Accessibility Plan

Introduction

Grand River Community Church strives to meet the needs of its employees and clients with disabilities and is working to remove and prevent barriers to accessibility.

Our organization is committed to fulfilling our requirements under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act. This accessibility plan outlines the steps we are taking to meet those requirements and to improve opportunities for people with disabilities.

Our plan shows how Grand River Community Church will play its role in making Ontario an accessible province for all Ontarians.

Client Service

Grand River Community Church is committed to providing accessible client service to people with disabilities. This means that we will provide goods and services to people with disabilities with the same high quality and timeliness as others.

Information and Communications

Grand River Community Church is committed to making our information and communications accessible to people with disabilities.

Our website will include:

  • Our accessibility plan and policies
  • Information on how to provide feedback as well as posting the information in our weekly bulletin. 

Employment

The Grand River Community Church is committed to fair and accessible employment practices.

All employees will be given our accessibility plans and policies in an accessible format or with communication support.  They will be allowed to use service animals or a support person while at work.  

Training

Grand River Community Church is committed to providing training in the requirements of Ontario’s accessibility laws and the Ontario Human Rights Code as it applies to people with disabilities.

All employees will be trained in our accessibility plans and policies as well as how to interact with a person with some disability/disabilities.

Design of Public Spaces 

Grand River Community Church will meet accessibility laws when building or making major changes to public spaces.

Concerning the upstairs room which already exists, when it is not possible for a person to use the stairs for an event, all activities pertaining to that event will be held on the ground floor. No one, regardless of their ability, will be allowed to use the upstairs room for that event.

More Information

For more information on this accessibility plan, please visit our website https://grcc.ca or contact Susan Harris at 226-486-1154 or harris.susan@me.com


Standard and accessible formats of this document are free on request from the above contact person

Accessibility Policy for Clients

Introduction

Grand River Community Church is committed to meeting its current and ongoing obligations under the Ontario Human Rights Code respecting non-discrimination.

Grand River Community Church understands that obligations under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (AODA) and its accessibility standards do not substitute or limit its obligations under the Ontario Human Rights Code or obligations to people with disabilities under any other law.

Grand River Community Church is committed to complying with both the Ontario Human Rights Code and the AODA.

Grand River Community Church is committed to excellence in serving all clients including people with disabilities.

Our accessible client service policies are consistent with the principles of independence, dignity, integration and equality of opportunity for people with disabilities.

Assistive devices

People with disabilities may use their personal assistive devices when accessing our goods, services or facilities.

In cases where the assistive device presents a significant and unavoidable health or safety concern or may not be permitted for other reasons, other measures will be used to ensure the person with a disability can access our goods, services or facilities.

We will ensure that our staff are trained and familiar with various assistive devices we have on site or that we provide that may be used by customers with disabilities while accessing our goods, services or facilities.

Sound Room volunteers are trained to operate and assist in the operation of hearing assistive devices available in the Sound Room. Ushers will be trained to operate the front door opener.

Communication

We will communicate with people with disabilities in ways that consider their disability. This may include the following:

  • reading the written information aloud to the person directly
  • exchanging hand-written notes (or providing a note taker or communication assistant)
  • providing sermon notes (when available) prior to the service
  • captioning or audio description
  • assistive listening systems
  • augmentative and alternative communication methods and strategies (e.g., the use of letter, word or picture boards, and devices that speak out)
  • sign language interpretation and intervenor services
  • repeating, clarifying or restating information

We will work with the person with a disability to determine what method of communication works for them.

Service animals

We welcome people with disabilities and their service animals. Service animals are allowed on the parts of our premises that are open to the public.

When we cannot easily identify that an animal is a service animal, our staff may ask a person to provide documentation (template, letter or form) from a regulated health professional that confirms the person needs the service animal for reasons relating to their disability.

A service animal can be easily identified through visual indicators, such as when it wears a harness or a vest, or when it helps the person perform certain tasks.

