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Attridge and the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA)

Attridge and the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA)

Attridge strives to meet the needs of its employees and customers with disabilities and is working hard to remove and prevent barriers to accessibility.

Attridge is committed to fulfilling our requirements under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act.   (https://www.ontario.ca/laws/statute/05a11 ) This accessibility plan outlines the steps Attridge is taking to meet those requirements and to improve opportunities for people with disabilities. In doing so, we re-affirm our commitment to providing quality services, training and communication in a manner that respects the dignity and independence of persons with disabilities.

Attridge is committed to ensuring equal access and participation for people with disabilities. We are committed to treating people with disabilities in a way that allows them to maintain their dignity and independence.  Attridge has created a Multi-Year Accessibility Plan that celebrates the AODA achievements to date and sets a timeline for improving access and service to all.

We believe in integration and we are committed to meeting the needs of people with disabilities in a timely manner. We will do so by removing and preventing barriers to accessibility and meeting our accessibility requirements under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act and Ontario’s accessibility laws regulating both the AODA Accessibility Plan ( https://www.ontario.ca/page/path-2025-ontarios-accessibility-action-plan)    and AODA Customer Service Standard (https://www.ontario.ca/page/how-make-customer-service-accessible)

 

Attridge – AODA Organizational Commitment

Multi-Year Plan

Attridge has created a Multi-Year Accessibility Plan that celebrates the AODA achievements to date and sets a timeline for improving access and service to all.

Emergency Incident Plan / Individual Accommodation Plan

Attridge is committed to providing its customers and employees with publicly available emergency and public safety information in an accessible way upon request. We are committed to providing workplace emergency and response information to people with disabilities in various formats, when requested. We are committed to providing employees and visitors with emergency information, plans or safety information in an accessible way upon request.

Training

We are committed to training staff and volunteers in Ontario’s accessibility laws and aspects of the Ontario Human Rights Code that relate to persons with disabilities. We will train our employees and volunteers on accessibility as it relates to their specific roles.

Information and Communications

We will communicate with people with disabilities in ways that take into account their disability. When asked, we will provide information about our organization and its services, including public safety information, in accessible formats or with communication supports. We will also meet internationally recognized Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 Level AA website requirements in accordance with Ontario’s accessibility laws.

Recruitment and Employment

We will notify employees, potential hires and the public that accommodations can be made during recruitment and hiring.  We will notify staff that supports are available for those with disabilities. We will put in place a process to develop individual accommodation plans for employees. Where needed, we will also provide customized emergency information to help an employee with a disability during an emergency.  Our performance management, career development and redeployment processes will take into account the accessibility needs of all employees.

Accessible Customer Service

Attridge is committed to ensuring equal access and participation for people with disabilities. We are committed to treating people with disabilities in a way that allows them to maintain their dignity and independence. We believe in integration and we are committed to meeting the needs of people with disabilities in a timely manner. We will do so by removing and preventing barriers to accessibility and meeting our accessibility requirements under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act and Ontario’s accessibility laws.  We will modify or remove an existing policy that does not respect and promote the dignity and independence of people with disabilities.

Accessible Feedback

Attridge is committed to ensuring equal access and participation for people with disabilities. We will do so by removing and preventing barriers to accessibility and meeting our accessibility requirements under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act and Ontario’s accessibility laws.  Attridge will encourage feedback about our AODA commitment, policies and procedures.

 

Attridge – AODA Multi Year Accessibility Plan

Our AODA Multi-Year Accessibility Plan outlines the policies, achievements and actions that Attridge has taken and the work underway to improve opportunities for people with disabilities. The current plan covers the period from July 1, 2021 through June 30, 2026.   With active implementation to occur with the re-start of school and driver refresher training that will begin in 3rd quarter.

We are committed to providing accessible customer service to people with disabilities.  This means that we will provide goods and services to people with disabilities with the same high quality and timeliness as others. Attridge is committed to meeting its current and ongoing obligations under the Ontario Human Rights Code respecting non-discrimination. (http://www.ohrc.on.ca/en/guide-your-rights-and-responsibilities-under-human-rights-code/part-i-%E2%80%93-freedom-discrimination)  We are committed to excellence in serving all customers including people with disabilities.

To date the following measures have been implemented by Attridge:

  • All employees receive initial AODA training that is refreshed on an annual basis.
  • All employees receive Diversity and Inclusion training that is refreshed on an annual basis that includes information on how to effectively communicate with all people including those with disabilities.
  • All drivers that provide service to persons that require wheelchair accessible service receive initial inclusion and safety training that is refreshed on at least every other year.
  • AODA policy is included in the Attridge 2021 policy and will be reviewed and updated on an annual basis. This policy is consistent with the principles of independence, dignity, integration and equality of opportunity for people with disabilities.
  • ADOA policy and procedures are posted on attridge.com with links to related information eg. Ontario Human Rights Code on Discrimination.
  • Alternative methods of customer service are available, when requested such as online, over the phone, in writing, or through a support person.

