To provide goods and services to persons with disabilities, in accordance with the Accessibility Standards for Customer Service, Ontario Regulation 429/07 and Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) 2005 and to communicate and interact in a manner that respects their dignity.
Disability: As defined in the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005, Section 2, means:
- Any degree of physical disability, infirmity, malformation or disfigurement that is caused by bodily injury, birth defect or illness
- A condition of mental impairment or developmental disability
- A learning disability or dysfunction on one or more of the processes involved in understanding or using symbols or spoken language
- A mental disorder
- An injury or disability for which benefits were claimed or received under the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act 1997
Accommodation: a means, through reasonable efforts, of preventing and removing barriers that impede individuals with disabilities
Independence: freedom from control or influence of others, freedom to make your own choices
Goods and Services: goods and services provided by Advantage Engineering Inc.
Assisted Device: any device used by people with disabilities to help with their daily living such as wheelchairs, walkers, white canes, oxygen tanks, electronic communication devices etc.
Support Person: an individual hired or chosen by a person with a disability to provide services or assistance with communication, mobility, personal care, medical needs or with access to goods or services
Service Animal: an animal that is being used because of a person’s disability; this is either readily apparent or is supported by a letter from a medical practitioner.
Should an employee at Advantage Engineering Inc. know that a person with a disability is coming into the facility they should ask before their visit if or how we can accommodate them to ensure they have proper accessibility
Emergency Response for Disabled Employees
Managers or Supervisors in each area are responsible to ensure disabled employees are located and assigned a person to help them exit the building and bring to the designated meeting area if necessary (see HSP-04 Emergency Preparedness Procedure)
Emergency Response for Disabled Visitors
The visiting disabled person’s contact person is responsible to help them exit the building and bring to the designated meeting area
Providing service to persons who are hard of hearing or deaf:
- Identify yourself by name and look directly at the person when approaching him/her. Use a normal volume to speak and be attentive to cues that the person may be having difficulty hearing the conversation. You may speak slightly louder or suggest moving to a quieter location
- Explore other means of communication, such as writing. If the person reads lips, do not obstruct your face and if possible stand directly in front of him/her. Provide information clearly and concisely, and ensure a shared understanding by paraphrasing and repeating communication more clearly before the interaction is over.
- Ensure that if the person uses an assistive device to help them interact in a situation, ask if he/she needs assistance with the device, and support him/her to us the device. For example a person may use communication aids, hearing aids, or a personal amplification device. If a hearing alert dog is present, do not pet or otherwise distract the service animal
- Focus conversation to the person with a disability, if a sign language interpreter accompanies that person, obtain consent from the person with the disability before engaging in conversation that includes confidential information.
Providing service to persons with vision loss:
- Identify yourself by name when approaching the person, and speak directly to him/her in normal tones.
- Address the person by name to ensure the person understands someone is speaking to him/her
- Adjust lighting in accordance with the person’s stated preference, for example, raise or dim the room lighting, and/or close curtains/blinds
- If the person uses an assistive device to help them interact in a situation, ask if he/she needs assistance with the device and support him/her to use the device as needed. A person may use a white cane or be accompanied by a guide dog. Do no pet or otherwise distract the animal.
- Offer to read brochures or documents to a person with low vision, and offer assistance in the use of any assistive device that the person may have, such as magnifying glasses and screen magnifiers
- At the end of the visit let the person know before you leave.
- Offer assistance to guide a person, walking slightly ahead and providing information on the surroundings related to uneven ground/steps/obstacles.
- For those who can read standard text, written communication is clear and large enough to read easily. For example, use contrasting colors between the text and background
Providing service to persons who are deaf and blind
A support person will likely accompany a person who is deaf and blind or the deaf and blind person will have a card indicating their preference on how to communicate.
- Ask if they need assistance with any assistive device and support them to use the device as needed.
- Focus your conversation to the person with a disability when a sign language interpreter accompanies.
Providing service to persons with mental health disabilities
- Engage with the person to have a shared understanding of how you may be of assistance to him/her, recognizing symptoms may not always be present or he/she may be having difficulty controlling their symptoms.
