Introduction

Northern Commerce Inc. (Northern) is committed to working towards full compliance with current standards of the Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation (IASR) Policy, Regulation 191/11, under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (AODA). In doing so, we affirm our commitment to providing quality services in a manner that respects the dignity and independence of persons with disabilities.

Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA)

The AODA Multi-Year Accessibility Plan outlines the policies, achievements, and actions that Northern has taken and the work underway to improve opportunities for people with disabilities. The current plan covers a five-year period (2019-2024), to align with our strategic plan.

Statement of Commitment

Northern believes in equal opportunity and is committed to providing a barrier-free environment that allows all people to maintain their independence and dignity. As an organization, we respect and uphold the requirements set forth under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act and its associated Regulations and strive to meet the needs of individuals with disabilities in a timely and effective manner.

Standards of Accessibility under AODA

General Requirements

Commitment Action Status
Establishment of Accessibility Policies: Northern is committed to developing, implementing, and maintaining policies governing how we will achieve accessibility through meeting the requirements under the accessibility standards as set out by the Regulation. Creation and posting of policies to our website for the Accessible Standards for Customer Service and the AODA Integrated Accessibility Standards. Complete.
Accessibility Plans: Northern is committed to establishing, implementing, maintaining, and documenting a multi-year plan which outlines our strategy to prevent and remove barriers and meet the requirements under the regulation. Creation and posting of our Multi-Year Plan to our website.   Complete.
Training: Northern is committed to ensuring training is provided on the requirements of the accessibility standards referred to in the Regulation and the Human Rights Code as it pertains to persons with disabilities, and that such training is provided as soon as practicable. Development of training programs to educate staff and managers on AODA legislation and the Human Rights Code.  Maintenance of records of the training provided, including the date the training was provided. Ensure that training is provided on any changes to the prescribed policies on an ongoing basis. Complete.

Information and Communication Standards

Commitment Action Status
Feedback: Northern is committed to ensuring that our process for receiving and responding to feedback is accessible to persons with disabilities by providing or arranging for the provision of accessible formats and communication supports, upon request and in a timely manner. Creation of a feedback form, with communication of the form’s availability to be provided upon request and in accessible formats included in our Accessibility policy. Complete.
Accessible Format and Communication Support: Northern is committed to providing accessible formats and communication supports for persons with disabilities, upon request and upon consultation with the person making the request to determine the suitability of the support. Communication of the availability of accessible formats and communication supports to be provided upon request in our Accessibility policy. Complete.
Accessible Websites and Web Content: Northern is committed to ensuring our website and web content conform with the WWW Consortium – web accessibility guidelines – initially at Level A and increasing to Level AA and shall do so in accordance with the schedule set out in this section. Updating of company website and web content to conform with Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0 Level AA.  Ensuring website builds of our clients also meet these guidelines. Complete.

Employment Standards

Commitment Action Status
Recruitment, General: Northern is committed to fair and accessible employment practices that attract and retain employees with disabilities.  Northern will notify employees and the public of availability of accommodation for applicants with disabilities in the recruitment process. Addition of language on all job postings to make applicants aware that, in accordance with AODA, accommodation is available: “Accommodations are available for applicants with disabilities throughout the recruitment process. If you require any accommodations please let us know when you apply.” Complete.
Recruitment, Assessment and Selection: Northern is committed to fair and accessible employment practices that attract and retain employees with disabilities.  Northern will notify employees and the public of availability of accommodation for applicants with disabilities in the recruitment process. Advise selected applicants of availability of accommodation upon request.  Consult with applicants with disabilities to ensure that the accommodations provided are suitable and effective. Complete.
Notice to Successful Applicants: Northern is committed to notifying successful applicants of our policies for accommodating employees with disabilities. Inform new employees of the policies for accommodating employees with disabilities. Complete.
Informing Employees of Support: Northern is committed to informing all employees of policies that support employees with disabilities, including, but not limited to, policies on the provision of job accommodations that take into account an employee’s accessibility needs due to a disability. Incorporation of accessibility policies and processes into new hire onboarding material to inform new employees.  Communication of policy updates or changes to all employees. Complete.
Accessible Formats and Communication Support for Employees: Northern is committed to providing or arranging for the provision of accessible formats and communication support for employees when requested. Through training, educate employees on the availability of accessible formats and communication supports in accordance with the AODA. On-going and as required.
Workplace Emergency Response Information: Northern is committed to providing individualized workplace response information, where there is a need for accommodation given the nature of the disability and as soon as practicable. Creation of Workplace Emergency Response form/template, to be prepared and completed for employees who have disclosed a disability and who are being accommodated according to their disabilities.  Where required, Northern will provide assistance to specific employees with disabilities, with the employees’ prior consent, to help them evacuate the workplace in case of an emergency or disaster. Complete.
Documented Individual Accommodation Plans: Northern is committed to maintaining a written process for the development of documented individual accommodation plans for employees with disabilities.  The plan will include the Individualized Emergency Response information. Creation of accommodation policies and procedures, including a template for individualized accommodation plans. Complete.
Return to Work Plans: Northern is committed to maintaining a return to work process for employees who have been absent from work due to a disability, and will ensure that barriers in accommodation and return to work are eliminated. Creation of return to work policies and procedures, including a template for a functional abilities assessment. Complete.
Performance Management: Northern is committed to taking into account the accessibility needs of employees with disabilities, as well as individual accommodation plans, when using its performance management process in respect of employees with disabilities. Provide performance management processes that take into account the accessibility needs of employees with disabilities when required. Complete.
Career Development and Advancement: Northern is committed to taking into account the accessibility needs of employees with disabilities, as well as individual accommodation plans, when providing career development and advancement to its employees with disabilities. Ensure promotion criteria, practices, and processes take into account individual accommodation needs and plans in accordance with AODA. Complete.
Redeployment: Northern is committed to taking into account the accessibility needs of employees with disabilities, as well as individual accommodation plans, when redeployment is required. Education of leaders to ensure redeployment efforts/activities take into account the employee’s accommodation needs. Complete.