Accessibility for People with Disabilities Act Policies, Procedures and Guidelines
Statement of Commitment
- Willis College is committed to accessibility as expressed in the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (hereinafter referred to as the AODA), which places a legal obligation on organizations to achieve accessibility for Canadians with disabilities with respect to goods, services, facilities, accommodation, employment, buildings, structures, and premises on or before January 1, 2025. This is a multi-year accessibility plan which is revisited and revised on a regular basis.
- Willis College is committed to fostering, creating, and maintaining a barrier-free environment for all individuals providing equal rights and opportunities, including:
- Creating and promoting a respectful attitude for persons with disabilities.
- Promoting awareness of the needs and abilities of persons with disabilities.
- Informing the College community about the services available to persons with disabilities and seeking to ensure that such services are delivered in ways that promote equality.
- Providing support services, subject to certain limitations.
- Willis College recognizes that barriers to participation exist and that adjustments to policies and practices of the College are required. This is accomplished through the prevention, identification, and removal of barriers within the College systems, structures, and policies. It is understood that where this Policy refers to “barriers” it is referring to barriers such as a physical barrier, an architectural barrier, an information or communications barrier, an attitudinal barrier, a technological barrier, or a policy or practice.
- The commitments in this Policy are intended to ensure that accessibility remains a priority in Willis College’s decision-making process and will serve to assist in ensuring that decisions are improving accessibility and not inadvertently creating barriers.
Purpose and Scope
- This Policy provides a framework within which accessibility plans and initiatives are to be created to move the College towards the goal of building an inclusive community with a shared purpose. It is also the purpose of this Policy to endeavour to provide the foundation to create an environment that provides the widest feasible scope of access, which is the right or opportunity to reach, use or participate in the College’s systems, facilities, and services.
- This policy applies to:
- Willis College students.
- Willis College employees.
- Applicants for employment with Willis College, who may require employment accommodation through the recruitment, assessment, selection, and hiring process.
- Visitors and volunteers.
- Contractors and subcontractors engaged by Willis College.
- To meet the needs of persons with disabilities, the principles of the approach are:
- Dignity – Service is provided in a way that allows the individual to maintain self-respect and the respect of other persons.
- Independence – When a person can do things on their own without unnecessary help or interference from others.
- Integration – Service is provided in a way that allows the individual to benefit from equivalent services, in the same place, and in the same or similar way as other individuals, unless an alternate measure is necessary to enable the individual to access goods or services.
- Equal Opportunity – Service is provided to individuals in such a way that they have an opportunity to access goods or services equal to that given to others.
- Reasonable Efforts – Taking approaches that meet the required needs of the individual.
- The College will work to improve accessibility by developing an Accessibility plan that conforms to this Policy. The College will also establish targets and goals related to improving accessibility and initiatives to achieve those targets. The College will monitor and report regularly on the implementation of the Accessibility Plan and the progress of achievement of specific goals and objectives.
- The college will identify and implement training and educational requirements or opportunities to increase the awareness of accessibility and remove attitudinal barriers.
- All members of the Willis community are responsible for adhering to and following the commitments set out in this Policy.
- The College will monitor and evaluate accessibility initiatives and changes to applicable legislation and/or regulations. Changes to policies, plans and initiatives will be incorporated as required. The College will also report on performance in relation to established accessibility goals and targets.
- The Policy will be communicated to the College community and the College will make the Policy publicly available on its website.
- Willis College provides Guidelines on specific accessibility considerations with respect to the application of this Policy. This guide will be updated as required.
Use of Assistive Devices Guideline
Personal assistive devices are often used by persons with disabilities to help them with daily living. They are usually devices that people bring with them to the College and may consist of any auxiliary aids such as communication aids, cognition aids, personal mobility aids and/or medical aids.
In accordance with the AODA, people may use their own personal assistive devices while accessing goods and services at Willis College, subject to certain limitations.
Assistive devices may include but are not limited to:
- Manual and motorized wheelchairs, scooters, canes, crutches, walkers.
- Hearing aids and personal TTYs.
- Oxygen Tanks.
- Computers and adaptive technology.
Willis College is committed to enhancing the accessibility of its education delivery, websites, telecommunications, and other infrastructure. As part of this commitment, the College will ensure that persons with disabilities are permitted to use their own assistive devices to access goods and services of the College, subject to reasonable limitations.
Upon request, Willis College will be prepared to assist or arrange for assistance, while individuals are using goods or services of the College, subject to reasonable limitations.
Availability of Assistive Devices
The College provides measures to assist persons with disabilities to benefit from the equivalent level of service, in the same place and in a similar way, as other individuals. Where an assistive device or support does not exist on campus, the College will make reasonable efforts to ensure that appropriate devices or supports are made available, subject to reasonable limitations.
Guidelines for Service Animals & Support Persons
Service animals and support persons required to assist a person with a disability will be present and welcome at the campus except where excluded by law.
Service Animal: Any guide dog, signal dog, or other animals individually trained to aid a person with a disability. If they meet this definition, animals are considered service animals. A service animal is not a pet.
Service animals perform some of the functions and tasks that the person with a disability cannot perform for themselves.
For example, guide dogs used by some individuals who are blind, alerting persons with hearing impairments to sounds, pulling wheelchairs or carrying and picking up things for persons with mobility impairments, assisting persons with mobility impairments with balance.
Support Person: Any person who aids a person with a disability.
