North American Trade Schools is committed to improving opportunities and providing services to our students, the public, and our staff that are free of barriers and biases. North American Trade Schools strives to ensure that key principles of independence, dignity, integration, and equality of opportunity are reflected and valued in our learning and working environments. Our conduct shall demonstrate our belief in the strength diversity brings to our communities.
It is the policy of the North American Trade Schools to support the rights of all persons with disabilities by providing equal opportunities to participate in our school with respect, independence, and dignity.
3.0 Terms and Definitions
3.1 Alternative Format
Shall mean any other ways of publishing information beyond traditional printing
3.2 Assistive Device
An assistive device is any device used by people with disabilities to help with their daily living. Assistive devices include a range of products such as wheelchairs, walkers, white canes, oxygen tanks, electronic communication devices.
A barrier is anything that prevents a person with a disability from participating in all aspects of society because of his or her disability, including:
Architectural barriers are the ones we think of first. This category includes any physical factor that impairs accessibility – things like narrow doorways and bathrooms that a wheelchair cannot turn in. The problem can be as simple as the arrangement of furniture.
3.3 Barrier Continued
Environmental barriers include things like noise levels and fragrances that trigger allergic reactions. These barriers limit where a person can go, because he or she are unable to tolerate them.
An attitudinal barrier is based on the negative attitude that one person may have towards another person. Attitudinal barriers are still commonly faced by people with intellectual and physical disabilities.
An employment barrier is something indicative of a workplace being unable or unwilling to provide the flexibility or specialized equipment required to accommodate a would-be employee.
A transportation barrier speaks to situations where people can’t participate in a service because they can’t get there, for lack of suitable and available transportation.
Communication barriers make it difficult for people with disabilities to send or receive information. A very specific barrier might be the lack of Braille on a washroom door. A more general problem might be the lack of plain language materials, making it hard for people with an intellectual disability to read documents that concern them.
A technological barrier, a policy, or practice: (“obstacle”)
As Defined by the Human Rights Code – Section 10 (1):
- 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 coordination, 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 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”)
3.6 Physical Accessibility Criteria
North American Trade Schools must be physically accessible according to the following criteria:
- designated parking areas with appropriate signage
- cut-away curb
- exterior and/or interior ramps with appropriate slopes and handrails as required
- a minimum of one automatic door entrance
- a minimum of one accessible washroom
- a minimum of one accessible classroom
- clear path of travel in entrances and hallways leading to washroom and classroom
- visually defined contrasts when any change of level occurs
4.0 PROVIDING GOODS AND SERVICES TO PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES
North American Trade Schools is committed to excellence in serving all customers including people with disabilities and we will carry out our functions and responsibilities in the following areas:
- When requested, we will communicate with people with disabilities in ways that take into account their disability.
- We will train staff who communicate with customers on how to interact and communicate with people with various types of disabilities guided by the principles of dignity, independent and equality.
- Upon request, customers with disabilities will be offered alternative communication formats that will meet the needs of the customer within a reasonable time frame.
- We are committed to providing fully accessible telephone service to our customers. We will train staff to communicate with customers over the telephone in clear and respectful manner. We will offer to communicate with customers via alternative forms of communication if telephone communication is not suitable to their communication needs or it is not available.
4.2 ASSISTIVE DEVICES
We are committed to serving people with disabilities who use assistive devices to obtain, use or benefit from our goods and services.
- We will ensure that our employees and volunteers are trained and familiar with various assistive devices that may be used by customers with disabilities while accessing our goods or services.
- Exceptions may occur in situations where North American Trade Schools has determined that the assistive device may pose a risk to the health and safety of a person with a disability or the health and safety of others on the premises. As a result of this, if a customer with a disability is prevented from accessing goods or services at North American Trade Schools will accommodate the customer by providing an alternative solution, in a timely manner, when and where feasible.
- It is the responsibility of the customer with the disability to ensure that his or her assistive device is operated in a safe and controlled manner at all times.
4.3 BILLING / STUDENT ENROLMENT CONTRACTS
We are committed to providing accessible invoices to all of our customers. We will make every effort to provide our customers with invoices in alternative accessible formats in a timely manner upon request.
We will answer any questions customers may have about the content of the invoice in person, by telephone or e-mail.
