Our Commitment to Accessibility
Echoworx Corporation is committed to meeting the objectives and requirements of the AODA and IAS, including accessibility needs of persons with disabilities with respect to:
- Company programs
- Company services
- Company facilities
2. Definitions – for the purposes of this policy:
Accessible Format: Formats that are an alternative to standard print and are accessible to persons with disabilities. Accessible formats may include, but are not limited to, large print, recorded audio and electronic formats, and other formats usable by persons with disabilities.
Assistive Device: Any device used to assist a person in performing a particular task(s) or to aid that person in activities of daily living. Assistive devices may include, but are not limited to, a wheelchair, screen reader, listening device or cane.
Communication Support: Supports that persons with disabilities may need to access information. Communication supports may include, but are not limited to, captioning, alternative and augmentative supports, plain language, sign language and other supports that facilitate effective communications.
- Any degree of physical disability, infirmity, malformation or disfigurement that is caused by bodily injury, birth defect or illness and, without limiting the generality of the foregoing, includes diabetes mellitus, epilepsy, a brain injury, any degree of paralysis, amputation, lack of coordination, blindness or visual impediment, deafness or hearing impediment, muteness or speech impediment, or physical reliance on a guide dog or other service animal, or on a wheelchair or other remedial appliance or device;
- A condition of mental impairment or developmental disability;
- A learning disability, or 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 and Insurance Act, 1997.
Employee: Any employee or contractor of Echoworx.
Guide Dog: A highly trained working dog that has been trained at one of the facilities listed in Ontario Regulation 58 under the Blind Persons’ Rights Act, 1990 to provide mobility, safety and increased independence for people who are blind.
Service Animal: An animal is a service animal for a person with a disability if:
- It is readily apparent that the animal is used by the person for reasons relating to his or her disability;
- Or the person provides a letter from a regulated health professional confirming that the person requires the animal for reasons relating to the disability.
Support Person: An individual hired or chosen by a person with a disability to provide services or assistance with communication, mobility, personal care, medical needs or with access to goods or services. Medical needs may include, but are not limited to, monitoring an individual’s health or providing medical support by being available in the event of a seizure.
3. Application of Policy
Echoworx is committed to providing an equal opportunity to all our customers and members of the public. This policy applies to all employees who work on behalf of the Echoworx and deal with members of the public or other third parties.
4. Providing Goods and Services to Persons with Disabilities
Echoworx will make every effort to ensure that this policy and related practices and procedures are consistent with the following four core principles:
Dignity: Persons with disabilities must be treated by Echoworx as valued customers as deserving of service as any other customer.
Equality of Opportunity: Persons with disabilities should be given an equal opportunity to obtain, use and benefit from Echoworx goods and services.
Integration: Wherever possible, persons with disabilities should benefit from Echoworx goods and services in the same place and in the same or in a similar manner as any other customer. In circumstances where integration does not serve the needs of persons with disabilities, goods and services will, to the extent possible, be provided in another way that considers the person’s individual needs.
Independence: Goods and services must be provided in a way that respects the independence of persons with disabilities. To this end, Echoworx will always be willing to assist persons with disabilities – but will not do so without express permission.
5. Support Persons
Persons with disabilities may enter Echoworx premises with a support person and have unobstructed access to a support person throughout their visit. Echoworx may require persons with disabilities to be accompanied by a support person where it is necessary to protect the health or safety of the person with a disability or the health and safety of others on the premises. Before making this decision, we will:
- Consult with the person who has a disability regarding their needs
- Consider the health and safety reasons based on available evidence
- Determine whether there is another reasonable way to protect the health and safety of the person who has a disability or others on the premises.
Note: Employees will receive training on how to interact with persons with Disabilities who are accompanied by a support person.
6. Service Animals
Persons with disabilities that are accompanied by a guide dog or service animal will be allowed to access Echoworx premises keep the animal with him or her unless otherwise excluded by law. If a guide dog or service animal must be excluded from the premises, Echoworx will provide the individual with the reasons for the exclusion and explore alternative ways to meet the individual’s needs. If it is not readily apparent that the animal is a service animal, Echoworx may request a letter from a physician or nurse confirming that the person requires the animal for reasons relating to their disability.
Note: Employees will receive training on how to interact with persons with disabilities accompanied by a guide dog or service animal.
7. Notice of Temporary Disruption
Echoworx will notify customers if there is a planned or unexpected disruption of facilities or services typically used by persons with disabilities to access Echoworx goods and services. The notice will be posted on our website.
The notice will include the following information:
- The facility or service that is unavailable;
- The anticipated duration of the disruption;
- The reason for the disruption; and
- Alternative facilities or services, if available or applicable.
8. Training for Employees
Echoworx will train its staff and third-party providers on the provision of its services to persons with disabilities. This policy will be shared with new hires as part of the Echoworx onboarding process.
Training will run along the following topics, for the purposes of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 and the requirements of the customer service standard:
- How to communicate or otherwise interact with persons with various types of disabilities;
- How to communicate or otherwise interact with persons with disabilities who employ an assistive device or require the assistance of a guide dog, service animal or a support person;
- How to use or access available equipment or devices on Echoworx premises that enable the provision of services to persons with disabilities;
- Action plans for when a person with a particular type of disability is having difficulty in accessing Echoworx goods and services;
- This policy.
Note: Echoworx will provide training on an ongoing basis when changes are made to Echoworx policies, practices and procedures governing the provision of services to persons with disabilities.
9. Accessible Formats
Upon request, Echoworx will provide or arrange for the provision of accessible formats and Communication Supports for persons with disabilities in a timely manner that considers the person’s accessibility needs. Echoworx will work collaboratively with the person making the request to determine the suitability of an Accessible Format or Communication Support. We will also notify the public about the availability of Accessible Formats and Communication Supports.
Echoworx will ensure that its Internet websites, including web and/or web application content, conform to the World Wide Web Consortium Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (“WCAG”). Echoworx will take action to ensure that its Internet websites, web and/or web application content conform with WCAG 2.0 Level AA, (except where this is impracticable), as outlined by the IAS. The requirements of WCAG 2.0 Level AA come into effect by the compliance date of January 1, 2021.
10. Feedback Process or Questions Regarding this Policy
Echoworx will ensure that its process for receiving and responding to feedback is accessible to persons with Disabilities by providing or arranging for the provision of Accessible Formats and Communication Supports upon request.
11. Modifications to this Policy
No changes or modifications will be made by Echoworx to this policy before considering the impact to those persons with disabilities affected. All Echoworx policy that does not reflect or promote the dignity and independence of personals with disabilities will be revised or removed.
12. Requests for AODA Compliance Documents
Echoworx may provide a copy of this policy, upon request, in an alternative format which considers a requestor’s disabilities.