ONPHA Accessibility Policy

Introduction

The Ontario Non-Profit Housing Association (hereinafter referred to as the "Association") is committed to eliminating barriers and improving accessibility for people with disabilities.

It is the policy of the Association that all people, including people living with visible and invisible disabilities, have access to the goods and services provided by the Association, including those provided through service contractors. All goods and services are to be provided in a manner that recognizes the principles of independence, dignity, integration and equality of opportunity.

See also ONPHA's Training Policy on Accessibility and Customer Service .

Definitions

Assistive Device

"Assisted Device" means a device used to assist persons with disabilities in carrying out activities or in accessing services.

Association

 "Association" means all employees and volunteers working for, or on behalf of, the Ontario Non-Profit Housing Association and this policy applies to all employees and volunteers who interact with the public and/or Association members on behalf of the Association.

Disability

 "Disability," has the same meaning as defined in the Ontario Human Rights Code and the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005.

Service Animal

"Service Animal" means any animal used by a person with a disability where it is readily apparent that the animal is used by the person for reasons relating to his or her disability; or where the person provides a letter from a physician or nurse confirming that he or she requires the animal for reasons relating to his or her disability.

Service Contractor

 "Service Contractor" means an individual or company that is being paid (contracted) to provide goods or services on the Association's behalf. This policy applies to all service contractors who interact with the public and/or Association members on behalf of the Association.

Support Person

"Support Person" means a person who accompanies a person with a disability in order to assist him or her with communication, mobility, personal care or medical needs, or with access to goods or services. This person can be a paid support worker, a volunteer, a friend, or a family member.

Procedures and Practice

The Association will use reasonable efforts to ensure that its policies, practices and procedures are consistent with the following principles:

  • The Association's goods and services are provided in a manner that respects the dignity and independence of persons with disabilities.
  • The provision of the Association's goods and services to persons with disabilities are integrated with those provided to persons who do not have disabilities unless an alternative measure is necessary to enable a person with a disability to obtain, use or benefit from the Association's goods and services.
  • Persons with disabilities are given an opportunity equal to that of persons without disabilities to obtain, use or benefit from the Association's goods and services.

Assistive Devices: A person with a disability may provide their own assistive device for the purpose of obtaining, using or benefitting from the Association's goods and services, unless said device may pose a risk to the health and safety of themselves or others, in which case the Association may offer a person with a disability other reasonable measures to assist him or her in obtaining, using or benefitting from goods and services, where such other measures are available.

  • In cases where an assistive device (for example, an assistive listening device) is required for access to the Association's goods, services, or events (such as the Annual Conference) but where the person with a disability requires assistance to obtain said device, the Association will take reasonable measures to assist in obtaining access to such devices if notified at least 30 days in advance of such requirements.

Service Animals: The Association and contractors/agents providing services on the Association's behalf shall accommodate the use of service animals by people with disabilities who are accessing Association services, programs, courses or events unless the animal is otherwise excluded by law.  It is the responsibility of the person with a disability to ensure that their service animal is in good health, does not pose a risk to the health and safety of others and is under their care and control at all times.

Support Persons: Where a person with a disability is accompanied by a support person, the Association and its service contractors shall ensure that both persons are permitted to enter the premises together and that the person with a disability has access to the support person while on the premises. The support person can be a paid support worker, volunteer, a friend or a family member.

  • Admission Fees & Conference Registration Fees: If the Association charges an admission fee in connection to a support person's attendance at an event or function (such as the Annual Conference or an Association facilitated educational course), the Association shall provide advance notice of the amount, if any, payable by the support person.

Communications: When communicating with a person with a disability, the Association and its service contractors shall do so in a manner that respects the person's dignity and independence.

  • Availability and Format of Documents and Materials: When providing a document to a person with a disability, the Association will provide the document, or the information contained in the document, in a format that takes the person's disability into account. If an alternative format is requested, every attempt will be made to provide documents in the format requested within a reasonable time frame.

Service Disruption/Notice of Service Disruption: Temporary disruptions in the Association's services and facilities, and those of service contractors, may occur due to reasons that may or may not be within the Association's control or knowledge. The Association will make every effort to provide notice of disruptions to the public and/or Association members.

Training: The Association will ensure that all employees and volunteers receive appropriate training on customer service requirements in regard to people with disabilities. The format of training will vary based on individual circumstances and records of training will be kept. Please see the Association's "Training Policy on Accessibility and Customer Service " for more information.

Third party contractors who deliver goods and services on behalf of the Association are also required to ensure that they meet legislative requirements of accessible customer service and that they have read, understood, and acknowledged the Association's Accessibility Policy.

Dated: August 2011