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Accessibility

Town's 2024 Accessibility Plan

 2023 Status Report 

Integrated Accessibility Standards - Policy and Procedures 

2023 Accessibility Compliance Report 

The Town of Goderich is committed to being responsive to the needs of all its residents. To do this, we must recognize the diverse needs of all of our residents and respond by striving to provide services and facilities that are accessible to all. As an employer, and a provider of services, the Town of Goderich is committed to ensuring its services are provided in an accessible manner.

The Town of Goderich will promote accessibility through the development of policies, procedures and practices and by ensuring they consider people with disabilities. To do this we must ensure the policies, procedures and practices address integration, independence, dignity and equal opportunity.

The Town of Goderich's employees will be trained in respect of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (AODA) and the Human Rights Code.  This will include training staff and volunteers in all aspects of Customer Service, establish a feedback process for suggestions and complaints, set policy for support persons, notices of service disruption, accommodation for service animals, formation of documents and make available assistive devices as required.

BrowseAloud

If you have trouble reading online, learn how to make your computer speak back to you.

The Town of Goderich has a speech-enabled website that uses BrowseAloud, free software for people who have difficulty reading online. This includes people with mild visual impairment, people who speak English or French as a second language, or people with dyslexia or learning disabilities.

  1. Follow the simple steps to download and install BrowseAloud.
  2. Once installed, as your mouse pointer moves over the words on a web page, they are spoken out loud. For most browsers, you can also choose to have the text highlighted as it is read. Or, you can ask BrowseAloud to read a complete page to you. To stop the reader at any point, just press the Ctrl key on the keyboard.
  3. For detailed instructions, visit the BrowseAloud website.

 

 Huron County Accessibility Annual Awards
 

Huron County 2023 Accessibility Awards of Merit for Barrier-Free Design

This Award promotes public awareness of the importance of barrier-free design and recognizes excellence in accessibility design. Awards are presented to the owner of a building or facility that has been designed or renovated with special regard to accessibility for persons with a disability. There are 2 award categories – Business and Public Sector.

 

The following is a listing of the 2023 Award Recipients:

 

The Riverview Local Eatery is the winner of the Business Award of Merit for Barrier Free Design.

Curtis and Samantha Wells, owners of the Riverview Local Eatery, took outstanding care and effort with their restaurant renovations so that it may be enjoyed by everyone. Their renovations include new accessible door pads on all entrance doors, a patio suitable for diners with mobility devices, and an accessible bathroom which includes power door openers and closers. This space sets a high standard for the safety, independence, and dignity of all in Huron County.

 

Municipality of Central Huron is the winner of the Public Award of Merit for Accessibility Programming.

Central Huron was selected for this award for their outstanding effort in educating the public on the importance of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, International Accessibility Regulatory Standards and requirements, raising awareness and advancing understanding about the need for barrier free design and accessibility generally.

 

The Township of Ashfield-Colborne-Wawanosh is the winner of the 2023 Public Award of Merit for Barrier Free Design.

The Township of Ashfield-Colborne-Wawanosh (ACW) has taken outstanding care and effort with their renovations so that their municipal services may be accessible to everyone. The Township was commended for their thoughtfulness in designing the public entrance, the staff entrance, the public washroom, staff washroom, and the reception area to create a welcoming and inclusive municipal services space that invites all people.

  

Eligibility Criteria

Structures that qualify for this award include:
• New public or private buildings or facilities, the design of which incorporate barrier-free accessibility;
• Existing buildings or facilities that have been re-designed or renovated to incorporate barrier-free accessibility.
• Satisfies the requirements of use and heightens the integration of people with disabilities in the community;
• Incorporates practical, useful, and innovative solutions to typical barriers.

 

Information on how to nominate a business for the 2023 Awards will be posted when it becomes available. 

 

Sandra Thompson Memorial Accessibility Champion Award

The Accessibility Champion Award was established in 2022 to honor the memory of Sandra Thompson and to celebrate the International Day of Persons with Disabilities.

