities to be accompanied by their guide dog or service animal unless the animal is excluded by law. Where an animal is excluded by law from the premises, the reason why the animal is excluded shall be explained to the person with a disability. Other reasonable arrangements to provide goods and services shall be explored with the assistance of the person with the disability.  

        12.  When a service animal is unruly or disruptive (jumping on people, biting, or other harmful behavior), an employee may ask the person with a disability to remove the animal from the area or refuse access to goods and services. Other reasonable arrangements to provide goods and services shall be explored with the assistance of the person with a disability.   

        Support Persons  

        13.  Support people assist people with disabilities in a variety of way, by assisting with communication such as an intervener sign language interpreter, or as a Personal Support Worker providing physical assistance. A support person may be a volunteer, friend, or relative who will assist and support the customer/member.

        14.  Persons with disabilities may be accompanied by their support person while accessing goods and/or services. Support persons are non-participants allowed free admission to the good and/or services being accessed by the person with a disability they are accompanying. We will notify customers/members of this through a notice posted on our premises and on the club website.

        Notice of Temporary Disruption  

        15.  In the event of a planned or unexpected disruption to services or facilities for customers/members with disabilities such as an entrance way that is under repair, renovations that limit access to an area, or technology that is temporarily unavailable, the Organization will notify customers/members promptly. This clearly posted notice will include information about the reason for the disruption, its anticipated length of time, and a description of alternative facilities or services, if available.    

        16. The notice will be placed at the club office, at the Eglinton Park field house, and at all facilities that are directly affected.

        Training for Staff  

        17. The Organization provides training to employees, volunteers and others who deal with the public or other third parties on their behalf. Every provider of goods and services shall receive training on the following:  

          • An overview of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 and the requirements of the customer service standard  
          • The Organization’s Accessibility Standards for Customer Service Policy  
          • How to interact and communicate with people with various types of disabilities  
          • How to interact with people with disabilities who use an assistive device or require the assistance of a service animal or a support person  
          • How to use the elevators available on-site at schools where indoor programs and meetings are held  
          • What to do if a person with a disability is having difficulty in accessing the Organization’s goods and services

          18. New employees, agents, volunteers, management, etc. shall receive training as soon as “practicable” after been assigned their role. Ongoing training to changes of policies, procedures and new equipment shall be provided.  

          19. Training records shall be kept, including the dates when the training is provided, content of training and the number of individuals to whom the training was provided.  

          Feedback Process  

          20. Anyone who wishes to provide feedback on the way the Organization provides goods and services to people with disabilities can contact the club Board of Directors. All feedback will be directed to the Club Secretary at: boardofdirectors@ntsoccer.com. Customers/members can expect to hear back in 7 days. Complaints will be addressed according to the Organization’s regular complaint management procedures.   

          PROVISION OF DOCUMENTATION  

          21. The Organization will upon request, give a copy of the policies, practices and procedures required under the Ontario Regulation 429/07 – Accessibility Standards for Customer Service Policy to any person, in a format agreed upon by the parties.