A regulated health professional is defined as a member of one of the following colleges:

  • College of Audiologists and Speech-Language Pathologists of Ontario
  • College of Chiropractors of Ontario
  • College of Nurses of Ontario
  • College of Occupational Therapists of Ontario
  • College of Optometrists of Ontario
  • College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario
  • College of Physiotherapists of Ontario
  • College of Psychologists of Ontario
  • College of Registered Psychotherapists and Registered Mental Health Therapists of Ontario

If service animals are prohibited by another law, we will do the following to ensure people with disabilities can access our goods, services or facilities:

  • explain why the animal is excluded
  • discuss with the customer another way of providing goods, services or facilities

Service animals are prohibited from the following areas:

  • Kitchen, Under the Ontario Public Health Act

Support persons

A person with a disability who is accompanied by a support person will be allowed to have that person accompany them on our premises.

  • If fees are being charged for a specific event, these will not be charged for support persons.

We will notify client of this by posting a notice in the following location(s):

  • Talking to the client
  • Main bulletin board

In certain cases, Grand River Community Church might require a person with a disability to be accompanied by a support person for the health or safety reasons of:

  • the person with a disability
  • others on the premises

Before making a decision, Grand River Community Church will:

  • consult with the person with a disability to understand their needs
  • consider health or safety reasons based on available evidence
  • determine if there is no other reasonable way to protect the health or safety of the person or others on the premises

If Grand River Community Church determines that a support person is required, we will waive any participation fee for the support person.

Notice of temporary disruption

In the event of a planned or unexpected disruption to services or facilities for customers with disabilities Grand River Community Church will notify customers promptly. This clearly posted notice will include information about the reason for the disruption, its anticipated length of time, and a description of alternative facilities or services, if available.

Services/Facilities include:

  • Sunday services
  • Youth events
  • Children’s events

The notice will be made publicly available in the following ways:

  • Website and/or social media

Training

Grand River Community Church will provide accessible client service training to:

  • all employees and volunteers
  • anyone involved in developing our policies
  • anyone who provides goods, services or facilities to customers on our behalf.

Staff will be trained on accessible customer service within one month after being hired.

Training will include:

  • purpose of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 and the requirements of the customer service standard
  • Grand River Community Church’s policies related to the customer service standard
  • how to interact and communicate with people with various types of disabilities
  • how to interact with people with disabilities who use an assistive device or require the assistance of a service animal or a support person
  • how to use the equipment or devices available on-site or otherwise that may help with providing goods, services or facilities to people with disabilities. These include:
  • Hearing assistance device
  • Automatic opener on main door
  • what to do if a person with a disability is having difficulty in accessing Grand River Community Church’s goods, services or facilities

Staff will also be trained when changes are made to our accessible customer service policies.

Feedback process

Grand River Community Church welcomes feedback on how we provide accessible customer service. Customer feedback will help us identify barriers and respond to concerns.

Customers will be notified of how to provide feedback in the following ways:

  • Website
  • Bulletin
  • Main Bulletin Board

Customers who wish to provide feedback on the way Grand River Community Church provides goods, services or facilities to people with disabilities can provide feedback in the following way(s):

  • Website and/or social media
  • Speaking with Susan Harris or a pastor or an elder
  • Placing written feedback on the offering plate

All feedback, including complaints, will be handled in the following manner:

  • Feedback will be provided to Susan Harris to resolve or to discuss with the elders if required.

Customers can expect to hear back within 30 days.

Grand River Community Church will make sure our feedback process is accessible to people with disabilities by providing or arranging for accessible formats and communication supports, on request.

Notice of availability of documents

Grand River Community Church will notify the public that documents related to accessible customer service, are available upon request by posting a notice in the following location(s)/way(s):

  • Website
  • Bulletin
  • Bulletin Board

Grand River Community Church will provide this document in an accessible format or with communication support, on request. We will consult with the person making the request to determine the suitability of the format or communication support. We will provide the accessible format in a timely manner and, at no additional cost.

Modifications to this or other policies

Any policies of Grand River Community Church that do not respect and promote the principles of dignity, independence, integration and equal opportunity for people with disabilities will be modified or removed.