Skip to content


FSYR will make every reasonable effort to provide services to all clients, including clients with disabilities.

Accessibility Policy


Family Services York Region (FSYR) aims to provide the best service possible to the community, in a manner that respects the dignity and independence of all clients. This includes persons with disabilities, in accordance with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA hereafter), 2005 and subsequent amendments. FSYR makes every effort to ensure that its policies, practices and procedures are consistent with the principles of independence, dignity, integration and equality of opportunity, described in the Act. 

This policy applies to every staff, volunteer and student who provide services on behalf of FSYR.


All interactions between clients and representatives of FSYR regarding the application of this policy will be considered confidential and disclosed only as required to provide appropriate service or by law.

Documentation to be Made Available

This policy, and any other agency document, will be made available to clients and any member of the public upon request, in a format that takes into account their disability. It can also be viewed at any FSYR office.

Accessibility Practices and Procedures

FSYR will make every reasonable effort to provide services to all clients, including clients with disabilities. FSYR will communicate with persons with disabilities in a manner that takes into account their disability and will carry out functions and responsibilities in the following areas:

Personal Assistive Devices

Where an individual requires an assistive device to benefit from participating in services offered by FSYR, the device will be accommodated whenever possible. If such a device cannot be accommodated, every reasonable effort will be made to offer an alternate assistance or will be referred to a service which can accommodate this need. 

Examples of personal assistive devices include walkers, white canes and personal oxygen tanks.

Service Animals

When an individual requires a service animal to benefit from access to services at FSYR, the service animal will be welcome on the premises unless otherwise legally excluded. If the animal is legally excluded, FSYR will explain why the animal is excluded and make every reasonable effort to provide measures to enable an individual use and benefit from FSYR services.

An animal is a “service animal” for a person with a disability if it is readily apparent that the animal is used by the person for reason relating to their disability or if the person provides a letter from a physician or a nurse confirming that the person requires the animal for reasons relating to the disability.

Support Persons

Support persons will be welcome to accompany clients in order to access services at FSYR. There is no additional fee. Signed consent by the client and/or support person may be required when accessing confidential services.

A support person is a person who accompanies a person with a disability to help with communication, mobility, personal care, medical needs or with access to goods and/or services.

Notice of Temporary Disruption

FSYR will provide clients with notice as soon as possible in the event of a planned or unexpected temporary disruption in the facilities or services.

When this type of disruption occurs, notice will be:

  • Placed at all public entrances and through other methods of communication as reasonable in the circumstance (such as telephone calls, website notice)
  • Will include information about the reason for the disruption
  • Will include its anticipated duration
  • Will include an alternative location for service if applicable


FSYR makes every efforts to comply with current web accessibility standards. FSYR’s website pages may not always pass online validation tools due to some aspects of the content management technology used to manage our website. FSYR may also post some third-party content presented contextually via other technologies, including mapping systems, event forms and other applications which are out of the agency’s control. FSYR seeks to develop accessible solutions as technology improves. FSYR also encourage service providers to comply with industry-wide accessibility standards as part of business relationships.

Some of the content on the website is in PDF format only. FSYR aims to reduce PDFs for use on the web site. If someone requires FSYR documents in an alternative format, they will be made available upon request.

Training for Employees

FSYR provides training to all staff, volunteers and students during their orientation to the agency. This is documented in their Human Resources file. Training includes the following:

  • The purpose of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (AODA) and the requirements of the Accessibility Standards for Customer Service.
  • How to interact and communicate with customers with various types of disabilities.
  • How to interact with customers with a disability who use an assistive device or require the assistance of a dog or services animal or a support person.
  • Instruction on how to use equipment or devices available that may help people with disabilities access services, such as TTY telephones and lifts 
  • What to do if a customer with a disability is having difficulty in accessing services

Feedback & Complaints Process

Feedback, complaints and other communication regarding accessibility or the agency, such as provision of services from members of the public, media and stakeholders can be made by contacting the agency’s Chief Executive Officer at toll free number 1-888-223-3999 Ext. 140 or in writing to the Chief Executive Officer at 1091 Gorham Street, Suite 300, Newmarket, ON L3Y 8X7, or by another accessible means.  If the complaint concerns the Chief Executive Officer, then the complaint should be addressed to the Chair of the Board of FSYR (same address as above). All feedback will be directed accordingly.  

A response will be provided within 60 days of receipt. All feedback, complaints and other communication will be addressed to the best of the agency’s ability when informed of such. The response will be provided in a form that takes into account how the feedback, complaint or other communication was submitted and a person’s disability, when appropriate.

Complaints that escalate to management will be brought to Management Team meetings to be monitored. They are also documented on the Complaints Log. The Chief Executive Officer will report to the Board of Directors at minimum annually on the complaints received, any themes and actions taken. Complaints that may put the organization at risk are brought to the attention of the Board of Directors by the Chief Executive Officer at the next meeting, or sooner if deemed necessary.

Multi-Year Accessibility Plan (updated July 2023)


Family Services York Region (FSYR) strives to meet the needs of its employees and clients with disabilities and is working hard to remove and prevent barriers to accessibility.

