We are committed to communicating with people with disabilities in ways that take into account their disability and in keeping with the principles of dignity, independence, integration and equal opportunity.
This policy provides guidance in considering how to improve communication with people with a disability through general communications, involvement of people with a disability in consultation, or in meetings, during a transaction and producing publications in accessible formats.
This policy applies to all First Reference Inc's communications with the public, including in relation to consultation, and the development of pamphlets, flyers, letters, memos, emails, websites, brochures, invoices, papers and reports, among others.
All oral and written communication should seek to be inclusive of and positive toward people with a disability.
The purpose of this Statement of Policy and Procedure is to ensure that persons with disabilities have communication access that is effective as that provided to persons without disabilities. To be equally effective, an aid, benefit or service need not produce the identical result or level of achievement for disabled and non-disabled persons; it must afford the person to whom it is provided equal opportunity to achieve equal results, gain equal benefit and reach the same level of achievement.
This policy applies to all employees and customer at all facilities of First Reference Inc in Ontario.
It is the responsibility of managers, immediate supervisors and/or department heads to ensure that all employees follow the guidelines set out in this policy.
Each manager, immediate supervisor and/or department head is responsible to ensure all employees are trained under Accessibility Standards for Customer Service and this policy, practices and procedure.
Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005
Ontario Human Rights Code
Accessibility Standards for Customer Service, Ontario Regulation 429/07
Terminology: the terminology we use can influence the way we see people and may unintentionally create a negative perception. The words we use can be very powerful. However unintentional, many words used to describe the nature of a disability can be demeaning and disrespectful. Please refer to the terminology chart to assist you in making your communication with or without people with disabilities more successful.
The words "disability" and "disabled" are more appropriate than "handicap" or "handicapped."
Remember to put people first. It is preferable to say “person with a disability” instead of “disabled person.”
Considering an individual's disability in communication: A key aspect of communication is taking into consideration the specific needs of an individual. Employees may need to utilize a variety of different techniques to best interact with a person with a disability in order to effectively provide goods and services to that individual.
To assist people with disabilities access our services, employees should utilize the following general guidelines:
First Reference Inc does not currently have TTY (teletypewriter) number.
We will give careful consideration to whether consultations, meetings, and transaction methods are inclusive of people with disabilities.
When organizing meetings, we will make attempts to use facilities that cater for people with disability; e.g., ramps, handrails and lifts for people with mobility disabilities, inductive loop or radio systems to assist the hearing impaired. We will consider whether it is appropriate to hire an interpreter to assist in presentations at meetings. When holding public events offsite, they will be advertised as part of the information about the location of the meeting.
When organizing consultation meetings, consider the environment available for any person with a disability attending the meeting; e.g., physical access to the building and meeting room, access to toilets, lighting in the room, external noise.
Publications: When preparing material intended to be distributed to the public, we will consider the format of the material and its accessibility to the target audience. In particular, we will consider whether alternative formats are required in order to facilitate access by a person with a disability.
Excessive cost can be avoided by carefully targeting the audience. Options for making accessible formats available may include:
One or more of the following formats may be appropriate for development to improve accessibility:
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