Service Excellence is a strategic priority of the Town of Whitchurch-Stouffville, including providing accessible customer service to people with disabilities. The Town strives to provide services in a way that respects the dignity and independence of people with disabilities, and gives them the same opportunity to benefit from our services as other customers.
The Province of Ontario has enacted legislation governing the provision of services to persons with disabilities. Please read on to see how the Town is supporting this legislation.
Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act
The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (AODA) is provincial legislation that aims to achieve full accessibility throughout the Province by the year 2025. This legislation requires both public and private sectors to adhere to Accessibility Standards in a number of key areas:
- Customer Service
- Integrated Accessibility (Information and Communication; Transportation; Design of Public Spaces)
- Built Environment (enhancements to the Ontario Building Code)
All policies, practices and procedures developed from the standards must be consistent with the AODA's core principles:
- Equal Opportunity
The accessibility standards are being established in stages by regulation, developed by provincial committees comprised of people with disabilities, representatives of the private, public and not-for-profit sectors and the Government of Ontario.
Accessibility Standards for Customer Service
Accessibility Standards for Customer Service, Ontario Regulation 429/07, was the first regulation to come into force and took effect for public sector organizations on January 1, 2010. The Town has complied with this legislation, which includes the following areas:
- Policies and procedures on providing goods or services to people with disabilities
- Communication with persons with a disability in a manner that takes into account their disability
- Policies relating to people with disabilities using assistive devices, service animals and support persons to access services
- Staff training in the legislation
- Customer feedback regarding the provision of customer service to persons with disabilities
- Notice of service disruptions when facilities or services that people with disabilities rely on are temporarily disrupted
To view the Town Accessible Customer Service Policy, Accessible Customer Service Guidelines and AODA Compliance Report, please click the following links:
Integrated Accessibility Standards
Integrated Accessibility Standards, Ontario Regulation 191/11, came into force on July 1, 2011, with compliance dates phased through to 2021. The Town has complied with requirements effective in 2011, 2012 and 2013, and is preparing for the applicable requirements under the Regulation that are effective January 1, 2014.
Annual Accessibility Planning
Under the Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2001 (ODA), all municipalities have an obligation to prepare an annual accessibility plan. The Town of Whitchurch-Stouffville whole-heartedly supports the spirit of the Act, which is to work towards the prevention, identification and removal of barriers that restrict opportunities for people with disabilities. To this end, the Town has prepared eleven (11) annual Accessibility Plans. The Draft 2013-17 Accessibility Plan describes barrier removal initiatives accomplished in 2012, and outlines measures in 2013-17 for improving access for all citizens to Town facilities and services.
For more information, please click the links to see the draft 2013-17 Town Accessibility Plan and the 2012 Accessibility Plan:
Please forward any written comments on the Draft 2013-17 Plan to the CAO Office, Attention: Gary Sumner, or via e-mail to email@example.com, or call (905) 640-1910 ext. 2267 (toll-free: 1-855-642-8697, ext. 2267), by May 10, 2013.
Accessibility Advisory Committee
The Town of Whitchurch-Stouffville Accessibility Advisory Committee advises Council on accessibility planning and related standards to prevent and reduce barriers experienced by persons with disabilities. For more information and a list of the Committee members, please click here:
We invite your comments relating to the provision of customer service to residents with disabilities. You may use the following feedback form:
Resources and Information for Municipal Contractors – Accessible Customer Service Training
Businesses that the Town of Whitchurch-Stouffville has contracted to provide goods or services to customers on behalf of the Town must ensure that their employees are trained in providing accessible customer service. Click below for more information and resources:
For more information, contact the Town’s Manager of Human Resources and Strategic Initiatives, Gary Sumner, 905-640-1910, ext. 2267 (toll-free: 1-855-642-8697, ext. 2267) or by e-mail at: firstname.lastname@example.org