Intergrated Accessibility Standards Training Materials

Please review the Integrated Accessibility Standards training materials and attest that you have read them by:

This should take you no longer than 10 minutes. Thank you for your cooperation and your ongoing commitment to creating a welcoming and inclusive environment at Girl Guides of Canada–Guides du Canada. 

Questions? Contact us at: 
Membership Administration
Girl Guides of Canada-Guides du Canada
50 Merton Street | Toronto, ON  M4S 1A3
Phone: 416.487.5281 

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Integrated Accessibility Standards (IAS) Training 
For Ontario Members
We have all likely worked with someone who has a disability, whether we’re aware of it or not. Some disabilities may be visible, for example, someone in a wheelchair or someone with a guide dog. Others are less obvious. For example, you may not be aware that an acquaintance or colleague has a learning disability, severe back pain, or a heart condition. 

Regardless of whether a disability is visible or not, under the Integrated Accessibility Standards of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA), Girl Guides of Canada (GGC) must have a policy to support the standards set out in the act. This policy includes training all of our employees and volunteers.

This training information is designed to help you, as a valued member volunteer, create a setting that ensures your interaction with volunteers or employees who have a disability is appropriate and makes them feel safe, welcomed and comfortable.

What is AODA?
AODA is the law in Ontario. The goal of AODA is to create a fully accessible Ontario by 2025. GGC determined these standards should be in place for all our members, so our organization is truly accommodating those with disabilities equally across the country. 

The law’s Accessible Customer Service Standards (ACS) are now part of Orientation to Guiding for new members and part of the Non-member Volunteer (A.7) form. 

AODA also outlines Integrated Accessibility Standards (IAS). The goal of IAS is to remove barriers in employment, information and communications, and transportation. Based on the IAS, GGC has developed a new Integrated Accessibility Standard Governance Policy (01-31-01).

AODA’s Employment Standards were created to expand Ontario’s labour pool and welcome people with disabilities into more workplaces. The second set of standards under the IAS is information and communications. The IAS Transportation Standards do not apply to Girl Guides of Canada. 

Ontario Human Rights Code
The Ontario Human Rights Code helps to ensure all Ontarians, including those with disabilities, enjoy equal rights and opportunities, and freedom from discrimination. The code recognizes the dignity and worth of EVERY person in Ontario. It applies to employment, housing, facilities and services, as well as memberships in unions, trade or professional associations. This also applies to volunteers, meaning a volunteer cannot be discriminated against because they have a disability.

A disability is a mental or physical impairment caused by injury, illness or experienced since birth, which limits or impacts a person’s abilities. They can include but are not limited to: physical disability, learning disability, mental impairment or disorder. A disability can be either visible (e.g. amputation, difficulty walking) or invisible (such as brain damage). They can be either short term, such as a broken arm or leg, or something more permanent. Some people with disabilities may use a support person and/or have a guide dog or other support animal or have a wheelchair or other assistive device to support them.

Duty to Accommodate
To ensure that persons with disabilities are not discriminated against, special arrangements or accommodations may need to be put in place. This is known as the Duty to Accommodate. For details and assistance on making accommodations, contact your local office at 1-800-565-8111 or Outlined below are some guiding principles.

In many cases, accommodations that enable a volunteer to fulfill their responsibilities are minimal and can easily be addressed. The only two circumstances where it would be acceptable to NOT accommodate an individual with a disability are when:
  1. The person can’t perform the essential duties of the position, even with accommodations.
  2. The accommodation required would create what is known as “undue hardship” for the organization. For example, when the accommodation required would be so expensive that it could jeopardize the future of the organization, or could put others in the organization at risk due to health or safety reasons.
GGC is only expected to accommodate disabilities they are made aware of and will accept accommodation requests in good faith, respecting the dignity of the individual. 

Additional information can be asked for as long as it is limited to the type of limitation or restriction required in order for the individual to be able to carry out his or her responsibilities. However, you cannot ask for any information about the individual’s diagnosis. As with any health information, you must keep it confidential and share only what is absolutely necessary. 

If you are providing information about your disability, be selective about whom you tell, but do NOT let fear of others finding out about your disability prevent you from asking for accommodations you are entitled to.

Make sure you let GGC know what your disability related needs are given the duties of your position. However, remember that you only need to provide information related specifically to the accommodation you are requesting. 

For example, you may wish to share the fact that you have a visual disability which prevents you from reading printed material. You do not need to share that this disability is due to the fact you have diabetes.

Employment Standards 
The goal of the regulations set out in these standards is to expand Ontario’s labour pool and create welcoming workplaces for persons with disabilities. This is accomplished by helping organizations remove barriers to employment for individuals with disabilities. While the Employment Standards in AODA legislation only apply to paid staff, GGC’s policy applies to member volunteers in addition to staff.

Anyone in a supervisory capacity, member or staff, must be fully aware of GGC’s policy on accommodating persons with disabilities. Specifically, supervisors must accommodate requests related to recruitment, interviewing, hiring or appointing, training, supervising and re-deployment of employees and member volunteers, taking into consideration the specific requirements of the Employment Standards in the IAS Policy. 

