Canadian Linen and Uniform Service Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities - Multi-Year Accessibility Plan

Introduction:

Canadian Linen and Uniform Services is part of Ameripride;  a privately owned uniform rental and linen supply company that has serviced its customers for 125 years. For 125 years, the core values of integrity, trust, respect and responsibility have guided daily operations and leadership at Ameripride and Canadian Linen.

Canadian Linen's commitment to people with disabilities reflects our values and our vision to become an accessible organization, treating people in a way that allows them to maintain their dignity and independence while creating an inclusive work environment. Our plan seeks to remove and prevent barriers to people with disabilities.

Accessibility is more than a legal obligation. At Canadian Linen, we believe this program is good for our employees, customers and service providers. We strive to provide equal opportunity, fair and equal treatment to our employees, prospective employees and everyone who interacts with us.

This Multi-year Accessibility Plan details our approach to building an inclusive workplace.


About the Multi-Year Accessibility Plan

Canadian Linen's Multi-year Accessibility Plan is a road map that describes how we will continue to meet the needs of all our employees and other key stakeholders and meet the expectations and requirements that have been outlined in the AODA and other legislation.

Key focus areas for immediate results: What actions we are taking to achieve results and meet the objectives of the program.

Compliance with the AODA: Our approach to compliance with Ontario's accessibility legislation.

Goals and vision for our organization: Our goal is to remove barriers and make our facilities accessible and welcoming for employees, customers and service providers. Employees need to be able to function effectively and customers need to receive timely, high-quality services in a way that works for them. And we want to attract talented people to fill jobs. Building a dynamic and accessible organization that makes accommodations for people with disabilities will help us reach these goals.


Our Strategic Approach: How We Will Get There

We will establish policies, processes and practices; implement new technology where needed; make changes to infrastructure; establish accessible forms of communications; and provide awareness training.


We will achieve our results through:

Informed and committed leadership

From our CEO to our leadership teams to the front line, we are committed to becoming an accessible and inclusive workplace. As leaders in our industry, we will align and cooperate across the organization to maintain a leading advantage, and accessibility in our workplaces will be a big part of this.

Strong governance and accountability

We will appoint 'Accessibility Champions' in each of our business units to ensure we have people, tools, resources and accountability to the program.

Measurement, evaluation and reporting

We will audit the program and measure our progress and success against defined metrics and expected outcomes. Feedback will be requested from employees and other key stakeholders to help evaluate our efforts and make adjustments.

Employee Health, Safety and Wellness

Our Joint Health and Safety Committees will be required to participate in developing, maintaining and understanding accessibility and how it fits into our organization.

Quality and Compliance Assurance

Canadian Linen will appoint an Accessibility Champion to ensure that existing and new regulatory requirements are implemented and maintained. This quality assurance and audit process will help us maintain long-term organizational change.


Key Outcomes

Employees, customers or service providers with disabilities will be able to fully participate and make meaningful contributions to our business.

Information and Communications

Information is available in accessible formats upon request to all employees, customers and service providers where needed.

Operations are able to identify barriers to accessibility and actively seek solutions to prevent or remove them on a continuing basis throughout the organization.

Accessible Facilities

There will be greater accessibility in, out and around our facilities and public spaces through necessary adjustments. Increased awareness of accessibility guidelines for new builds, major remodels and lease agreements. Continue to develop strategies for addressing infrastructure barriers.

Deliverables and Timelines

We will build accessibility into new and refreshed policies, programs and programs where applicable. Accessibility criteria will be also built into decision-making, project management, procurement, technology infrastructure, IT and training as it applies to the requirements and needs under AODA.

Accessibility

Existing and new staff will be trained on accessibility. Accessible formats and communications guidelines will be produced. Management reviews on accommodation for employees with disabilities will be conducted. Communications, websites, technology solutions and documents will employ accessibility best practices. Best practices on employment accommodation and return-to-work will be identified and implemented. Better accommodations will be made for employees with disabilities (resulting from management review). Ongoing commitment to accessibility will be made by everyone in the organization. Staff and customer feedback will be sought and compiled on accessibility innovations and improvements, and adjustments to the program will be made based on that feedback.