Willis College shall not prohibit the use of a service animal by a person with a disability in the conduct of regular business or activities except where excluded by law, these include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Locations that would be deemed as a health and safety risk (e.g., operating rooms, nuclear reactor), and
- Locations where an education placement is performed, and the owner/lessor of such locations has a policy or practice governing service animals or support persons contrary to Willis’ Policy.
Within the parameters of the Principles noted above, the service animal or support person must be permitted to accompany the individual with a disability to all areas of the College where members of the public (as applicable) are normally allowed to go. An individual with a service animal may not be segregated from other individuals.
If goods, services, or facilities are defined as off-limits to service animals or support persons, the College will make every effort to provide alternate ways for persons with disabilities to access such goods, services, and facilities.
The College will provide notice in advance about whether an admission fee will be charged for support persons, if applicable.
To respect employees or students whose health may be impacted by the presence of service animals at Willis, these individuals may request reasonable accommodation suitable to their health needs.
Notice of Temporary Disruptions in Service
The College will provide notice to members of the public when there is a temporary disruption of facilities or services (planned or unexpected) that are usually used by persons with disabilities at the College.
Service disruptions shall include information related to facilities (e.g., elevators, building ramps, accessible washrooms) or goods/services (e.g., events, lectures).
Disruptions to all services, such as during a power outage, do not require this special notice.
For information relating to College closure due to inclement weather and road conditions, please reference the Student Handbook. Closure information will also be relayed via email.
Where a service disruption is unavoidable the College will:
- Post a notice at the location, for example, if an elevator disruption, then a notice will be posted at the site on all floors.
- Provide an advance notice, where possible, to all building occupants and/or affected participants using the College website.
All service disruption notices shall include:
- Name of the service/event impacted.
- Expected duration of the disruption.
- Any alternate means of accessing the facility or service.
- The contact for assistance.
- Any other relevant information for accessing the facility or service.
In such cases, the person may be offered the following as a means of accessing the facility, event, or service, such as:
- The goods and service delivery agent may provide the goods or service directly to the person with a disability at an alternate place and time, as deemed appropriate; or
- Any other assistive measures available and deemed appropriate to deliver goods and services.
Individuals can be added to building email distribution lists via email/telephone and will be notified by Administration.
Every person who deals with members of the public or who participates in developing Willis College’s policies, practices and procedures governing the provision of goods and services to the public; including Company staff, volunteers, agents, contractors, and others who provide service on behalf of Willis College will receive training regarding the provision of goods and services to persons with disabilities and on the requirements of the Customer Service Regulation.
The training will include the following five pieces of information:
- The purpose of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act
- How to interact and communicate with persons with various types of disabilities
- How to interact with persons with disabilities who use an assistive device, or require the assistance of a service animal or support person
- How to use equipment made available by the Company to help people with disabilities to access goods and services
- What to do if a person with a disability is having difficulty accessing services.
Training will be provided to each person according to his or her needs and duties and as soon as is practicable on an ongoing basis in connection with changes to policies, practices and procedures governing the provision of goods or services to persons with disabilities. A record of the dates on which training is provided and the number of individuals to whom it is provided will be kept.
Willis College will provide communication to people with disabilities in ways that consider their disabilities.
Notice of Availability of Documents
Willis College will provide the public notice of the availability of the documents, required by the Accessibility Standards for Customer Service, (O. Reg 429/07) upon request.
Format of Documents
If Willis College is required, by the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005, to give a copy of a document to a person with a disability, the company will consider the person’s ability to access the information and will provide the document or information contained in the document in a format that meets those needs as agreed upon with the person.
Willis College is committed to ensuring digital accessibility for people with disabilities. We are continually improving the user experience for everyone and applying the relevant accessibility standards. We engage in efforts necessary to meet online usability and web page design requirements recommended by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) in its Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.1 Level AA.
For the purposes of this policy, Willis College will use the Worldwide Web Consortium’s Web Content Accessibility Guidelines version 2.1, Level AA Conformance (WCAG 2.1 Level AA) as “the Standards.” We use software tools to regularly test and evaluate the accessibility of our website and to make improvements. Any features found to be inaccessible will be addressed in a timely manner.
Throughout this website, we make use of different third-party PDFs, applications, and websites. These PDFs, applications, and websites, which are not controlled by Willis College, may present challenges for individuals with disabilities that we are not able to control or remedy.
If you encounter any content on our website that presents a challenge for individuals with disabilities, please submit your feedback. Willis College also accepts calls from relay services. You may also request any modifications to our policies, practices, and procedures. Please contact us at 613.233.1128
Guideline for Providing Feedback & Complaints
In accordance with the AODA, Willis College is required to establish a mechanism for receiving and responding to feedback from persons with disabilities about accessibility in relation to the way the College provides its services to them.
Complaints involving accessibility issues may follow the student complaint procedure.
Where persons with disabilities have concerns or feedback regarding the services provided by the College, they may bring such feedback forward to the following individuals:
Students: Dean of Education
Employees: Campus Director, Human Resources
Any feedback provided by an individual must be addressed in a timely manner. All responses must be provided to the originator in a format, which meets their needs.
By Mail: 1200 Laurent Boulevard, Laurent Shopping Centre, Suite 20, Ottawa Ontario, K1K 3B8
By Phone: 613.233.1128
or fill in the form below.
Customer Service - Accessibility Feedback