Effective October 2011
This policy contains statements that meet the requirements of the Customer Service Standard and other items that are good practices. This policy will be revised as other standards are introduced under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (AODA)
1. Providing Programs, Goods and Services to People with Disabilities
The Port Stanley Festival Theatre is committed to excellence in serving all patrons, 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 publications in formats that are accessible for people with disabilities.
- We will train staff and volunteers on how to interact and communicate with people with various types of disabilities.
1.2 Telephone Services
- We are committed to providing accessible telephone services to our patrons.
- We will train office staff/volunteers to communicate with patrons over the telephone in clear and plain language and to speak clearly and slowly.
- We will offer to communicate with patrons by email if telephone communication is not suitable to their communication needs, or is not available.
1.3 Assistive Devices
- We are committed to serving patrons with disabilities who use assistive devices to participate in and benefit from our programs, goods and services.
- We will ensure that people are permitted to use their own personal assistive devices to enjoy theatrical productions and other applicable programs, goods and services.
- We will familiarize ushers and other staff/volunteers with the various assistive devices that may be used to patrons with disabilities while accessing our programs, goods and services.
1.4 Accessibility Committee/Officer
- We are committed to designating an Accessibility Officer/establishing an Accessibility Committee to oversee all issues relating to accessibility in consultation with the Board.
- If establishing an Accessibility Committee, committee members will be comprised of champions of accessibility for people with disabilities, including Front of House Manager, Theatre Manager and one Board Member.
- The Accessibility Officer/Committee will have several roles:
- The officer/committee will establish policies on providing accessible programs, goods and services to participants with disabilities that are in compliance with the Accessibility Standards for Customer Service, Ontario Regulation 429/07.
- The officer/committee will monitor our programs, goods and services to ensure that practices and procedures are consistent with our governing policies.
- The officer/committee will coordinate accessibility training and training materials for all relevant staff and volunteers.
- The officer/committee will be responsible for developing feedback procedures, reviewing feedback on accessibility and responding to any complaints or concerns.
2. Use of Service Animals and Support Persons
- We are committed to welcoming patrons who are accompanied by a service animal on parts of our premises that are open to the public and other third parties.
- We will ensure that all staff, volunteers and others dealing with patrons are trained on how to interact with people who are accompanied by a service animal.
- We are committed to welcoming patrons who are accompanied by a support person. Any person with a disability who is accompanied by a support person will be allowed to enter The Port Stanley Festival Theatre premises with his or her support person.
- Fees will not be charged for support persons accompanying a patron to the theatre.
3. Notice of Temporary Disruption
The Port Stanley Festival Theatre will provide patrons with notice in the event of a planned or unexpected disruption in the facilities or services usually used by people with disabilities (such as the elevator). This notice will include information about the reason for the disruption, the anticipated duration, and a description of alternative facilities or services, if available. The notice will be delivered to the patrons via our email newsletter, posted online on our “Accessibility” home page as well as the Box Office window, when applicable.
4. Training for Staff and Volunteers
The Port Stanley Festival Theatre’s Accessibility Officer/Committee will be responsible for coordinating training for all employees, volunteers and others who deal with participants or other third parties on our behalf, and all those who are involved in the development and approvals of accessibility policies, practices and procedures. Individuals holding the following positions will be trained: Volunteers, Box Office Staff, Administration Staff, and all summer theatre staff (including management and production).
5. Feedback Process
The ultimate goal of the Port Stanley Festival Theatre is to meet and surpass expectations while serving patrons with disabilities.
Comments on our programs, goods and services regarding how well those expectations are being met are welcome and appreciated.
- Feedback regarding the way the Port Stanley Festival Theatre provides programs, goods and services to people with disabilities can made by emailing or verbally telling staff.
- All feedback will be directed to the Accessibility Officer/Committee via email or a verbal feedback form.
- Patrons can expect to hear back in 7 days.
- Confidentiality will be respected.
6. Modifications to this or Other Policies
We are committed to developing accessibility policies that respect and promote the dignity and independence of patrons with disabilities.
- No changes, therefore, will be made to this policy before considering the impact on people with disabilities or their families.
- Any policy of the Port Stanley Festival Theatre that does not respect and promote the dignity and independence of patrons with disabilities will be modified or removed.
- All outside production companies, renters of the theatre and tenants of the building will be asked to respect and promote the dignity and independence of patrons with disabilities.
7. Questions about this Policy
This policy seeks service excellence to patrons with disabilities. If anyone has a question about the policy, or its purpose, an explanation or reply will be provided by the Front of House Manager or Theatre Manager.