Cochrane District Social Services Administration Board Accessibility Plan

Statement of Commitment


The District of Cochrane Social Service Administration Board (CDSSAB) is committed to treating all persons, including persons with disabilities, in a way that allows them to maintain their dignity and independence. We believe in integration and equal opportunity. The CDSSAB is committed to meeting the needs of persons with disabilities in a timely manner and will do so by preventing and removing barriers to accessibility and meeting the accessibility requirements under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (“AODA”).
 

Accessibility Plan


This accessibility plan outlines the policies and actions that the Cochrane District Social Service Administration Board undertakes to improve opportunities for persons with disabilities.


Customer Service Standards


Providing Services to Persons with Disabilities
Where a person identifies any accessibility barriers, CDSSAB will take steps to remove barriers identified.
 
Assistive Devices
The CDSSAB is committed to serving persons with disabilities who use assistive devices to obtain, use, or benefit from our services. We will ensure that our employees are trained and familiar with various assistive devices that may be used
by clients with disabilities while accessing our services.
 
Information & Communication
In 2019 the CDSSAB updated the Board’s website to include accessibility adjustment options, including seizure safe profile, vision impaired profile and cognitive disability profile. As an organization all communications are conducted with sensitivity and in ways that take into account any disability.
 
Service Animals
We welcome persons with disabilities and their service animals. Service animals are allowed on the parts of our premises that are open to the public, unless the service animal is otherwise excluded from the area by or where there are overriding health and safety considerations. In these cases, we will ensure that other measures are available to enable the person with a disability to obtain, use, or benefit from our services. It is the responsibility of the person using the service animal to ensure that the service animal is kept in control at all times.
 
Support Persons
A person with a disability who is accompanied by a support person will be permitted to have that support person accompany him or her on our premises and to have access to their support person at all times.
Unless there are overriding health and safety concerns, the person with a disability may choose not to be accompanied by his or her support at all times.

Notice of Temporary Disruption
In the event of a planned or unexpected disruption to our services or facilities, the CDSSAB will notify clients promptly. A posted public notice will include information about the reason for the disruption, its anticipated length of time, and a description of alternative facilities or services, if available.
The notice will be posted at all public entrances at the reception desk on our premises. In appropriate circumstances the notice will also be posted on our website.
It is recognized that the ability to provide appropriate notice of a disruption may be limited in cases of an emergency that caused the temporary disruption.
 
Training for Staff
As part of the onboarding of new employees the CDSSAB provides training to every employee who deals with the public on our behalf. Ongoing training is provided as required when there are modifications to the accessibility policy and customer service plan, if new barriers or potential barriers are identified, or to provide an annual refresher with respect to general awareness and sensitivity on the issue of accessibility.
 
Training includes:
  • an overview of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 and the requirements of the customer service standard
  • CDSSAB’s plan related to the customer service standard
  • how to interact and communicate with persons with various types of 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, where provided, available on-site, or otherwise that may help with providing services to persons with disabilities
  • what to do if a person with a disability is having difficulty in accessing CDSSAB’s services
  • Training records are made and maintained in accordance with the requirements of the Accessibility Standards for Customer Service (O. Reg. 429/07).
 
Availability of Documents
The CDSSAB has prepared documentation to meet the required Accessibility Standard for Customer Service (O. Reg. 429/07) and the Integrated Accessibility Standards (O. Reg. 191/11) under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005.

Integrated Accessibility Standards

 
Accessible Emergency Information
The District of Cochrane Social Service Administration Board is committed to providing clients with publicly available emergency information in an accessible way upon request. We provide employees with disabilities with individualized emergency response information when necessary, based on their known accommodation needs.
 
Training
In addition to the training we provide under the Accessibility Standards for Customer Service, the CDSSAB also ensures training on the requirements of the Integrated Accessibility Standards (Ontario Regulation 191/11) and of the Human Rights Code as it relates to persons with disabilities. Training is provided in a way that best suits the actual duties of our members of management, employees, and others who deal with the public on our behalf.
Training records are made and maintained in accordance with the requirements of the Integrated Accessibility Standards.
 
