Accessibility


Statement of Commitment

The District of Timiskaming Social Services Administration Board 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 DTSSAB 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 District of Timiskaming Social Services Administration Board undertakes to improve opportunities for persons with disabilities.

Customer Service Standards

Providing Services to Persons with Disabilities
We are committed to providing persons with disabilities the same opportunity to access our services and allowing them to benefit from the same services, in the same place, and in a similar way as others.

Assistive Devices
The DTSSAB 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.

Communication
We communicate with persons with disabilities with sensitivity and in ways that take into account their 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 DTSSAB 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
The DTSSAB provides training to every member of management and employee and others who deal with the public on our behalf. Training will also be provided to any person who helps develop the DTSSAB’s policies, practices and procedures governing the provision of services to clients.

Training is provided to new members of the DTSSAB during their orientation period and 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
  • DTSSAB’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 DTSSAB’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 District of Timiskaming Social Services Administration Board 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.

Policies and other documentation that do not respect and promote the dignity and independence of persons with disabilities will be modified or removed.

The DTSSAB will arrange to make these or other important information available in accessible formats or provide communication supports upon request. 

Feedback

Clients or others who wish to provide feedback on the way the DTSSAB provides services to persons with disabilities can do so directly to the employee from whom they received services. Alternatively, feedback may be provided to:

Don Studholme, Chief Administrative Officer
Telephone: 705.567.9366 ext. 3253
Fax: 705.567.3908
E-mail: studholmed@dtssab.com
Mail: District of Timiskaming Social Services Administration Board, 29 Duncan Avenue North, Box 310, Kirkland Lake, ON, P2N 3H7

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 DTSSAB to persons with disabilities will be addressed according to our organization’s complaints management procedures.

Integrated Accessibility Standards

Accessible Emergency Information
The District of Timiskaming Social Services 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 DTSSAB 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 for new employees occurs during their orientation period. Ongoing training is conducted annually to provide a refresher with respect to general awareness and sensitivity on the issue of accessibility.

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 DTSSAB 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 DTSSAB 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 DTSSAB 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 DTSSAB will ensure that existing feedback processes are accessible to persons with disabilities, upon request.

The DTSSAB 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 DTSSAB 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 DTSSAB shall make our internet website and the web content published on our website conform with the World Wide Web Consortium Web Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 where possible and except where it is impracticable, initially at Level A and increasing to Level AA.  The DTSSAB shall do so by auditing our websites and content for compliance and by implementing the necessary changes to bring the websites and web content into conformance with necessary standards according to specified timeframes.

Employment
The District of Timiskaming Social Services Administration Board is committed to fair and accessible employment practices.

During the recruitment process the DTSSAB notifies the public and staff applying to position vacancies that accommodations are available upon request for persons with disabilities.  The DTSSAB will consult with the applicant to determine the suitability of an accommodation.

The DTSSAB notifies its employees and new hires of its policies for accommodating employees with disabilities and for supporting persons with disabilities, and makes all such policies available on its network so that they are available to all employees of the organization.

Where an employee requests, the DTSSAB 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 DTSSAB will consult with the employee making the request.

The DTSSAB 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 DTSSAB 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 DTSSAB will take steps to remove the barriers identified, or make necessary adjustments to have access without barriers.

Design of Public Spaces
The District of Timiskaming Social Services 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 DTSSAB are required to adhere to our specifications in the design of accessible housing units and both interior and exterior common spaces. 

The DTSSAB will endeavour to prevent service disruptions to the accessible parts of its public spaces. To reduce the risk of service disruptions, the DTSSAB will periodically inspect the accessible portions of its public spaces. When any deficiencies are noted that might impact on accessibility, the DTSSAB will take steps to correct the deficiency within a reasonable time frame.

For more information

For more information on this accessibility plan or for a copy of this plan in an accessible format please contact:

Don Studholme, Chief Administrative Officer
Telephone: 705.567.9366 ext. 3253
Fax: 705.567.3908 addressed
E-mail: studholmed@dtssab.com
Mail: District of Timiskaming Social Services Administration Board, 29 Duncan Avenue North, Box 310, Kirkland Lake, ON, P2N 3H7