RNAO accessibility policy


The purpose of this policy is to outline RNAO’s responsibilities for providing accessible goods and services to persons with disabilities as required by the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) and its regulations.

Regulations under AODA

Accessibility Standards for Customer Service (Ontario Regulation 429/07)

Integrated Accessibility Standards (Ontario Regulation 191-11)


This policy applies to all those employed by RNAO and to all members of the public who use our programs and services.

RNAO’s commitment

RNAO is committed to providing a respectful, welcoming, accessible, and inclusive environment for all persons with disabilities in a way that is respectful of the dignity and independence of people with disabilities and in a manner which takes into account the person's disability and embodies the principles of integration and equal opportunity.

RNAO is committed to becoming a barrier free environment and meeting the requirements of all existing legislation and its own policies and goals related to identifying, removing and preventing barriers to people with disabilities that might interfere with their ability to interact with RNAO.

RNAO is committed to, and will strive to ensure that, the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA), its regulations, standards and all other relevant legislation concerning accessibility, are rigorously observed in a timely fashion.

Key principles

Our policy is based on:

  • respect for the dignity and independence of people with disabilities

  • equal opportunity for people with disabilities to access, use and benefit from our services or programs with the same quality and timeliness that others receive

  • service integration in relation to services provided to the broader public, unless alternative ways of providing the service or program are necessary for equal opportunity

Accessibility standards

Regulations under the AODA establish standards to address barriers that people with disabilities face in the areas of customer service, information and communications, employment, transportation and the design of public spaces. The first three apply to RNAO.

1. Customer service standard

RNAO is committed to providing access to our facilities and delivering excellent service at all times in a way that respects the dignity and independence of all our visitors.

Our commitment to this is demonstrated in the following areas:

  • We will communicate with individuals with disabilities in ways that take into account their disability. This will include training staff on how to interact and communicate with the individuals with various types of disabilities.

  • We are committed to providing fully accessible telephone service to individuals with a disability. This will include training staff to communicate with the public over the telephone in clear and plain language and to speak clearly and slowly. If telephone communication is not suitable to the needs of that person or is not available, we will offer to communicate via email or in person.

  • We are committed to serving individuals with disabilities who use assistive devices to obtain, use or benefit from our services. We will ensure that our staff is trained and familiar with various assistive devices that may be used by individuals with disabilities while accessing our services. We will also ensure that staff know how to use any assistive devices available on our premises.

Use of registered service animals and support persons

RNAO is committed to welcoming individuals with disabilities who are accompanied by a service animal on the parts of our premises that are open to the public and other third parties. We will also ensure that all staff, and all others dealing with the public are properly trained in how to interact with individuals with disabilities who are accompanied by a service animal.

If the service animal is excluded from the premises by law, we will ensure that other measures are available to enable individuals who require the use of a service animal to obtain, use or benefit from our services.

RNAO is committed to welcoming individuals with disabilities who are accompanied by a support person. Any individual with a disability who is accompanied by a support person will be allowed to enter our premises with his or her support person. At no time will a person with a disability who is accompanied by a support person be prevented from having access to his or her support person while on our premises.

Notice of temporary disruption

RNAO will provide notice to visitors with disabilities in the event of a planned or unexpected disruption to services or office facilities. Where possible, we will post a notification on RNAO’s website regarding the disruption. The notice will include information about the reason for the disruption, how long the disruption is expected to last, and a description of any alternative facilities or services available (where applicable). While we cannot provide the same guarantee in emergency temporary disruption situations, every reasonable effort will be made to give adequate notice.


RNAO provides training in how to provide accessible customer service as appropriate to their duties and as required by our accessibility policies. Training covers the following:

  • A review of the

    • Purpose of AODA

    • Requirements of the regulations under AODA listed above

    • Ontario Human Rights Code as it pertains to people with disabilities

    • RNAO's policies, procedures and practices pertaining to providing accessible customer service to customers with disabilities

  • Instructions on

    • How to interact and communicate with persons with various types of disabilities

    • How to interact with persons with disabilities who use assistive devices or require the assistance of service animals or support persons

    • How to use assistive communication devices and other assistive devices available on RNAO’s premises

New staff as well as those who take on new duties that involve interaction with the public or other third parties will receive training as part of their orientation. Training will be provided as soon as is practicable upon an individual being assigned the applicable duties.

Training will also be provided on an ongoing basis when changes are made to the policies, practices and procedures governing the provision of goods or services to persons with disabilities.

RNAO will keep a record of training that includes the dates training was provided and the number of employees who attended the training.

2. Standard on information and communications

RNAO is committed to making information and feedback processes accessible to people with disabilities.

Information will be made available in accessible formats and at no additional cost, on request. RNAO will determine the most appropriate alternative accessible format or communication support, considering the needs of the person making the request and the association’s ability to deliver.

If the information cannot be converted, the person making the request will receive an explanation about why RNAO is unable to do so and a summary of the content.

Request for information and process for responding to feedback

Requests for information in accessible formats or communication supports, and feedback regarding accessibility can be made in person, via telephone, fax, e-mail or in writing.

Web content

As required by the IASR, all content added to RNAO’s website prior to January 2021 conforms with WCAG 2.0, Level A, and, as of January 2021, all new content conforms with WCAG 2.0, Level AA protocols. This applies to websites and web content, including web-based applications that RNAO controls directly or through a contractual relationship that allows for modification of the product, unless it is not practicable to conform due to the availability of commercial software or tools or both.

3. Employment standard

RNAO is committed to fair and accessible employment practices.


RNAO incorporates new accessibility requirements under the Employment Standard to ensure that barriers in recruitment are eliminated. In the recruitment process, RNAO will:

Specify that accommodation is available for job applicants with disabilities in job advertisements

Inform the candidates and the public of the availability of accommodation in its recruitment processes for applicants with disabilities:

  • when called for an interview

  • during the selection process

  • at the time of job offer

  • at orientation

Consult with the applicant and arrange for the provision of a suitable accommodation in a manner that takes into account the applicant’s accessibility needs, if the selected applicant requests an accommodation.

Return to work and individual accommodations plans

Under the Ontario Human Rights Code (the “Code”), all employers must meet the accommodations needs of employees with disabilities as fully and promptly as possible, up to the point of undue hardship (which is determined by cost, availability of alternative funding, and health and safety concerns).

RNAO will provide job accommodations that take into account an employee’s accessibility needs due to disability, where suitable and necessary.

Performance Assessment, Career Development and Advancement, and Redeployment

RNAO will ensure that barriers in performance assessment, career development and advancement, and redeployment are eliminated.

RNAO will:

  • Ensure the needs of the employees with disabilities are taken into account for the purposes of performance management, career development, advancement and redeployment

  • Include accessibility considerations in performance management processes

  • Include accessibility considerations and individual accommodation plans in career development and advancement

  • Take into account the accessibility needs of employees with disabilities when redeploying employees, including review and, if necessary, modification of employee (transfer) checklists