Sandra Thompson was dedicated to promoting accessibility in Huron County, was a leader in inspiring others to improve accessibility in our community and worked as the Accessibility Coordinator for the County of Huron until 2016. She was from the Bluevale area.

 

The Accessibility Champion Award recognizes and honours an individual in Huron County who:

  • Has shown dedication and commitment to promoting accessibility in our community
  • has demonstrated exemplary commitment & leadership towards advancing accessibility
  • is working to build a more inclusive community
  • is making a difference in the lives of people living with a disability

 

 

2023 Sandra Thompson Memorial Accessibility Champion Award Recipient:   Carol Leeming

Carol Leeming is a life-long resident of Huron County who grew up on a farm near Seaforth. She attended the University of Guelph where she received a BA in Geography and a master’s degree in Rural Planning.  After graduation, Leeming worked as a Planner and Community Economic Developer with the Huron County Planning and Development Department. During her time as a planner, she served as the planning representative on the HCAAC.

In 2019, Leeming took on the position of HCAAC Accessibility Coordinator, a position she held until 2023.

Upon receipt of the award, Carol Leeming said, “The enthusiasm and dedication of the accessibility committee members has inspired me to be an accessibility advocate every day and to be a champion for accessibility forever.”

 

Information on how to nominate an individual for the 2024 Sandra Thompson Memorial Accessibility Champion Award will be posted once it becomes available. 

 

 Accessibility Standards for Customer Service & Use of Assistive Devices

 Purpose

The Town of Goderich is committed to being responsive to the needs of all its residents. To do this, we must recognize the diverse needs of all of our residents and respond by striving to provide services and facilities that are accessible to all. As an employer, and a provider of services, the Town of Goderich is committed to ensuring its services are provided in an accessible manner.

The Town of Goderich will promote accessibility through the development of policies, procedures and practices and by ensuring they consider people with disabilities. To do this we must ensure the policies, procedures and practices address integration, independence, dignity and equal opportunity.

 Principles
 Reasonable efforts will be made to ensure the following:
  1. That goods and services be provided in a manner that respects the dignity and independence of persons with disabilities.
  2. The provision of goods and services to persons with disabilities, and others, will be integrated unless an alternate measure is necessary, whether temporarily or permanently, to enable a person with a disability to obtain, use or benefit from the goods and services.
  3. Persons with disabilities will be given an opportunity - equal to that given to others - to obtain, use and benefit from the goods and services.
 Procedures and Practices
 Procedures and practices will strive to reflect or achieve the following:
  1. Communication will be considered, in a manner that takes into consideration a person's disability.
  2. Staff will receive appropriate training.
  3. Persons with disabilities accompanied by a guide dog or service animal will be permitted in those areas of the premises owned or operated by the Town of Goderich that are open to the public and meet public health guidelines.
  4. Persons with disabilities accompanied by a support person will be permitted to be accompanied by that support person in premises open to the public.
  5. Admission fees will be waived for a support person who accompanies a person with a disability.
  6. Notice will be provided when facilities or services that people with disabilities rely on to access Town of Goderich services are temporarily disrupted.
  7. The Town of Goderich will establish a feedback process to allow people to provide feedback on how we are providing services to person's with disabilities.
  8. The Town of Goderich will allow persons with disabilities to use their own personal assistive devices to obtain, use or benefit from the services offered by the Town of Goderich.
 Procedures
 
 Support Persons
  1. Support person means, in relation to a person with a disability, another person who accompanies him or her in order to help with communication, mobility, personal care or medical needs or with access to goods or services.
  2. The Town of Goderich will allow people with disabilities, who require, to be accompanied by a support person in all Town owned and operated public facilities. The Town of Goderich reserves the right to request the person with a disability be accompanied by a support person, in the event that it is considered necessary to protect the health and safety of the person with a disability or others on the premises.
  3. The Town of Goderich will waive admission fees for support persons who accompany a person with a disability, into facilities where admission is charged.
    1. Member of public should notify a staff member about the presence of the support person.
    2. If there is confidential information to be disclosed, consent must be received from the person with the disability.
 Feedback Process

