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Family and Children’s Services of Renfrew County Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities (AODA) Policy:

Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA), 2005 ,Customer Service Policy

POLICY

It is the policy of Family and Children’s Services of Renfrew County (FCS Renfrew) to support the full inclusion of persons with disabilities as set out in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, Ontario Human Rights Code, the Ontarians with Disabilities Act (ODA), 2001 and the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA), 2005.

Our Commitment FCS Renfrew strives to offer quality service to each member of the community and to always provide service in a way that respects the dignity and independence of people with disabilities. FCS Renfrew is committed to open communication and to ensuring that persons with disabilities have an equal opportunity access.

The purpose of this policy is to provide a framework through which FCS Renfrew can achieve service excellence for people with disabilities and the building of a fully inclusive community.

Definitions

Disability – is defined, per Section 2 of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005, S.O. 2005, c. 11 and the Human Rights Code, R.S.O. 1990, c. H.19, as follows:

  • “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 co-ordination, blindness or visual impediment, 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,
  • a condition of mental impairment or a developmental disability,
  • a learning disability, or a dysfunction in one or more of the processes involved in understanding or using symbols or spoken language,
  • a mental disorder, or
  • an injury or disability for which benefits were claimed or received under the insurance plan established under the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act, 1997.”

Service Animals – are defined, per Section 4(9) of the Accessibility Standards for Customer Service, O. Reg. 429/07, as follows: “an animal is a service animal for a person with a disability:

  • if it is readily apparent that the animal is used by the person for reasons relating to his or her disability; or
  • if the person provides a letter from a physician or nurse confirming that the person requires the animal for reasons relating to the disability.”

Support Person – is defined, per Section 4(8) Accessibility Standards for Customer Service, O. Reg. 429/07, as follows: “a support person means, in relation to a person with a disability, another person who accompanies him or her in order to help with communication, mobility, personal care or medical needs or with access to goods or services.”

PROCEDURES

Providing Goods and Services to People with Disabilities FCS Renfrew respects and celebrates the diversity of people who make up our community. We are committed to excellence in serving our diverse community, including persons with disabilities, and we will carry out our service goals in the following areas:

Communication

FCS Renfrew will communicate with people with disabilities in ways that take into account their individual requirements. We will train our employees how to effectively interact and communicate with people who have various disabilities.

Telephone Services

FCS Renfrew is committed to providing fully accessible telephone services including access to appropriate assistive technologies. We will train employees to communicate over the telephone in clear and plain language and to speak clearly and slowly. We will make our employees familiar with telephone technologies intended for people with disabilities.

Assistive Devices

FCS Renfrew welcomes persons with disabilities to use assistive devices to obtain, use or benefit from our services. We will ensure that our employees are trained in the use of the various assistive devices and alternate to print materials available on the premises.

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, FCS Renfrew 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.

Billing

FCS Renfrew is committed to providing accessible invoices and, upon request, our invoices will be provided in alternative formats.

Use of Service Animals and Support Persons

FCS Renfrew welcomes persons who are accompanied by a service animal on the parts of our premises that are open to the public and other third parties.

FCS Renfrew welcomes persons who are accompanied by a support person. Any person with a disability who is accompanied by a support person will be allowed to enter FCS Renfrew’s premises with his or her support person. At no time will a person who is accompanied by a support person be prevented from having access to his or her support person, provided that the interaction between the person and his/her support person does not compromise service integrity by undermining essential requirements of investigations or other programs.

Notice of Temporary Disruption

FCS Renfrew will provide notice in the event of a planned or long term unexpected disruption in the facilities or services usually used by people with disabilities to access FCS Renfrew’s goods or services. Although FCS Renfrew cannot provide the same guarantee in emergency temporary disruption situations, every reasonable effort will be made to give adequate notice. A notice regarding the disruption will include information about the reason for the disruption, its anticipated duration, and a description of alternative facilities or services, if available. The notice will be placed in relevant conspicuous locations on our premises.

Training for Staff

FCS Renfrew will provide training about accessible services to staff members, volunteers and others who interact with members of the public who wish to obtain, use or benefit from services provided by FCS Renfrew. In addition, training will be provided to employees as part of the orientation training for new employees, and on an ongoing basis whenever changes are made to relevant policies, procedures and practices. The training will be provided as soon as practicable after the new employee is assigned his/her duties. Training will include a review of the purpose of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005, the requirements of the Customer Service standard, and information about the following:

  • How to interact and communicate with people with various types of disabilities
  • FCS Renfrew’s policies, practices and procedures relating to the provision of services to persons with disabilities
  • How to interact with persons with disabilities who use an assistive device or require the assistance of a service animal or a support person
  • How to use equipment or devices available at FCS Renfrew that may help with the provision of services to a person with a disability
  • What to do if a person with a disability is having difficulty accessing FCS Renfrew’s services

FCS Renfrew will keep records of the training provided, including the dates of the training and the number of people trained.

Feedback Process

FCS Renfrew welcomes feedback regarding the way in which FCS Renfrew provides services to persons with disabilities. Clients and service recipients are invited and encouraged to provide feedback and concerns, complaints, or suggestions in writing to the Agency. Should accessibility requirements entail an alternative means of feedback, FCS Renfrew will work with the client or service recipient to facilitate the feedback. FCS Renfrew will respond to such feedback within a reasonable time frame clarifying the concern, complaint or suggestion, and actions to be taken to address same.

Perquisite Policy:

A perquisite (perk) refers to a privilege that is provided to an individual or to a group of individuals, provides a personal benefit, and is not generally available to others.

This policy applies to any person including but not limited to appointees, board members, elected officials and employees.

This policy does not apply to provisions of collective agreements, insured benefits, items generally available on a non-discriminatory basis for all or most employees, health and safety requirements, employment accommodations made for human rights and/or accessibility considerations, or expenses covered under the policy and procedures on travel, meals, and hospitality.

A perk is not allowable if it is not a business related requirement. To be allowable, a perk must be a business related requirements for the effective performance of an individual’s job.

  • The following perks are not allowed under any circumstances:
  • Club memberships for personal recreation or socializing purposes, including but not limited to fitness clubs, golf clubs or social clubs
  • Seasons tickets to cultural or sporting events
  • Clothing allowances not related to health and safety or special job requirements
  • Access to private health clinics
  • Professional advisory services for personal matters, such as tax or estate planning

This policy will be reviewed on a periodic basis to ensure that there is appropriate governance and that everyone who has authority for approvals understands the organization’s policy regarding perks.

Good record keeping practices will be maintained for verification and audit purposes.

A perk is allowable only in limited and exceptional circumstances where it is demonstrated to be a business related requirement for the effective performance of an individual’s job and requires approval of the Executive Director or the Board Chair if the perk is in regard to the Executive Director.

Summary information about perks will be made publicly available annually.