- Provide information in a clear and concise manner, listen carefully, and restate information to ensure a shared understanding of the communication. Speak slowly and break-up lengthy conversations to allow the person to process the information; this may help decrease the person’s anxiety
Providing service to persons with physical disabilities
- Ask if the person needs help with any assistive device, and provide support as needed. For example, a person may use a wheelchair, scooter, crutches, cane, walker, or personal oxygen devices.
- Ensure hallways are free of obstacles in the public areas and building. If needed, assist the person with handling brochures or documents and reaching for the item when required.
- Ask permission to move a person’s assistive device unless in an emergency situation
Providing service to persons with speech or language difficulties
- Engage with the person to have a shared understanding of how to be of assistance, recognizing he/she may take longer to communicate. Ask questions that require one or two word answers and do not interrupt the person when responding
- Ask if they need assistance or support with any device as needed.
Providing Service to people who use support people
- Obtain consent from the person with the disability before engaging in conversation that includes confidential information.
- Communicate directly to the person with the disability, rather than the support person.
- Ensure persons with disabilities have access to their support person
- Understand and recognize circumstances where a support person will be required to ensure health and safety and communicate this need to the person with the disability.
- Advantage Engineering may require a person with a disability to be accompanied by a support person if it is necessary to protect the health and safety of the person with a disability or the safety of others on the premises.
Providing Service to persons who use service animals
Note: Advantage Engineering recognizes that some employees may be afraid or allergic to service support animals. In these situations, alternative means of providing goods and services to the person with the disability will be offered.
- Identification of service animals may be by the vest, harness, or saddle packs they wear. The animal may be observed providing assistance. The person may have a letter from a physician or nurse, stating they require the animal for reasons related to a disability or have a valid identification card.
- Permit the service animal to accompany the person with the disability in the office areas, it is preferred that they do not go into the plant area as the animal and/or person may get injured by debris or objects. If it is necessary for that person to go into the plant area they must be accompanied by their contact person. That contact person must be their guide to ensure they do not come into contact with any debris or objects that may cause injury to them or their service animal. Employees should not interfere with the service animal by petting, feeding, or distracting it in any way. The person with the disability is responsible to ensure that their service animal is in control at all times, is well behaved, not a threat to health and safety, and immunizations are up to date
- Ask the person to remove his/her service animal in the event the animal is showing disruptive or aggressive behavior, such as growling or barking, or causing damage
Advantage Engineering Inc. welcomes feedback regarding the provision of goods and services to persons with disabilities. Feedback may be provided in person, in writing, e-mail or telephone to the Human Resource Dept. and/or the Health and Safety Dept.
Advantage Engineering Inc. will review all feedback it receives and respond to such feedback where appropriate based on the nature of the feedback received and will also take into consideration as part of the ongoing review of the policy
Advantage Engineering Inc. will ensure that its procedures related to Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act 2005 are made available through the company intranet, and is also located in the log book at the reception desk
Advantage Engineering will provide training on how to deliver goods and services to all employees who deal with members of the public on its behalf and any employees with disabilities.
The training will become a component of the new employee orientation training for employees who deal with members of the public and any employees with disabilities and will be provided within a reasonable time frame
All training will be recorded and a copy kept in the employee’s personnel file.
Emergency Preparedness (HSP-04)
Ministry of Community and Social Services: Access Ontario www.accesson.ca/compliance
Ministry of Community and Social Services: Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities www.mcss.gov.on.ca/mcss/english/pillars/accessibiltyOnario
Statement of organizational commitment
Advantage Engineering Inc. is committed to ensuring equal access and participation for people with disabilities. We are committed to treating people with disabilities in a way that allows them to maintain they dignity and independence. We believe in integration, and we are committed to meeting the needs of people with disabilities in a timely manner. We will do so by removing and preventing barriers to accessibility and meeting our accessibility requirements under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act and Ontario’s (AODA) accessibility laws.
This 2021-2026 Accessibility Plan outlines the policies and actions that Advantage Engineering will put in place to remove barriers to accessibility and to meet accessibility requirements under the AODA.
