This policy affirms Choice Properties REIT’s (“Choice Properties” or the “Company”) commitment to meeting the accessibility needs of persons with disabilities in a timely manner and in a way that respects their dignity, independence, and rights of equal opportunity access.
- “Accessible formats” – means formats that are an alternative to standard print and are accessible to persons with disabilities. Accessible formats may include, but are not limited to, large print, braille, recorded audio and electronic formats.
- “Accommodation” – means an arrangement made with, or assistance provided to, persons with disabilities, to ensure their equal access to Choice Properties’ sites, services, employment and programs. Accommodation will vary depending on the person’s unique needs.
- “Barrier” – means anything that prevents a person with a disability from accessing Choice Properties’ sites, services, employment or programs, including physical, attitudinal and technological barriers, and inadequate information or communication.
- “Communication” – means the interaction between two or more persons where information is provided, sent or received.
- “Communication supports” – means supports that facilitate effective communication, and may include plain language formats, sign language and captioning.
- “Disability” – means any degree of physical, mental, emotional, developmental or learning impairment, and includes temporary and permanent disabilities, visible and invisible disabilities (e.g. visual, hearing or mental impairment, or learning or developmental disabilities).
- “Information” – means data, facts and knowledge that exists in any format, including text, audio, digital or images.
- “Mobility Aid” – means a device used to facilitate the transport, in a seated posture, of a person with a disability.
- “Mobility Assistive Device” – means a cane, walker, or similar aid.
3. Choice Properties’ Commitment to Accessibility
Choice Properties is committed to identifying, removing and preventing barriers to accessibility for persons with disabilities. We comply with applicable legal and regulatory requirements, including those set out in human rights and accessibility-related legislation. We will ensure that:
- sites, services, employment and programs are provided in a manner that respects the dignity and independence of persons with disabilities;
- information and communication are provided in accessible formats where requested; and
- accessibility is integrated into our regular workplace processes, thereby providing equal access and opportunity across all stages of the employment lifecycle for colleagues with disabilities.
Further to these commitments, Choice Properties’ Multi-Year Accessibility Plan (the “Plan”; Appendix “A”) outlines the Company’s phased-in strategy for identifying, removing and preventing barriers to accessibility.
- The Plan is posted on our website (www.choicereit.ca) and will be provided in alternate formats upon request.
- The Plan will be reviewed and updated at least once every five years.
4. Accessible Information and Communication
4.1 Accessible Websites and Web Content
Choice Properties’ website and web content will conform to level AA of the Worldwide Web Consortium’s (W3C) Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG). Conformance with level AA will be in place by 2021.
4.2 Accessibility is integrated into Choice Properties’ communication methods as follows:
- Feedback – Choice Properties ensures its process for receiving and addressing feedback is accessible by providing or arranging for the provision of accessible formats and communication supports, upon request.
- Accessible Formats and Communication Supports – Choice Properties recognizes that persons with disabilities may use alternative methods to access information or services and will upon request provide, or arrange for the provision of, information and communication in an alternative format. The Company will consult with the person making the request in determining the suitability of an accessible format or communication support.
- Feedback or accessibility requests are accepted by phone at 1-416-628-7771, in writing to Choice Properties REIT, c/o Human Resources, 22 St Clair Avenue East, Suite 700, Toronto, Ontario, M4T 2S or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org
5.1 Emergency Response Plans
Choice Properties provides workplace emergency response information to its colleagues. An alternative emergency preparedness plan will be completed, and updated as required, for each colleague with a disability for whom the Company is aware an individualized plan is necessary.
5.2 Accessibility is integrated into Choice Properties’ employment-related practices as follows:
- Choice Properties notifies all internal and external job applicants, in job postings and when inviting an applicant to an interview or assessment, that accommodation is available upon request. When arranging accommodation, the Company will consult with the job applicant to determine their specific accessibility needs.
- When an offer of employment is made, Choice Properties notifies the successful applicant of its policies for accommodating employees with disabilities
- Choice Properties informs its colleagues of its policies relating to accessibility for colleagues with disabilities, including during orientation and onboarding.
- In response to a colleague request, the Company will, in consultation with the colleague, provide or arrange for the provision of accessible formats and communication support for information that is required in order for the colleague to perform their job and access information that is generally available to colleagues in the workplace.
- The Company is committed to accommodating colleagues’ disabilities. Colleagues requiring accommodation should advise their manager and/or Human Resources Business Partner (HRBP). Colleagues may be required to support their request with medical documentation. The Form for colleagues to take to their physician in this regard will be provided by the manager or HRBP. In Ontario, the Company will develop written individual accommodation plans for colleagues with disabilities.
5.2.3 Return to Work from Disability-Related Leave
- Choice Properties maintains a documented return to work process outlining how the Company facilitates the return to work of colleagues who have been absent from work due to a disability and require accommodation in order to return. In Ontario, the process includes the use of a written individual accommodation plan.
- Colleagues should notify their manager and/or HRBP of an impending return to work as far in advance of the return to work as possible.
5.2.4 Performance Management and Career Development
Choice Properties will take the accessibility needs of colleagues with disabilities and individual accommodation plans into account in all performance management and career development processes.
Where Choice Properties redeploys a colleague with a disability, the colleague’s accessibility needs and individual accommodation plan will be taken into account, so that the colleague’s accommodation needs are met.
Accessibility is integrated into Choice Properties’ training programs as follows:
Choice Properties ensures training is provided to colleagues, and those who provide services on the Company’s behalf on the standards set by applicable provincial legislation regarding accessibility as well as any aspect of human rights legislation relating to persons with disabilities.
- appropriate to the duties of the person undergoing training;
- provided before or as soon as possible after the person commences job duties and whenever Choice Properties alters its policies or practices regarding accessibility.
7. Reference Documents
- Multi-Year Accessibility Plan (Appendix “A”)
- Emergency Preparedness Plan
- Medical Accommodation Plan
8. Final Say
Interpretation of this Policy rests jointly with the Vice President of Human Resources & Senior Vice President, General Counsel & Secretary.