Accessibility Policy

Extend-A-Family Waterloo Region’s Accessibility documents are as follows:

Accessible Customer Service Plan

Extend-A-Family Waterloo Region is committed to excellence when serving all people including people with disabilities.

  1. We will communicate with people with disabilities in ways that take into account his/her disability.
  2. We will ensure that our employees and volunteers are trained and familiar with various assistive devices that may be used by people with disabilities while accessing our services.
  3. We welcome people with disabilities and their service animals. Service animals are allowed in our meeting rooms and on the parts of our premises that are open to the public.
  4. If he/she wishes, a person with a disability who is accompanied by a support person while on our premises may have that person accompany them.
  5. In the event of a planned or unexpected disruption to our services or facilities, Extend-A-Family Waterloo Region will notify people promptly. This will include a clearly worded notice advising the reason for the disruption, its anticipated length of time and a description of alternate facilities or services if available. Such notices will be communicated and/or posted as appropriate to the disruption.
  6. Extend-A-Family Waterloo Region will provide training to its employees and volunteers and any other third parties that deal with the public on its behalf.  Training will be provided as soon as practicable for all new employees, volunteers and relevant third parties.  Training will include:
    • An overview of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act 2005 and the requirements of the Customer Service Standard;
    • Extend-A-Family Waterloo Region’s plan related to Customer Service;
    • How to interact and communicate with people with various disabilities;
    • How to interact with people with an assistive device or who require a service animal, or a support person;
    • How to use assistive devices provided on the premises and otherwise help to provide services to people with disabilities;
    • What to do if a person with a disability is having difficulty in accessing Extend-A-Family Waterloo Region’s services;
    • Additional training will be provided when any changes are made to the plan.
  1. People who wish to provide feedback on the way Extend-A-Family Waterloo Region provides customer service to people with disabilities can do so in person, via telephone, fax or by e-mail. Such feedback should be directed to Human Resources and will be responded to as soon as reasonably practicable.
  2. Any Extend-A-Family Waterloo Region policy that does not respect and promote the dignity and independence of people with disabilities will be modified or removed.
  3. Extend-A-Family Waterloo Region will report our compliance to the Accessibility Standards for Customer Service, Ontario Regulation 429/07 as required.
  4. The documents required by the Customer Service Standard are available upon request and can be made available in an alternate format if required.


Accessibility Fact Sheet

To Our Workers, Providers and Volunteers:

The Provincial Government has passed a law that will help make the lives of people with disabilities easier. This law is known as the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act 2005 (AODA).  Under this law is a section (Regulation 429/07) relating to Customer Service.  This section requires that EAF provide you with training/information such as this Education  Fact Sheet.

Thank you for taking the time to read this information.  If you have any questions, or wish to see our Customer Service Plan please contact Human Resources at Extend-A-Family Waterloo Region.

EAFWR Fact Sheet:

  • The purpose of the legislation is to remove barriers, make it easier for people with disabilities to enter buildings, use transportation, receive services or get jobs.
  • The Standards will affect how information is provided, how we communicate, how we train and hire staff and how we provide access to our building for people with disabilities.
  • Organizations are required to have the Customer Service (Regulation 429/07) piece in place by January 1, 2012.
  • It is crucial that the principles of independence, dignity, integration and equality of opportunity are reflected in the policies, procedures and practices that are developed in response to the legislation.
  • A Customer Service plan, policies, guidelines and/or procedures must be developed and implemented that make sure people with disabilities are:
    • Able to use their own personal devices
    • Communicated with in a way that takes their disability into consideration
    • Informed about admission fees before coming to a facility
    • Informed when facilities or services that are essential to people with disabilities (i.e. elevators) are not available
    • Made aware of a complaint and feedback process
  • EAFWR’s responsibility includes meeting the requirement of the Customer Service Standards by providing information and training to its employees and volunteers.
  • Employees and volunteers are to keep in mind that not all disabilities are easily detected including hearing, seeing, speech, mental health, learning, physical and intellectual challenges.
  • Employees and volunteers need to provide services in a way that accommodates the challenges faced by people with disabilities (i.e. face a person with a hearing difficulty).
  • Employees need to be vigilant, be aware, provide assistance (keeping in mind the principles) and if necessary make any needed changes.
  • Barriers for people with disabilities can involve physical, architectural, attitudinal, technological and communication/information barriers.  Barriers can also exist in an organization’s policies, procedures and practices.
  • As an EAFWR employee or volunteer we must:
  • Be aware of any barriers and do our best to remove them
  • Communicate so that people understand and are understood
  • Provide or accommodate assistive devices
  • Allow service animals and support persons in the workplace
  • Let people know if something in the building is not available/working (i.e., elevators)
  • Provide information/training in relation to this legislation
  • Make sure that there is a process in place for complaints and feedback


Accessibility Multi Year Plan

Statement of Commitment

The Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation (IASR) under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) requires Extend-A-Family Waterloo Region (EAFWR) to develop a multi-year plan every five years to prevent and remove barriers for persons with disabilities. EAFWR through its multi-year accessibility plans, aims to become barrier free by 2025.

