Accessibility Policies

Affinity Empowering

This 2022-2026 accessibility plan outlines the policies and actions that Affinity Empowering will put in place to improve opportunities for people with disabilities.

Statement of Commitment

Affinity Empowering (here on in referred to as AFFINITY EMPOWERING) is committed to treating all people in a way that allows them to maintain their dignity and independence. We are committed to meeting the needs of people with disabilities in a timely manner and will do so by preventing and removing barriers to accessibility and meeting accessibility requirements under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disability Act.

Accessible Emergency Information

AFFINITY EMPOWERING is committed to providing the customers and clients with publicly available emergency information in an accessible way upon request. We will also provide employees with disabilities with individualized emergency response information when necessary. All emergency information will be placed in an opened, and easily accessible area.

Accessible emergency information will include:

  • Emergency plans and procedures
  • Locations of marked exits
  • Detailed plans on what to do in emergency situations

AFFINITY EMPOWERING will have designated staff trained to handle emergency situations.

Employees with disabilities will be consulted to provide emergency information in the format best suited for the employee.

Training

AFFINITY EMPOWERING will provide training to employees, volunteers and other staff members on Ontario’s accessibility laws and on the Human Rights Code as it relates to people with disabilities. Training will be provided in a way that best suits the duties of employees, volunteers and other staff members.

AFFINITY EMPOWERING will take the following steps to ensure employees are provided with the training needed to meet Ontario’s accessible laws by January 1, 2023:

  • Provide the necessary training during new employee orientation with the company.
  • Existing employees will be provided training in pre-set staff meetings.
  • Hold regular staff meetings to review and update training with all employees to ensure information is up to date and relevant.

Information and Communications

AFFINITY EMPOWERING is committed to meeting the communication needs of people with disabilities. We will consult with people with disabilities to determine their information and communication needs.

Accessible formats will include (but not limited to):

  • Alternative to standard print
  • Large print
  • Audio electronic formats (e.g. CD, DVDs)

AFFINITY EMPOWERING will take the following steps to make sure existing feedback processes are accessible to people with disabilities upon request by January 1, 2023.

Written, verbal and other communication tools will be provided based on the needs of the individual.

All feedback/communication given will be passed onto management/senior staff.

All paid/unpaid staff of the organization will be prepared to use various forms of assistive formats for communication.

Accessible workplace information will include:

  • Any information employees need to perform their job
  • Information about emergency procedures
  • Company-wide bulletins/memos, policies and health and safety information

Employment

AFFINITY EMPOWERING is committed to fair and accessible employment practices.

We will take the following steps to notify the public and staff that, when requested, AFFINITY EMPOWERING will accommodate people with disabilities during the recruitment and assessment processes and when people are hired.

Informing applicants of accessibility policies through job postings, website, and/or direct communication (verbal or written).

Upon request for accommodation, Affinity will consult with the individual and make the appropriate adjustments that best suits their needs.

AFFINITY EMPOWERING will take the following steps to develop and put in place a process for developing individual accommodation plans and return-to-work policies for employees that have been absent due to a disability:

  • Consult with the employee to assess the required adjustments to the work environment
  • Work together with the employee to create a work action plan suitable to their needs

Accommodation plans for employees who have been absent from work due to a disability and require disability-related accommodations will be documented upon consulting with the individual.

For More Information

AODA Contact Centre (ServiceOntario)
Toll-free: 1-866-515-2025
TTY: 416-325-3408/Toll-free: 1-800-268-7095
Fax: 416-325-3407

Accessibility Plan for Customer Service

Affinity Empowering Accessible Customer Service Plan

Affinity Empowering (here on in referred to as AFFINITY EMPOWERING) is committed to excellence in serving all customers including people with disabilities.

Assistive Devices

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 or services.

Communication

We will communicate with people with disabilities in ways that consider their disability. Various communication supports include: plain language formats, reading out loud, captioning, written notes, large print, audio electronic formats (e.g. DVD, CDs,) etc.

We will:

  • Make information accessible upon request, and work with the individual(s) to meet their needs.
  • Provide the information as soon as possible, dependent on the individual’s needs, the format and our organization’s resources
  • Inform our customers that we will make information accessible upon request.

Service Animals

We welcome people with disabilities and their service animals. Service animals are allowed on the parts of our premises that are open to the public.

Support Persons

A person with a disability who is accompanied by a support person will be allowed to have that person accompany them on our premises. Fees will not be charged for the support persons.

Notice of Temporary Disruption

In the event of a planned or unexpected disruption to services or facilities for customers with disabilities, AFFINITY EMPOWERING will notify customers promptly. This clearly posted notice will include information about the reason for disruption, its anticipated length of time, and a description of alternative facilities or services, if available.

The notice will be made publicly available at the following location:

  • Front door
  • Reception area
  • Public office bulletin board

Training

AFFINITY EMPOWERING will provide accessible customer service training to employees, volunteers and others who deal with the public or other third parties on our behalf. Training will also be provided to people involved in the development of policies, plans, practices and procedures related to the provision of our goods and services.

Individuals in the following positions will be trained:

  • Executive Staff
  • Administrative Staff
  • Front End Staff
  • All paid and unpaid employees/volunteers

Training programs will be designed for staff based on the requirements of their position and duties within our organization.

Staff will be trained on Accessible Customer Service at orientation after being hired.

Staff hired prior to the implementation of AFFINITY EMPOWERING’s Accessible Customer Service Plan will be trained in a separate planned training session.

Training will include:

  • An overview of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 and the requirements of the customer service standard
  • AFFINITY EMPOWERING’s plan related to the customer service standard
  • How to interact and communicate with people with various types of disabilities
  • How to interact with people with disabilities who use an assistive device or require the assistance of a service animal or a support person.
  • How to use the equipment or devices available on site or otherwise that may help with providing goods or services to people with disabilities.
  • What to do if a person with disability is having difficulty in accessing AFFINITY EMPOWERING’s goods and services.

Staff will also be trained when changes are made to our accessible customer service plan.

Feedback Process

Customers who wish to provide feedback on the way AFFINITY EMPOWERING provides goods and services to people with disabilities can provide feedback in the following way(s):

  • Written Mail/E-mail
  • Phone
  • In person

All feedback, including complaints, will be handled directly by management staff.

Notice of Availability

AFFINITY EMPOWERING will notify the public that our documents related to accessible customer service are available upon request.

Modifications to This or Other Policies

Any policy, practice or procedure of AFFINITY EMPOWERING that does not respect and promote the principles of integration and equal opportunity for people with disabilities will be modified or removed.

Affinity supports wellness and is not a substitute for health care services. Affinity does NOT provide medical treatment or health care clinical services of any type, makes no medical referrals issues no prescriptions, and provides no medical advice, whether via Salamander or otherwise. Affinity is also not an insurance company and offers no insurance or health benefit policies.

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