Accessiblity

The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (“AODA”) aims to create a more accessible Ontario. Its goal is to identify, prevent and eliminate barriers to accessibility for persons with disabilities with respect to goods, services, facilities, accommodation, employment, buildings, structures, and transportation. Such barriers can include practices and policies, physical or architectural barriers, technological barriers, information and communication barriers, as well as attitudinal barriers.


This Policy is adopted pursuant to the Accessibility Standards for Customer Service, enacted by Regulation under the AODA, but it reflects the Power Workers’ Union’s longstanding commitment to accommodate the needs of persons with disabilities and to treat all people with equal dignity and respect, without discrimination based on disability or other personal characteristics.
The Power Workers’ Union (“PWU”) strives for excellence in serving all of its members. We are committed to ensuring that persons with disabilities have equal access to our services and receive the same quality of services, in a manner that fully respects their dignity and independence. Wherever possible, our services are provided to persons with disabilities and others in an integrated fashion – unless an alternate measure is necessary in order to enable a person with a disability to obtain, use or benefit from our services.


Application


This Policy applies to all persons who, on behalf of the PWU, deal with members of the public, including members of the union.
Definitions


(1) assistive device -- any device used by a person with a disability to assist them in performing a particular task or tasks or to aid them in activities of daily living (eg. communications, mobility, etc.)
(2) disability -- has the same meaning as defined in the Human Rights Code
(3) service animal -- an animal is a service animal if it is readily apparent that the animal is used by a person with a disability for reasons relating to his or her disability, or if the person provides a letter from a physician or nurse confirming that the person requires the animal for reasons relating to his or her disability
(4) support person – a person who accompanies a person with a disability in order to help with communication, mobility, personal care, medical needs, or access to goods and services
Communications


The PWU is committed to communicating with members and others who have disabilities in ways that take into account their disability and facilitate effective communications. Chief Stewards and other union representatives are trained on how to communicate appropriately with people with various types of disabilities.

Assistive Devices
While the PWU does not provide any assistive devices, we invite any person with a disability to use their own assistive device in order to access or benefit from our services. Chief Stewards and other union representatives are trained on how to interact with people who use a variety of assistive devices.


Support Persons
Members and others who have disabilities are welcome to be accompanied by a support person while visiting the PWU’s premises. At no time will a person with a disability who is accompanied by a support person be prevented from having access to his or her support person while on our premises. Chief Stewards and other union representatives are trained on how to interact appropriately with people who are accompanied by a support person.

Service Animals
We welcome members and other persons with disabilities who rely on service animals. We will ensure that individuals are comfortable bringing a service animal into our premises and that the animal’s working role will be respected at all times. Chief Stewards and other union representatives are trained on how to interact properly with people who rely on service animals.

Notice of Temporary Disruptions
If there is a temporary disruption of PWU facilities used by persons with disabilities (eg. elevator malfunction), we will provide notice of the disruption to the public on our website and by posting conspicuous signs on our premises. The notice will include reasons for the disruption and its anticipated duration. If alternative facilities are available, we will also provide notice of those as well.

Feedback
Our goal is to ensure unimpeded access to our services for all persons with disabilities, in a manner that respects their dignity and independence and is consistent with the principles of integration and equal opportunity. We welcome and appreciate feedback on whether our services are being provided in a manner that achieves this goal.
Feedback can be provided to us by phone or in writing by email, fax, regular mail or personal delivery. If you prefer to provide feedback in person, an appointment will be arranged.
Please address your feedback or appointment request to the following individual:

Catherine Hinton
Executive Assistant to the President
244 Eglinton Ave. East
Toronto ON M4P 1K2
Tel: 416-322-2430
Fax: 416-322-2454
E-mail: chinton@pwu.ca

The privacy and confidentiality of individuals who contact us will be respected. However, we also welcome anonymous feedback.
We will endeavour to acknowledge all feedback (except anonymous feedback) within two business days, with the understanding that follow-up may be required. All feedback will be reviewed for possible action that can be taken to improve our service delivery. Where possible, complaints will be addressed immediately. However, some complaints may require more effort to address, which may take time. Complainants will be notified of the anticipated time required to address their concerns and of the actions that are ultimately taken by the PWU.
We will respond to all feedback in a manner that takes into account the complainant’s disability (if any).

Documentation
A copy of this policy will provided to any person upon request. It shall be provided in a format that takes into account a person’s disability (if any). When requesting a copy of the policy, please let us know whether you require it in an alternative format (eg. on diskette, in audio format, in large print, etc.).