Halton Women’s Place (HWP) is required to meet obligations under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (AODA). The purpose of the Act is to develop, implement and enforce accessibility standards in order to achieve accessibility for persons with disabilities with respect to goods, services, facilities, accommodation, employment, buildings, structures and premises. The AODA Regulation 429/07 entitled “Accessibility Standards for Customer Service”, establishes accessibility standards specific to customer service and the provision of goods and services to the public. Private sector and non- profit organizations, like HWP, are required to be compliant by January 1, 2012.
HWP is committed to ensuring that the key principles of independence, dignity, integration and equality of opportunity as well as reasonable effort are reflected in its operations. HWP will strive to provide materials and services in a way that respects the dignity and independence of people with disabilities. All reasonable effort will be used to ensure that HWP policies, practices and procedures are consistent with the spirit and the requirements of the Accessibility Standards for Customer Service (Regulation 429/07).
Many of the situations employees will encounter when delivering materials and services will be specific to the individual and the materials/services sought. The following procedures will assist HWP employees to provide materials and services consistent with HWP policy.
Communication with Persons with Disabilities
When communicating with a person with a disability, HWP will do so in a manner that takes into account the person’s disability.
A person with a disability may provide his/her own assistive device for the purposes of
obtaining, using and benefiting from HWP’s goods and services that are made available to
HWP welcomes people with disabilities who are accompanied by a service animal on the
parts of our premises open to the public. If a service animal is excluded by law from HWP
premises, HWP will ensure that alternative means are available to enable the person with a
disability to access HWP’s materials and services.
HWP is committed to welcoming people with disabilities who are accompanied by a support person providing the person meets and complies with the safety and security requirements of the shelter. At no time will a person with a disability who is accompanied by a support person be prevented from having access to his/her support person while on our premises. In the event that a fee is charged in relation to a support person’s presence on HWP premises or to attend a HWP-sponsored event, advance notice of the fee will be provided.
Notice of Temporary Disruption
HWP will make reasonable efforts to provide notice in the event of a planned or unexpected disruption in the facilities or services where they have control over such facilities or services. This notice will include information about the reasons for the disruption, its anticipated duration, and a description of alternative facilities or services, if available. HWP will provide notice by posting information in visible places on our premises or on HWP’s website, or by any other method that may be reasonable under the circumstances.
Training for Staff
HWP will provide training to all employees, volunteers and others who deal with the public on their behalf, and all those who are involved in the development and approvals of customer service policies, practices and procedures. Training will be provided as soon as practicable after an individual assumes responsibilities related to the public and will include the following:
the purposes of the AODA and the requirements of the Accessibility Standards for Customer Service;
information regarding HWP policies, practices and procedures relating to the customer service standards;
how to interact and communicate with people with various types of disabilities;
what to do if a person with a particular type of disability is having difficulty accessing your goods or services;
how to interact with people with disabilities who use an assistive device, service animal or support person; and
how to use the equipment or assistive devices that may be available at HWP.
The amount and format of training will be tailored to suit each person’s interactions with the public or his/her involvement in the development of policies, procedures and practices pertaining to the provision of materials and services. Staff will also be trained on an ongoing basis when changes are made to these policies, procedures and practices.
Feedback is welcomed as it encourages continuous service improvements. Feedback from a member of the public about the delivery of materials and services to persons with disabilities may be given by telephone, in writing, in electronic format or through other methods. Information about the feedback process is available to the public through HWP’s website at www.haltonwomensplace.com.
Availability of Documents Required by the Accessibility Standards for Customer Service (Ontario Regulation 429/07)
Documents required by the Accessibility Standards for Customer Service are available upon request. When providing a document to a person with a disability, HWP will work with the individual to determine options in order to provide the document or the information contained in the document in a format that takes the person’s disability into account.
The Accessibility for Ontarians Disability Act, 2005 (AODA)
Accessibility Standards for Customer Service, AODA Ontario Regulation 429/07
FORMS USED WITH THESE PROCEDURES:
Effective Date: February 21, 2012
Revised Date(s): June 15, 2021
Review Dates: June 15, 2021
Approved by: HWP Management Team, Executive Director
Statement of Commitment
Halton Women’s Place is committed to treating all people in a way that allows them to maintain their dignity and independence. We are committed to meeting the needs of people with disabilities in a timely manner, and will do so by preventing and removing barriers to accessibility and meeting accessibility requirements under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act.
Halton Women’s Place is committed to training staff and volunteers on Ontario’s accessibility laws and on accessibility aspects of the Ontario Human Rights Code that apply to persons with disabilities. Training will be provided in a way that best suits the duties of employees, volunteers, and Board of Directors.
Information and communications
Halton Women’s Place is committed to meeting the communication needs of people with disabilities. When asked, we will provide information and communications materials in accessible formats or with communication supports. This includes publicly available information about our goods, services and facilities, as well as publicly available emergency and safety information.
Halton Women’s Place will consult with people with disabilities to determine their information and communication needs.
We will ensure existing feedback processes are accessible to people with disabilities upon request.
Our website and content conform with WCAG 2.0, Level AA by January 1, 2021.
Halton Women’s Place is committed to fair and accessible employment practices.
We will notify the public and staff that, when requested, we will accommodate disabilities during recruitment and assessment processes and when people are hired.
If needed, we will create an individual accommodation plan and/or workplace emergency information for any employees who have a disability.
Our performance management, career development, redeployment, and return-to-work processes will take into account the accessibility needs of employees with disabilities.
Design of Public Spaces Standard
Halton Women’s Place does not have public spaces such as recreational trails, outdoor eating spaces or play areas, public outdoor paths of travel or parking lots, service counters, fixed waiting lines or areas with fixed seating.
Modifications to this or other policies
Any of our policies that do not respect and promote the dignity and independence of people with disabilities will be modified or removed.
For More Information
For more information on this policy, please contact Laurie Hepburn at:
Phone: 905-332-1200 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Accessible formats of this document are available free upon request.
Updated June 2021
You have options:
IF YOU DECIDE TO LEAVE
- Call our 24 hour Crisis, Information and Support Line to speak with a trained Crisis Intervention Counsellor;
- The Crisis Intervention Counsellor will explore your options with you and support you to create a Safety Plan, along with creating an Emergency Escape Plan
- If you have pets, you can explore safe options with the Crisis Intervention Counsellor.
If you do choose to come to Halton Women’s Place, you and your child(ren) may stay for up to 12 weeks. Our Crisis Intervention Counsellors will work alongside you on your personal goals, which may include:
- Accessing community support;
- Accessing counselling;
- Obtaining housing;
- Accessing financial supports;
- Exploring legal supports;
- Any other individual goals.
Emergency transportation is available to help you get to the shelter.
IF YOU DECIDE NOT TO LEAVE
- Call the Halton Women’s Place 24-hour Crisis, Information and Support Line.
- Our Crisis Intervention Counsellors will offer support, counselling, resources and information. They will also explore your options.
- Crisis Intervention Counsellors will also offer to support you to create a safety plan for you, and your children, if applicable
- Crisis support is available on the phone or in person at either shelter. No appointment is necessary.
WHAT TO EXPECT AT THE SHELTER
- Safe shelter with staff available 24 hours a day;
- Clean and welcoming bedrooms;
- Laundry facilities;
- Children’s Services, including parenting support, therapeutic groups, children’s activities, playroom;
- Court support for interim custody and restraining orders;
- Supportive counselling;
- Advocacy for you and your children;
- Support in accessing community services;
- Support groups;
- On-Going Safety Planning;
- Planning for departure from shelter