Accessibility as an Organizational Priority

This initiative will be advanced by strong leadership, corporate communications, partnerships and consulting persons with disabilities. Appropriate consultation strategies and relationships will be established to engage persons with disabilities throughout the process.

Implementing Education and Awareness

Comprehensive initial and ongoing training will provide staff the knowledge, skills and tools they need to meet and exceed compliance requirements. Training topics include: developing alternate formats, hosting accessible meetings and creating documents, with current accessibility laws and regulations in mind.

Our progress on the AODA regulations 191/11

The following outlines our commitments and our progress in meeting accessibility standards in six key areas:

  • Customer Service
  • Information and Communications
  • Employment Standards
  • Procurement
  • Physical Environments


Customer Service Policy (3.1)

Canadian Linen and Uniform Services has developed an official policy governing accessibility and how we will achieve it in our organization. The policy is linked to the company's overall strategy and meets all the requirements of the customer service regulation. The policy will be reviewed and updated annually as part of our annual operating plan.

The policy includes a statement of commitment from the Company Senior VP Operations Canada to meet the requirements of accessibility needs of persons with disabilities.'

The policy is available to the public on the company website and available in accessible format upon request.

Accessibility Plan (4.1)

A barrier assessment has been conducted taking into accounts physical, architectural, information and communications and technological. With this assessment we will devise a plan to implement and maintain an environment that prevents and removes barriers to persons with disabilities.

We will Post an annual status report of our progress, review and update the plan as completed and thereafter as required.

Procurement (5.1)

Incorporate accessibility criteria in the procurement of goods, services and facilities where deemed reasonable and necessary to accommodate persons with disabilities.

Self-service Kiosks (6.1)

Self-service Kiosks will be installed at each of our facilities beginning in January 2016.

Training  (7.1)

Ensure that training is provided on the legally required accessibility standards to:

  • Employees, third party providers, contractors and volunteers
  • All other persons who provide goods or services or facilities on behalf of the organizations
  • Persons involved in developing the organizations policies

Training shall be appropriate to the duties of the employees, volunteers and other persons. Every person shall be trained as soon as possible and a record shall be kept of all training provided. Training has started and will be completed in August 2016.

Information and Communications feedback (11.1)

Ensure that any process for receiving and responding to feedback is accessible to persons with disabilities by providing accessible formats and communication supports.

Establish a local contact for all accessibility related calls, including providing for requests of accessible formats and communications.

Accessible Formats and Communications Support (12.1)

Provisions for communicating and providing information for persons with disabilities (employees, customers and service providers) will be provided or made available upon request. This includes websites, intranet, communications materials, desktop documents,  telephone and face-to-face communications.

We will adhere to universal design principles (compliance with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines) and best practices when developing, implementing and maintaining information and communications strategies and products ensuring that information, including emergency procedures, plans, and public safety, is readily available in a variety of alternate formats such as large print, HTML and tagged PDFs.

The goal is to achieve the most effective and efficient access to information for all users.

We will participate in and develop a training strategy to ensure that staff, partners and stakeholders have the knowledge, tools and technical advice to create accessible materials.

Emergency procedure, plans or public safety information Section (13)

In addition to the Standard Operating Procedure related to the Emergency Plans in place for the organization, the company will provide (upon request) the plan in an accessible format as soon as is practicable..

Accessible Websites and Content Section (14)

The Company will ensure internet websites and web content conform with the Worldwide Web Consortium Web Content Accessibility Guidelines as prescribed in the Act as reasonably as practicable, and in applications developed prior to January 2012.

Information about the availability of alternate formats and how to request them will be provided for applications as part of the future plans and changes to the company's website and content applications.

