Accessibility

The Government of Ontario has developed mandatory accessibility standards that will identify, remove and prevent barriers for people with disabilities in key areas of daily living.

The AODA Act covers:

  • Customer Service
  • Employment
  • Information and communications
  • Transportation
  • Design of public spaces

How to Enforce the Act:

The Accessibility Standard for Customer Service applies to all people or organizations in Ontario that provide goods or services and have one or more employees. It affects the private, non-profit and public sectors.

Stealth’s employees must follow the protocols listed below:

  • Consider the person’s disability when communicating with them.
  • Allow assistive devices in the workplace like wheelchairs, walkers, and oxygen tanks.
  • Allow service animals.
  • Welcome support person (s).
  • Let the person (s) with disability know when accessible areas aren’t available.
  • Invite the person (s) with disability to provide feedback.
  • Let the person (s) with disability know the Stealth Monitoring AODA policy and guidelines are available, and offer the policy in an accessible format such as large print, if requested.

How to communicate with people with different types of disabilities:

  • Openly communicating and responding to the person (s) needs.
  • If you are not sure about the best approach, politely ask how you can best communicate with them.

  • Physical Disabilities:
    • Ensure all resources are readily available, such as telephone, computers, internet access, and washroom facilities.
    • If you need to have a lengthy conversation with someone who uses a wheelchair or scooter, consider sitting so you can make eye contact at the same level.
    • Don’t touch items or equipment, such as canes or wheelchairs, without permission.
    • If you have permission to move a person’s wheelchair, don’t leave them in an awkward, dangerous or undignified position, such as facing a wall or in the path of open doors.
  • People with Vision Loss:
    • When you know of someone who has vision loss, don’t assume the person (s) can’t see you, many people who have low vision still have some sight.
    • Identify yourself when you approach and speak directly to the person (s).
    • Ask if they would like you to read any printed material out loud to them.
    • When providing directions or instructions, be precise and descriptive.
    • Offer your elbow to guide them if needed.
  • People with Hearing Loss:
    • People who have hearing loss may be deaf, deafened or hard of hearing.
    • They may also be oral deaf- unable to hear but prefer to talk instead of using sign language.
    • 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 person’s attention before speaking. Try a gentle touch on the shoulder or wave of your hand.
    • If a 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 with speech or language Impairments:
    • Cerebral Palsy, hearing loss or other conditions may make it difficult for a person to pronounce words or may cause slurring.
    • Whenever possible, ask questions that can be answered with “yes” or “no”.
    • Be patient. Don’t interrupt or finish the person’s sentences.
  • People who are Deafblind:
    • A person who is deafblind may have some degree of both hearing and vision loss.
    • Many people who are deafblind will be accompanied by an intervener: a professional support person who helps with communications.
    • 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 the intervener.
  • People who have Intellectual/ Developmental Disabilities:
    • Developmental or intellectual disabilities, such as Down Syndrome, can limit a person’s ability to learn, communicate, do every day physical activities and live independently.
    • You may not know that someone has this disability unless you are told.
    • Don’t make assumptions about what a person can do. Use plain language and provide one piece of information at a time.
  • People who have Learning Disabilities:
    • The term “learning disability” refers to a variety of disorders.
    • 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 takes into account the person’s disability.
    • For example, some people with learning disabilities find written words difficult to understand, while others may have problems with numbers and math.
  • People who have Mental Health Disabilities:
    • Mental health issues can affect a person’s ability to think clearly, concentrate or remember things.
    • If you sense or know that a person 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. If a person appears to be in crisis, ask them to tell you the best way to help.
  • How to interact with people who use 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. Personal assistive devices can include things like wheelchairs, hearing aids, canes or speech amplification devices.
    • Don’t touch or handle any assistive device without permission. Don’t move assistive devices or equipment, such as canes and walkers.
    • Let the person (s) know about accessible features in the immediate environment that are appropriate to their needs (e.g. accessible washrooms).
  • How to interact with a person who has a Guide Dog or other Service Animals:
    • People with vision loss may use a guide dog, but there are other types of service animals as well.
    • Under the accessibility standard, service animals must be allowed on the parts of your premises that are open to the public. Remember that a service animal is not a pet. It is a working animal.
    • Avoid touching or addressing them. If you’re not sure if the animal is a pet or a service animal, ask the person.
  • How to serve a person accompanied by a Support Person:
    • Some people with disabilities may be accompanied by a support person such as an intervener. A support person might help the person with disability with a variety of things, from communicating to helping with mobility, personal care or medical needs.
    • Welcome support people to your workplace or business. They are permitted in any part of your premises that are open to the public.
    • Speak directly to the person, not to their support person.