Advantage Engineering’s Action Plan
|Part I: General|
|Establishment of Accessibility Policies|
|· Develop, implement and maintain policies governing how the organization achieves or will achieve accessibility through meeting its requirements under the accessibility standards referred to in this regulation.||1. Advantage Engineering has developed and implemented policies governing how it achieves accessibility and meets its legal requirements.||Completed||01-Jan-14|
|· Create and make a public statement of commitment.||1. Advantage Engineering has created and made public a statement of commitment. The statement of commitment is posted (location in workplace) and on the company’s website.||Completed||01-Jan-14|
|· Establish, implement, maintain and document a multi-year accessibility plan, which outlines the organization’s strategy to prevent and remove barriers and meet its requirements under this regulation||2. Advantage Engineering has established, implemented and will maintain this multi-year accessibility plan, which outlines our strategy to prevent and remove barriers and meet the requirements under this regulation.|
|· Post accessibility plan on website and provide the plan in an accessible format upon request.||3. All applicable IASR requirements have been reviewed to develop this Accessibility Plan.|
|· Review and update the accessibility plan every five (5) years||4. This accessibility plan will be posted on the company website and will be provided in an accessible format upon request.|
|5. Requests for accessible formats of this document will be forwarded to HR who will work with the individual to determine the most suitable format.|
|6. Advantage Engineering’s accessibility plan will be reviewed and updated every five (5) years.|
|· Provide training on the requirements of the accessibility standards and on the Human Rights Code to all employees.||1. Training for new and current employees will be delivered online covering all applicable content as required under the IASR and will be required as part of their orientation with the company.||Completed/ Ongoing||01-Jan-15|
|· Keep record of the training provided||2. Record of completed training will retained via employee orientation.|
|3. Training will be made available via alternate formats as requested.|
|Part II: Information and Communication Standard|
|Accessible Websites and Web Content|
|· Ensure website and web content published after January 1, 2012, conforms to the World Wide Web Consortium Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0, Level AA||1. To date, Advantage Engineering’s public website and its content meet all requirements under the WCAG 2.0 Level AA.||Completed||01-Jan-21|
|2. Advantage Engineering is committed to continuously improving its website and online content to ensure it is accessible.|
|Accessible Formats and Communication Supports|
|· Upon request, provide accessible formats and communication supports to individuals with disabilities||1. Upon request, Advantage Engineering will provide accessible formats and communication supports to individuals with disabilities. Guidelines and processes for responding to various requests have been developed.||Completed/ Ongoing||01-Jan-16|
|· Consult with the person making the request in determining the suitability of an accessible format or communication support||2. HR will consult with the employee making the request in determining the suitability of an accessible format or communication support.|
|· Notify the public about the availability of accessible formats and communication supports||3. Advantage Engineering’s ability to provide accessible formats and communication supports upon request has been made public by posting a statement on website and H&S board.|
|Emergency Procedures, Plans for Public Safety Information|
|· If emergency procedures, plans or public safety information are prepared, the information will be provided in an accessible format or with appropriate communication supports, as soon as practicable, upon request||1. Advantage Engineering provides emergency procedures, plans or public safety information in an accessible format or with appropriate communication supports, when requested.||Completed/ Ongoing||01-Jan-12|
|Part III: Employment Standard|
|· Notify employees and the public about the availability of accommodation for applicants with disabilities in its recruitment process||1. An accessibility statement is posted on all internal and external job postings that notifies applicants that accommodation will be made upon request.||Completed/ Ongoing||01-Jan-16|
|Recruitment, Assessment or Selection Process|
|· During a recruitment process, job applicants will be notified that accommodations are available upon request in relation to the material or processes to be used||1. An accessibility statement is posted on all job postings that will notify applicants that accommodation will be made upon request.||Completed/ Ongoing||01-Jan-16|
|· If a selected applicant requests an accommodation, the employer shall consult with the applicant||2. Successful applicants will be informed of the availability of accommodations as it will be stated in all letters of employment.|
|· When making offers of employment, must notify the successful applicant of its policies for accommodating employees with disabilities||3. Our internal Accommodation Policy will be provided to all new hires as part of their orientation.|
|4. Alternative formats of the policy will be made available upon request.|
