AODA

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Central United Church Accessible Customer Service Policy complying with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005

Purpose

The purpose of this Customer Service Standards Policy is to fulfill the requirements set out in Ontario regulation 429/07 as it pertains to Central United Church, Weston.

Persons Affected

This policy shall apply to staff, members and adherents of Central United Church, or anyone acting as a volunteer on behalf of the church.

Background

The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (AODA) was passed by the Ontario legislature with the goal of creating standards to improve accessibility across the province. The AODA requires the government to develop specific standards of accessibility that are designed to help make Ontario more accessible. One of the specific standards that has been developed, and made law, is the Accessible Customer Service Standard. This standard details specific requirements for all service providers. In general, providers must deliver service in a way that preserves the dignity and independence of people with disabilities. Providers must also integrate services and provide equal opportunity.

Terms

  • "Accessibility Committee" shall mean the Church Council Executive or a committee appointed to act on their behalf to ensure compliance with the AODA.
  • "Assistive devices" shall mean an auxiliary aid such as communication aids, cognition aids, personal mobility aids and medical aids (i.e. canes, crutches, wheelchairs, or hearing aids).
  • "Church" shall mean Central United Church, Weston.
  • "Disabilities" shall mean the same as the definition of “disability” found in the Ontario Human Rights Code.
  • "Lead Volunteers" shall mean members, adherents and volunteers that lead a program or function of the church and interact with others.
  • "Persons with Disabilities" shall mean those individuals who have a disability as defined under the Ontario Human Rights Code.
  • "Service Animals" shall mean any animal individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of a person with a disability.
  • "Service Providers" shall include staff, members, adherents and volunteers of Central United Church, Weston.
  • "Support persons" shall mean any person whether a paid professional, volunteer, family member, 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.

Periodic Review

The Accessibility Committee shall be responsible for a periodic review of this policy and the recommendation of amendments to this policy document.

Guiding Principles

Accessible Customer Service follows four basic principles: dignity, independence, integration and equal opportunity. The church can achieve this standard by asking clarifying questions, utilizing various methods of communication, and understanding the nature and scope of the service the church provides.

Service Animals, Support Persons and Assistive Devices

The church is committed to welcoming people with disabilities who are accompanied by a service animal. We will also ensure that staff and lead volunteers are properly trained in how to interact with people with disabilities who are accompanied by a service animal. Service animals will be welcome everywhere in the building except those prohibited by municipal regulations. The church is committed to welcoming people with disabilities who are accompanied by a support person or who use assistive devices. 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.

Fees

Church activities that include a fee will not apply to support people. Event information will be clear and easily accessible, whether it be signage, documentation, posters, web site or any other form of communication.

Service Disruption

It is possible that from time to time there will be disruptions in service, such as an entrance way that is under repair, renovations that limit access to an area, or technology that is temporarily unavailable. If a disruption in service is planned, and expected, the church will provide reasonable notice.

Training

The following individuals will receive training: Staff, lead volunteers, and people involved in developing the policy, practices and procedures under Ontario Regulation 429/07. New volunteers shall receive training as soon as “practicable” after being assigned and ongoing training on changes to policies, procedures, and new equipment shall be provided.

Records

Staff and lead volunteers will verify that they have read and understand the policy, and record that they have received training in accordance with this policy.

Feedback

The church will encourage feedback from people with disabilities and direct this feedback to the Accessibility Committee. It can be made verbally, by e-mail, or in writing.

Board Approval Date: February 9, 2011