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Accessibility Plan

Accessibility Plan 2021 – 2023

Message from the Executive Director
Our Values are more than just words on the wall – they are a way to work and live. Our values-based approach, originating in the foundational work of Support House’s Centre for Innovation in Peer Support, has continued to permeate and drive our culture to be more person directed- putting people in the driver’s seat of their own care. They guide our agency’s decisions and actions, unite our staff, and inspire our culture. We have been working across our management team, all staff and teams to make this work real. A values orientation and culture keeps us aligned through challenging times and keeps our focus on accessibility and removing barriers to the supports and services we provide.
Further we have reignited our diversity task group to review our hiring, training and equity and diversity practices across the agency to more adequately address systemic bias in our practices – with the recognition that we can and need to do better to be inclusive, equitable and diverse. We have had great feedback about this new orientation and culture shift from both clients and community partners.

Support House believes in equal opportunity and is committed to providing a barrier-free environment that allows all individuals to maintain their independence and dignity. As an organization, we respect and uphold the requirements as outlined in the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (2005) and its associated Regulations and strive to meet the needs of individuals with disabilities in a timely and effective manner. This plan will be reviewed every three years in consultation and co-design with our lived experience stakeholders.
Support House’s vision is an inclusive community with mental health and well-being for all. With services and supports available across Halton our agency strives to meet the need. The agency has worked hard to remove and prevent barriers to accessibility and to integrate appropriate language, policies, procedures, standards and practises into every aspect of its work.

Support House is in compliance with legislative obligations for accessibility. Support House continues to be a leader in making Ontario a more accessible province for all Ontarians.

Statement of Commitment:
Support House is committed to treating all people in a way that allows them to maintain their dignity and independence. Support House strives to meet the needs of its employees and persons receiving services (PRS) with disabilities and is working hard to remove and prevent barriers to accessibility. Support House is committed to meeting the needs of people with disabilities in a timely manner, and will do so by preventing and removing barriers to accessibility and meeting accessibility requirements
under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act.

Our organization is committed to fulfilling our requirements under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act. This accessibility plan outlines the steps Support House is taking to meet those requirements and to improve opportunities for people with disabilities in order to be more inclusive, diverse and equitable.

Section One: Past Achievements to Remove and Prevent Barriers

This section includes a summary of the accessibility initiatives the Support House has completed over the last two years.

  • Our AODA work has been fully integrated into the Health and Safety Committee for both oversight and review at a minimum on a quarterly basis
  • We completed our renovated Safe Beds project – repurposing our old offices at the Chartwell site – the first five safe beds in Halton – a unique partnership between the MH LHIN, CMHA, ADAPT, HRPS and the Region of Halton. This project was completed to AODA and OBC standards. There is an accessible ramp, doors bedroom and washroom in the project – making the project fully accessible.
  • Our Grace House residence washroom on the first floor was renovated to become fully accessible compliant
  • Our new offices at Cross Avenue are fully accessible. Our previous offices at Chartwell were not.
  • AODA training has been standardized through HR Downloads and our AODA policies require attestation – through PolicyTech – from all staff

Customer Service

Support House is committed to continuing to follow the customer service standard under the AODA, which outlines requirements for service providers to make their goods, services, and facilities accessible for customers or patrons with disabilities. All employees are trained to ensure that they can identify, remove, and prevent customer service barriers for individuals with disabilities. Support persons and support animals are accommodated for individuals who require these supports when engaging in services at Support


  • Our agency reviewed and revised our Client concern (complaint) process with lived experience feedback through current concern processes through our Quality Improvement Plan 2021-23. Our Client concerns and feedback are monitored through our Risk Dashboard with Board of Directors oversight.
  • Our Agency uses its Values and Oath to instill a culture of inclusion and person-directed support to provide exceptional service and supports to individuals with disabilities and who have barriers.
  • Our agency has worked hard to strengthen our values approach to our work implementing values-based hiring, orientation,
    training, reflection and performance evaluation.
  • Our values-based approach, originating in the foundational work of Support House’s Centre for Innovation in Peer Support-all staff working at the Centre have personal lived experience with mental health or substance use concern-, has continued to
    permeate and drive our culture to be more person directed.
  • The implementation of the Health Equity Impact Assessment (HEIA) by our agency has helped to address health equity and social inclusion within our services and supports.
  • The use of this tool has been expanded and we are actively using it to measure the progress of diversity of new hires, BOD and clients.

For more information about Ontario’s Customer Service Standard,
visit ontario.ca/accessibility.

