In Accordance with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act 2005, (AODA), The Staircase has documents on file that comply with the Accessibility Standards for Customer Service, Regulation 429/07 as follows: Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act–Customer Service.
- Tips for Notifying of Disruption of Service
- Best Practice Tips: Deaf or Hard of Hearing
- Best Practice Tips: vision Disabilities
- General Tips for Working with Assistive Devices
- General Tips for Working with a Support Person
- General Tips for Handling Service Animals
- Best Practice Tips: Deaf-Blind
- Best Practice Tips: Physical Disabilities
- Best Practice Tips: Speech or Language Disabilities
- Best Practice Tips: Mental Health Disabilities
- Best Practice Tips: Intellectual Disabilities
- Best Practice Tips: Learning Disabilities
- Best Practice Tips: Talking to People with Disabilities over the Phone Transportation services
Tips for Notifying of Disruption of Service
- Posting at the main entrances and the source of the disruption.
- Phone and/or email notification to customers with scheduled appointments
- Include the service disruption on The Staircase website, facebook and twitter.
Best Practice Tips: Deaf or Hard of Hearing
- People who are deaf or hard of hearing may communicate in various ways such as sign language, speech, and writing
- Follow the customer’s lead in communicating
- If the person writes, respond in writing. Have paper and pen handy if the person gestures they want to write
- If the person responds by talking and lip reading, look directly at them and enunciate clearly in a normal tone of voice.
- Keep your hands or any objects away from your mouth and face.
- Rephrase or substitute words rather than repeat yourself again and again
- Avoid directly asking the person if they lip read as this is culturally offensive to many
- Pointing is acceptable in the deaf community. Feel free to point to products or information
- In emergency situations assist the individual in recognizing and responding to the emergency
- Persons relying on the use of a hearing aid may find it difficult to hear in a noisy environment, suggest moving to a quieter location
- Seating may be offered and reserved in the front row of theatrical productions in advance
Best Practice Tips: Vision Disabilities
- Identify yourself so the person knows who is talking, offer assistance, but wait until the person accepts your offer or makes a request
- When providing written material, offer to read or summarize it
- If you need to leave the person to get something, let them know where you are going and when you will return
- Be clear and precise when giving directions, e.g. two steps behind you, to your right, etc.
- Before opening the door, ask if they want you to open it and indicate whether the door opens to the left or right and if it is pulled or pushed
- Seating may be offered and reserved in the front row of theatrical productions in advance. Patron may be escorted in advance of theatre doors opening into designated seating. Request that at end of show, patron remain seated until others have exited and you will escort out.
- If a person requests assistance with guiding or mobility:
- Offer your arm, asking which arm is better and ask for further directions on how to proceed
- Walk at a pace that works for the person and verbally advise of obstacles and the environment, such as announcing handrails, doors, stairs and describing the surrounding areas
General Tips for Working with Assistive Devices
- Be open and willing to work with assistive devices.
- Focus on the customer and not the device.
- Ensure the customer and assistive device have the appropriate amount of space.
- Avoid blocking, knocking or bumping into assistive devices.
- For vision/hearing assistance devices seating can be reserved in advance in the front row for these patrons
Wheelchair accessibility is available on the main level of the Staircase Theatre. A wheelchair accessible ramp can be accessed by sidewalk at the end of the parking lot. Automatic doors are installed at both the back door and café entrance. You must engage the power supply switch located above the café door. The main level bathroom is wheelchair accessible, equipped with support bars. The theatre has a designated wheelchair accessible location for seating. When required for use, remove the 2 folding chairs and store behind stage. Patron seating is then reduced from 67 to 65 + wheelchair.
General Tips for Working with a Support Person
- Introduce yourself to both the customer and the support person.
- Talk directly to the customer, even if the support person is responding.
- Address the customer appropriately, such as asking “how can I help you today?” as opposed to asking the support person “can you find out what they need?”
- Don’t try to have side conversations with the support person.
- Provide any written materials to both the customer and the support person.
- Ensure the customer and the support person are not separated.
- Reserve theatrical seating prior to performance if necessary.
- Support Persons should not be charged for admission to show.
- Get permission from the customer prior to discussing confidential information
General Tips for Handling Service Animals
- Ensure the customer and their service animal are not separated.
- Avoid touching, petting or talking to the animal–when the animal is out with the customer, it is working and should not be distracted
- Get permission before providing water or anything else to the animal
- For theatrical productions the service animal should occupy the space reserved for wheelchairs. This ensures the safety of both the animal and other patrons. Seating must be reserved in advance for the patron. Patron seating is then reduced from 67 to 65.
Best Practice Tips: Deaf-Blind
- Understand that communication can take some time and be patient.
- Ask what would make the person the most comfortable and respect his/her needs to the maximum extent possible.
- Avoid sudden movements or touching the customer that may catch him/her off guard, unless it is an emergency.
Best Practice Tips: Physical Disabilities
- Always ask before touching or moving any assistive device.
- Ensure the environment is clear and free of obstacles.
- If you are providing one-on-one support, consider pulling up a chair and talking to the customer at their eye level.
- Wheelchair accessibility is available on the main level of the Staircase Theatre. A wheelchair accessible ramp can be accessed by sidewalk at the end of the parking lot. Automatic doors are installed at both the back door and café entrance. You must engage the power supply switch located above the café door. The main level bathroom is wheelchair accessible, equipped with support bars. The theatre has a designated wheelchair accessible location for seating. When required for use, remove the 2 folding chairs and store behind stage. Patron seating is then reduced from 67 to 65 + wheelchair.
Best Practice Tips: Speech or Language Disabilities
- If you don’t understand, it is okay to ask the person to repeat the information
- Consider asking closed-ended questions inviting a “yes” or “no” response
- Be understanding and reassuring
Best Practice Tips: Mental Health Disabilities
- Listening skills are important when dealing with such situations as you need to understand the real issue to know how you can offer help
- Ask how you can help and try to work with the person to find a solution
- Be confident, patient and reassuring
Best Practice Tips: Intellectual Disabilities
Provide examples when sharing and providing information
- Remember that the person can make his or her own decisions
- Be patient and verify understanding
- Provide information in smaller chunks
Best Practice Tips: Learning Disabilities
- Respond to any requests for verbal information, assistance in completing forms and tasks with courtesy
- If necessary, allow extra time to complete tasks and projects
Best Practice Tips: Talking to People with Disabilities over the Phone
- Speak normally using clear plain language, don’t shout, and listen carefully
- Avoid interrupting or interjecting to finish sentences
- Patiently wait while the person explains themselves
- It is okay to politely ask the person to repeat information if you do not understand
- When using a TTY phone or message relay service, remember to speak as you would normally addressing the person and not the operator.
- The Disabled and Aged Regional Transportation System (D.A.R.T.S.) is the non profit charitable organization that provides the Para-Transit service in Hamilton. D.A.R.T.S. is a door to door transportation service employing wheelchair accessible buses and contracted taxi services when appropriate.