Accessibility plan and Policies at Ontario Natural Food Co-op

Ontario Natural Food Co-op
Trade Name of Ontario Federation of Food Co-ops & Clubs Inc.

In accordance with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA), ONFC is committed to improving access and opportunities for individuals with disabilities by identifying, removing, and preventing barriers that may interfere with their ability to make full use of our facility and services.

The policy applies to all employees, members, volunteers, and others who deal with the public or other third parties on behalf of ONFC.

Statement of Commitment

Together, we will maintain an environment of openness, mutual respect, trust and flexibility. ONFC is a value driven co-operative, committed to high ethical standards, humanistic values, and a strong and living ONFC culture. Our culture promotes valuing differences as well as similarities of all people.

Diversity at ONFC is actualized when people treat each other respectfully regardless of their differences, when members of different groups feel comfortable and confident to apply their various perspectives and approaches. At ONFC, we embrace and value the uniqueness of all individuals.

In addition, we strive to provide service to our customers in a manner that reflects the principles of independence, dignity, integration, and equality of opportunity. Our goal is to provide all customers, including those with disabilities equal opportunity to benefit from our goods and services.

At ONFC, 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 Disabilities Act.

Accessible Emergency Information

ONFC will provide the customers and clients with publicly available emergency information in an accessible format upon request. We will also provide employees with disabilities with individualized emergency response information when necessary.

Information and Communicatons

ONFC is committed to meeting the communications needs of people with disabilities. We will consult with people with disabilities to ensure that their information and communication needs are met.

ONFC will take the following steps to ensure all website content on those sites conform with WCAG 2.0, Level A by January 1, 2015.

  • Ensure that our external website administrator continues to conform to the best practices in accessibility standards for websites

ONFC will take the following steps to ensure existing feedback processes are accessible to people with disabilities upon request by January 1, 2015.

  • All policy documents will be made available in accessible formats and the feedback process for these policies will be posted in public areas and available on the website.
  • Brochures outlining ONFC's commitment to accessibility will promote the feedback process to ONFC employees, members, customers and other stakeholders

ONFC will take the following steps to make sure all publicly available information is made accessible upon request by January 1, 2016.

• An Accessibility Committee of Senior Team Leaders and employees was formed early in 2015. This committee will actively ensure that accessibility standards for publicly available information are met on an ongoing basis.

Employment

ONFC is committed to fair and accessible employment practices. We will take the following steps to notify the public and staff that when requested, ONFC will accommodate people with disabilities during the recruitment and assessment processes and when people are hired.

  • A notice of our commitment to the accommodation of candidates with disabilities will be indicated on all internal and external job postings
  • Information regarding the steps that will be taken to accommodate candidates with disabilities during the assessment and interview process will be clearly posted. ONFC 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.
  • Our Return to Work program will be assessed and modified as necessary on an annual basis by the Joint Health and Safety Committee
  • Supervisors will receive ongoing training in the accommodation of employees with disabilities

We will take the following steps to ensure the accessibility needs of employees with disabilities are taken into account when the supervisory staff and the Senior Team Leaders are using performance management, career development and redeployment processes.

  • HR will review annually the policies and programs that have been designed to ensure the accessibility

ONFC will take the following steps to prevent and remove other accessibility barriers identified.

• The Accessibility Committee will hold regular meetings to identify barriers to accessibility
• The Accessibility Committee will ensure that the Senior Leadership Team is informed of the issues that have been identified via this review process and timelines will be suggested for removing the barriers

Employee Training

ONFC 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 includes the core principles of customer service as set out by ONFC which include: dignity, equity, inclusion, independence, integration, sensitivity, and equality.

ONFC will take the following steps to ensure employees are provided with training to meet Ontario's accessible laws which came into effect January 1, 2015.

  1. The purposes of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, and the requirements of the customer service standard.
  2. How to interact and communicate with customers that have various types of disabilities.
  3. How to interact with customers with disabilities that use an assistive device or require the assistance of a service animal or support person.
  4. The location of our assistive devices and the persons who know how to use them if applicable.
  5. What to do if a customer with a disability is having difficulty accessing our goods and services.
  6. ONFC's policies, practices, and procedures relating to the customer service standard.
  7. Those involved in policy development will receive additional training about providing goods or services to the public or third parties.

This training will be provided as part of the new hire training protocol. Training is also provided to staff on an ongoing basis to ensure that the development of new policies, practices and procedures are clearly communicated and understood. Records are kept in the HR files indicating the date of the training and the employee's acknowledgement of the customer service expectations.

Design of Public Spaces

ONFC will ensure that we meet the Accessibility Standards for the Design of Public Spaces when building or making major modifications to public spaces. Public spaces include:

  • Outdoor paths of travel, like sidewalks, ramps, stairs, curb ramps and rest areas
  • Accessible parking spaces are available
  • Service-related elements in waiting areas

ONFC will ensure that in the event of a service disruption, we will notify the public of the service disruption and alternatives available.

For More Information

For more information on this Accessibility Plan, please contact:

Marion Hurd,
Human Resources Department
Phone: 905-507-2021, ext. 331
Email: mhurd@onfc.ca

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