Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) Compliance

Customer Service Standard Policy

CIFAR is committed to meeting the objectives and requirements of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (“AODA”), Customer Service Standard (“CSS”) and Integrated Accessibility Standard (“IAS”), including the accessibility needs of persons with disabilities in a timely manner.

Purpose and Background

The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA), 2005 is a provincial law which mandates how business and organizations provide accessible goods and services to persons with disabilities. The goal of the AODA is for Ontario to be fully accessible by 2025. The Act phases in the development, implementation and enforcement of standards regarding customer service, transportation, employment, information and communication, and built environment and transportation.

The Customer Service Standard came into effect for CIFAR as of January 1, 2012.

This policy does not supersede or in any way replace the provisions of the Ontario Human Rights Code.


Under the AODA and Ontario Human Rights Code, “disability” means
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 physical co-ordination, blindness or visual impediment, deafness or hearing impediment, muteness or speech impediment, physical reliance on a guide dog or other animal or 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, or an injury or disability for which benefits were claimed or received under the insurance plan established under the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act, 1997.


This policy applies to all employees, volunteers, third party contractors, service providers and any other person who acts on behalf of CIFAR. This policy covers all CIFAR-sponsored events, meetings and premises.


CIFAR strives to provide its goods and services in a way that respects the dignity and independence of all persons including those with disabilities. The Institute is committed to giving people with disabilities the same opportunity to access our goods and services and allowing them to benefit from the same services in the same place and in a similar way as other individuals. To that end the Institute institutes the following policies:


Communication with people with disabilities will take into account their disability. CIFAR commits to provide training on how to interact and communicate with people with various types of disability.


When speaking on the telephone staff will be advised to communicate in plain language and to speak clearly and slowly.

Assistive Devices

The use of personal assistive devices is permissible in accessing CIFAR’s goods and services. Training will be provided in the use of various assistive devices that may be used by customers. The provision, use and safety of personal assistive devices is the responsibility of the person with the disability.

Service Animals

A person with a disability who is accompanied by a service animal will be permitted entry to all CIFAR facilities and events unless prohibited by law or reasons of health and safety of other persons. If the service animal must be excluded, CIFAR will make alternate arrangements for the person with the disability to access the services within a reasonable time.

Support Persons

A person with a disability who is accompanied by a support person will be allowed to have that person accompany him/her to all CIFAR facilities and events. Support persons are expected to stay with and assist the disabled person they are with.

Notice of Temporary Disruption in Services

CIFAR will notify clients in the event of a planned or unexpected disruption in the facilities or services usually used by persons with disabilities. The notice will provide information regarding the reason for the disruption, its anticipated duration, description of alternative facilities or services if any, and contact information.

Training for Staff

CIFAR will provide training for all employees and contractors who deal with the public or other third parties on its behalf. Specifically, individuals in the following positions will be trained:
· Executives and managers
· Executive assistant to the President and CEO
· Event planner
· Program officers
· Program coordinators
· Administrative assistants
· Advancement officers
· Digital media officer
· Marketing and communications officer
· HR & IT

Training will be provided to new staff within two weeks of hiring and will include:
The purpose of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005,  the requirements of the customer service standard, and integrated accessibility standards regulation.

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