4.4 USE OF SERVICE ANIMALS AND SUPPORT PERSONS
We are committed to welcoming people with disabilities who are accompanied by a service animal on the parts of our premises that are open to the public and other third parties. We will also ensure that all employees, volunteers and others dealing with the public are properly trained in how to interact with people with disabilities who are accompanied by a service animal.
Service animals are not permitted where food preparation is being undertaken or as otherwise disallowed by law.
In the event a service animal is to be denied access to a facility, classroom or meeting room, other accommodations may be afforded, such as:
- Alternate meeting / class formats i.e. teleconferencing or online meeting where technology permits;
- Delivery of goods or service at an alternate time or location;
- Other assistive measures available to deliver a good or service to ensure quality of the outcome.
We are committed to welcoming people with disabilities who are accompanied by a support person(s). Any person with a disability who is accompanied by a support person(s) will be allowed to enter North American Trade Schools’ premises with his or her support person(s). At no time will a person with a disability who is accompanied by a support person(s) be prevented from having access to his or her support person(s) while on our premises.
The customer shall determine whether a service animal or support person(s) is necessary, however, where an employee or volunteer believes that a support person(s) should be in attendance to protect the health and safety of the customer or others, the following criteria shall be used in consulting with the customer:
- When there is a significant risk to the health and safety of the person with a disability or to others;
- When the risk cannot be eliminated or reduced by other means;
- When the assessment of the risk is based on consideration of the duration of the risk, the nature and severity of the potential harm, the likelihood that the potential harm will occur, and the imminence of the potential harm;
- When the assessment of the risk is based on the individual’s actual characteristics, not merely on generalizations, misperceptions, ignorance or fears about a disability.
Workshops and seminars sponsored by North American Trade Schools or by third parties outside of daily classroom use do occur at our facilities. For such events, service animals or support person(s) shall be permitted entry to North American Trade Schools’ facilities and meeting rooms that are open to the public, except when there are fees applied by a third party and the support person(s) was not pre-registered and / or no vacancy exists. If admission to a workshop / seminar is permitted and fees are payable to a third party, the support person(s) will be permitted to attend the event at their own cost. Costs for services (i.e. food, etc.) will be the responsibility of the support person(s). If admission to a workshop / seminar to an event is permitted and fees are payable to North American Trade Schools, the support person is permitted to attend at no cost for admission. Cost for other services (i.e. food, etc.) will be the responsibility of the support person(s).
If a service animal or support person(s) is necessary for the health and safety of a person with disabilities, or for the health and safety of other persons, North American Trade Schools will require the accompaniment of a service animal or support person(s) on North American Trade Schools premises.
Students are required to provide their own service animal or support person(s). Students are expected to inform their Admissions representative at the time of enrolling in a program with North American Trade Schools that they will be attending classes with a service animal or support person(s). The Admissions representative will inform the Admissions Director that the new student will be attending classes with a service animal or support person(s).
5.0 ACCESSIBILITY PLAN
Staff and supported persons will be surveyed annually in an effort to systematically identify existing barriers.
As barriers are identified, they will be entered onto an ongoing form maintained by the Joint Health and Safety Committee. The form will include columns to capture the following information:
- The program location
- The year in which the item was first identified
- The nature of the barrier and its type (e.g. architectural)
- Strategies for removing the barrier or for preventing its occurrence, with progress notes
- Potential or estimated cost
- Timeline for completion
- Person responsible
This form with its ongoing list of completed and uncompleted projects can be viewed by all staff via the following pathway: Accessibility Plan.
The Accessibility Plan will also be posted on North American Trade Schools’ website.(Completion date to be determined)
Staff will formally review the plan, annually, and will issue a report to staff and students. It may be that some identified barriers cannot be addressed in a timely fashion or at all. For example, cost considerations.
6.0 NOTICE OF TEMPORARY DISRUPTION
North American Trade Schools will provide customers with notice in the event of a planned or unexpected disruption in the facilities or services usually used by people with disabilities. This notice will include information about the reason for the disruption, its anticipated duration, and a description of alternative facilities or services, if available.
North American Trade Schools will make customers aware of the disruption by:
- Placing notices at all public entrances and service counters on our premises.
