Messsage from the Executive Director
At the Anchor Association, we are passionate believers in providing services for all people, regardless of their abilities and limitations. In our work to provide long-term support to Reformed Christian individuals with developmental disabilities, we understand the needs of different people will vary and we strive to support people whenever possible.
We are therefore committed to meeting the objectives and requirements outlined in the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (AODA) and its associated standards and regulations and will ensure that we offer a safe and welcoming environment that is respectful of each person’s dignity and independence. To do this successfully, we have created and are implementing a multiyear accessibility plan. This plan applies to all resident homes and the head office.
The Anchor Association is committed to providing a barrier-free environment for all stakeholders, including our residents, employees, job applicants, suppliers, the public and any visitors who may enter our premises, access our information, or use our services. This has been and will continue to be done successfully through the identification, prevention and removal of barriers. To meet this objective and the requirements under the AODA, the Anchor Association has, and will continue to, incorporate accessibility measures into our policies, procedures, training, websites, environment and best practices through a multiyear accessibility plan. This accessibility plan outlines the steps the Anchor Association is taking to meet those requirements and to improve opportunities for people with disabilities.
The AODA’s key principles of integration, equality, dignity and independence will be applied regardless of whether an individual is:
- Working or visiting our homes or head office.
- Living in one of our residential homes.
- Accessing our information.
- Seeking our services and support online or via a phone call.
As an organization, the Anchor Association is dedicated to meeting the needs of individuals with disabilities in a timely manner. We understand that providing a barrier-free environment is a shared effort, and as an organization, we are committed to working with the necessary parties to make accessibility a reality for all.
Past Achievements to Remove and Prevent Barriers
Since the inception of the Anchor Association, the goal of the organization has been to ensure it is barrier free. This serves the obvious purpose of the association to support those with disabilities and welcomes all others who are employed or visiting the homes.
Resident homes have been installed with ramps, automatic door openers, wide hallways and entrances, accessible parking, grab bars, rails, accessible dining tables, lifts, etc. The homes have been painted in calm colours in order to maintain a peaceful environment. Homes are also equipped with iPads to encourage our residents to communicate with friends and family easily. Vehicles are equipped with wheelchair accessible ramps/lifts to allow all residents to travel easily as per need.
Information and Communications
The Anchor Association has written and published an AODA Policy on its website and follows this. In 2011, management attended an AODA seminar through CCCC, submitted a report to the Board and spoke to the Home Managers about this. In addition to this, the membership was informed of this through the Annual General Meeting and newsletters.
The Anchor Association has always employed many employees and if an employee is qualified and capable, the association will strive to overcome any reasonable physical barriers.
When employed, the Association provides thorough training on the AODA through written material and a final quiz and welcomes any questions that may come up. The employees are also taught how to properly communicate with residents with different disabilities.
The Anchor Association has purchased and maintained wheelchair vans to allow for easy transportation of residents. These vehicles are regularly maintained and residents are notified if they are not available.
Accessible Built Environment
Resident homes have been equipped with ramps, automatic door openers, wide hallways and entrances, accessible parking, grab bars, rails, accessible dining tables, lifts, etc. The outdoor spaces are easily accessed through wide paths and large seating areas. There are sprinklers throughout the homes in the event of an emergency.
Strategies and Actions
The Anchor Association has a number of strategies for 2021 to meet the requirements of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act and to remove and prevent barriers to persons with disabilities.
This standard is aimed at making customer service accessible to people with disabilities.
The Anchor Association is committed to providing accessible customer service to people with disabilities. We will provide goods and services to our residents with the same high quality and timeliness as to others. We value supports to individuals with a disability in an atmosphere of trust and respect, safeguarding their dignity and independence. We will include our residents in the daily activities of the homes and value their input, recognizing their individual abilities. Timely notice will be given if services are disrupted.
Information and Communications
This standard deals with the need to provide information in accessible formats.
The Anchor Association is committed to making our information and communications accessible to people with disabilities. The Association is therefore dedicated to provide information and means of communication in a format that is suitable in a timely manner. We plan to make our website available in accessible format in the near future. A feedback option was also recently added and upon request we will be able to accommodate requests and comply as per need. Our residents have made use of alternate means of communication such as ipads and Whatsapp to communicate with their families. Newsletters are sent electronically, but hard copies will be sent upon request.
This standard addresses paid employment practices, including recruitment, hiring and retention polices and practices.
