Accessibility: Our Policy & Plan for Providing Services to People with Disabilities
1. Our Work
Amnesty International impartially researches and exposes specific grave violations of human rights, then mobilizes public pressure to stop these violations. Its work is based on international human rights standards, such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. In Canada we provide materials, information and advice to members and activists so that they can carry out Amnesty’s work.
2. Our Commitment
- We will comply with the standards for customer service as outlined in the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA).
- We will ask people with disabilities what they need from us and make all reasonable efforts to accommodate their needs for our materials, information and advice.
- All staff as well as office volunteers, students and interns will be trained in serving persons with disabilities.
- Volunteers within our leadership structure will be trained in serving persons with disabilities.
- We will provide a) information related to the AODA and b) training information to Ontario members who act on Amnesty’s behalf.
3. Providing services to people with disabilities
a. Access to Offices
Our offices are accessible to persons with physical disabilities through a ramp or an elevator. Notices are placed on doors and standard telephone responses are changed when offices are closed.
b. Communicating with Us
We are reachable via 1-800 AMNESTY 24 hours each day as well as by calling our individual office numbers during office hours. Persons who respond to telephone calls are trained in responding on the phone to persons with disabilities. Those who cannot communicate to us via telephone may communicate via www.amnesty.ca/contact.
c. Written Material
On request, we provide written material in large-print, via e-mail or in other ways that assist persons with visual impairments. We are unable to provide our documents in Braille.
d. Support Persons & Service Animals
Support persons and service animals are welcome on our premises and at our meetings.
e. Assistive Devices
We are committed to serving people with disabilities who use assistive devices to obtain, use or benefit from our goods and services.
All staff, office volunteers, students and interns are trained in providing service to persons with disabilities. This training is provided as part of their orientation process.
All volunteers within our leadership structure, including Board Members, Fieldworkers, Coordinators, and Youth Leaders, are trained in providing service to persons with disabilities. This training is provided as part of their orientation process.
Members in Ontario who act on Amnesty’s behalf are informed about their responsibilities under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act and provided with the link to on-line training provided by the Government of Ontario.
5. Feedback Process
Feedback regarding the way Amnesty Canada provides materials, advice and information to people with disabilities can be made verbally (in person or by telephone), in writing (in person, via Canada Post, courier, www.amnesty.ca/contact, or on a disk. All feedback will be directed to the Executive Director. Persons with concerns can usually expect to hear back from the organization within one week in a way that takes their disability into account.
Persons wishing to provide feedback related to a situation occurring outside of Amnesty’s offices should do so through one of the offices – specific information about how to do this can be found on our website and by calling our offices directly.
6. Changes in Practice or Policy
All feedback will be dealt with in a respectful way and reasonable requests for changes in our practices or policy will be accommodated.
Our Accessibility Plan
Amnesty International Canada (English Speaking) is committed to excellence in serving all members and activists including people with disabilities.
We will ensure that our staff and volunteers are trained and familiar with various assistive devices that may be used by customers with disabilities while accessing our services.
We will communicate with people with disabilities in ways that take into account their disability.
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.
A person with a disability who is accompanied by a support person will be allowed to have that person accompany them on our premises and at our meetings. When a fee is required for attendance at a meeting we will waive the fee for the support person.
Notice of Temporary Disruption
In the event of a planned or unexpected disruption to services or facilities we will post notices at our offices and change telephone messages. In the unlikely event of an extended disruption in services we will also post a notice on our website.
Training for Staff and Volunteers
Amnesty will provide training to employees and office volunteers, students and interns. New staff, students and interns will receive training as part of their orientation process. Volunteers in leadership positions, e.g. board members, field workers, coordinators, youth leaders, will receive links to the training modules as they take on these roles.
Training will include:
- An overview 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
- What to do if a person with a disability is having difficulty in accessing information or materials.
- Provision of a copy of Amnesty’s accessible customer service policy and plan.
- Understanding the Human Rights Code as it relates to persons with disabilities.
Staff, office volunteers, interns, students and volunteers within our leadership structure will receive further accessibility training as required over time.
Persons who wish to provide feedback on the way Amnesty provides materials, information or advice can do this verbally (in person or by telephone), in writing (in person, via Canada Post, courier or www.amnesty.ca/contact) or on a disk. All feedback will be directed to the Executive Director. Persons with concerns can usually expect to hear back from the organization within one week in a way that takes their disability into account.
If further modifications to policies or practices become necessary as a result of feedback from persons with disabilities, Amnesty is committed to making such modification as promptly as possible.