Accessibility

Policy Statement

Ophea is committed to providing equal opportunity to all of our users. Ophea provides an inclusive an environment that respects the dignity and independence of diverse communities, including persons with disabilities. In accordance with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA), Ophea will provide accomodating services and tools in a manner that respects the dignity and independence of persons with disabilities.

Procedures / Guidelines

Ophea will support our users and community members to utilize our services in the following manner:

1. Providing Goods and Services

Communications

We will train our service staff on valuable communication methods to support our diverse user community and persons with various types of disabilities, respecting their dignity and independence.

Telephone Services

We will train our staff to communicate with our users and community members over the telephone clearly and in a respectful manner that accomodates requested communication forms or methods.

We are committed to providing fully accessible telephone service to our customers.

Billing

Ophea is committed to providing accessible invoices in alternate formats upon the request of our customer by providing large print and/or electronic documents.

2. Ophea Conferences

This section outlines Ophea's policy and procedures for providing accomodation to individuals with disabilities during their attendance at Ophea run conferences.

As a not-for-profit organization with limited resources, Ophea may review and revise this policy from time to time in light of the needs of conference attendees as well as its own financial resources.

Accomodation for Deaf Persons and Persons with Hearing Loss

Deaf persons and persons with hearing loss seeking accommodation for an Ophea run conference must contact Ophea and indicate the specific accommodation(s) being requested. Requests for such accommodation may be made by e-mail to info@ophea.net. All e-mail requests should indicate "Request for Accommodation" in the subject line. 

The body of the e-mail should indicate the specific conference and date for which the accommodation is required. 

Ophea will cover the cost of a sign language interpreter and/or transcription services during scheduled conference events only.

Sign language and transcription services require bookings to be made at least one month in advance of the date for which the service is required. Ophea cannot guarantee that it will be able to schedule a sign language interpreter or transcriber where the request is made less than one month in advance. 

While Ophea will make every effort to arrange for accommodation services where requested, in some cases sign language interpretation and transcription services may not be available on the requested date. Ophea cannot guarantee that it will be able to provide sign language interpretation and transcription where no services are available. 

Where Ophea is unable to obtain sign language or transcription services, the attendee may:

(a) arrange for his or her own sign language interpreter(s) or transcriber. Ophea will reimburse the attendee for the cost up to the rates charged by the Canadian Hearing Society for sign language interpretation.

(b) where accommodations are not possible or not satisfactory, Ophea will reimburse the full cost of the attendee's registration fee to the Ophea conference.

Ophea reserves the right to not provide sign language interpretation and/or to limit the number of sign language interpreters provided where the cost would be unduly prohibitive. In such a case, Ophea will make every effort to accommodate sign language interpreter and/or transcription services arranged at the attendee's expense.

Accommodation for Blind and Partially Sighted Attendees

Ophea offers the assistance of a support person to blind or partially sighted attendees. 

Blind or partially sighted individuals who wish to request either a support person to assist them at an Ophea conference or a Braille copy of the event's program may do so by:

(a) Telephone to the Executive Assistant (416) 426-7154

(b) E-mail to info@ophea.net. All e-mail requests must indicate "Request for Accommodation" in the subject line in order that the request is processed as soon as possible.

Where a blind or partially sighted attendee makes a request more than one month prior to the event in accordance with these procedures, Ophea will provide a Braille copy of the program for the conference. Electronic copies of Ophea conference programs are also available through the official Ophea website. For individuals that prefer eletronic accommodations, an Ophea staff member can guide as to where to find the program on the website or to email it directly to the individual. 

Blind or partially sighted attendees may arrange for their own support person to assist them at the Ophea conference. Ophea will waive all conference attendance costs for a support person.

Ophea will, on request, attempt to secure a support person to assist the blind or partially sighted attendee at the event. Ophea cannot guarantee that it will be able to secure a support person to assist the attendee where the request is not made at least one month in advance of the conference.

Where Ophea is unable to secure the services of a support person, or other satisfactory accommodation are not possible, Ophea will reimburse the full cost of the attendee's registration fee to the Ophea conference.

Accommodation for Attendees Requiring Support Persons or Animals

Support Animals:Persons with a disability may enter Ophea premises accompanied by a service animal, and keep the animal with them, in areas to which the public has access on our premises, providing the animal is not otherwise excluded by law. While visiting our premises, it is the responsibility of the person with the service animal to ensure the animal is in working harness at all times.

