Accessibility Policy



The Hospital for Sick Children Foundation (the Foundation) is committed to providing equitable treatment to people with disabilities by providing accessible services, programs, goods and creating a welcoming, barrier free environment where everyone feels valued, respected and supported. The Foundation supports the principles of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act and is committed to being accessible and compliant with the requirements of the Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation, including providing accessible customer services and fair and accessible employment practices.

The Accessibility Policy applies to all employees, students, volunteers, Board members or other third parties who act on behalf of the Foundation.


Customer Service

The Foundation is committed to excellence in serving all visitors, callers and donors including people with disabilities.  The Foundation will make reasonable effort to ensure that goods and services are accessible and are provided in a manner that respects the dignity and independence of all people, including, but not limited to:

  • when communicating with a person with a disability, employees will do so in a manner that takes into account the person’s disability;
  • persons with disabilities may use assistive devices, support person and/or service animals in the access of Foundation’s goods and services.  People accompanied by service animals are responsible for the care and supervision of their service animals; and
  • providing people with disabilities the same opportunities to access our goods and services, allowing them to benefit from the same services, in the same place and in a similar way, as other people.   


Where goods and services provided by the Foundation involve accessing the Hospital for Sick Children (the “Hospital”), we will adhere to the Hospital policies, procedures and practices as it relates to accessible services.  


Fair and Equitable Employment Practices

Employees with disabilities may request workplace information be provided in an accessible way. This includes one-on-one discussions to explain complex information, sign language interpretation or other supports suited to the individual.  The Foundation will also work with employees upon request to provide reasonable accommodation to perform their role.



The Foundation is committed to providing accommodation for people with disabilities to the point of undue hardship.  Accommodations will be determined with the participation of the individual making the request, Human Resources and the leader and may include, but not limited to:

  • support services such as a Sign Language Interpreters; technical aids and devices and adaptive technologies; workstation or office alterations; job redesign;reassignment and alternative jobs; and flexible or alternative work schedules.


An employee requesting accommodation should advise his/her leader in writing.

The employee will be responsible for:

  • providing information about restrictions or limitations including from health care providers where necessary;
  • participating in discussions regarding possible accommodation solutions;
  • co-operating with experts whose assistance is required to manage the accommodation process;
  • complying with an established accommodation plan; and
  • notifying the leader immediately of any change in circumstances that affect the accommodation plan.


Leaders who receive request for accommodation are responsible for:

  • accepting the employees’ request for accommodation in good faith;
  • providing accommodation up to undue hardship;
  • maintaining the confidentiality of all information;
  • implementing an established accommodation plan; and
  • facilitating the integration of the employee being accommodated and providing a supportive work environment.


Human Resources will be responsible for:

  • facilitating the development of an accommodation plan or communicating with the employee in the case of denial of an accommodation plan;
  • including any information pertaining to accessible formats or supports for communication and workplace emergency response information;
  • obtaining expert opinions or advice where needed;
  • maintaining the confidentiality of all information and ensuring that confidentiality is maintained by any third party who may be called for support;
  • receiving and tracking requests for accommodation and actions taken; and 
  • ensuring any accommodation plan is provided in a format that takes into consideration the employee’s accessibility needs.


Job Candidates

Job candidates will be notified via postings that the Foundation welcomes all qualified applicants and is committed to fostering an inclusive, accessible environment.  The Foundation is committed to ensuring that job candidates are only asked to respond to questions through the selection process that relate to their skills, abilities and qualifications or the positon. Upon request, the Foundation will provide reasonable accommodation during the recruitment process.  New employees and volunteers will be notified about the Foundation’s policies related to Accessibility during the onboarding process.



Volunteers may request accommodation by notifying the Manager of Volunteer Engagement during the registration process.  The Foundation is committed to working with volunteers to provide reasonable accommodation.


Emergency Response Plans

As part of the onboarding process, Human Resources will notify new employees that they may request an individualized emergency response plan if they have a disability.  Employees who become disabled after they commence employment are encouraged to speak with Human Resources who will work with the employee to develop a plan to meet their specific needs.


Return to Work

Leaders and employees returning to work following a disability leave of absence and who require disability related accommodation will work with Human Resources to develop a Return to Work plan.  The plan will take into consideration any modifications or restrictions that an employee may have based on the medical information provided and outline any gradual return to work plan.



The Foundation will provide training to all employees, volunteers and others who deal with public or third parties on their behalf.  We will also provide training to employees and volunteers in accordance with the Integrated Accessibility Standard Regulation.  This training will be incorporated into the Foundation’s onboarding process for new employees and volunteers.

The training will include:

  • overview of employment practices including guidelines for accommodation, return to work and workplace emergency responses;
  • overview of the Ontario Human Rights Code;
  • an overview of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 and the requirements of the customer service standard;
  • the Foundation’s accessibility plan;
  • how to interact and communicate with people with various types of disabilities;
  • what to do if a person with a disability is having difficulty in accessing the Foundation’s facilities or services; and
  • the reporting process of an accessibility concern or complaint.


Staff will also be trained when changes are made to the Foundation’s accessibility plan.  The Foundation will maintain a record of training that includes the dates training was provided and the number of employees who attended.


Notice of Disruption of Services

The Foundation will provide notice of disruption to our services by posting the information on our website and at the 14th Floor Reception area.  The notice will include the following:  the reason for the disruption, anticipated duration, alternative facilities or services, if available.


Feedback Process

The Foundation welcomes feedback and comments from the public.  Feedback about the delivery of goods and services may be given by telephone, in person, by speaking with your Foundation representative or by contacting the Foundation’s general inquiries line.  Feedback can also be provided in writing directly to:

Director, Public Relations at


All feedback will be reviewed and responded to accordingly,


Copies of the Policy

A copy of the policy will be provided upon request.  When requested, the Foundation will make the policy available in alternative formats that take into account the requestor’s accessibility needs.



Disability The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 uses the Ontario Human Rights Code definition of “disability”, which includes physical, mental health, developmental and learning disabilities. A disability may be visible or non-visible, as follows:

a) any degree of physical disability, infirmity, malformation or disfigurement that is caused by bodily injury, birth defect or illness and (...) includes diabetes mellitus, epilepsy, a brain injury, any degree of paralysis, amputation, lack of physical coordination, blindness or visual impediment, deafness or hearing impediment, muteness or speech impediment, or physical reliance on a guide dog or other animal or on a wheelchair or other remedial appliance or device;

b) a condition of mental impairment or a developmental disability;

c) a learning disability, or dysfunction in one or more of the processes involved in understanding or using symbols or spoken language;

d) a mental disorder, or

e) an injury or disability for which benefits were claimed or received under the insurance plan established under the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act, 1997.


Accessibility - Degree to which persons with disabilities can access a device, service or environment without barriers. Accessibility is also a process – it is the proactive identification, removal and prevention of barriers to persons with disabilities.


Accommodation - A modification made to enable a person with a disability to perform the essential duties or requirements of the position.


Assistive Devices - Any auxiliary aid such as communication aids, cognition aids, personal mobility aids and medical aids (i.e. canes, crutches, wheelchairs, or hearing aids).


Persons with Disabilities - Individuals that are afflicted with a disability as defined under the Ontario Human Rights Code.


Service Animals - Any animal individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of a person with a disability.


Support Persons - Any person whether a paid professional, volunteer, family member or friend that accompanies a person with a disability in order to help with communications, personal care or medical needs or with access to goods or services.