It is the policy of STSWR to provide an environment in its facility that builds independence, dignity, integration, and equality of opportunity for all our customers, students, parents/guardians, the public and our staff. Further, STSWR is committed to giving people with disabilities the same opportunity of access to our services in the same location and in a similar way as these services are available to all others we serve.
It is the responsibility of the STSWR to provide training opportunities for all staff and school bus operators including management/administration staff and bus drivers to ensure greater awareness and responsiveness to the needs of individuals with disabilities.
This policy operates in conjunction with: Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, Ontario Human Rights Code, Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005, (AODA), Accessibility Standards for Customer Services, Ontario Regulation 429/07, Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, 1999 (MFIPPA) and the Policies and Procedures of STSWR.
- In compliance with The Accessibility Standards for Customer Service, Ontario Regulation 429/07, created under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005, STSWR is committed to providing goods and services in a way that is accessible to all customers;
- STSWR believes that excellence in service is founded on respect for the dignity and humanity of all individuals and the development of human potential, enabling individuals and groups to participate and contribute fully within a diverse society. Equity, valuing diversity and inclusion are related yet distinct concepts which form the foundation of social justice and reflect values such as fairness, empathy, and respect for the dignity of all humans, and
- Practising equity involves proactively eradicating attitudes, actions, structures and systems that result in discrimination and exclusion. To this end, STSWR is committed to the continual improvement of accessibility and the on-going removal of barriers in order to provide greater equity for all.
Note: In this policy the language and terminology of the AODA and of the Accessibility Directorate’s Compliance Manual: Accessibility Standards for Customer Service O. Reg. 429/07 has been used.
A customer is any person who uses the goods and services of the STSWR.
An assistive device is any device used by people with disabilities to help with daily living. Assistive devices include a range of products such as wheelchairs, walkers, white canes, oxygen tanks, and electronic communication devices.
A service animal is an accredited animal registered in Canada from a recognized agency 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 and approved by the appropriate Senior School Board Official.
Note: for students, STSWR’s Protocol for Service Dogs for Students with Special Needs applies.
A support person is someone who assists or interprets for a person with a disability as he/she accesses the services of STSWR. A support person is distinct from an employee who supports a student in the system.
Note: for students, STSWR’s Third Party Protocol applies.
Third Party Contractor(s)
A third party contractor is any person or organization acting on behalf of, or as an agent of STSWR (e.g. bus operators, contractors, psychologists).
Barriers to Accessibility
Barriers to accessibility are anything that prevents a person with a disability from fully participating in all aspects of the services of STSWR. This includes, but is not limited to, a physical barrier, an architectural barrier, information or communications barrier, an attitudinal barrier, or a technological barrier.
Accommodation means, through reasonable efforts, of preventing and removing barriers that impede individuals with disabilities from participating fully in the services of the Board.
STSWR will take all reasonable steps to:
- Review all policies, practices and procedures on an on-going basis to ensure that they are consistent with the principles of independence, dignity, integration and equality of opportunity to all with particular attention for persons with disabilities;
- Welcome all members of the school and broader community to STSWR’ facility by committing our staff to providing services that respect the independence and dignity of persons with disabilities. Such services are to incorporate measures that include but are not limited to the use of assistive devices and service animals;
- Provide appropriate training for all staff who deal with the public or other third parties on behalf of STSWR to ensure greater awareness and responsiveness to the needs of individuals with disabilities. As new staff are hired, the training will become a component of their orientation training and will be provided within a reasonable timeframe;
- Ensure that its policies and procedures related to the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 are made available to the public and also ensure that there is capacity to provide communication about these policies and procedures in a format that takes into account a person’s disability;
- Post a disruption of service notice on STSWR’s website when services that are normally provided to a person with a disability are temporarily unavailable;
- Ensure that STSWR managers and staff take into account the impact on persons with disabilities when purchasing new equipment, designing new systems or planning a new initiative so that adherence to this policy can be achieved efficiently and effectively; and
- Develop a process for receiving and responding to feedback in order to monitor the effectiveness of implementation of the Accessible Customer Service Standard. Information about the feedback process will be readily available to the public and will allow people to provide feedback using a variety of methods.