Planned Action:

  • Additional training for all employees as new technology or assistive devices are introduced.
  • Annual review of all policies and procedures.
  • Annual review/update of the AODA information posted on attridge.com
  • Immediate and then annual review of all feedback relating to accessibility with the goal of eliminating any barrier to access or employment.

Attridge – AODA Emergency Incident Plan / Individual Accommodation Plan

Attridge is committed to providing its customers and employees with publicly available emergency and public safety information in an accessible way upon request. We are committed to providing workplace emergency and response information to people with disabilities in various formats, when requested. We are committed to providing employees and visitors with emergency information, plans or safety information in an accessible way upon request.

To date the following measures have been implemented by Attridge:

  • Floor plans of each physical location are posted in general areas for all employees to see and review, with emergency exits clearly marked and accessible without barriers to access or egress.
  • Fire extinguishers, first aid areas and eye wash stations are visible, marked and easy to access.

for all employees.

  • Washrooms are marked and easy to access.
  • Designated wheelchair or mobility impaired parking spaces are clearly marked and accessible.
  • Annual test of the Emergency Evacuation System at each location, usually in mid-July, under the direction of the local Manager of Safety, Training and Compliance. This includes a review with key Supervisory staff at each location the day prior to the event to refresh responsibilities and procedures.  With an immediate review following each test to ensure that the building exit and regroup at the designated emergency response location was both timely and safe and accommodated everyone in the facility; staff, visitors and those with disabilities.
  • Individual emergency response plan information is available to employees with disabilities upon request. It is the responsibility of the employee to notify:
  • Their immediate supervisor of a need for accommodation.
  • To complete the Individual Accommodation Plan for joint review with their Supervisor. The employee can access the IAP form at www.forms.ssb.gov.on.ca/mbs/ssb/forms/ssbforms.nsf/FormDetail?OpenForm&ACT=RDR&TAB=PROFILE&SRCH=&ENV=WWE&TIT=0048&NO=009-0048E
  • Attridge will work with the employee to develop and implement the individual accommodation plan.
  • Attridge will use this IAP during an emergency incident with the consent of the employee as quickly as possible.
  • All public emergency procedures, plans and public safety information of Attridge will be provided in an accessible format upon request.

Planned Action

  • Receive feedback and adjust the annual training, policies or procedures to improve access for all people including those with disabilities.

 

Attridge – AODA Training Plan

Attridge is committed to training staff in the requirements of Ontario’s accessibility laws and the Ontario Human Rights Code as it applies to people with disabilities. We will train our employees on accessibility as it relates to their specific roles.

To date the following measures have been implemented by Attridge:

  • All employees receive initial AODA training that is refreshed on an annual basis.
  • All employees receive Diversity and Inclusion training that is refreshed on an annual basis that includes information on how to effectively communicate with all people including those with disabilities.
  • All drivers that provide service to persons that require wheelchair accessible service receive initial inclusion and safety training that is refreshed on at least every other year.
  • Annual test of the Emergency Evacuation System at each location, usually in mid-July, under the direction of the local Manager of Safety, Training and Compliance. This includes a review with key Supervisory staff at each location the day prior to the event to refresh responsibilities and procedures.  With an immediate review following each test to ensure that the building exit and regroup at the designated emergency response location was both timely and safe and accommodated everyone in the facility; staff, visitors and those with disabilities.
  • Training materials/resources are available in an accessible format upon request and the format will take into account the disability of the person requesting the information.
  • All training is documented.

 

Planned Action:

  • Receive feedback and adjust the annual training, policies or procedures to improve access for all people including those with disabilities.

Attridge – AODA Information and Communication

Attridge will make our information and communication accessible to people with disabilities.  The information and communication will be shared in a manner that takes into account the needs of the person with the disability.  The information about this company and its services, including public safety material, will be provided when requested in an accessible format or with communication supports.

To date the following measures have been implemented by Attridge:

  • The public and employees are encouraged to contact staff using a variety of methods with the understanding that not all can access/use online options.
  • Telephone
  • Text
  • Social media; Twitter, Facebook
  • com
  • Email
  • Letter
  • Attridge will always respond using the person’s preferred method of contact.

 

Planned Action:

  • All videos created by Attridge and posted on attridge.com will include a captioning option for those recordings that include spoken word(s).
  • Include an Accessible Format request for all online forms, feedback requests that will permit the person to request a specific format/accommodation.
  • Attridge will continue to produce print information that uses clear and distinct fonts or video to ease use.
  • Continue to work toward the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines

(WCAG) 2.0 Level AA website requirements in accordance with Ontario’s accessibility laws.  Attridge has achieved a passing score using this criteria and will continue to improve as more content and changes are added to the website.

  • Receive feedback and adjust the annual training, policies or procedures to improve access for all people including those with disabilities.

