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Welcome to TESs AODA training for contract personnel.
What is AODA? The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA): Was passed in 2005 Requires all businesses in Ontario to be in compliance by January 1, 2012 Is about identifying, removing and preventing barriers that keep people with disabilities from accessing your business Makes good business sense: people with disabilities represent $21-25 BILLION in spending power in Ontario alone
What does AODA do? AODAs short-term purpose: To develop, implement and enforce standards in the areas of: –Goods –Services –Facilities and Accommodations –Employment –Buildings, Structures and Premises AODAs long-term purpose: To make all of Ontario accessible for people with disabilities by 2025 In two words: removing barriers.
Why am I taking this training? AODA affects ALL businesses in Ontario: 1.TES We must develop our accessibility plan and train all our staff and contractors in accessible service before the end of 2011. 2.TESs clients Our clients must also develop plans and train staff, and they cannot use TES personnel unless we do the same.
But isnt AODA just about front-line customer service? Not all customer service is front-line. 1.You and TES are providing service to another organization. So everyone on a client site is a customer of TES. 2.AODA also applies to coworkers, suppliers – everyone you interact with as you carry out business.
So what do I need to do? This training will tell you what you need to know. The basic principles of accessibility include: Being flexible, to meet the needs of customers as individuals Recognizing that some methods of service may not work for all people Asking How can I help? instead of making assumptions Ensuring that all people can have access to the same opportunities, services and positive treatment, regardless of disability or different needs.
Its simpler than you think You dont need to know braille. You dont need to know sign language. You dont need to know how to do wheelchair lifts and transfers. You just need to be open, flexible, accommodating, and familiar with your workplaces policies on serving people with disabilities.
What counts as a disability? Physical/Mobility Hearing Vision (low vision/blindness) Deaf-Blind Speech Mental Health Learning Intellectual Sensory Other conditions: cancer, diabetes, asthma Temporary disabilities A disability can be in the area of: REMEMBER: Some disabilities are not visible.
The clients accessibility policies come first When you are placed on assignment with a client: Get a copy of their accessibility procedures and read it Be aware of any assistive technology they have in the workplace (wheelchair lifts, TTY, etc.); ask your supervisor if you should be trained in how to use it When in doubt, ask your supervisor
All businesses must: Consider a persons disability when communicating with them Allow assistive devices in the workplace (wheelchairs, walkers etc.) Allow service animals, where permitted by law Welcome support persons Let customers know when accessible services arent available Invite customers to provide feedback
So what do I need to know? It all starts with How can I help you? Your best guide to what your customer or coworker needs is the person themselves.
People with physical/mobility disabilities Only some people with physical disabilities use a wheelchair. Someone with a spinal cord injury may use crutches or a walker. Someone with severe arthritis or a heart condition may not use any device, but may have difficulty walking longer distances.
People with physical/mobility disabilities Tips: If you need to have a long conversation with someone using a wheelchair or scooter, sit down so you can make eye contact at the same level. Dont force someone with a walker, cane or crutches to stand for a long time. Dont touch items or equipment (e.g. canes or wheelchairs) without permission. If you have permission to move a persons wheelchair, dont leave them in an awkward, dangerous or undignified position, such as facing a wall or in the path of opening doors. Be aware of tripping hazards that could be dangerous for someone who is not steady, or who does not have a lot of sensation in their feet. Remove hazards where possible. If you need to have a meeting with someone who has a physical disability, make sure that the chosen location is convenient and accessible for them.
People with vision loss Vision loss can restrict someones ability to read, locate landmarks or see hazards. Some customers may use a guide dog or a white cane; others may not. People with low vision may use magnifiers and other assistive devices.
People with vision loss Tips: Dont assume that someone with vision loss cant see you. Many people with low vision still have some sight. Identify yourself when you approach and speak directly to the person. Ask if they would like you to read any printed material out loud to them (for example, a menu or schedule of fees). Offer your elbow to guide them if needed.
People with hearing loss People who have hearing loss may be: Deaf (able to communicate via sign language) Deafened (have lost hearing later in life and are NOT fluent in sign language) Oral deaf (unable to hear, but prefer to talk instead of using sign language) Hard of hearing (partially deaf) Some people with partial hearing may wear visible hearing aids.
People with hearing loss Tips: Once a person has identified themselves as having hearing loss, make sure you are in a well-lit area where they can see your face and read your lips. As needed, attract the persons attention before speaking. Try a gentle touch on the shoulder or wave of your hand. If the person uses a hearing aid, reduce background noise or move to a quieter area. If necessary, ask if another method of communicating would be easier (for example, using a pen and paper).