Should a member of the public wish to make a complaint regarding the service they have received:

  1. The member of the public with the complaint or concern should have a discussion with the staff person at the Town of Goderich who is involved in the situation.
  2. Should the discussion not resolve the complaint or the member of the public is uncomfortable discussing the issue with the staff person, the member of the public shall fill out a complaint form. The staff person can assist the member of the public with the complaint form in a manner that takes into consideration their disability.
  3. The information to be provided by the member of the public shall include their personal contact information, the date, a description of the complaint, and what the member of the public is requesting in order to resolve the complaint. This information shall be documented on the complaint form.
  4. The complaint shall be forwarded to the Supervisor and Senior Management Team member responsible for the department, and the Chief Administrative Officer.
  5. The department Supervisor and/or Senior Management Team member of that department will attempt to resolve the complaint in a timely manner.
  6. The member of the public will be contacted once a resolution has been reached.

 

Should a member of the public wish to provide the Town of Goderich with a suggestion on how to improve our service:

    1. Member of the public will inform staff member of the suggestion.
    2. Staff member will assist member of the public in filling out the suggestion form, should they require assistance.
    3. Member of the public will be notified in a timely manner of how the Town of Goderich will proceed with their suggestion.
    4. Staff response should include: an explanation of how we will implement the suggestion, a response indicating further investigation or an explanation why we are unable to implement the suggestion.

The Town of Goderich welcomes feedback on how we provide accessible customer service.   Customer feedback will help us identify barriers and respond to concerns.   All feedback including complaints and suggestions shall be recorded on a complaint/comment form, and forwarded to the Department head, Senior Management Team member for that department, and the Chief Administrative Officer.  The Town of Goderich ensures our feedback process is accessible to people with disabilities by providing or arranging for accessible formats and communication supports, on request.   

 Service Disruption
  1. If, in order to obtain, use or benefit from a provider's goods or services, persons with disabilities usually use particular facilities or services of the provider (for example, elevators) and if there is a temporary disruption in those facilities or services in whole or in part, the Town of Goderich shall give notice of the disruption to the public.
  2. Notice of the disruption must include information about the reason for the disruption, its anticipated duration and a description of alternate facilities or services, if any, that are available.
  3. Notice will be given by posting the information at a conspicuous place on premises owned or operated by the provider of goods or services, as well as by posting it on the Town of Goderich website.
  4. If the Town of Goderich Website should expect a temporary service disruption, advance notice where possible, keeping with the conditions of section 9, shall be provided on the website.
 Service Animals

For the purpose of this policy, a 'service animal' is defined as either:

  1. A "guide dog," as defined in section 1 of the Blind Persons Rights' Act; or
  2. A "service animal" for a person with a disability. For the purpose of this policy, an animal is a service animal for a person with a disability,
    1. if it is readily apparent that the animal is used by the person for the reasons relating to his or her disability; or
    2. if the person provides a letter from a physician or nurse confirming that the person requires the animal for reasons relating to the disability.
  3. The Town of Goderich will allow the person and the animal onto all Town of Goderich owned and operated public facilities that are open to the public, and will ensure that the person is permitted to keep the animal with him or her unless the animal is otherwise excluded by law.
  4. If a service animal is excluded by law from the premises, the provider of goods or services shall ensure that other measures are available to enable the person with a disability to obtain, use or benefit from the provider's goods or services.
 Format of Documents
  1. The Town shall be obligated to provide or arrange for accessible formats and communication supports for persons with disabilities:

    a)      Upon request in a timely manner that takes into account the persons’ accessibility needs due to a disability;

    b)      At a cost that is no more than the regular cost charged to other persons;

    c)      Consult with the person making the request and determine suitability of an accessible format or communication support;

    d)      Notify the public about the availability of accessible formats and communication supports.