Individuals with disabilities play a key role in this process as the organization can only accommodate disabilities that they are informed of. These individuals play an active role in helping the organization come up with possible accommodation solutions, as most often he or she knows more about potential accommodation solutions than anyone else.

Under the IAS legislation and GGC’s policy, the organization is expected to:
  • Deal with accommodation requests as quickly as possible, even if it means creating a temporary solution while developing a long-term one
  • Respect the dignity of the person asking for accommodation, and keep information shared by individuals confidential
  • Facilitate accommodations, including any necessary medical or other expert opinions or documents
  • Ensure staff and volunteers are trained on the requirements of the policy and know how to interact with others in a manner that is consistent with the goals and objectives of IAS.
If you have a disability, your responsibilities under the legislation and policy are to:
  • Let GGC know what your disability related needs are
  • Help GGC come up with accommodation solutions should you require them
  • If you will require assistance in the event of an emergency, ensure that any plans developed to assist you in an emergency are shared with individuals who have been designated to help should an emergency situation arise.

If your role is related to recruitment, interviewing, hiring/appointing, training, supervision and supporting of volunteers:
  • Facilitate accommodation requests
  • To contact the Ontario Provincial Office at 1-800-565-8111 or for support in accommodating these requests.
Information and Communications Standards
GGC’s new Integrated Accessibility Standard Governance Policy (01-31-01) policy also outlines how it will accommodate individuals. Under the policy, GGC will provide documents and communications in formats that take into account an individual’s disabilities. This means that GGC will present information in a way that it can be easily converted into a format that persons with disabilities can read, or it will make the information available in different formats, when requested. Contact the Ontario Provincial Office at1-800-565-8111 or for more information on making documents accessible.

Please note that if GGC cannot convert the information into another format it will let the individual know why. GGC has the right to decide which alternative format it will provide information in.

Scenarios to assist you in understanding IAS
Please read each of the following scenarios carefully and choose the answer you think is correct.

Scenario 1

Fatima, who is a Guider in my unit, had a stroke last year. She came back to help in the unit last week. Fatima seems to have recovered almost completely, but no longer has full use of both her arms. Occasionally we need to lift boxes of supplies or cookie cases. I don’t want to embarrass her by doing everything for her, but at the same time I’d really like her to help out if she can. I just don’t know what she can do. 

How should I handle this?

A.  Ask her what we can do to accommodate her so she help.
B.  Quietly do the lifting when she’s not around.

The correct answer is A. By asking her how you can accommodate her, you are demonstrating your support. It is quite likely, that she will be happy to explain how she can support the unit and assist with these tasks.

Scenario 2

One of our Guiders recently complained that she was unable to read a new organizational policy distributed to all members. She was upset that there were no large-print or electronic versions of the policy available. 

What would my appropriate response be? 

A.  Point out to her that you are not required by law to convert GGC documents into an accessible format until 2016. However, in the interim, you will be happy to read the policy to her.
 B. Reassure her that you will provide the document to her in an accessible format as soon as possible.
The correct answer is B. In Ontario, technically documents in an accessible format do not need to be provided until January 1, 2016. However, under this law, you do need to ensure that all members with disabilities are able to access organizational documents in a manner that works for them, which could include simply reading the document to them.

GGC’s policy does require us to provide documents in an accessible format. It is easy to create large-print and electronic versions of documents, so consider doing it as a best practice. The national office will create large-print formats and the Ontario Provincial Office will do the same for their procedures when requested. Documents can easily be enlarged, or an electronic version can be forwarded to the person with a visual disability, who can use their screen reader. 

An interesting point to note is that only 6 per cent of people who are blind use Braille, so there is no need to immediately convert all your documents into Braille. Have a conversation with the individual to find out what other formats may work for him or her. GGC would only consider providing the document in Braille in the unlikely circumstance that no other suitable accommodation is found.

Scenario 3

A potential member just told me she requires an American Sign Language (ASL) interpreter for her placement interview. 

How should I handle this?

A.  Ask the individual if they have a specific interpreter they’d like to bring with them as they may have someone they favour. You can also discuss alternatives to ASL if it’s not feasible for GGC to provide an interpreter for reasons of location, expense or time.
B.  This isn’t something you need to worry about - it’s not your responsibility.

The correct answer is A. You are not required to provide an ASL interpreter in all cases, but you are required to provide one if it is needed, assuming there are no alternatives. Ask the individual via email, in print, or through a TTY or your telephone company’s relay operator, if any other method of communication will work. To make the final decision on which method will be used, contact the Ontario Provincial Office at 1-800-565-8111 or If the candidate prefers ASL, the Canadian Hearing Society will often provide an interpreter at no cost, if one is available.

Please attest that you have read this information. See methods to contact us at the beginning of the document.

Many thanks for your cooperation and support of Girl Guides. 
11/30/2023 12:13:04 PM