Self-Service Kiosks in Client Service Areas
Should the CDSSAB design, procure or acquire any self-service kiosks in its client service areas, it will have regard to the accessibility for persons with disabilities. The CDSSAB will ensure that any employees involved in the procurement or acquisition are apprised of the need to consider accessibility features in choosing the appropriate self-service kiosk.
 
Information and Communications
The CDSSAB is committed to meeting the communication needs of persons with disabilities. When requested, we will consult with persons with disabilities to determine their information and communication needs.
The CDSSAB will ensure that existing feedback processes are accessible to persons with disabilities, upon request.
The CDSSAB ensures that all of its publicly available information is made accessible upon request. Where a request for an accessible format or for communication supports is received, the CDSSAB will:
  • consult with the individual making the request to determine their accessibility needs and what would be a suitable format or support.
  • provide the requested information in a timely manner.
  • provide the information at regular cost (if any).
 
Accessible Websites and Web Content
The CDSSAB has made our internet website and the web content published on our website conform with the World Wide Web Consortium Web Accessibility Guidelines and will monitor and update as required by legislation.
 
Employment
The District of Cochrane Social Service Administration Board is committed to fair and accessible employment practices.
During the recruitment process the CDSSAB notifies the public and staff applying to position vacancies that accommodations are available upon request for persons with disabilities. The CDSSAB will consult with the applicant to determine the suitability of an accommodation.
The CDSSAB notifies its employees and new hires of its policies for accommodating employees with disabilities and for supporting persons with disabilities.
Where an employee requests, the CDSSAB will provide or arrange for the provision of accessible formats or communications supports for: (a) information needed to perform the employee’s job; and (b) information generally available to other employees. The CDSSAB will consult with the employee making the request.
The CDSSAB has implemented disability accommodation and return to work policies that incorporate the obligations of the Integrated Accessibility Standards, including the development and use of individual accommodation plans.
When undertaking any performance management, career development and redeployment processes (as applicable), the CDSSAB will ensure that the accessibility needs of its employees with disabilities are taken into account. This will include a review of any individual accommodation plans that are in place for employees.
Where an employee identifies accessibility barriers, the CDSSAB will take steps to remove the barriers identified, or make necessary adjustments to have access without barriers.
 
Design of Public Spaces
The District of Cochrane Social Service Administration Board will meet the Accessibility Standards for the Design of Public Spaces when building or making major modifications to public spaces that are newly constructed or redeveloped. Due to the nature of our business public spaces includes service-related elements like service counters and waiting areas and can also include public spaces in our properties, such as outdoor play spaces (i.e.: playgrounds), outdoor paths of travel (i.e.: sidewalks, ramps, stairs, curb ramps), rest areas, accessible off -street parking or other.
Architects and other consultants hired by the CDSSAB are required to adhere to our specifications in the design of accessible housing units and both interior and exterior common spaces.
The CDSSAB will endeavour to prevent service disruptions to the accessible parts of its public spaces. To reduce the risk of service disruptions, the CDSSAB will periodically inspect the accessible portions of its public spaces. When any deficiencies are noted that might impact on accessibility, the CDSSAB will take steps to correct the deficiency within a reasonable time frame.

More Information / Feedback

 
Clients or others who wish to provide feedback on the way the CDSSAB provides services to persons with disabilities can do so directly with the employee from whom they received these services. Alternatively if you are seeking more information about our accessibility policies or have a complaint about your provided services you can provide feedback directly to:
 
Brian Mark, Chief Administrative Officer
Telephone: 705-268-7722 ext. 216
Fax: 705-268-8290
Email : Brian.marks@cdssab.on.ca
 
Mail:
Cochrane District Social Service Administration Board
500 Algonquin Blvd. E.
Timmins, Ontario
P4N 1B7
 
All feedback will be directed to the Chief Administrative Officer and investigated in a
timely, thorough and objective manner. The following actions will be taken to
respond:
  • The feedback will be assessed for appropriate action and directed to the appropriate employee for action, if applicable (Note: the Customer Service Standard does not require a response to be provided for all feedback)
  • Where action includes a response to the client, we will endeavor to provide a response within four (4) business days following the receipt of the complaint
Any complaints about services provided by CDSSAB to persons with disabilities will
be addressed according to our organization’s complaints management procedures.