AODA Accessibility for
Ontario has new legislation The AODA is built around the core principles of
about accessibility. independence, dignity,
In order to create a barrier-free province by
2025, Ontario has created the Accessibility equality of opportunity,
for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 and works to be proactive where possible in
addressing issues of accessibility. In light of this,
(AODA). the standard will require us to do the following:
1. Ensure that our policies, practices and
The Customer Service Standard was the procedures on providing goods or services to
first to become law as of January 1, 2008, persons with disabilities are consistent with the
and designated public service core principles (listed above).
organizations, including universities, must 2. Communicate with a person with a disability in
comply by January 1, 2010. a manner that takes into account his or her
3. Provide training on a number of topics (as
Ryerson already has many policies, practices, outlined in the Customer Service Standard) to
and procedures addressing the accessibility of faculty, instructors, staff, volunteers, contractors
our services and facilities. For example, the and any other people who interact with the public
Access Centre supports students by arranging on Ryerson’s behalf. Also provide training to those
accommodations for academic study, based on who are involved in developing policies, practices
Ryerson’s Academic Accommodation of and procedures.
Students with Disabilities policy (Senate Policy 4. Ensure our policies address allowing persons
#159). In addition, the Ryerson Accessibility with disabilities to use their own personal assistive
Advisory Committee (RAAC) brings together devices to access Ryerson’s goods and services.
students, staff, and faculty to create an open
5. Allow persons with disabilities to be
dialogue about barriers and suggestions for
accompanied by their guide dog or service animal,
improvement, the results of which are made unless the animal is excluded by another law. If a
available in the annual Ryerson University service animal is excluded by law, use other
Accessibility Plan. measures to provide services to the person with a
6. Permit persons with disabilities who use a
Did you know? support person to bring that person with them.
Where admission fees are charged, provide notice
We use the phrase “persons with disabilities” ahead of time on what admission, if any, would be
and not “people with disabilities”. Using charged for a support person of a person with a
the word “persons” recognizes the
diversity of experience among 7. Provide notice of service disruptions when
persons with disabilities, Ryerson’s facilities or services that persons with
disabilities rely on are temporarily unavailable.
whereas the word “people”
tends to imply that everyone 8. Make a feedback process available to the
in the group is the same. public and determine how the university will
respond and take action on any complaints.
What is a “disability”?
Disabilities can be visible or invisible.
Visible disabilities include physical disabilities such
as those caused by birth defect, illness, or injury, and
may require the use of assistive devices such as a
wheelchair or prosthesis.
Invisible disabilities include deafness or hearing
impediments, muteness or speech impediments,
mental impairments, developmental disabilities,
learning disabilities, etc.
Accessible Customer Service
Any feedback on issues of accessibility of Ryerson’s
• Treat persons with disabilities with the same
services should be addressed to the department in respect and consideration you have for
question. everyone else.
• Patience and a willingness to find a way to
Students can offer feedback to the Access Centre by communicate are your best tools.
visiting http://www.ryerson.ca/studentservices/ • Some disabilities are not visible. Take the time
to get to know individuals’ needs.
• If you're not sure what to do, ask your
customer, "May I help you?" Persons with
Concerns may also be made known to the disabilities know if they need help and how you
Discrimination and Harassment Prevention Office. can provide it.
http://www.ryerson.ca/equity/about/location.htm • Think about using plain language and speaking
in short sentences. If you can’t understand
Employees’ concerns regarding accommodation can what someone is saying, just politely ask again.
• Remember to speak directly to a person with
be directed to their Human Resources Management
a disability, not to their interpreter or someone
Consultant. To identify your HRMC, visit who is with them.
http://www.ryerson.ca/hr/working/contact/index.html • Avoid touching or addressing service animals
as they are working and have to pay attention
at all times. Ask permission before touching a
wheelchair or other assistive device.
• Know the emergency procedures for persons
Assistive devices help a person with a disability do
everyday tasks and activities. Some devices
include laptops, pocket recorders, digital audio
players, hearing aid, and teletypewriter (TTY) for
people unable to speak or hear by phone. If your
department does not have a TTY device, Bell has
a Relay Service from any phone for free (1-800-
855-0511). Other assistive devices include
mobility devices such as scooters, walkers or
crutches, magnifiers, white cane, communication
boards (which use symbols, words or pictures to
create messages) and speech generating devices.
This bulletin is the first component of your
AODA training. However, in addition, all
employees of Ryerson will be required to Resources
complete e-learning training on the Customer NEW!
Service Standard to ensure successful Check out our NEW Accessibility page at
compliance with the AODA. The e-learning will http://www.ryerson.ca/accessibility
be available in January, 2010. More information where you’ll find information about our accessibility
will be made available at that time. and accommodation policies, practices and
procedures, learning resources such as teaching tips
“Do I need training?” and instructions on creating accessible documents,
As a member of the University community your and notices of service disruptions.
interactions with others make an impact.
Examples of “customers” include students, The Access Centre
prospective students, alumni, visitors, and the http://www.ryerson.ca/studentservices/accesscentre
Security and Emergency Services
The AODA applies to you and requires that you Safety Planning for Persons with Disabilities
provide accessible customer service in the http://www.ryerson.ca/security
course of your job. You need to be familiar with
the AODA and the customer service standard, its
principles and other key concepts. Discrimination and Harassment Prevention Office