People who are deafblind A person who is deafblind has both hearing and vision loss. Many people who are deafblind are accompanied by an intervenor, a professional support person who helps with communication.
People who are deafblind Tips: A person who is deafblind is likely to explain to you how to communicate with them, perhaps with an assistance card or a note. Speak directly to the person, not to their intervenor.
People with speech or language impairments Cerebral palsy, hearing loss, brain injury or other conditions may make it difficult for a person to pronounce words, or may cause slurring. Some people who have severe difficulties may use a communication board or other assistive devices.
People with speech or language impairments Tips: Dont assume that a person with a speech impairment also has another disability. Whenever possible, ask questions that can be answered with yes or a no. Be patient. Dont interrupt or finish your customers sentences.
People with learning disabilities The term learning disabilities refers to a variety of disorders. One example is dyslexia, which affects how a person takes in or retains information. This disability may become apparent when a person has difficulty reading material or understanding the information you are providing.
People with learning disabilities Tips: Be patient – people with some learning disabilities may take a little longer to process information, to understand and to respond. Try to provide information in a way that fits the persons disability. For example, some people with learning disabilities find written words hard to understand, while others may have problems with numbers and math. Keep pen and paper handy. Offer them the diagrams or notes you write.
People with intellectual/ developmental disabilities Developmental or intellectual disabilities, such as Down Syndrome, can limit a persons ability to learn, communicate, do everyday physical activities and live independently. You may not know that someone has this disability unless you are told.
People with intellectual/ developmental disabilities Tips: Dont make assumptions about what a person can do. Use plain language. Provide one piece of information at a time.
People with mental health disabilities Mental health issues can affect a persons ability to think clearly, concentrate or remember things. Mental health disability is a broad term for many disorders that can range in severity. For example, some customers may experience anxiety due to hallucinations, mood swings, phobias or panic disorder.
People with mental health disabilities Tips: If you sense or know that a customer has a mental health disability, be sure to treat them with the same respect and consideration you have for everyone else. Be confident, calm and reassuring. Even if a question is asked several times, or seems to be irrational, answer it patiently and calmly. If a person appears to be in distress, ask them to tell you the best way to help.
Assistive devices An assistive device is a tool, technology or other mechanism that enables a person with a disability to do everyday tasks and activities, such as moving, communicating or lifting. These can include things like wheelchairs, hearing aids, white canes or speech amplification devices. Tips: Dont touch or handle any assistive device without permission. Dont move assistive devices or equipment, such as canes and walkers, out of their users reach.
Guide dogs/service animals There are many types of service animals: guide dogs help the visually impaired, hearing alert animals help people who have hearing loss. Other service animals are trained to alert an individual to an oncoming seizure, help a person cope with mental illness, or assist with mobility. Service animals must be allowed on the parts of any premises that are open to the public. Service animals will not be permitted in certain areas by law (for example, a restaurant kitchen). Tips: Remember that a service animal is not a pet. It is a working animal focused on its job. Avoid touching or addressing them.
Support people Some people with disabilities may be accompanied by a support person, who may be a personal support worker, volunteer, family member or friend. A support person might help the person with a disability with communication, mobility, personal care or medical needs. Welcome support people to your workplace or business. They are permitted in any part of your premises that is open to the public. If your organization is one that charges admission, such as a movie theatre or bowling alley, provide notice, in advance, about what admission fee will be charged for a support person. Tips: If youre not sure which person is the customer, take your lead from the person using or requesting your goods or services, or simply ask. Speak directly to the person, not to their support person.
Notices for service disruptions You must notify customers/users when there is a disruption (or when you expect one) in service for people with disabilities. (e.g. a wheelchair-accessible washroom becomes unavailable due to plumbing repairs, or the elevator is scheduled for regular maintenance) Your employer (or your client if you are currently placed on contract) will have a policy for how to do this. Ask your supervisor. A business must: Notify a reasonable time in advance, where possible. Post notifications where they are visible and likely to be seen. Describe why the service is not available, and state the anticipated duration of the disruption. Direct users to alternate facilities or services, where they are available.
Alternate formats for materials & publications All information provided to clients and colleagues must be available in alternate formats which take into account their disability. The best way to do this is to consult with the person and agree on how to do this. Making a document accessible might include: Reading it out loud to the person, if this is appropriate. Emailing it to the person so that it can be read by that persons text-to-speech software or displayed on a magnifying screen. Printing it out in large print format (check first re the print size the client prefers) Other solutions – the person with the disability will likely know what will work best for them.
Thank you Thank you for participating in this training. If you have any questions about AODA, and how it affects TES or you, contact your recruiter.