EAFWR will prepare plans complying with the following accessibility standards:

  • Customer Service
  • Information and Communications
  • Employment
  • The Build Environment

The 2013 to 2018 multi-year accessibility plan will help track planning requirements under IASR.

In accordance with the requirements EAFWR will:

  • Provide information relating to the plan in alternative formats upon request;
  • Review and update the plan at least once every five years.

Measures Already Implemented to Identify, Remove and Prevent Barriers

a)     Established a policy, procedure, guideline and plan to providing goods and services to persons with disabilities and posted our plan in the Reception Area;

b)     Provided accessibility awareness, AODA and customer service standard training to employees who interact, or may interact, with persons with disabilities or are involved in the creation and implementation of policies, practices and procedures for our Organization;

c)     Provided a mechanism for feedback on our plan for customer service;

d)     Worked with Office/Building Coordinator to develop a notification of service disruption and communicated the customer service plan to staff so that support persons and service animals are permitted onto EAFWR premises;

e)     Reported compliance to the customer service standard to Service Ontario’s website;

f)     Communicated through various media about the best ways to provide service to persons with disabilities;

g)     EAFWR incorporated accessibility considerations into its emergency response and evacuation plans and procedures;

h)    Created an individualized emergency response information package available to employees who have disclosed a disability and such employees will be accommodated according to their disability during an emergency.  Such individualized plans will be communicated to their supervisor and recorded in their personnel file.  These plans include a “Buddy System” in which designated individuals provide assistance to persons with a disability.  The designated assistants have been trained on the emergency response plans and procedures on how to interact with persons with disabilities during an emergency situation.

Planned Measures to Identify, Remove and Prevent Barriers 2013 – 2018

Standards for Customer Service

a)     EAFWR will seek and implement assistive enhancements to our information communications and website for the purpose of improving interaction and communication with persons who have sight or hearing loss;

b)     Review EAFWR’s existing feedback process and incorporate tracking and response mechanism;

c)     Remind Office Coordinator of the service disruption notification protocols;

d)     Assess premises, policies, procedures and practices to prevent barriers to good customer service;

e)     Assess training requirements and better track and report on training compliance on an annual basis;

Implementation Timeframe:  Ongoing

Standards for Integrated Accessibility General Requirements

a)     EAFWR will implement the statement of commitment that EAFWR will achieve accessibility through meeting the IASR requirements;

b)     Establish, implement and maintain a multi-year accessibility plan, which outlines EAFWR’s strategy to prevent and remove barriers and meet its IASR requirements;

c)     Extend-A-Family Waterloo Region’s statement of commitment and multi-year plan will be available to the public on the premises and upon request and will be available in an accessible format. Our statement of commitment and multi-year IASR plan will also be available on our website and can be made available in accessible format upon request.

Implementation Timeframe:  January 1, 2014


a)     EAFWR will implement a process for ensuring that all employees, volunteers and persons participating in the development and approval of EAFWR’s policies, procedures and practices receive the appropriate training to meet the requirements under IASR and the Human Rights Code as it pertains to persons with disabilities;

b)     Provide training in respect to any changes to policies, procedures and practices on an ongoing basis and keep and maintain a record of training dates and the number of individuals who attended;

c)     Ensure meetings and training sessions are accessible for persons with learning or other disabilities.

Implementation Timeframe:  January 2013 to January 1, 2015 and ongoing 

Standards for Information and Communications

a)     EAFWR will assess communication methods and website to identify and remove barriers to information and communications with people with disabilities;

b)     Ensure new internet website and web content on the site conforms to CAAG 2.0 Level A.

Implementation Timeframe:  January 2013 to January 1, 2014

c)     Ensure any new internet website and web content conform with WCAG 2.0 Level AA other than live captions and audio pre-recorded descriptions.

Implementation Timeframe January 1, 2016

d)     Ensure all internet websites and web content on those sites conform with WCAG 2.0 Level AA other than live captions and pre-recorded descriptions.

Implementation Timeframe:  January 1, 2021* 

e)     Ensure processes for receiving and responding to feedback are accessible to persons with disabilities by providing accessible formats and communication supports, upon request in consultation with the person making the request.

f)     Notify the public and employees about the availability of accessible formats and communication supports.

Implementation Timeframe:  January 1, 2016

Standards for Employment 

The employment Standard under IASR requires employers to provide for accessibility across all stages of the employment cycle including recruitment, assessment, selection, orientation, employment, work communications, return to work processes, performance management, career  development, advancement and redeployment.  The ISAR Standards do not replace or affect legal obligations under the Ontario Human Rights Code and other laws relating to accommodation of people with disabilities.