The Anchor Association is committed to fair and accessible employment practices. The Association is also 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. The Association has put great effort into updating its policies and procedures with major updates in 2020 and 2021. This is an ongoing process. The Association is dedicated to assist applicants and current employees with reasonable accommodations. An individual accommodation plan can be drawn up upon request by the employee.
This standard addresses the transportation needs of individuals with a disability who need mobility aids.
The Anchor Association is committed to providing accessible transportation options for those who have accessibility needs. The Association is dedicated to provide safe, adequate transportation for all our residents. We have two wheelchair vans which are inspected at regular intervals. The lifts have a slip resistant platform and raised edges. Restraining belts are always used during transportation and employees are trained to load and unload passengers safely. Parking lots have ample space. The driveway at Harbour Home was recently widened for easy wheelchair access to the vehicles.
Accessible Built Environment
This standard deals with the construction of outdoor spaces, trails, ramps, railings, accessible parking and service standards.
The Anchor Association is committed to continually improving each home so the needs of the residents are met with various construction efforts. The Association is aware of the requirements and has done its utmost to provide a safe and accessible environment. Our homes are accessible, including wide hallways and electric doors. Showers and tubs have grab bars. Ramps are built according to Ontario Building Code requirements and patios and gazebos have paved access to accommodate for wheelchairs. Outdoor lighting is sufficient.
For More Information
For more information on this accessibility plan, please contact the Executive Director at [email protected].
Website address: www.anchor-association.com.
Standard and accessible formats of this document are free upon request from the Executive Director.
The Anchor Association will establish, implement, maintain and document a multi-year accessibility plan, which outlines the organization’s strategy to prevent and remove barriers and meet its requirements under the regulation. The Association will post the accessibility plan on the website and provide the plan in an accessible format upon request. The plan will be reviewed and updated at least once every five years. O. Reg. 191/11, s. 4 (1).
At the Anchor Association the residents face a number of barriers and these are summarized under the following five AODA Standards: Customer Service Standard, Information and Communication Standard, Employment Standard, Transportation Standard, and Accessible Built Environment Standard. The residents’ lives are occasionally impacted by these standards and the Association continually strives to remove these barriers.
Customer Service Standard
|Explore different programs for the residents||Ongoing||Home Managers||Ongoing|
|Explore Passport opportunities for recreation||Ongoing||Home Managers
Full-time Support staff
Explore employment opportunities in the community for the residents
Full-time Support staff
Information and Communications Standard
|Reviewed AODA Policy and saved in an electronic format which allows for easier conversion to accessible formats||Up to 1 day||Executive Director
|June 30, 2021|
|Notice of revised policy on website and social media outlets was posted||
|Executive Director||June 30, 2021|
|Assess how and what information we make available to public||1 day||Executive Director
|June 30, 2021|
|Review the process for responding to requests for supports and services||1 day||Executive Director
Board of Directors
|September 1, 2021|
|Outsource website for conversion to accessible formats||4 weeks||Executive Director
|May 30, 2021|
|Develop and maintain accessible alternatives to telephone systems as needed for those who have limitations||Ongoing||Executive Director
|Post a notice on the website or other platforms that upon request, the Association will provide or arrange for the provision of accessible formats and communication supports. Consult with person making the request to determine suitability of accessible format or communication support||Up to 2 hours of work||Webmaster||June 30, 2021|
|In recruitment, assessment and selection, reasonable accommodation is available for applicants with disabilities
Inform applicants about the availability of accommodations on the website and on job postings
|1 day||Executive Director
|April 20, 2021|
|Inform all staff of revised policy and procedures||1 day||Executive Director
|May 1, 2021|
|Provide Return to Work Individual accommodation plans and return to work processes, as necessary||On request||Executive Director
|Train new staff and other stakeholders on the Anchor Association AODA policy||Ongoing||Home Managers
|Home Managers will conduct AODA staff training on an ongoing basis||Ongoing||Home Managers||Ongoing|
|Explore alternate transportation options as per need||1 week||Home Managers||December 31, 2021|
|Maintain wheelchair van, lift and ramps||Ongoing||Home Managers
Accessible Built Environment Standard
|Install strobe light fire alarm for resident who is hearing impaired||1 day||Twin Oaks Home Manager||April 15, 2021|
|Install generator in larger group homes||6 months||Executive Director
Board of Directors
|December 1, 2021
June 1, 2022
|Install outdoor lighting for safety||1 week||Home Manager||May 15, 2021|
Maintain outdoor recreational space