|In the Woodsworth Housing Co-op Accommodation Policy for Residents with Disabilities (“the Accommodation Policy”), the term “accommodation” refers to adapting or adjusting policies, procedures, structures, etc. for a resident with a disability, and not to its more common usage as lodging or housing. 1|
Approved at a General Members’ Meeting on September 25, 2017.
1. Statement of Commitment
Woodsworth Housing Co-operative (“the Co-op”) commits to addressing residents’ needs in a manner consistent with the Ontario Human Rights Code that is inclusive and free of barriers based on disability, unless to do so would cause undue hardship to the Co-op.2 This Accommodation Policy applies to all residents of the Co-op, as required by the Human Rights Code.
Accommodation will be provided in accordance with the principles of dignity, individualization, and inclusion. The Co-op will work cooperatively, and in a spirit of respect, with all partners in the accommodation process. 3
2. Appropriate Accommodations
The aim of accommodation is to remove barriers and ensure equality. Accommodations will be developed on an individualized basis. An accommodation will be appropriate where it results in equal opportunity to enjoy the same benefits and privileges experienced by others, and where it respects the principles of dignity, inclusion and individualization. Appropriate accommodations may include:
a) Unit adjustments
b) Transfer to a more appropriate unit;
c) Modifications to organization policies and practices;
d) Technical aids;
e) Provision of materials in alternative formats;
f) Building modifications;
g) Modification to membership criteria.
This list is not exhaustive.
Accommodation may take many forms. What works for one individual may not work for another. Each person’s situation must be individually assessed. In each case, the Co-op will implement the most appropriate accommodation, short of undue hardship.
3. Application of the Accommodation Policy
This Accommodation Policy applies to all residents of the Co-op. Residents include Members, Long Term Guests, the children of Members and Long Term Guests, and anyone else who may legitimately be permanent residents.
It applies at all stages and to all aspects of residence in the Co-op, including but not limited to participation in Co-op events, meetings and committees, access to and use of common and private areas of the Co-op, and termination of membership.
The Accommodation Policy also applies to the procedures associated with applying for Membership or Long Term Guest status with the Co-op.
New members will be informed of the Accommodation Policy and all residents will be able to access it electronically through the Co-op’s website, and in hard copy form at the Co-op management office.
Decisions under the Accommodation Policy will be made by the manager of the Co-op within his/her spending authority. If the requested accommodation will cost over the manager’s spending limit, the request will be referred to the Board of Directors for a decision.4
4. Requests for Accommodation
Requests for accommodation must be made, preferably in writing, to the Co-op management office and directed to the manager. 5
Accommodation requests should indicate:
a) The reason why accommodation is required; and
b) The specific needs related to the accommodation seeker’s disability.
All accommodation requests will be taken seriously. No person will be penalized for making an accommodation request.
5. Provision of Information6
The manager of the Co-op (or Board of Directors in more complex accommodation requests) may require further information related to the accommodation request in the following circumstances:
a) Where further information related to the individual’s limitations or restrictions is required in order to determine an appropriate accommodation; or
b) Where there is a demonstrable objective reason to question the legitimacy of the person’s request for accommodation.
In particular, the manager may request documentation from an appropriate health practitioner detailing the nature of the individual’s disability (a diagnosis is not required), any restrictions resulting from the disability, the expected duration of the restrictions, and the basis for the medical conclusions.7
Where further information is needed in order to identify accommodation needs or potential solutions, the accommodation seeker is required to cooperate in obtaining that information. Any costs associated with obtaining such information will be borne by the Co-op.
Failure to respond to such requests for information may delay the provision of accommodation.
The Co-op will maintain information related to:
a) The accommodation request;
b) Any documentation provided by the accommodation seeker or by health practitioners;
c) Notes from any meetings;
d) Any accommodation alternatives explored;
e) Any proposed accommodations that were refused; and
f) Any accommodations provided.
This information will be maintained in a secure location, separate from membership files, and will be shared only with those persons who need the information.
8. Monitoring Accommodations 10
The manager of the Co-op and the person receiving accommodation will monitor the success of the Accommodation Plan, and shall promptly address any deficiencies or relevant changes in the Co-op or the individual’s needs.
9. Undue Hardship
Accommodation will be provided to the point of undue hardship, as defined by the Ontario Human Rights Commission’s Policy on Ableism and Discrimination Based on Disability. A determination regarding undue hardship will be based on an objective assessment of costs, outside sources of funding, and health and safety. 11 The standard for undue hardship is high, and the burden of proof is on the Co-op.