- Admission Director/ Education Supervisor and Instructors will inform students of the service disruption.
- If an unexpected disruption occurs, persons with disabilities will be accommodated by the use of other means to deliver the goods and services, including:
- North American Trade Schools may provide an alternative location and time to provide the customer with the disability with the goods or services (i.e. an alternative classroom location, etc.);
- Any other appropriate assistive measures available to deliver the goods and services.
7.0 TRAINING FOR STAFF
North American Trade Schools will provide training to all employees, who deal with the public or other third parties on their behalf, and all those who are involved in the development and approvals of customer service policies, practices and procedures.
AODA customer service training will be provided to all employees. Training will be provided on an annual basis for current staff to ensure all employees remain current with all policy and procedural changes.
Training will include the following:
- The purposes of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 and the requirements of 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 assistive devices available on the premises that may help with the provision of goods or services to people with disabilities
- What to do if a person with a disability is having difficulty in accessing North American Trade Schools’ goods and services
- North American Trade Schools’ policies, practices and procedures relating to the customer service standard.
Applicable staff will be trained on policies, practices and procedures that affect the way goods and services are provided to people with disabilities. Staff will also be trained on an ongoing basis when changes are made to these policies, practices and procedures 8.0 REFERENCES/RELATED DOCUMENTS
- Accessibility for Ontarians With Disabilities Act, 2005 – governed by the Ministry of Citizenship
- Ontario Education Services – Accessibility Working Group – Guide book for Policy Exemplar – Accessibility Standards for Customer Service
- Access Ontario – Breaking Barriers Together
- Human Rights Code – Duty to Accommodate
- Assessment Act
- Blind Persons’ Rights Act
- The Building Code Act, 1992
- Corporations Tax Act
- Income Tax Act
- Education Act
- Ontario Disabilities Support Program Act, 1997
- The Workplace Safety and Insurance Act, 1997
- The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms
MULTI YEAR ACCESSIBILITY PLAN – CAREER COLLEGE GROUP – 2020-2025
Multi Year Accessibility Plan – Career College Group – 2020-2025
Message from the CEO:
The Career College Group (CCG) is committed to building an inclusive and accessible learning and working environment for everyone. CCG and its divisions support the goal of the AODA to achieve accessibility for Ontarians with disabilities with respect to goods, services, facilities, accommodations, employment, building and premises. The College also affirms the rights of all persons, including those with disabilities, to have access to equal opportunity in employment, education, and accommodation in any and all dealings with our Colleges.
To Service with Excellence the Needs of our Community and the Needs of Our Graduates by Matching Skills.
Our Core Values:
Character. Connection. Communication. Consistency. Competence In fulfilling our mission and in line with our core values, CCG strives to provide its services in a way that respects the dignity and independence of people with disabilities. As such, we provide educational and training resources, student records and program information in an accessible format as required. As our world continues to evolve, CCG will continue to adapt as necessary. We therefore ask each employee to ensure they are consistently striving to ensure we are meeting our obligations with respect to accommodation for anyone and everyone who may require it. CCG is committed to creating a barrier-free environment for persons with disabilities, as well as promoting accessibility and equitable access to services and facilities.
Peter Dykstra, Vice President & CEO
IntroductionAccessibility means providing barrier-free environments and services to enable people of all abilities to fully participate in every aspect of day-to-day life. In particular, accessibility enables and empowers people with disabilities to lead their lives with independence and dignity, and encourages integration and equal opportunity.
An accessible Career College Group will mean that our campuses are able to foster engagement from the widest possible range of staff and students and in doing so, build and encourage a talented and diverse workforce and student body. An accessible CCG will mean stronger relationships with the communities in which our campuses are situated and a richer culture of diversity and inclusivity. An accessible CCG means that everyone has an equitable opportunity to achieve academic excellence and take part in a culture that inspires lives of leadership and purpose.
To that end, we are committed to meeting the accessibility standards as laid out by the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) and its related Standard Regulations (Regulation 191/11: Integrated Accessibility Standards)
The purpose of the AODA is to develop, implement, and enforce accessibility standards for people with disabilities and remove barriers for them through the identification, removal, and prevention of such barriers. To this end, the AODA mandates that each College carries out a detailed accessibility plan. Under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, Career College Group is required to develop a Multi-Year Accessibility Plan to help make Ontario accessible by 2025. We at Career College Group play many different roles to make up our organization: we are educators, service providers, employers, employees and students. Acknowledging that accessibility is everyone’s responsibility, this plan aims to clarify how everyone at CCG is working together to make our College a more accessible place.
