Administrative Procedure 144: Notification of Disruption of Service

Legal References

Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms; Ontario Human Rights Code; Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (AODA); Accessibility Standards for Customer Service; Blind Persons’ Rights Act; R.R.O. Reg. 58: Guide Dogs

Related References

1.0 Background and Expectations

The Avon Maitland District School Board makes all reasonable efforts to ensure that all practices and procedures are consistent with the principles of independence, dignity, integration and equality of opportunity for all, with particular attention to persons with disabilities. The board will welcome all members of the school and broader community to our facilities by committing our staff and volunteers to providing services that respect the independence and dignity of people with disabilities. When services normally provided to a person with a disability are temporarily unavailable, such as access to an elevator, a disruption of service notice will be posted at the site and on the school’s and/or board’s website.

To ensure greater awareness and responsiveness to the needs of a person with disabilities, the Avon Maitland District School Board provides appropriate training for all
staff who deal with the public or other third parties on behalf of the board. This training is provided to all staff and when appropriate, to volunteers. Training is also a component of the orientation of new staff within a reasonable timeframe as they are hired.

All administrative procedures, and particularly those related to the Accessibility for Ontarian with Disabilities Act, 2005, are available to the public and in a format that takes
into account a person’s disability.

2.0 Definition/Explanation of Disruption of Service

As members of the general public, people with disabilities may rely on certain facilities, services or systems in order to access the resources of the school or Education Centre. Escalators and elevators, for example, are important to people with mobility disabilities because that may be the only way they can access the premises. Other systems and services designed to meet the needs of people with disabilities can include accessible washrooms, amplification systems, and note-taking or Teletypewriter (TTY) services. When those facilities or services are temporarily unavailable, or if they are expected to be temporarily unavailable in the near future, a notice of disruption of service is required.

Generally, disruptions to all of the board’s services, such as during a major storm or power outage, do not require this special notice. However, if the disruption has a significant impact on people with disabilities, a notice of the disruption should be provided.

3.0 Responsibility

3.1 A representative(s) of the following groups: supervisory officers, principals, departmental managers, the Communications Manager, the facilities administrators/officer(s), special education staff and custodial staff will endeavour to ensure that a notice is posted for the users of board and school services when there is a disruption in services that may have an impact on access to services by people with disabilities.

3.2 Students and staff have separate and specific procedures related to disruption of facilities and services designed to meet their needs.

4.0 How Must the Notice of Disruption of Services Be Provided?

4.1 Notice may be given by posting the information at a conspicuous place at, or in, the school or at, or in, board facilities. Other options that may be used include: posting on the board and/or school website, or through direct communication with users of the services in accordance with school practices.

4.2 Consideration should be given to providing notice in multiple formats.

4.3 If the disruption is planned, notice should be provided in advance of the disruption. If the disruption is unplanned, notice should be provided as soon as possible after the disruption has been identified.

5.0 What Must Be Included in Notice of Disruption of Services

The notice of disruption of service must include information about the reason for the disruption, its anticipated duration and a description of alternative facilities or services, if any, that are available.

Sample Notices:

Sample 1 – Access to School Building
To: Parents, Guardians and Community Users of our School
The main door of the school and the access ramp will be inaccessible from (date) to (date) to facilitate the completion of maintenance work. A temporary ramp has been set up that gives access to the door at the east of the school building. We regret this inconvenience. If you have questions or concerns, please contact (name) at (phone number and/or e-mail address). Thank you.

Sample 2 – Accessible Washroom
To: Visitors to the Education Centre
Our accessible washroom is out of service due to a broken pipe. Repairs are underway and the washroom is expected to be usable again by (date). In the interim, we have made arrangements for our visitors to use the accessible washroom at (address), which is located next door to our premises. We apologize for this inconvenience. Thank you.
Amended October 2019