     

    Alternate formats that should be considered by the Town of Goderich and the person with the disability will include, but are not limited to:

Print Requests:

Requests for alternate formats should be honoured in the most practical manner depending on the media chosen, the size and complexity of the document, the quality and source of the documents, the feasibility of the request (including the cost) and the number of documents to be converted. It should be noted that when request for one of these formats is received and deemed feasible, staff should make every attempt to respond to the request in the most practical manner and to the satisfaction of the requestor. If it is determined that the format requested is not feasible, then other alternate methods of providing the information should be explored that will still meet the needs of the requestor (e.g. Audio CD or explaining the information verbally etc.).

  1. Employee receives request from member of the public for alternate format.
  2. Employee fills out alternative format request form.
  3. Forwards request onto the relevant department and the appropriate corporate department;
  4. The department head and the appropriate corporate department determine feasibility;
  5. Proceeds with alternate format request.
  6. If not feasible; contact individual with feasible solution.

ASL Interpreter Request: 

  1. Employee receives request from public for ASL Interpreter.
  2. Employee fills out alternative format request form.
  3. Forwards request onto the relevant department and the appropriate corporate department.
  4. The department contacts Canadian Hearing Society to make request.
  5. Once Canadian Hearing Society confirms attendance of ASL Interpreter, the department contacts individual.
  6. If ASL Interpreter is not available, individual will be contacted with an alternate solution.

Feasibility will be determined based upon cost in relation to size of document and time associated with processing document requests.

The time frame attached to the conversion process varies depending on the media chosen, the size, complexity, quality of source documents and number of documents to be converted. Documents shall be returned in a timely manner depending on the factors previously noted.

Conversion shall be processed in-house wherever possible. When a member of the public requests a piece of Town documentation in a multiple format, the department of origin shall be responsible for the cost of the conversion, materials and distribution, not the public requestor.

In-house printing, where possible, should adhere to the CNIB's Clear Print Standards.

 Training

The Town of Goderich is committed to training all staff and volunteers in accessible customer service, other Ontario accessibility standards and aspects of the Ontario Human Rights Code that relate to persons with disabilities.  

 

In addition, the Town of Goderich will train:

a)      Every person who deals with members of the public or other third parties on behalf of the Town, whether the person does so as an employee, agent, volunteer or otherwise.

b)      Every person who participates in developing the Town's policies, practices and procedures governing the provision of goods or services to members of the public or other third parties.

Training of our employees and volunteers on accessibility relates to their specific roles.

 

Training includes the requirements of this Policy and:

  • The purpose of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 and the requirements of the Customer Service Standards
  • Town of Goderich policies related to the Customer Service Standards
  • How to interact and communicate with persons with various types of disability.
  • How to interact with persons with disabilities who use an assistive device or require the assistance of a guide dog or other service animal or the assistance of a support person
  • How to use equipment or devices available on-site or otherwise that may help with the provision of goods or services to a person with a disability.  
  • What to do if a person with a particular type of disability is having difficulty accessing the provider's goods or services.

 

The Town of Goderich trains every employee as soon as practicable after being hired and provides training in respect of any changes to the policies. 

 

The Town of Goderich logs and retains records which record the details of the training provided, as well as the name of the person(s) and date the training was completed.

 

The Town of Goderich will customize the training going forward, based on the actual experiences, usage of the persons with disability in Town of Goderich owned or operated facilities and legislative requirements as they come down from the province.

 Assistive Devices
  1. The Town of Goderich will allow persons with disabilities to use their own personal assistive devices to obtain, use or benefit from the services offered by the Town of Goderich
  2. Should a person with a disability be unable to access the Town's services through the use of their own personal assistive device, the Town of Goderich will ensure the following measures:
    1. Determine if service is inaccessible, based upon individual requirements.
    2. Assess service delivery and potential service options to meet the needs of the individual.
    3. Notify person with disability of alternative service and how they can access the service, temporarily or on a permanent basis.

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Goderich Town Hall: 57 West Street, Goderich, ON N7A 2K5, Phone: 519-524-8344, Email: townhall@goderich.ca
Tourism Goderich: Phone: 519-524-6600, Toll-Free: 1-800-280-7637, Email: tourism@goderich.ca

By GHD Digital