a)     EAFWR will assess and update recruitment, hiring and employee policies, procedures and methods to identify and remove unwarranted barriers to the employment of people with disabilities;

b)     Notify applicants for positions that EAFWR is committed to ensuring that  people with disabilities have the same opportunity of access to employment as all prospective and current employees and that during the recruitment process, accommodations can be provided upon request and in consultation with the applicant;

c)     Notify successful applicants of EAFWR’s policies and procedures  for accommodating employees with disabilities;

d)     Inform employees of EAFWR of its policies, plans and procedures and the processes used to support employees with disabilities, including requested job accommodations that take into account the individual employee’s accessibility needs due to a disability.  Such accommodations will depend on the needs of the employee and the capacity of EAFWR to provide the support.  EAFWR will have the flexibility to decide on the most appropriate accessible formats or communications support for the employee.   Accommodations will include information required to do his/her job and other information generally available to employees in the workplace;

e)     Upon request for accessibility accommodations, EAFWR will consult with the employee in order to prepare a written individual support plan for the employee.  The process for preparing the individual support plan will include how to request accommodations, employee consultation, assessment and evaluation of  the requested accommodation including outside medical or other experts if required, the frequency of and the manner of reviewing the plan,  the reasons for any denial of the plan by EAFWR and steps taken to protect the privacy of the employee’s personal information.  The individual accommodation plan will be prepared in an accessible format for the employee. If required, the plan will include emergency response information;

f)     Prepare a return to work process for employees who have been absent from work due to disability and require disability- related accommodations to return to work.  Such process will include the steps EAFWR will take to facilitate the return to work, and will be documented in an individual accommodation plan as in e) above;

g)     Incorporate the accessibility employment standard requirements, the accessibility needs of employees with disabilities and their individualized accommodation plans into account when:

  • Assessing their performance;
  • Managing their career development and advancement;
  • If redeploying them.

Implementation Timeframe:  January 1, 2016

Standards for Transportation 

This standard does not apply to Extend-A-Family Waterloo Region (EAFWR).

Standards for the Build Environment

EAFWR is committed to accessibility in, out of, and around the buildings we use.  EAFWR will ensure the facilities incorporate barrier- free design as existing spaces are renovated and/or new spaces are obtained.


Accessibility Integrated Standards Fact Sheet

To our Employees, Volunteers, Students:

The Provincial Government passed a law known as the Accessibility of Ontarians with Disabilities Act 2005 (AODA.  The purpose of this law is to achieve accessibility for Ontarians with disabilities by 2025.   We have a policy covering the Accessibility Act and we are up to date on our obligations under the Act.   For the Customer Service Regulation we have a Plan, an Education Fact Sheet and have completed our training requirements for Customer Service.  If you have any questions or wish to see our Customer Service Fact Sheet or Plan, please contact Human Resources at Extend-A-Family Waterloo Region.

Another part of this Act is regulation 191/11 known as the Integrated Accessibility Standard.  This standard establishes our obligations under the Act for Employment, Information and Communication, and the Human Rights Code related to persons with disabilities.  Under the Integrated Accessibility Standard Regulation to date, we have to provide you with information /training as included in this Fact Sheet.

Employment Standard:

A Workplace Emergency Response Information Plan for Employees and Volunteers who might need assistance during an emergency has been developed.  If anyone requires assistance in an emergency they should advise Human Resources and an individualized plan will be developed with their input.  This is incorporated into our Official Fire Safety and Emergency Plan.  A Fire and Emergency Response Procedure for Workers/Providers is incorporated in our Handbook and is available on our website in the Workers Section.

Under the Ontario Human Rights Code, all employers have the responsibility to accommodate current and prospective employees.  EAFWR is committed to this responsibility and accommodation can be requested if required.  We are an equal opportunity employer and we will indicate this in our job postings.

Information and Communication Standard:

EAFWR will notify people promptly about any emergency or disruption to our services or facilities.  This will include a clearly worded notice advising the reason, its anticipated length of time and a description of alternate facilities or services if available. Such notices will be communicated and/or posted as appropriate to the disruption.   Emergency evacuation or lock down is part of our ”Fire Safety Plan” and our “Emergency Response Plan” and includes aiding persons requiring assistance.

Our website is accessible.  We have installed Browse Aloud on our website.  This is located on the top right hand of the website page.  To access Browse Aloud, click on the symbol, a round blue and white target with a yellow arrow.  This allows the information on our website to be read to the person accessing our website.  It will also enlarge text, highlight selected portions of text and simplify reading the text including changing colours of the text and/or background.

Anyone who wishes to provide feedback on the way EAFWR is working towards accessibility for people with disabilities can do so in person, via telephone, fax or e-mail.  Such feedback should be directed to Human Resources and will be responded to as soon as reasonably practicable.  Please also advise if you require an accessible format to provide your feedback or to review any of our accessibility documents.

General Requirements: 

Any EAFWR policy that does not respect and promote the dignity of people with disabilities will be modified or removed.  We have a “Statement of Commitment” to the Accessibility Standards and we have a “Multi-year Accessibility Plan” to help us become fully compliant with the regulations.  Both of these are posted on our website.  These can be accessed by going to the very bottom of our home page under “Accessibility”.

EAFWR will provide information/training about the Integrated Accessible Standards Regulation to its employees, volunteers and any other third parties that deal with the public on its behalf.  Such information/training will be provided as soon as practicable for all new employees, volunteers and relevant third parties.

EAFWR will comply with the reporting responsibilities under the Accessibility Act as required for private sector organizations with 50 or more employees.


View other Extend-A-Family Waterloo Region Policies and Procedures here.