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Accessibility Policy

1. Introduction

  1. Forest Hill Development supports the accessibility and inclusiveness of persons with disabilities as set out in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, the Ontario Human Rights Code and the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA).
  2. Accessibility standards for Customer Service, for persons with disabilities, have been set by the Ontario Government, and are effective and in force commencing January 1, 2012. New requirements may be added over time. Whenever new or revised standards are developed under the AODA, this policy will be reviewed and updated as necessary to ensure consistency.
  3. This policy has been prepared to outline for Forest Hill Development staff what must be done to comply with the Customer Service Standard, in accordance with AODA, and what persons with disabilities expect from us.
  4. Whether a person’s disability is apparent or not, everyone should be treated with courtesy, made to feel welcome, and have their need for accommodation respected whenever they interact with a Forest Hill Development product or service.

2. Our Mission

Forest Hill Development shall strive at all times to provide products and services in a way that respects the dignity and independence of persons with disabilities. Forest Hill Development is also committed to ensuring that persons with disabilities receive access in the same or similar way as other persons. If such integration is not possible, an alternative way will be established on a temporary or permanent basis, as the case may be; and as well, persons with disabilities will receive the same quality and timely service as others do.

3. Training for Staff

  1. Forest Hill Development will be providing training with respect to the required Customer Service Standard, for all employees, volunteers, contractors and others, who deal with the public on Forest Hill Development behalf, and provide Forest Hill Development products and services to people with disabilities, and, as well, those persons who are involved in the development and/or implementation of customer service policies, practices and procedures. New staff and staff who commence new duties that involve such interaction with the public or other third parties, will undertake training as part of their orientation, if they have not already done so.
  2. The training will include:
    • Forest Hill Development current policies, practices, and procedures and all topics listed and all matters required under the Customer Service Standard;
    • A review of the purposes of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities
    • Act and the requirements of the Accessibility Standards for Customer Service;
    • How to interact and communicate with persons with various types of disabilities;
    • How to interact with persons 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 the premises, or otherwise, that may assist with the provision of Forest Hill Development products and services to persons with disabilities; and
    • What to do if a person with a disability is having difficulty in accessing Forest Hill Development products or services.
  3. Staff will be trained, as appropriate, on policies, practices and procedures that affect the way that access to products and services are provided to persons with disabilities. Staff will also be trained on an ongoing basis when changes are made to these policies, practices and procedures.
  4. A written training policy will be incorporated, that includes a summary of the contents of the training provided.
  5. Dates that training was provided, and how many people were trained, will be duly recorded and maintained on an ongoing basis.

4. Assistive Devices

  1. Forest Hill Development is committed to enable persons with disabilities, who use assistive devices, to obtain, access and use its products and services.
  2. Forest Hill Development will ensure that staff knows how to use assistive devices available in the various locations for persons with disabilities, and inform them of the assistive devices that are available.

5. Use of Service Animals and Support Persons

  1. Persons with disabilities may bring their service animal on the parts of our premises that are open to the public or other third parties except where the animal is excluded by law. Forest Hill Development will ensure that all staff, volunteers and third parties dealing with the public are trained in how to interact with persons with disabilities who are accompanied by a service animal or support person.
  2. On rare occasions, a manager may determine, in the case of a person or persons with disability, that a support person is required, or that a service animal cannot enter an area of the premises consistent with certain legal requirements. In these instances, managers will suggest appropriate alternatives and provide assistance to those persons, to enable them to access Forest Hill Development products and/or services.
  3. When a support person is required (e.g., sign language, interpreters, consultations, meetings, Forest Hill Development events), he/she will be permitted to accompany the person to such Forest Hill Development sponsored or required meeting or event. The support person may be required to sign in with his/her name, address, identification, and name of the accompanied person with disability.

6. Communication

  1. Staff will communicate with persons with disabilities in ways that take into account their disability. This means that staff will communicate and interact with them in a manner that enables persons with disabilities to use and receive Forest Hill Development products, services, and facilities.
  2. Forest Hill Development will train staff to interact and communicate with persons with various types of disabilities.

7. Feedback Process

  1. The key principles of the Forest Hill Development policy are: to provide respect, dignity, independence, integration and equal opportunity to persons with disabilities; and to use reasonable efforts to ensure that this policy and its implementation is consistent with these principles. Comments on our services, regarding how well our policies and procedures are being met, are welcome and appreciated.
  2. To Contact Forest Hill Development:
  3. Documents required are available upon request using the above paragraph 7(B) contact information, and will be in a format that takes into account the person’s disability.
  4. Personal privacy will be respected, and all feedback will be reviewed for possible action that can be taken to improve Forest Hill Development policies, practices, and procedures.
  5. Complaints will be dealt with as soon as reasonably practicable. Feedback/response will endeavour to be in a format that is accessible to the complainant. The feedback process proposes to evaluate the manner in which persons with disabilities are accommodated, including the actions to be taken by Forest Hill Development when a complaint is received.

8. Notice of Temporary Disruptions

  1. Forest Hill Development will provide notice in the event of a planned or unexpected disruption in the facilities or services used by persons with disabilities. This notice will include information with respect to the reason for the disruption, how long the disruption is expected to last, and a description of any alternative facilities or services available (if any).
  2. The notice will be posted in a conspicuous place on the premises, and will be in an accessible format.

Modifications to This Policy

Forest Hill Development is committed to ensuring that its customer service policies, practices and procedures respect and promote the dignity and independence of all persons with disabilities. No changes will be made to this policy without considering the impact on persons with disabilities. These policies, practices and procedures are available to the public at the following website: