Accessibility Policy: Providing Goods and Services to People with Disabilities
1. Our mission
The Institute for Christian Studies is an interdisciplinary graduate school where:
the gospel's message of renewal shapes our pursuit of wisdom;
scholars focus on the intersection of Reformational philosophy and contemporary scholarship and society.
2. Our commitment
The Institute for Christian Studies seeks to create a community that is inclusive of all persons and treats all members of the community in an equitable manner. In creating such a community, we aim to foster an atmosphere of understanding and mutual respect for the worth, dignity and independence of all persons.
We will strive to provide support for, and facilitate the accommodation of individuals with disabilities, so that all may share the same level of access to the goods and services provided by the Institute. We will work to eliminate or minimize the adverse effects of barriers, including physical, environmental, attitudinal, communication and technological barriers, which may prevent the full participation of individuals with disabilities in the Institute for Christian Studies community. We will seek to provide integrated services whenever possible.
We will provide our employees with education and access to information regarding disability and the Institute’s policies on disability.
At the same time, we will endeavour to protect the individual’s privacy, confidentiality and autonomy.
The Institute for Christian Studies affirms that all individuals are expected to satisfy the essential requirements of their program of studies or employment, while recognizing that students and employees with disabilities may require reasonable accommodations to enable them to do so.
The Institute for Christian Studies is committed to acting conscientiously and in keeping with its own policies and existing legislation related to disability. These include:
The Institute for Christian Studies Accessibility Policy
Ontario’s Ontarians with Disabilities Act
Ontario’s Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA)
Ontario Human Rights Code
3. Providing goods and services to people with disabilities
The Institute for Christian Studies is committed to excellence in serving all customers including people with disabilities and we will carry out our functions and responsibilities in the following areas:
We will communicate with people with disabilities in ways that take into account their disability.
We will train staff members who communicate with customers on how to interact and communicate with people with various types of disabilities.
3.2 Telephone services
The Institute for Christian Studies will make reasonable efforts to provide accessible telephone service to the students and other members of the public. We will train staff members to communicate over the telephone in clear and plain language and to speak clearly and slowly. We will also make our staff members familiar with telephone technologies intended for people with disabilities. We will offer to communicate with people by regular mail or email if telephone communications is not suitable to their needs.
3.3 Assistive devices
We are committed to serving people with disabilities who use their own assistive devices to obtain, use or benefit from our goods and services. We will ensure that our staff members are trained and familiar with various assistive devices that may be used by persons with disabilities while accessing our goods or services.
We will make reasonable efforts to provide accessible invoices to all our customers. For this reason invoices will be provided by email on request. We will answer any questions customers may have about the content of the invoice in person, by telephone or email.
4. Use of service animals
We are committed to welcoming people with disabilities who are accompanied by a service animal on the parts of our premises that are open to the public and other third parties. We will also ensure that all staff, volunteers and others dealing with the public are properly trained in how to interact with people with disabilities who are accompanied by a service animal.
5. Support persons
We are committed to welcoming people with disabilities who are accompanied by a support person. Any person with a disability who is accompanied by a support person will be allowed to enter the premises of the Institute for Christian Studies with his or her support person. At no time will a person with a disability, who is accompanied by a support person be prevented from having access to his or her support person while on our premises. Fees will not be charged for support persons for admission to any event hosted by the Institute for Christian Studies for which a fee is charged. Students are required to provide their own support person. Students are expected to inform instructors/facilitators that they will be attending classes with a support person.
6. Notice of temporary disruption
We will provide customers with notice in the event of a planned or unexpected disruption in the facilities or services usually used by people with disabilities. This notice will include information about the reason for the disruption, its anticipated duration, and a description of alternative facilities or services, if available.
The notice will be placed on our website and at all public entrances on our premises.
7. Training for staff
We will provide training to all employees, volunteers and others who deal with the public or other third parties on their behalf, and all those who are involved in the development and approvals of customer service policies, practices and procedures. All employees and persons of Institute who volunteer for us will be trained. This training will be provided for each staff member within a month of his or her commencement of duties.
Training will include the following:
The purposes of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA), 2005 and the requirements of 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;
What to do if a person with a disability is having difficulty in accessing the Institute for Christian Studies’ goods and services;
The Institute for Christian Studies policies, practices and procedures relating to the customer service standard.
8. Feedback process
We welcome feedback on our accessibility services. Feedback may be provided to ICS Healthy & Safety Officer Pat Webb in the following ways:
in person or by regular mail addressed to: Institute for Christian Studies, 59 St. George Street, Toronto, Ontario M5S 2E6
by telephone at: 416-979-2331 x235
Students and other members of the public can expect to hear back within seven business days of our receipt of the feedback.
9. Modifications to this or other policies
The Institute for Christian Studies is committed to developing customer service policies that respect and promote the dignity and independence of people with disabilities. Therefore no changes will be made to this policy before considering the impact on people with disabilities. We will make reasonable efforts to modify or amend any policy that does not respect and promote the dignity and independence of people with disabilities.
10. Questions about this policy
This policy exists to achieve service excellence to customers with disabilities. If anyone has questions about this policy, please contact ICS Health & Safety Officer Pat Webb by telephone at 416-979-2331 x235 or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Accessible formats of this document are available upon request.