MULTI-YEAR ACCESSIBILITY PLAN
This policy is intended to meet the requirements of the Integrated Accessibility Standards, Ontario Regulation 191/11 for the Employment Standard set forth under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (AODA).
Under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005, employers and organizations are required to create multi-year accessibility plans, and to update them at least once every five years and post them on their website if they have one. The Stewart Foodservice Inc., accessibility plan hopes to provide guidance on what we will do to remove barriers to accessibility and when we will do so.
Message from President
Stewart Foodservice Inc. will adopt and implement measures to provide accessible access to stakeholders when at our facility and utilizing our services. We are committed to establishing a work environment with access for all and relationships that support the productivity, abilities, personal goals, dignity, and self-esteem of every person within the workplace. All employment services provided by shall follow the principles of dignity, independence, integration, and equal opportunity.
Stewart Foodservice Inc. is committed to meeting the goals and objectives of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act ,2005 and providing accessible solutions to those persons with disabilities in a timely manner in our policies and procedures. These documents will be made publicly available in an accessible format, upon request.
We will establish, implement, maintain, and document a multi-year accessibility plan outlining our strategy to prevent and remove barriers in the workplace. Stewart Foodservice Inc. strives to meet the needs of employees and customers with disabilities and is working hard to remove barriers to accessibility.
Stewart Foodservice Inc. will review and update our accessibility plan once every five (5) years and will adjust our plan to accommodate new realities.
(AODA) – Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act 2005
Accessible Formats– Include but are not limited to large print, recorded audio and electronic formats, braille and other formats usable by persons with disabilities.
Communication Supports – Include but are not limited to captioning, alternative and augmentative communication supports, plain language, sign language and other supports that facilitate effective communications.
Kiosk – An interactive electronic terminal, including a point-of-sale device, for public use that allows users to access one (1) or more services or products.
Performance Management – Activities related to assessing and improving employee performance, productivity and effectiveness with the goal of facilitating employee success.
Redeployment – The reassignment of employees to other departments or jobs within the organization as an alternative to layoff when a particular job or department has been eliminated by the organization.
1. Past Achievementsto Removeand Prevent Barriers
Our initial health and safety orientation program has a strong focus on accessibility for new employees. We conduct orientation on AODA modules to provide all employees with a basic understanding of our accessibility obligations and provisions that can be made available should a new employee require accommodation.
We maintain strong record keeping of AODA training and update employees on an annual basis when we are conducting Health and Safety update training. A training matrix is maintained, and accessible formats are available such as enlarged fonts for all white papers as well as the option for verbal feedback to ensure all information is received effectively.
With demographic changes and a long tenured workforce, senior management has strived to provide increased work longevity to our loyal employees. In recent years and currently we are constantly adjusting roles and creating positions to bring redeployment measures into our operations. We do this to aid in extending the working timeframes for senior staff and those that may have experienced illness, injury, or an increased spectrum of limitations.
We build out customized Job descriptions, incorporating increased flexibility, reduced working requirements, remote offerings, and creative positions. We will continue to support our changing workforce to reduce return to work and accessibility barriers with customized roles for individuals.
2. Customer Service
AODA- Customer Service requirements are based on the foundation of providing:
- Dignity- A customer with a disability is valued and deserving of effective and full service.
- Independence- Freedom from control or influence of others-freedom to make one's own choices.
- Integration- Customers with disabilities fully benefit from the same services, in the same place and in the same or similar way as other customers.
Definitions – Human Rights Code, R.S.O. 1990, c.H.19
- 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, or physical reliance on a guide dog or other animal or on a 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; (“handicap")
Instructions on Helping Someone with an Assistive Device
Many of your customers with disabilities will have their own personal assistive devices. Don't touch or handle an assistive device without permission.
Examples of personal assistive devices:
- wheelchairs, scooters, walker, amplification devices that boost sound for listeners who are hard-of-hearing without reducing background noise, hearing aids, oxygen tanks, electronic notebooks or laptop computers, personal data managers, communication boards used to communicate using symbols, words or pictures, speech-generating devices that "speak" when a symbol, word or picture is pressed
Moving personal assistive devices
If you have permission to move a person in a wheelchair, remember to:
- confirm that your customer is ready to move;
- describe what you are going to do before you do it;
- avoid uneven ground and objects that create bumpy and unsafe ride; and
- practice consideration and safety – don't leave the person in an awkward, dangerous or undignified position such as facing a wall or in the path of opening doors.
Do not move items or equipment, such as canes and walkers, out of your customer's reach. Respect your customer's personal space. Do not lean over them or on their assistive device. Let your customer know about accessible features in the immediate environment (automatic doors, accessible washrooms, etc.).