Our organization is committed to fulfilling our requirements under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act. This accessibility plan outlines the steps FSYR is taking to meet those requirements and to improve opportunities for people with disabilities.

Our plan shows how FSYR will play its role in making Ontario an accessible province for all Ontarians.

Customer Service

FSYR is committed to excellence in serving and providing goods, services or facilities to all clients including people with disabilities. Our accessible customer service policies are consistent with the principles of independence, dignity, integration, and equality of opportunity for people with disabilities


  • Developed Accessible Customer Service policy, which includes procedures regarding communication, assistive devices, use of service animals, use of support persons, notice of temporary disruption, training for personnel, as well as the procedure for feedback, complaints, and questions.
  • Ensured staff, volunteers and students have read our accessibility policies and receive ongoing training.
  • Expanded and updated policies regarding accessibility and created new supporting standards regarding Accessible Customer Service policy.


  • Created multi-year Accessibility Plan.
  • Solicited client feedback from surveys to ensure our services and policies are consistent with the principles of independence, dignity, integration, and equality of opportunity for all people including those with disabilities.
  • Yearly review and update of policies regarding accessibility.
  • Posted accessibility plan on FSYR website and agency intranet and made plan available in accessible format (i.e.) larger print, upon request.
  • Enlarged Markham office boardroom door to accommodate wheel-chair accessibility.


  • Ensure all new staff, volunteers and students have read our accessibility policies and receive ongoing training.
  • Offer interpreter services as required.
  • Posted updated AODA policies and plans on agency intranet site.
  • Post in office reception areas that accessible formats of communication are available upon request.
  • Joint Health & Safety team will review AODA policies and plans on a yearly basis and make recommendations for improving and removing barriers (including any physical barriers at the office locations such as entrance doors, washroom accessibility, etc.)


  • Offer to support to clients with accessibility needs, such as completing applications on their behalf and collecting payment over the phone and in-person.
  • Create a line in the budget for accessibility expenses.
  • Invest in accessibility features in offices and/or relocate to office with enhanced accessibility features.

Information and Communications

FSYR is committed to communicating with people with disabilities in ways that consider their disability. This may include the following:

  • Large print (minimum 12 font) and accessible fonts such as Arial and Calibri.
  • Accessible electronic formats such as HTML and MS Word.
  • Reading the written information aloud to the person directly.
  • Repeating, clarifying, or restating information.
  • We will work with the person with disabilities to determine what method of communication works for them.
  • We will provide formats and supports in a timely manner and at a cost that is no more than the regular cost charged to other persons.


  • Created accessible Information and Communication standard.
  • Ensured processes for receiving and responding back to feedback are accessible for persons with disabilities by providing/arranging for accessible formats and communication supports, upon request.
  • Notify the public about availability of accessible formats and communication supports.
  • Posted the process for providing feedback about the delivery of services to persons with disabilities on our website.


  • Re-launched our website to make it compliant with WCAG 2.0 level AA guidelines, other than success criteria 1.2.4 captions (live) and success criteria 1.2.5 audio descriptions (pre-recorded). Thereafter, we will continue to monitor the website compliance and seek to make improvements as new technologies become available.
  • Provided alternative accessible virtual services using telephone and video.
  • We are working to eliminate the use of PDF documents that do not meet accessibility guidelines.


  • Continue to look for opportunities to enhance telephone system, to incorporate accessible alternates for persons who are deaf, deafened, hard of hearing, or who cannot speak.
  • Utilize Zoom/Teams capabilities to make sessions/meetings/trainings/etc. more accessible by enabling closed captioning, subtitles, use of chat boxes as needed.


We will notify employees, potential hires and the public that accommodations can be made during recruitment and hiring.

We will notify staff that supports are available for those with disabilities. We will put in place a process to develop individual accommodation plans for employees.

Where needed, we will also provide customized emergency information to help an employee with a disability during an emergency.


  • Informed all employees, students, and volunteers of their right to accommodation of a disability during their orientation.
  • Provided individual workplace emergency response information to employees who have a disability, if required.
  • Created individual accommodation plans for employees needing assistance, if required.
  • Provided training to Management about rights and responsibilities under the Code and the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA).
  • Ensured individual emergency plans are updated, as required.


  • We will continue to notify our employees and the public about the availability of accommodation for applicants with disabilities during the recruitment process by including a statement that “To build a strong and representative workforce, we are committed to seeking candidates who will contribute to a caring and inclusive culture. We encourage applications from members of communities that are underrepresented – including but not limited to members of BIPOC and 2SLGBTQ+ communities, people with disabilities, and all people who identify as women. If you require accommodations to participate in the recruitment process, please contact notify Human Resources to make your needs known in advance.”
  • We will consult with applicant to identify barriers: location of interview room, format of tests, room set-up for in-person interviews, interviewing timelines, supports, paperwork, and put into place appropriate accommodation.


  • Upgrading infrastructure for more touchless systems (buttons to open doors, water coolers, hand sanitizer, etc.)
  • Created an additional accessible office on the main floor in Richmond Hill Office.
  • Hybrid work model creates opportunities for staff where getting to offices is a barrier to employment.

Please contact us if you wish to receive a copy of our Accessibility Compliance report.