This is the Avenue Road Baptist Church policy on providing a wheelchair accessible church environment to people with disabilities. This policy contains items that meet the requirements of the customer service standard, and also items that are not specifically required, but are good practices. Note that the policy may be revised as other standards are introduced under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005. This policy is excerpted from the publication "Church Guide To Accessibility": Christian Horizons; Kitchener, Ontario - 2010.
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Table of Contents:
1. Our Vision:
As the people of Avenue Road Baptist
Church, we exist to declare the reign of God in Jesus
Christ, by the power of the Holy Spirit, living God's love:
• in word,
• in worship,
• in service,
• in community.
In fulfilling our mission, Avenue Road Baptist Church strives at all times to provide its programs and services in a way that respects the dignity and independence of people with disabilities. We are also committed to giving people with disabilities the same opportunity to access our programs and services and allowing them to benefit from the same services, in the same place and in a similar way as other church attendees.
Avenue Road Baptist Church is committed to excellence in serving all church attendees including people with disabilities and we will carry out our functions and responsibilities in the following areas:
We will communicate with people with disabilities in ways that take into account their disability. We will provide all churches publications in formats that are accessible for people with disabilities. We will train staff and volunteers who communicate with church attendees on how to interact and communicate with people with various types of disabilities.
We are committed to providing fully accessible telephone service to our church attendees. We will train office staff to communicate with members over the telephone in clear and plain language and to speak clearly and slowly. We will offer to communicate with church attendees by email if telephone communication is not suitable to their communication needs or is not available.
We are committed to serving people with disabilities who use assistive devices to participate in and benefit from our programs and services. We will ensure that people are permitted to use their own personal assistive devices to access sanctuary ritual practice and all other applicable church programs and services. We will familiarize ushers and other front-line staff with the various assistive devices that may be used by members with disabilities while accessing our programs or services.
The church acknowledges that when circumstances prevent the use of certain assistive devices it is our responsibility to provide appropriate alternative accommodations for affected members. The church will provide assistive devices it deems necessary for accessing its programs and services. Ushers and other front-line staff will be trained on how to use the assistive devices available on our premises including: [insert list of assistive devices available on premises] Upon a member’s request, the church will make every effort to provide the requested assistive device and/or service and to cover relevant financial expenses.
We are committed to establishing a church Accessibility Committee to oversee all issues related to church accessibility in consultation with the church Board of Directors. Committee membership will be comprised of champions of accessibility for people with disabilities including members
with disabilities and their family members. The committee will nominate an Accessibility Officer as the chair of the committee. The Accessibility Officer will coordinate and oversee all of the functions of the Accessibility Committee and will be the liaison with the church Board of Directors.
The Accessibility Committee will have several roles:
It will establish policies on providing accessible programs and services to church attendees with disabilities that are in compliance with the Accessibility Standards for Customer Service, Ontario Regulation 429/07.
It will monitor church programs and services to ensure that practices and procedures are consistent with governing policies.
It will coordinate accessibility training and training materials for all relevant church staff and volunteers.
It will ensure that assistive devices provided by the church are in good working order and that requests for assistive devices are met.
It will be responsible for reviewing feedback on the churches accessibility and responding to any complaints or concerns.
We are committed to welcoming people 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 permit people with disabilities to be accompanied by their service animal when participating in services and programs. We will provide appropriate accommodations for both members and their service animal in cases where an activity excludes the use of service animals.
We will also ensure that all staff, volunteers and others dealing with church attendees are properly trained in how to interact with people with disabilities who are accompanied by a service animal. We are committed to welcoming people with disabilities who are accompanied by a support person. Any person with a disability who is accompanied by a support person will be allowed to enter Avenue Road Baptist Church’s 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. We will permit attendees to be accompanied by their support person when performing sanctuary rituals. [Fees will not be charged for support persons] or [insert amount] [will be charged to the support person] accompanying the person with a disability to [insert church services or program]. Church attendees will be informed of this by a notice that will be posted in Avenue Road Baptist Church’s premises and [include any other means by which church will notify members of fee].
Avenue Road Baptist Church will provide attendees with notice in the event of a planned or unexpected disruption in the facilities or services usually used by people with disabilities. This notice will include information about the reason for the disruption, its anticipated duration, and a description of alternative facilities or services, if available. The notice will be delivered to attendees by means of [list notification procedure].
Avenue Road Baptist Church’s Accessibility Committee will be responsible for coordinating training for all employees, volunteers and others who deal with church attendees or other third parties on their behalf, and all those who are involved in the development and approvals of church accessibility policies, practices and procedures. The Individuals in the following positions will be trained:
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