Support Persons must be allowed to accompany any individual requiring assistance on premise. Remember:
- Support Persons must be able to attend premise and aid in accommodation
- Speak to your customer not the support person directly unless otherwise instructed
Tips for Guiding a Customer who has Vision Loss
The following are instructions and tips on guiding a customer with vision loss. For more information about guiding someone with vision loss visit www.cnib.ca
- Ask first if your customer wishes to be guided.
- If the answer is “yes", offer your arm. Ask which arm is better. Walk at a normal pace. The person will walk about a step behind. Announce handrails, doors (to the right/left, push/pull to open etc.) and describe the surrounding areas (such as what is in an aisle – shelves and sections).
- If you are guiding towards stairs:
- Let the customer know if they have to walk up or down;
- Approach the stairs head on, not at an angle and come to a full stop in front of the stairs;
- Lead or guide your customer to the rail side to allow them to take hold of it;
- Let them find the first step and then start to climb or descend the stairs;
- Try to be one step ahead and announce the last step.
- If you are going through a narrow doorway, passage etc., the guide goes first, after explaining the circumstances and describing the area.
- Upon entering a room, offer to describe the dimensions and the location of people and furniture.
- If the person wishes to sit, offer to guide him/her and place his/her hand on the back of the chair.
- Keep the person informed when others approach or leave.
- If you must leave the individual alone, do not leave him or her standing in the middle of the room, with nothing to hold onto. If he/she is not seated, guide him/her to a door, wall, or piece of furniture to stand next to. This will help the person to stay spatially oriented.
- If your customer is accompanied by a guide dog, stand to the right of your customer, as the guide dog is usually at the owner's left side. When guiding a customer with a dog, offer your left arm, but if the person you are guiding prefers to hold your right arm, that's okay too.
- When the customer has a guide dog, offer to open the door first, before doing so. The customer may be using the door's location as a reference point, or he/she may prefer to do it without assistance to protect the dog's paws.
- Do not touch the service animal they are working.
- Do not make assumptions some animals do not look like service animals.
- You may ask the customer if the animal is a service animal to help uncover more information about your customer's needs.
- Alternate formats and documentation will be provided upon the customer(s) and /or support person(s) request in one of the following formats:
- Large Print, audiocassette, Braille, CD-ROM, E-mail, DVD, Electronic text on diskette, reading text information.
- If accessible services are unavailable (ie. Screen reader, elevator, escalator, automatic doors) we must:
- Post a notification of why our services are not available (Could be done in advance using website, prerecorded phone message, mail inserts)
- Anticipated duration of the service downtime
- Provide a list of alternative facilities or services available (Provide a map and/or directions to alternate locations as well as information on other delivery modes)
If at any point a Stewart Foodservice Inc. customer experiences a barrier to services, they should immediately contact email@example.com or call 705.728.3051.
- We will immediately provide support and make alternative formats available to aid in reducing barriers in accessing our services.
- We will accommodate individual needs and work to make our services more accessible.
3. Information and Communication
During the pandemic and post pandemic we have utilized phone messaging system specific messages regarding alterations to our operational hours, listed of operation changes on social media, notices and postings on exterior doors for the general public and employees on site. We have also utilized outbound phone calls to customers for advanced notice changes as well as mass emails for pertinent information related to service offerings and operational adjustments.
Stewart Foodservice Inc. will ensure that employees are aware of our policies for employees with disabilities and any changes to these policies as they occur.
If an employee with a disability requests it, we will provide or arrange for the provision of accessible formats and communication supports for the following:
- Information needed to perform his/her job; and
- Information that is generally available to all employees in the workplace.
Stewart Foodservice Inc. will consult with the employee making the request to determine the best way to provide the accessible format or communication support.
4. Employment General Principles
In accordance with the Integrated Accessibility Standards, Ontario Regulation 191/11, this policy addresses the following:
- General Requirements
- Recruitment, Assessment and Selection
- Workplace Emergency Response Information
- Documented Individual Accommodation Plans
- Performance Management and Career Development and Advancement
- Return to Work
A. General Requirements
General requirements that apply across all of the four (4) standards, Information and Communications, Employment, Transportation and Design of Public Spaces, are outlined as follows.
Stewart Foodservice Inc. will develop, implement and maintain policies governing how it will achieve accessibility through these requirements.
Stewart Foodservice Inc. will include a statement of its commitment to meeting the accessibility needs of persons with disabilities in a timely manner in its policies. These documents will be made publicly available in an accessible format, upon request.
Stewart Foodservice Inc. will establish, implement, maintain and document a multi-year accessibility plan outlining its strategy to prevent and remove barriers and meet its requirements under the IASR. Accessibility plans will be made available in an accessible format.
Stewart Foodservice Inc. will review and update its accessibility plan once every five (5) years and will establish, review and update our accessibility plans
B. Recruitment, Assessment and Selection
Stewart Foodservice Inc. will notify employees and the public about the availability of accommodation for job applicants who have disabilities. Applicants will be informed that these accommodations are available, upon request, for the interview process and for other candidate selection methods. Where accommodation is requested, Stewart Foodservice Inc. will consult with the applicant and provide or arrange for suitable accommodation.
