Anti-Ableism Policy

ARCH Disability Law Centre

Anti-Ableism Policy

 
Date Originally Passed by Board: January 26, 2016
Review (R) /Amendment (A) Dates: n/a

Next Scheduled Review Date: January 2019

Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to recognize and affirm ARCH’s commitment to a pro-active approach in providing an inclusive space and inclusive services for people with disabilities. Through ARCH’s commitment to anti-ableism, ARCH recognizes that individuals with disabilities can offer the best information about their disability-related needs, if any.

ARCH recognizes that diversity is a source of social, cultural and economic enrichment and strength, and wishes to provide a climate of understanding and mutual respect for the dignity and worth of each individual. 

This Policy complements existing ARCH policies and commits ARCH to addressing communications, policies and practices in the workplace and in the delivery of services that are based on differential attitudes toward persons who identify as having disabilities. 

Definitions

Ableism is a term used to describe the discriminatory communications, actions, and practices against persons with disabilities. Ableism may be individual or systemic depending on the type of discriminatory process.

Disability is an evolving concept that results from the interaction between persons with impairments or perceived impairments, and attitudinal and environmental barriers that hinders their full and effective participation in society on an equal basis with others.   

Commitment to Anti-Ableism

ARCH strives to create an inclusive workplace and service environment that welcomes and supports differences and diversity in its staff, volunteers, students, board members and the community it serves.

This includes:

1.  Taking proactive steps to ensure that practices (including communication) within ARCH do not reflect or condone ableist perspectives that may promote, sustain or entrench differential treatment affecting persons with disabilities. 

2.  Ensuring that hiring, promotions, work-related policies and work-related practices support an inclusive environment where persons with disabilities participate fully without ableist barriers.

3.  Ensuring that services ARCH provides to persons with disabilities are provided in a respectful manner without barriers imposed by ableist practices, policies, perspectives and attitudes.  

Implementation

ARCH shall:

1.  Proactively enforce this Anti-Abelism Policy, Prevention of Harassment and Discrimination Policy, and Access & Accommodation Policy;

2.  Whenever an ARCH policy is under review by the Board of Directors, that policy shall be reviewed explicitly to determine whether it conforms with ARCH’s Anti-Ableism, Prevention of Harassment and Discrimination and Access & Accommodation policies; 

3.  ARCH Staff Members shall review practices at least once every two years to ensure that those practices conform with the Anti-Ableism, Prevention of Harassment and Discrimination, and Access & Accommodation policies; 

4.  Require new staff members, volunteers, students, and board members to review  and familiarize themselves with both ARCH’s Anti-Ableism,  Prevention of Harassment and Discrimination, and Access & Accommodation policies as part of orientation; 

5.  Require staff members and members of the Board of Directors to review ARCH’s Anti-Ableism, Prevention of Harassment and Discrimination, and Access & Accommodation policies once every calendar year; 

6.  Permit each client who utilizes ARCH’s services to provide feedback on whether that service was provided in a manner that was responsive and respectful of needs related to any disability where accommodation was provided in those services; 

7.  Report at least once every two years to the Board of Directors on client feedback on anti-ableist service delivery;

Complaint Procedure

8.  Complaints made by clients shall be delivered to, investigated and resolved by the Executive Director of ARCH; 

9.  Complaints made by staff, volunteers or students shall be delivered to, investigated and resolved by the Executive Director; 

10. Complaints made against a member of the Board of Directors of ARCH or the Executive Director shall be delivered to, investigated and resolved by the President of the Board of Directors of ARCH and two additional Board Members to be appointed by the President; 

11. Complaints made against the President of the Board of Directors of ARCH shall be delivered to, investigated and resolved by the First Vice-President of the Board of Directors of ARCH and two additional Board Members to be appointed by the First Vice-President.

12. ARCH shall ensure that complaints from staff, volunteers, students and clients in relation to ableism are resolved in a timely manner and in accordance with ARCH policies.

13. The fact of a complaint and the outcome of that complaint shall be reported to the Board of Directors within thirty days from the date that the complaint was received.