We are committed to creating a barrier-free environment for persons with disabilities, as well as promoting accessibility and equitable access to services and facilities. As an organization, we are committed to fulfilling our requirements under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005. This accessibility plan outlines the steps we are taking to meet those requirements and to improve opportunities for people with disabilities.
We will continue to review this plan on an annual basis to ensure we are fulfilling our commitment to providing an inclusive learning and working environment for all.
We are committed to training our staff on how to provide strong customer service to persons with disabilities to tackle issues such as: myths, misconceptions, and stereotypes about persons with disabilities and how to communicate with persons with various types of disabilities. The goal is to have our staff broaden their knowledge on what it means to be accessible.
When interacting with our community, we will ensure persons with disabilities or those who require accommodation can do so comfortably, in a welcoming environment.
Upon request, we will provide educational and training resources, student records and program information in an accessible format.
Information and Communications
We have made significant efforts over the last few years to implement a more accessible learning management system (Canvas). This LMS platform is user friendly with all videos containing closed captioning and alt. texts for images. Transcripts can also be made available for download as required.
We ensure all online courses are developed with best practices in accessibility. We conduct regular program meetings to vigorously review content, including implementing quality control measures, before it is uploaded to our LMS.
We have purchased a full Adobe license for all departments to ensure documents are created, reviewed and are in compliance with AODA.
We’ve been following best practices for WCAG 2.0 A in terms of Perceivable, Operable, Understandable and Robust guidelines as per the W3C Guidelines for all our current websites. We are currently meeting the Level AA standard.
Additionally, we have added the WordPress Plugin called accessiBe* to further enhance accessibility. This tool allows users to adjust the website elements in real time according to their needs. For example, anyone can change the size of the Text on the website if they have trouble seeing). Our continued use of this tool will ensure we are able to keep up-to-date with WCAG changes. We actively audit our websites and ensure any updated content undergoes accessibility reviews prior to being launched.
All of our social media accounts comply with guidelines that take into account WCAG 2.0 Level AA and best practices in accessibility.
We at CCG are committed to providing accessibility across all stages of the employment cycle by removing barriers and creating a workplace that is accessible to all job candidates and employees. Any applicant to Career College Group that communicates the need for accommodation shall be considered in a manner that is non-discriminatory.
We have adopted a procurement best practice that considers the needs of people with disabilities. Prior to a vendor being chosen, our accounting team will ensure that the goods and/or services being purchased meet the accessibility needs of our students and/or staff who will be consuming such goods or service.
We do not currently have self-serve kiosks, however should we implement any in the future we will ensure that they are accessible.
All employees have access to a free training module provided at the time of hire. Training on AODA, OHRC and Best Practices with respect to accommodations are included in our New Employee Orientation course within our Learning Management System (CANVAS). This training is a mandatory requirement for all new employees joining CCG. We also hold regular staff and department meetings that incorporate a training component – wherever applicable, accessibility training is included in that training.
Design of Public Spaces
All of our current campus and office facilities are rented, therefore we must work in correlation with our landlords to ensure that the spaces we occupy are accessible. All renovations to our facilities/campuses are completed with accessibility needs in mind. This includes having accessible classrooms, offices and restrooms at each of our campus locations.
Career College Group is committed to providing ongoing accessible customer service to people with disabilities. This means that we will provide goods, services and facilities to people with disabilities with the same high quality and timeliness as others. Through the ongoing commitment of this multi-year plan, we will continue to gather feedback from our staff, students and the larger community to take into consideration any immediate needs as well as long term goals. Many lessons have been learned over the past couple of years which will help us create a more inclusive and accessible College.
For more information on this accessibility plan, please contact the office of the Vice President
Our accessibility plan is publicly posted at https://careercollegegroup.com/about/policies/
Standard and accessible formats of this document are free upon request
For more information on our policies or to request accessible formats or provide feedback please contact the office of the Vice President [email protected]
Standard and accessible formats are free upon request.