Support Person:Persons with a disability may be accompanied by a support person and have access to that individual at all times. Ophea will waive all attendance costs for the support person and arrange to allow the support person to sit with the individual with the disability. Ophea may require a person with a disability to be accompanied by a support person while on our premises, in situations where it is necessary to protect the health and safety of the person with a disability.

Ophea requests that those attending conferences with a support person contact:

(a) The Executive Assistant by telephone at 416 426 7154 or,

(b) by e-mail at hr@ophea.org as soon as possible to advise of this request so that Ophea may arrange a conference pass for the support person and ensure that he or she is able to sit with the attendee.

Accommodation for Attendees with Physical Access Disabilities

While Ophea books its conferences in facilities which are accessible to those with physical access disabilities, Ophea has limited control over the facilities in which the events take place. Ophea will work with the conference facility to make every effort to make its conferences accessible to persons with physical access disabilities.

Requests for specific accommodation at Ophea conferences may be made directly to the Executive Assistant:

(a) by telephone at 416 426 7154 or;

(b) by e-mail info@ophea.org. All e-mail requests must indicate "Request for Accommodation" in the subject line to ensure that the request is processed as soon as possible.

3. Notice of Temporary Disruption

Ophea will make every effort to provide customers with notice in the event of a disruption in the facilities or services usually used by people with disabilities. This notice will include information about the reason for the disruption, its anticipated duration and a description of alternative facilities or services, if available. We will not necessarily be able to give adequate notice in case of a temporary emergency disruption.

In order to make information accessible, large print signs and notices will be displayed at the entrance to our facilities and notices will be posted on our website.

4. Training for staff

Ophea will ensure that all persons to whom this policy applies receive training as required by the Accessibility Standards for Customer Services. In addition, training will be provided to new employees as part of their orientation and on a continuing basis as required. The amount and format of training will depend upon the person’s interaction with customers. A record of training will be kept by the Human Resource Department.

Training will include:

  • The Human Rights Code
  • The purpose of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (AODA).
  • The requirements of the Accessibility Standards for Customer Services.
  • Information about Ophea policies, procedures and guidelines pertaining to the provision of services to users with disabilities.
  • How to interact and communicate with people with various types of disabilities.
  • What to do if a person with a disability is having difficulty accessing Ophea services.
  • How to interact with people with disabilities who use assistive devices or require assistance of a service animal or a support person.
  • How to use equipment or devices available by Ophea that may help with the provision of services to persons with disabilities.

All staff will be trained on policies, practices and procedures that affect the way goods and services are provided to people with disabilities. Staff will also be trained on an ongoing basis when changes are made to these policies, practices and procedures.

5. Feedback Process

The ultimate goal of Ophea is to meet expectations while working with customers with disabilities. Comments on our services regarding how well those expectations are being met are welcomed and appreciated. Feedback regarding the way Ophea provides services to people with disabilities can be made by contacting:

Comments and Complaints

Comments or complaints regarding the Ophea provision of services to persons with disabilities can be made to:
Executive Office of Ophea
1 Concorde Gate, Suite 608
By Phone on Complaints Line: 416-426-7154
By Fax: 416-426-7373 By Email: complaints@ophea.org
Or submit a complaint www.ophea.net/contact-us

Complaints and feedback will be received and addressed by the Executive Office in accordance with our normal complaints administration procedures.

Office hours are from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM, Monday to Friday.

6. Modification to This or Other Policies

Ophea is committed to developing and updating user service policies that are inclusive and that respect the dignity and independence of people with disabilities. Therefore, no changes will be made to this policy before considering the impact on people with disabilities.

Copies of this Policy

Ophea recognizes that persons with disabilities use methods other than standard print to access information. If Ophea is required to give a copy of this policy to a person with a disability, Ophea will provide the policy, or the information contained in the policy, in a format that takes into account the person’s disability.

Alternatively, Ophea and the person with the disability may agree on an alternate format for the document or information.

7. Question About this Policy

All questions regarding this policy should be directed to:
Lori Collinge, Executive Assistant
1 Concorde Gate, Suite 608
By Phone: 416-426-7154
By Fax: 416-426-7373 By Email:lori@ophea.org

Legislation

Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA, 2005)

Accessibility Standards for Customer Service, Ontario Regulation 429/07

Related Ophea Policies

  • 2.1 Code of Business Conduct
  • 2.2 Equal Opportunity
  • 2.3 Violence, Harassment and Discrimination

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