|5. If a selected applicant requests an accommodation, Advantage Engineering will consult with applicants and provide or arrange for the provision of a suitable accommodation in a manner that considers the applicant’s accessibility needs due to disability.|
|Notice to Successful Applicants|
|· When making offers of employment, successful applicants will be notified of our policies for accommodating employees with disabilities||1. Advantage Engineering notifies successful applicants regarding its policies for accommodating employees with disabilities when making offers of employment, as it will be communicated in all letters of employment.||Completed/ Ongoing||01-Jan-16|
|Informing Employees of Supports|
|· Inform employees of our policies used to support our employees with disabilities, including policies on the provision of job accommodation that considers an employee’s accessibility due to disability||1. Advantage Engineering’s Accommodation Policy has been developed and will be communicated to employees during orientation, in addition to it being posted on H&S board and website.||Completed/ Ongoing||01-Jan-16|
|· The information required under this section will be provided to new employees as soon as practicable after they begin their employment||2. All new hires will be provided with the Accommodation Policy, as it will be communicated through job postings, Included in employee manual, employee Orientation and Letters of employment.|
|· If there is a change to the existing policy on the provision of job accommodations that considers an employee's accessibility needs due to disability, employees will be provided with updated information||3. All employees are informed of changes to the Accommodation Policy as they occur. These changes will be posted on H&S board.|
|4. Upon a change to an existing policy, Advantage Engineering will consider an employee’s accessibility needs.|
|Accessible Formats and Communication Supports for Employees|
|· Where an employee with a disability requests it, work with that individual to provide or arrange for the provision of accessible formats and communication supports for:||1. When a request is received, the HR department will work with the employee to ensure a suitable accessible format or communication is provided.||Completed/ Ongoing||01-Jan-16|
|o Information that is needed to perform the job|
|o Information that is generally available to employees in the workplace|
|· Where a request is made, work with the requesting employee to determine the suitability of the proposed accessible format/communication support|
|Workplace Emergency Response Information|
|· Individualized workplace emergency response information will be provided to employees who have a disability, if a disability is such that the individualized information is necessary||1. Individualized response plans have/will be created for employees with disabilities.||Completed/ Ongoing||01-Jan-12|
|· If an employee who receives individualized workplace emergency response information requires assistance and with the employee’s consent, the workplace emergency response information will be provided to the person designated to provide assistance to the employee||2. Advantage Engineering provides the information required as soon as it becomes aware of the need for accommodation due to the employee’s disability.|
|· Provide the information under this section as soon as practicable after the employer becomes aware of the need for accommodation due to the employee’s disability||3. Advantage Engineering reviews the individualized workplace emergency response information when the employee moves to a different location in the organization, when the employee’s overall accommodation needs or plans are reviewed and when we review our general emergency response policies.|
|· Review individualized workplace emergency response information,|
|o When the employee moves to a different location in the organization|
|o When the employee’s overall accommodations needs or plans are reviewed, and|
|o When the employer reviews its general emergency response policies|
|Documented Individual Accommodation Plans|
|· Develop and have in place a written process of the development of documents individual accommodation plan for employees with disabilities||1. Advantage Engineering has developed and implemented a written process for the development of documented individual accommodation plans for employees with disabilities. As per IASR requirements, the plan includes the following:||Completed/ Ongoing||01-Jan-16|
|a) The manner in which an employee requesting accommodation can participate in the development of the individual accommodation plan|
|b) The mean by which the employee is assessed on an individual basis|
|c) The steps taken to protect the privacy of the employee’s personal information|
|d) The frequency with which the individual accommodation plan will be reviewed and updated and the manner in which it will be done|
|e) If an individual accommodation plan is denied, the manner in which the reason for the denial will be provided|
|f) The means of providing the individual accommodation plan in a format that considers the employee’s needs due to disability|
|Return to Work Process|
|· Develop and have in place a return-to-work process for its employees who have been absent from work due to a disability and require disability related accommodations to return to work||1. Advantage Engineering has developed and documented a return-to-work process which details specific plans for employees who have been absent from work due to disability related accommodations.||Completed/ Ongoing||01-Jan-16|
