Accommodation and Accessibility Policy

Type: Operational

Target audience: Public

1.0 Rationale

The Ontario Trillium Foundation is committed to promoting a healthy work environment where employees can participate fully in all aspects of their job. We offer a barrier-free workplace that is accessible to all employees, stakeholders and people with disabilities.

2.0 Purpose

This policy outlines OTF’s compliance with The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, and approach to workplace accommodation, accessibility, customer service standards and communication.

3.0 Policy

The Foundation will seek to provide accommodation and accessibility both individually and systemically to provide a workplace that is accessible to all employees, stakeholders and people. 

OTF complies with The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (AODA) in ensuring that its programs and services are fully accessible to people with disabilities. Most importantly, the core principles of the Act - independence, dignity, integration, equality of opportunity for people with disabilities - are aligned with inclusion, one of the six strategic enablers, or building blocks, that help us achieve our mission. We support initiatives that remove barriers and promote or increase equitable access to social and economic participation in community life.

3.1 Scope

This policy applies to all Foundation employees, stakeholders and to members of the general public in their interactions with the Foundation.

3.2 Workplace Accommodation

All reasonable and possible measures will be taken to accommodate employees with disabilities in a manner which respects their dignity, is equitable and which enhances their ability to perform their work and fully participate in employment at the Foundation. Both essential and non-essential duties of the job will be considered and accommodation will be made, wherever possible. In the event it is determined that accommodation cannot be made, undue hardship must be satisfactorily demonstrated to the CEO, in consultation with Human Resources.

The scope of accommodation may include job redesign, work station modification, employment policy and practice modification, communication services, human or animal support services and building modification, where feasible.

3.3 Accessibility

Aligned with the Foundation’s commitment to deliver barrier-free customer service, the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (AODA) has created a framework to support this goal. Through the Accessibility Standards for Customer Service, people of all abilities will have access to the customer service they need.

3.4 Customer Service Standards

The standards, practices and procedures are aligned with our support for the AODA principles of dignity, independence, integration, and equal opportunity.

Customer Service Standards 

  • All OTF staff and volunteers provide services that respect the dignity and independence of persons with disabilities.
  • Provision of services to persons with disabilities will be integrated unless an alternative measure is necessary, on a temporary or permanent basis, to enable the person full access to the service.
  • Persons with disabilities are given an equal opportunity to services as others.
  • If at any time OTF is hosting an event that includes a charge for participation, OTF will waive that charge for support persons.
  • OTF, its staff, volunteers and service providers communicate in a manner that takes into account a person’s disability.
  • OTF ensures that policies, practices and procedures that support accessibility will be documented and reviewed and will be accessible to the public.
  • OTF provides a public feedback mechanism on its Customer Service Standards through its website.

Customer Service Standards Procedures

  • All Foundation staff and volunteers receive training on the Customer Service Standards as soon as reasonably possible after joining the Foundation.
  • Accessibility Standards for Customer Service (AODA) training is a key component of the OTF Corporate Orientation Program for staff and volunteers. Training for Grant Review Team members is provided by local Program Managers as part of local orientation and training for OTF Board members and OTF employees is provided in group or individual sessions by Human Resources staff. The training includes:
    • Serving Customers with Disabilities (AODA video)
    • Information on The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005
    • Information on the Foundation’s current Accessibility Services and Support
    • The Foundation’s Accommodation and Accessibility Policy
  • The names of individuals receiving this training are recorded as required by The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005; this documentation is filed with Human Resources.
  • OTF ensures that staff, volunteers and any contracted service providers understand the importance of communicating in a manner that is respectful, pro-active and responsive to the needs of a person with a disability.


  • Responsive communication skills training forms a key component in the OTF Corporate Orientation Program.
  • OTF provides a variety of personal assistive devices including: JAWS (Job Access with Speech) and special keyboards and headphones.
  • OTF ensures that its written materials use respectful and inclusive language, and makes concerted efforts to use plain language in all its communications.
  • Many OTF resources are available in different formats.
  • OTF will provide accommodation for special needs, such as sign language interpretation or services to support accommodation needs.
  • The use of service animals and the use of support persons for people with disabilities are welcomed at all OTF offices.
  • Our volunteers are aware and respectful of the needs of people with special needs and the organizations that support them.
  • Our staff is comfortable serving customers with disabilities and our services can be provided in different ways.
  • The Public Affairs Department is responsible for monitoring the website and intranet and responding to any questions or feedback from staff, volunteers and the public on OTF’s accessibility practices and policies.

The Head of Human Resources (or designate) will respond to any internal or external questions or feedback on the Foundation’s accessibility practices and policies within 10 business days of the request.

4.0 Definition of disability

The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (AODA) uses the same definition of “disability” as the Ontario Human Rights Code, which includes both visible and non-visible disabilities.

People can have one or a combination of the following disabilities:

  • Physical disabilities
  • Vision loss
  • Deafness or being hard of hearing
  • Intellectual or developmental disabilities
  • Learning disabilities
  • Mental health disabilities
  • Other disabilities