Employment Standards- (20-22)

Canadian Linen is committed to equal opportunity employment and making our workplaces accessible for individuals with disabilities. We will provide reasonable accommodation on request for an applicant to participate in the application and interview process. Visit our Careers website to apply on line.

The company will develop communications to notify the employees and the public about the availability of accommodation for applicants with disabilities.

The Company has a formal accommodation program for employees who have been injured or taken ill and are able to return to work with accommodations. The policies will be modified to reflect the requirements of the Act to provide where practicable, accommodation for persons with disabilities for new and ongoing employment opportunities. The programs will be documented and communicated to managers, recruiters and employees.

Recruitment, Assessment and Selection Section (23)

During an interview process, the company will notify candidates (who are selected to participate in an assessment or selection process) that accommodations are available upon request in relation to materials or processes to be used.

If a selected candidate requests accommodation, the company shall consult with applicant and provide or arrange for the provision of suitable and reasonable accommodation in a manner that takes into account the candidate's disability.

Notice to Successful Candidates Section (24)

When making an offer of employment, the company will notify the successful candidate of its policies for accommodating employees with disabilities. 

A formal standard offer of employment and position description (including accommodations being made) will be provided to successful candidates, managers and recruiters.

Informing Employees of Supports Section (25)

As part of the current program that supports persons with disabilities and in compliance with the Occupational Health and Safety Act and Human Rights Act of Ontario, the company has modified its current program to include policies that support employees with disabilities, including accommodations that take a disabled employee's accessibility needs into account.

The company will update employees on any policy changes affecting accommodation or changes to practices and changes under the various Acts impacting this program.

Accessible Formats and Communications Support for Employees Section (26)

If an employee with a disability requests an accommodation needed to perform the job, the company will consult with the employee in determining the suitability of an accessible format or communication and will arrange to provide for the employee where practicable. A planning document has been developed for this purpose and forms part of our health and safety program.

Workplace Emergency Response information Section (27)

The Company has an approved emergency response plan for each location it operates in that is reviewed regularly. Should an employee request an individualized plan or if the Company is aware of the need for an individualized plan, the Company will develop and implement the plans required. Any employee requiring assistance in an emergency will be provided the aid of a certified first aid responder to assist in an emergency. A plan document has been developed for this purpose..

Documented individual accommodation plans (section 28)

The company has a formal program within the Health and Safety programs at each location. Employees requesting accommodation due to a disability participate in the development of the plan that is suitable to meet their needs. The plan is reviewed with the employee and at the request of the employee, with their Union or physician or both. A review and re-assessment of the plan is conducted routinely or at intervals recommended by their physician based on status of the disability during the process or recovery of an injured employee. Any changes that are made to the plan are done under the consultation of the attending physician and the employee.  All matters pertaining to the individual, their privacy, health records and other confidential information is held with the Manager and Human Resources. In Compliance with PIPEDA, the company ensures employee documents are contained in a locked and secure cabinet and is only accessible by the Manager or Human Resource Department. Employees requesting documentation to be provided to a third party must do so in writing.

Return to work process (section 29)

The Company has a formal return to work program that forms part of our Health and Safety program at each location. The program is used to develop a return to work plan that takes into consideration the restrictions, limitations, accommodation requests and a graduated return to normal duties. Every plan is developed with the returning employee, their manager and their physician in ensuring a safe and timely return to work.

Performance Management (section 30)

The company has a formal performance management program that is used to assess and address improvements related to productivity, performance and effectiveness. The plan will take into consideration any needs related to a person's disability in conducting the reviews such as formats, time needed to complete or assistance to complete the review.

Career Development and advancement (section 31)

Canadian Linen is an equal opportunity employer. Every employee in the organization has an opportunity for growth and advancement and forms part of the success of the organization. Assessments to determine qualification and ability are conducted and an interview is held with the candidates under consideration. We will ensure development and advancement criteria take into account individual accommodation needs in accordance with AODA.

Redeployment (section 32)

When redeploying an employee to another department or area of responsibility, the Company will ensure taking into account an employee's disability and need for accommodation.