Successful applicants will be made aware of Stewart Foodservice Inc.'s policies and supports for accommodating people with disabilities.
C. Workplace Emergency Response Information
Where required, Stewart Foodservice Inc. will create individual workplace emergency response information for employees with disabilities. This information will take into account the unique challenges created by the individual's disability and the physical nature of the workplace, and will be created in consultation with the employee.
This information will be reviewed when:
- The employee moves to a different physical location in the organization;
- The employee's overall accommodation needs or plans are reviewed; and/or
- Reviews general emergency response policies.
D. Documented Individual Accommodation Plans
Stewart Foodservice Inc. must also develop and have in place written processes for documenting individual accommodation plans for employees with disabilities. The process for the development of these accommodation plans should include specific elements, including:
- The ways in which the employee can participate in the development of the plan;
- The means by which the employee is assessed on an individual basis;
- The ways that an employee can request an evaluation by an outside medical expert, or other experts (at the employer's expense) to determine if accommodation can be achieved, or how it can be achieved;
- The steps taken to protect the privacy of the employee's personal information;
- The frequency with which the individual accommodation plan should be reviewed or updated and how it should be done; and
- The means of providing the accommodation plan in an accessible format, based on the employee's accessibility needs.
E. Performance Management and Career Development and Advancement
Stewart Foodservice Inc. will consider the accessibility needs of employees with disabilities when implementing performance management processes, or when offering career development or advancement opportunities.
Individual accommodation plans will be consulted, as required.
F. Return to Work
Stewart Foodservice Inc. will develop and implement return to work processes for employees who are absent from work due to a disability and require disability-related accommodation(s) in order to return to work.
The return-to-work process will outline the steps will take to facilitate the employee's return to work and shall use documented individual accommodation plans.
The accessibility needs of employees with disabilities will be taken into account in the event of redeployment.
Individual accommodation plans will be consulted, as required.
Continuous process improvement and review annually or with changing legislation or policy related to Accessibility. This policy will be reviewed regularly to ensure that it is reflective of Stewart Foodservice Inc.'s current practices as well as legislative requirements.
5. Procuring or Acquiring Goods and Services, or Facilities
Stewart Foodservice Inc. will incorporate accessibility criteria and features when procuring or acquiring goods, services or facilities. The only exception is in cases where it is impracticable to do so.
6. Self-Serve Kiosks
Stewart Foodservice Inc. will incorporate accessibility features when designing, procuring or acquiring self-service kiosks. Stewart Foodservice Inc. will always be aware of the accessibility features of self-service kiosks for persons with disabilities.
7. Training Requirements
Stewart Foodservice Inc. will provide training for its employees regarding the IASR and the Ontario Human Rights Code as they pertain to individuals with disabilities. Training will also be provided to individuals who are responsible for developing Stewart Foodservice Inc.'s policies, and all other persons who provide goods, services or facilities on behalf of Stewart Foodservice Inc.
Training will be provided on an ongoing basis to new employees and as changes to Stewart Foodservice Inc.'s accessibility policies occur.
Stewart Foodservice Inc. will maintain records on the training provided, when it was provided and the number of employees that were trained.
8. Design of Public Spaces
Stewart Foodservice Inc. will meet accessibility laws when building or making major changes to public spaces.
Stewart Foodservice Inc. is committed to accessible transportation services.
EQUAL OPPORTUNITY EMPLOYER
Stewart Foodservice Inc. is committed to establishing a work environment and relationships that support the productivity, personal goals, dignity and self-esteem of every person within the work place free of improper discrimination and harassment.
It is the policy of the company that employment shall be based on merit, qualifications and competence.
Every person has a right to equal treatment with respect to employment without discrimination because of the applicant's or employee's race, ancestry, place of origin, colour, religion, ethnic origin, citizenship, creed, sex, sexual orientation, age, record of offences, marital status, family status or disability (except where the person is incapable of performing the essential duties of the job because of disability and cannot be accommodated without undue hardship on Stewart Foodservice Inc., considering the cost and health and safety requirements).
- “Because of Disability" means for the reason that the person has nor had, or is believed to have or have had:
- any degree of physical disability, infirmity, malformation or disfigurement that is caused by bodily injury, birth defect or illness (includes dependency on alcohol or drugs).
- a learning disability or dysfunction in understanding or using written or spoken language.
- mental disorder: or an injury or disability for which benefits were claimed or received under the Workers' Compensation Act.
This policy governs all areas of employment, including hiring, promotion, assignment and discharge. If you ever feel you have been discriminated against on any issue, you must provide a written report for your complaint to both your department manager and/or supervisor.