 

Attridge – AODA Recruitment and Employment Commitment

Attridge is committed to ensuring that our recruitment and assessment process are fair and accessible. We will notify employees, potential hires and the public that accommodations can be made during recruitment and hiring. We will notify staff that supports are available for those with disabilities. Attridge will review each individual accommodation plan with an employee and develop an acceptable way to move forward with employment that meets all legislation and safety protocols.

To date the following measures have been implemented by Attridge:

  • Job postings include our commitment to inclusivity, diversity and accessibility

for all people, noting that accommodations will be made for those who require it.

  • Application forms are available on line or in person.
  • Interviews will be conducted by telephone, Zoom or similar video conference and/or in person.
  • Individual accommodation plan will be referenced to any employee that requires support.
  • Accessible format employment application forms will be provided upon request.

Planned Action:

  • Receive feedback and adjust the annual training, policies or procedures to improve access for all people including those with disabilities.

 

Attridge – AODA Accessible Customer Service

Attridge is committed to providing goods, services or facilities to all people including those with disabilities. Attridge is committed to meeting its current and ongoing obligations under the Ontario Human Rights Code and understands that obligations under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (AODA) and its accessibility standards do not substitute or limit its obligations under the Ontario Human Rights Code or obligations to people with disabilities under any other law.  Attridge will comply with both the Ontario Human Rights Code and the AODA.

The Attridge commitment to excellence in serving all customers including people with disabilities will continue to demonstrate a superior customer experience for all.  Our accessible customer service policies are consistent with the principles of independence, dignity, integration and equality of opportunity for people with disabilities.

People with disabilities may use their personal assistive devices when accessing our goods, services or facilities. In cases where the assistive device presents a significant and unavoidable health or safety concern or may not be permitted for other reasons, other measures will be used to ensure the person with a disability can access our goods, services or facilities.  We will ensure that our staff are trained and familiar with various assistive devices we have on site or that we provide that may be used by customers with disabilities while accessing our goods, services or facilities.

We will communicate with people with disabilities in ways that take into account their disability.

This may include any of the following:

  • Auditory – reading the written information aloud to the person directly or over

the phone; repeating, clarifying or restating information where required.

  • Visual – hand-written or typed information; captioning or audio descriptions on videos.
  • Gestures, diagrams, demonstrations.
  • Communication through a third party (support person).

We will work with the person with a disability to determine what method of communication works for them.

 

Attridge will welcome people with disabilities and their service animals. Service animals are allowed on the parts of our premises that are open to the public.  When we cannot easily identify that an animal is a service animal, our staff may ask a person to provide documentation (template, letter or form) from a regulated health professional that confirms the person needs the service animal for reasons relating to their disability.  A service animal can be easily identified through visual indicators, such as when it wears a harness or a vest, or when it helps the person perform certain tasks.

A regulated health professional is defined as:

  • audiologist or speech-language pathologist
  • chiropractor
  • nurse
  • occupational therapist
  • optometrist
  • physician or surgeon
  • physiotherapist
  • psychologist
  • psychotherapist or mental health therapist

If service animals are prohibited by another law, we will do the following to ensure people with disabilities can access our goods, services or facilities:

  • explain why the animal is excluded
  • discuss with the customer another way of providing goods, services or facilities

A person with a disability who is accompanied by a support person will be allowed to have that person accompany them on our premises.

To date the following measures have been implemented by Attridge:

Attridge will provide accessible customer service training to:

  • all employees on the fundamentals of the AODA Act and the Customer Service Standards.
  • Full time staff will be trained on accessible customer service within 60 days of being hired which includes an introduction/purpose of the AODA Act.
  • School bus drivers will be trained during the initial driver training program which includes an introduction/purpose of the AODA Act and accessible customer service.
  • Further specific Q-Straint training will be provided to those drivers that provide accessible bus service.
  • Further specific training will be provided to those drivers and staff that will provide transportation for persons that use harnesses, booster seats or car seats.
  • Further specific training will be provided to all drivers about the types of challenges that may be encountered when transporting persons with disabilities.

Planned Action:

  • Receive feedback and adjust the annual training, policies or procedures to improve access for all people including those with disabilities.

Attridge – AODA Feedback

Attridge welcomes feedback on how we provide accessible customer service. Customer feedback will help us identify barriers and respond to concerns. Employees and customers will be encouraged at each step in the process to provide feedback in the following ways:

  • Attridge.com website using the Contact Us tab.
  • Commenting via social media on the attridge twitter or facebook account
  • Contacting by telephone any division of Attridge
  • Letter
  • Email
  • All feedback is directed through the Director of Operations or Director of Safety or Local Operations Managers or a combination of the above.
  • 24 hour response time is the standard, earlier if practical during regular working hours.
  • Accessible feedback formats or communication support is available on request.
  • For all feedback, including complaints, the customer will be responded to in their preferred method, to ensure there are no barriers to communication or to customer service. For online inquiries, the customer will have the option to state their preferred method of follow up, to ensure that there are no barriers to communication or to customer service.

Planned Action:

  • Add an online AODA customer service feedback form on attridge.com