Accessibility Plan and Policies

This 2014-2021 accessibility plan outlines the policies and actions that Downtown Montessori/Daycare Connection will put in place to improve opportunities for people with disabilities.

Statement of Commitment

Downtown Montessori/Daycare Connection is committed to treating all people in a way that allows them to maintain their dignity and independence. We believe in integration and equal opportunity. 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 (AODA).

Training

Downtown Montessori/Daycare Connection 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.

Downtown Montessori/Daycare Connection has taken the following steps to ensure employees are provided with the training needed to meet Ontario’s accessible laws. Staff, students, volunteers and caregivers are provided information about the Customer Service Standard of the AODA and the Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation (IASR). The IASR is comprised of the Information and Communications Standard; the Employment Standard; the Transportation Standard; and the Design of Public Spaces Standard. The information is provided in print, electronically, through videos, and in communication with a Manager or Employer.

DTMS/DCC does not provide transportation services so the Transportation Standard does not apply. However, there is some information available in various formats along with all of the standards to those interested.

DTMS/DCC is not required within this period to adhere to the Design of Public Spaces Standard. We will however, meet the Accessibility Standards for the Design of Public Spaces when building or making major modifications to public spaces wherever applicable.

Kiosks

DTMS/DCC does not use kiosks at this time, but if kiosks are used in the future, DTMS/DCC will ensure that the needs of people with disabilities are taken into consideration when designing, procuring or acquiring self-service kiosks. When replacing a payment terminal, options will be examined that take into consideration the needs of people with various disabilities as much as possible.

Accessible Customer Service Plan

Providing Goods and Services to People with Disabilities

Downtown Montessori/Daycare Connection is committed to excellence in serving all clients including people with disabilities. Some of the core values of DTMS/DCC are the dedication to diversity and inclusion, which ensure that we show mutual respect for each other within the community and beyond. This commitment to a culture of dignity, integration, equality of opportunity and independence is necessary in fostering a rich learning and working environment.

Assistive devices

We will ensure that our staff are trained and familiar with various assistive devices that may be used by clients with disabilities while accessing our goods or services.

Communication

We will communicate with people with disabilities in ways that take into account their disability.

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 with the exception of the kitchen in accordance with Ontario regulation 562 under the Health Protection and Promotion Act. The Nutritional Staff will come out of the kitchen to communicate with a person with a service animal.

Support persons

A person with a disability will be allowed to have a support person accompany him/her on our premises.
Fees will not be charged for a support person to accompany the person with a disability on the DTMS/DCC premises.

Notice of temporary disruption

In the event of a planned or unexpected disruption to services or facilities for clients with disabilities such as the accessible washroom, elevator or ramp if applicable, DTMS/DCC will notify clients promptly. This clearly posted notice will include information about the reason for the disruption, its anticipated length of time, and a description of alternative facilities or services, if available.
The notice will be placed at or near the area of disrupted service.

Training for staff

DTMS/DCC will provide training to employees, volunteers, students and others who deal with the public or other third parties on their behalf. Individuals in the following positions will be trained:

Directors/Managers
Nutritional Staff
Registered Early Childhood Educators/Montessori Teachers/Assistants
Part-time Ratio Staff
Students/Volunteers/Caregivers

This training will be provided to staff, students, volunteers and caregivers as soon as possible after being hired or beginning duties.
Training will include:

  • An overview of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 and the requirements of the customer service standard
  • DTMS/DCC’s accessible customer service policy/plan.
  • How to interact and communicate with people with various types of disabilities
  • Finding out how to communicate with a person with a disability by asking verbally or via a note how one can help
  • How to interact with people with disabilities who use an assistive device or the assistance of a service animal or a support person
  • How to use the Relay Service or other methods which may help with providing goods or services to people with disabilities
  • The Relay Service is for communicating with a person who is deaf, orally deaf, deafened or hard of hearing and can be accessed at 1-800-855-0511. There is no charge for local calls; standard charges apply for long distance calls
  • Staff will be trained to communicate with customers over the telephone in clear, plain language and to speak clearly and slowly
  • What to do if a person with a disability is having difficulty in accessing the DTMS/DCC goods and services

Staff, students, volunteers and caregivers will also be trained when changes are made to our accessible customer service plan.

Feedback process

Clients who wish to provide feedback on the way DTMS/DCC provides goods and services to people with disabilities can e-mail, communicate verbally, leave a suggestion, etc. All feedback will be directed to Elizabeth Ferguson or Mona Stephens, Co-Directors. Customers can expect a response within five business days.
Complaints will be addressed according to our organization’s regular complaint management procedures. Complaints can be directed to a Director via email, in person with an appointment or by filling in a Discrimination/Harassment Complaint Form. A response indicating that the complaint has been received and will be investigated will be provided within 2 business days.

Information and Communications Standard

DTMS/DCC 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.

DTMS/DCC will provide accessible formats and communication supports at no additional cost and as quickly as possible when a person with a disability asks for them.

DTMS/DCC has made all websites and content on those sites conform with WCAG 2.0, Level A and will have them conform to WCAG 2.0 Level AA as soon as possible and no later than December 2020.

DTMS/DCC will ensure that existing feedback processes are accessible by providing accessible formats and communication supports upon request.

DTMS/DCC will ensure that all publicly available emergency information is made accessible upon request.

Accessible Emergency Information

DTMS/DCC is committed to providing 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.

Employment Standard

DTMS/DCC is committed to fair and accessible employment practices.

  • We will notify the public and staff that, when requested, DTMS/DCC will accommodate people with disabilities during the recruitment, assessment and hiring processes right through to performance management or redeployment, and separation or retirement.
  • Inform job applicants that accommodations for disabilities are available upon request
  • Develop and document individual accommodation plans for employees with disabilities
  • Provide accessible formats and communication supports, upon request from employees with disabilities
  • Provide workplace emergency response information
  • Facilitate return to work for employees with disabilities

DTMS/DCC will endeavor to prevent and remove other accessibility barriers that are identified.

Modifications to this or other policies

Any policy of DTMS/DCC that does not respect and promote the dignity and independence of people with disabilities will be modified or removed.