Information and Communications

  • Our recent rebranding and launch of new website and social media channels has provided clearer pathways and channels of communication
  • we widely consulted and integrated lived experience, diverse voices and opinions into the development of our new brand
  • We moved to a single telephone number and point of access for all our supports and services 1-833-845-WELL (9355) to help simplify and streamline our communication and intake pathways.
  • Our client concern process and feedback form is now located on our website at supporthouse.ca, offering various methods to connect around a concern.
  • Implementation of the Ontario Perception of Care (OPOC) tool including offering various methods of completion of the OPOC tool


  • Our new offices at Cross Avenue are fully accessible. Our previous offices at Chartwell were not.
  • Support House ensures that all interested candidates for employment are aware of the agency’s willingness to accommodate applicants with disabilities throughout the recruitment process including;
    • a declaration on each job posting
    • an active offer of accommodation as part of the interview process
    • reaffirmation during the offer process.
  • Support House has a supportive supervision model, that prioritizes connection with staff around how to best support them to be successful in their role. Including an intense onboarding process to meet various needs and learning styles.

Section Two: Strategies and Actions

Customer Service

Support House is committed to providing accessible customer service to people with disabilities. This means that we will provide goods and services to people with disabilities with the same high quality and timeliness as others. Our Management Team is committed to working with their staff to promote and discuss new ideas and opportunities in which to offer alternative methods of supporting individuals with disabilities.

  • Ongoing new employee AODA training – within 30 days of start date
  • Implement AODA refresher training for all staff – October 2021
  • Review marketing material for formatting and accessible formatting options – annually
  • Review website and social media for accessibility – annually
  • Review Occurrences related to AODA through Health and Safety Committee – monthly
  • Review Client Concerns through Risk Dashboard – monthly
  • Our agency will add accessible customer service as a regular management meeting agenda item, – effective September 2021.
  • Our Quality Improvement Plan 2021/22 has a planned review of client concerns/feedback – monthly
  • Disruptions to service involving accessibility are communicated through Health and Safety Committee – effective September 2021

Information and Communications

Support House is committed to making our information and communications accessible to people with disabilities. Individuals are made aware of a variety of methods of providing feedback to Support House. The Management Team will ensure that there is at least one employee who is knowledgeable of the accessibility requirements for information and communication. The employee
will be responsible for ensuring compliance when changes are made to the website, web content, and any other social media platforms used by Support House to provide information to the public.

  • Provide information and communication materials in requested accessible formats – 5 Business days upon request
    • Includes publicly available information about our services and facilities, as well as publicly available emergency and safety information.
  •  Review of website, web content, and any other social media platforms – annually by AODA specialist and MarCom (Marketing and Communications) Committee.
  • Our agency will continue to use the OPOC results specifically around the environment (the program accommodated any needs related to mobility, hearing, vision and learning, etc.) to identify areas for improvement and to create action plans to address these areas.


Support House is committed to fair and accessible employment practices.

  • Accommodation practices will be reviewed to ensure people with disabilities are able to participate fully and meaningfully as Support House employees.
  • Our performance management, career development, redeployment, and return-to-work processes continue to consider the accessibility needs of employees with disabilities
  • Human Resources will continue to review and revise the language used in its job postings and descriptions to ensure that it is reflective of the essential functions, to more effectively accommodate an employee.
    • Human Resources will review and revise the job postings for accommodation by October 2021
    • Human Resources will review and revise the job descriptions as necessary by end of fiscal 2021

New Construction – Housing builds

Two new supportive housing projects currently underway are being designed according to AODA standards and Ontario Building code requirements.

  • Support House has engaged architects to ensure that any future new or redeveloped housing will meet or exceed accessibility requirements.
  • Designs are currently underway and client input has been solicited to provide feedback on the housing and bedroom designs October 2021 (Maria St.), December 2021 (Cornwall Rd.)
  • Universal accessibility will also be incorporated into the design


Support House is committed to accessible procurement processes. A consultant has been secured and will provide feedback/policy revision by September 2021.


Support House is committed to providing training to staff in the requirements of Ontario’s accessibility laws and the Ontario Human Rights Code as it applies to people with disabilities. Training will be provided in a way that best suits the duties of staff, volunteers, and the Board of Directors.

  • This training is provided within 30 days after staff commence their duties. Staff will continue to be trained on an ongoing basis when changes are made to these policies, practices and procedures.

For More Information

For more information on this accessibility plan, please contact our Accessibility Lead at 1-833-845-WELL (9355) ext. 203, [email protected]

Please complete our form to provide feedback or email us to request documents in an alternate accessible format.

Standard and accessible formats of this document are free upon request.

Please complete the required form or contact 833-845-WELL (9355)ext. 203 from [email protected]

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