SOTI Accessibility Policy

Accessibility Policy


Statement of Commitment

SOTI is committed to provide a welcoming environment for all individuals with disabilities by ensuring equal access and participation. SOTI is dedicated to treating individuals with disabilities with respect and dignity in a way that will allow them to maintain their independence.

SOTI believes in integrity and making the needs of individuals with disabilities a priority. We are committed to become a barrier free environment and will strive to ensure that the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA), 2005 and the associated regulations are met within a timely manner.

This Accessibility Policy shall apply to all SOTI employees located in Ontario, all individuals that deal with the public or any third parties on behalf of SOTI and to all individuals who are involved in the direct development, approval of practices, policies and procedures pertaining to SOTI.

Training

SOTI will make all reasonable efforts to ensure that training will be implemented to all employees and that such training aligns with the requirements outlined in the AODA. Employees will be trained on best practices, policies and procedures related to the AODA. All training records shall be maintained by SOTI.

Information and Communication

a)   Feedback process

SOTI encourage and welcomes feedback regarding the way we provide services to persons with disabilities. All feedback should be directed to SOTI’s Human Resources team at hr@soti.net or 905-624-9828.

SOTI will ensure that its processes for receiving and responding to feedback are made available to all individuals with disabilities upon request.

b)   Accessible Websites and Web Content

SOTI hereby confirms that all of its websites and content will be in conformance with Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (“WCAG”) 2.0 Level AA, as required by IASR as of the January 1, 2020.

Employment Standards

a)   Recruitment

SOTI will notify all SOTI employees and all SOTI applicants/prospects about the availability of accommodation for applicants with disabilities in its recruitment process.

b)   Interview and Recruitment Process

SOTI will ensure that when applicants are notified and selected for an interview, accommodations for individuals with disabilities are made available upon request.

c)   Notice to Successful Applicants

When SOTI offers employment to successful applicants, this Accessibility Policy will be provided for review and acknowledgment.

d)   Informing Existing Employees of Available Support

SOTI will ensure that all existing employees are informed of this Accessibility Policy and any subsequent updates thereafter.

e)   Workplace Emergency Response Information

SOTI shall provide all its employees with disabilities individualized workplace emergency response information upon request. SOTI will consult with the employee to develop individualized accommodation plans and will routinely update the requested accommodations.

f)    Return to Work Process

In the event that an employee is required to take a leave of absence from work due to disability related matters, SOTI will make every effort to accommodate the needs of the employee in accordance with the Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC).

g)   Career Development

SOTI will make every reasonable effort to accommodate the needs of all employees with disabilities for employee’s career development.

Assistive Device

An assistive device is defined as any piece of equipment an individual with a disability uses to help them with their daily living situation. Examples of such assistive devices may include but are not limited to; canes, listening devices and/or wheelchairs.

Use of Service Animals and Support Persons

Individual with disabilities that must be accompanied by service animals may enter premises operated by SOTI if the animal is not excluded by law. If the service animal is excluded by law, SOTI may offer individuals with disabilities other reasonable measures of assistance for access. Individuals with a disability that are accompanied by a service animals are responsible for maintaining care and control of the animal at all times.

If individuals with disabilities are accompanied by support persons, SOTI will ensure that everyone enters the premises operated by SOTI together and that the individual with disabilities are not prevented from having access to support persons.

Privacy

Any information related to a disability will be kept strictly confidential and private as a part of SOTI’s confidential information.

Notice of Temporary Disruption

In the event of planned or unplanned disruptions in SOTI services used by individuals with disabilities, SOTI will provide notice that will include information related to the reason for the disruption, the anticipated duration and the description of alternative measures that may be available.

Difficulty Accessing Services

In the event that individuals with disabilities are experiencing trouble accessing SOTI premises, SOTI will take all reasonable efforts to ensure that the issue is addressed, and accommodations are provided.

General Definitions

Accessible Formats: include, but are not limited to accessible electronic formats, Braille, text transcripts, large print, recorded audio, and other formats accessible to persons with disabilities.

Assistive Device: a technical aid, communication device or other instrument that is used to maintain or improve the functional abilities of people with disabilities. Personal assistive devices are typically devices that members and guests bring with them such as a wheelchair, walker or a personal oxygen tank that might assist in hearing, seeing, communicating, moving, breathing, remembering and/or reading.

Barrier: as defined by the Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2001, anything that prevents a person with a disability from fully participating in all aspects of society because of his/her disability. This includes:

  •          a physical barrier,
  •          an architectural barrier,
  •          an informational or communications barrier,
  •          an attitudinal barrier,
  •          a policy, practice and procedure barrier.

Communication Supports: include but are not limited to sign language, plain language and other communication supports that facilitate effective communications.

Disability: a key feature of the AODA is its definition of "disability". Under the AODA, the definition of "disability" is the same as the definition in the Ontario Human Rights Code [2]:

Any degree of physical disability, infirmity, malformation or disfigurement including, but not limited to:

  •          Diabetes mellitus;
  •          Epilepsy;
  •          A brain injury;
  •          Any degree of paralysis;
  •          Amputation;
  •          Lack of physical coordination;
  •          Blindness or visual impediment;
  •          Deafness or hearing impediment;
  •          Muteness or speech impediment; or
  •          Physical reliance of a guide dog or other animal, or on a wheelchair or other remedial appliance or device.
  •          A condition of mental impairment or a developmental disability.
  •          A learning disability or a dysfunction in one or more of the processes involved in understanding or using symbols or spoken language.
  •          A mental disorder.
  •          An injury or disability for which benefits were claimed or received under the insurance plan established under the Workplace Safety & Insurance Act, 1997.

The definition includes disabilities of different severity, visible as well as non-visible disabilities, and disabilities the effects of which may come and go. This is a broad definition, and one that must be considered closely when educating our employees in the appropriate response to our customers. 

Accountabilities and Responsibilities

SOTI Accessibility Committee is accountable to and responsible for:

  •          The governance of the policy.
  •          Corporate liability for compliance with legislative requirements, including fiscal responsibility, human costs and human rights issues.
  •          Support and promote the policy in their area of direct report and throughout the organization.
  •          Drive the culture to a high level of understanding regarding disability and accommodation.

SOTI Managers are accountable to and responsible for:

  •          Fostering open and constructive communication.
  •          Demonstrating sensitivity to and respect confidentiality of information.
  •          Raising awareness to facilitate understanding of the policy.
  •          Participating and co-operating to facilitate workplace accommodation.

SOTI Employees are accountable to and responsible for:

  •          Participating and cooperating with all parties to facilitate workplace accommodation.

SOTI Human Resources is accountable to and responsible for:

  •          Participating and cooperating with all parties.
  •          Acting as a resource for all parties and participants.
  •          Supporting and educating managers in their obligations.

Questions about Policy

If you have any questions or concerns about this Accessibility Policy, please contact SOTI Human Resources at hr@soti.net or 905-624-9828