|· This process will be documented||2. Advantage Engineering’s return to work process outlines the steps it will take to facilitate the return to work of employees absent due to disability and will use individual accommodation plans as part of the process.|
|· Individual accommodation plans will be used as part of the process|
|· The return-to-work process shall|
|o Outline the steps the employer will take to facilitate the return to work of employees who were absent because their disability required them to be away from work and|
|o Use individualized documented accommodation plans as part of the process|
|Part IV: Customer Service|
|· Establish policies, practices and procedures on how we will provide goods and services to people with disabilities||1. Advantage Engineering has developed and implemented policies and procedures pertaining to accessible customer service, including policies that allow people to use their personal assistive devices to access our goods and services.||Completed/ Ongoing||01-Jan-12|
|· Use reasonable efforts to ensure the policies, practices and procedures on how we will provide goods and services to people with disabilities share consistent with the principles laid out in the customer service standard|
|· Develop a policy on allowing people to use their personal assistive devices to access your goods and services and in any situations where such use may not be permitted|
|Training for staff:|
|· Every provider of goods or services must ensure that the following persons receive training about the provision of its goods or services to persons with disabilities||1. Every employee who deals with members of the public or other third parties on behalf of the provider will receive training.||Completed/ Ongoing||01-Jan-12|
|· Prepare a document describing its training policy and the comment must include a summary of the contents of the training and details of when the training is to be provided||2. Every employee who participates in developing Advantage Engineering’s policies and procedures governing the provision of goods or services to members of the public or third parties will also receive training.|
|· Keep records of the training provided under this section, including the dates on which the training is provided and the number of individuals to whom it is provided||3. Training includes a review of the purposes of the Act and the requirements of this regulation and instruction about the following matters:|
|a. How to interact and communicate a with persons which various tropes of disabilities|
|b. How to interact with person with disabilities who use an assistive device or require the assistance of. A guide dog or other service animal or the. Assistance of a support person|
|c. What to do if a person with a particular type of disability is having difficulty accessing the provider’s goods or services|
|4. Record of the training completed will be kept in training file.|
|5. Training will be administered online.|
Statement of organizational commitment
Advantage Engineering Inc. is committed to ensuring equal access and participation for people with disabilities. We are committed to treating people with disabilities in a way that allows them to maintain their dignity and independence. We believe in integration and we are committed to meeting the needs of people with disabilities in a timely manner. We will do so by removing and preventing barriers to accessibility and meeting our accessibility requirements under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act and Ontario’s accessibility laws.
We are committed to training staff and volunteers in Ontario’s accessibility laws and aspects of the Ontario Human Rights Code that relate to persons with disabilities.
We will train our employees and volunteers on accessibility as it relates to their specific roles.
Information and communications
We will communicate with people with disabilities in ways that take into account their disability. When asked, we will provide information about our organization and its services, including public safety information, in accessible formats or with communication supports.
We will also meet internationally-recognized Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 Level AA website requirements in accordance with Ontario’s accessibility laws.
We will notify employees, potential hires and the public that accommodations can be made during recruitment and hiring.
We will notify staff that supports are available for those with disabilities. We will put in place a process to develop individual accommodation plans for employees.
Where needed, we will also provide customized emergency information to help an employee with a disability during an emergency.
Design of Public Spaces
We will meet accessibility laws when building or making major changes to public spaces. Public spaces include:
- Outdoor paths of travel, like sidewalks, ramps, stairs, curb ramps, rest areas and accessible pedestrian signals
- Accessible off-street parking
- Service-related elements like service counters, fixed queuing lines and waiting areas
We will put procedures in place to prevent service disruptions to our accessible parts of our public spaces.
Changes to existing policies
We will modify or remove an existing policy that does not respect and promote the dignity and independence of people with disabilities.