Accessible service policy

​​​​​​Our commitment

As a unit of Wilfrid Laurier University, the Laurier Library will adopt and implement the Accessible Service Policy for Persons with Disabilities (8.10) established by the University in 2010 (revised August 30, 2016) in compliance with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA).

The Library's policy is meant to supplement the University’s Accessible Service Policy for Persons with Disabilities (8.10) in situations that are unique to the Library.

Definitions

  • Definitions of the terms disability, service animal, support person, accessible formats, communication supports and others are provided in the University’s Accessible Service Policy for Persons with Disabilities (8.10) and are adopted in this document.

Guiding Principles

  • The Laurier Library will provide customer service in a way that respects the dignity and independence of persons with disabilities;
  • The Laurier Library will ensure that each member of the Laurier community has equal access to and ability to benefit from our services in a fully-integrated and barrier-free manner;
  • Laurier Library staff will provide service that reflects and supports these guiding principles.

2. Communication

Definition:

Communication applies to all forms of interaction (face to face conversation, telephone, email, documents, website, and online chat)

  • Laurier Library staff will communicate with persons with disabilities in a manner that takes into account their disability. This commitment matches the goals set out by the University's Accessible Service Policy;
  • The Library, in conjunction with the University's training program, will train all customer service staff to interact and communicate appropriately with people with diverse disabilities.

3. Accessible Formats

  • As outlined in the University’s Accessible Service Policy (Section 5.02) and the Canada Copyright Act (Section 32 (1-3) and Section 416(1)), the Library will, upon request and in a timely manner, provide accessible formats and communication supports, taking into account the needs of the individual making the request.

Library Collections

  • As outlined in the University’s Accessible Service Policy (Section 5.04), Laurier Library will, upon request and where available, acquire an accessible or conversion-ready format of print, digital or multimedia resources or materials for a person with a disability. Exceptions include items in special collections, archival materials, rare books, and donations.

Materials Created by Library

  • Any information created or digitized locally by the Library such as online course readings and online tutorials will be made into an accessible format at the time of preparation;
  • Any accessible formats or communication supports will be provided at no more than the regular cost charged to other Library patrons, should a cost exist.

4. Emergency Plans

  • As outlined in the University’s Accessible Service Policy (Section 5.03), emergency response plans and other public safety information will be provided by the University in an accessible format upon request.

5. Assistive Devices

  • The Laurier Library will allow persons with disabilities to use their personal assistive devices to access the services of the Library;
  • The University will provide training and information to all employees on various assistive devices. This will be supplemented by additional training for Library staff, as needed, for assistive devices unique to the Library;
  • The Library will make available a limited number of assistive devices for in-Library use, if required (could include: headphones, height-adjustable workstations, screen reading software, quiet study rooms, adjustable chairs, foot rests);
  • To support persons with disabilities whose usual assistive device is not adequate to complete Library research, alternate service is available upon request by making an appointment with the Library’s Accessibility Services staff.

6. Service Animals

  • The Library will welcome persons with disabilities accompanied by a service animal to all areas of the building that are open to the public and third parties (with the exception of the staff kitchenette at the Waterloo Campus, in accordance with the Health Protection and Promotion Act, Ontario Regulation 562 Section 60);
  • If a service animal cannot be readily identified as a service animal through visual indicators such as a vest or harness, the person accompanied by a service animal may be required to present documentation or confirmation from the Laurier Accessible Learning Centre or one of the approved regulated health professionals listed in Ontario Regulation 191/11 Integrated Accessibility Standard Section 80.45 (4)b; (https://www.ontario.ca/laws/regulation/110191)
  • The University will deliver appropriate training to all employees on how to interact with persons with disabilities who are accompanied by a service animal. The Library may also provide additional training for Library staff to reflect the unique environment of the Library.

7. Support Persons

  • The Library welcomes persons with disabilities who are accompanied by a support person;
  • Individuals and their support person together will be allowed access to the Laurier Library. At no time will an individual with a disability be required to be separated from their support person.
  • In limited cases where the Library deems that a person with a disability must be accompanied by a support person for health and safety reasons, the Library will consult with the person to understand their needs, and to determine if there is no other way to protect the health and safety of the individual. Should a support person be required, any admission fee or fare for the support person will be waived should one exist.

8. Notice of Temporary Disruptions Policy

  • The University will provide notice of planned or unexpected disruption of facilities on the campus;
  • In addition, the Laurier Library will provide notice of planned or unexpected disruption to the facilities and services usually used by persons with disabilities;
  • Each notice will include a description of the reason for disruption, its anticipated duration and a description of alternative facilities or services, if available;
  • Each notice will be posted at the main entrance of the Library and at service counters throughout the building, as well as on the Library website (Library.wlu.ca) and electronic notice board in the main foyer (Waterloo Campus).

9. Procurement

  • In accordance with the University’s Accessible Service Policy (Section 5.09), the Library will ensure that facilities, services and goods are accessible by incorporating accessibility criteria and features into all purchasing practices, except where it is not practicable to do so;
  • Each employee purchasing a good, service or facility will consider and apply the appropriate accessibility criteria using the University’s procurement website and the Library’s Procurement Toolkit as guides;
  • When designing, procuring or acquiring self-service kiosks, the Library will include accessibility features.

10. Staff Training

  • Wilfrid Laurier University will deliver training to all its employees, volunteers and others who deal with the public, and all those who are involved in the development and approval of customer service policies, practices and procedures including managers, department heads, etc.;
  • The University’s Accessible Service Policy (Section 5.12.1) outlines the type of customer service training that will be provided to all new employees;
  • In addition, all Library staff will participate in further training specific to the accessibility policies, procedures and practices of the Laurier Library. This training will be required for all new employees. Refresher training and updating of knowledge will be required for all Library staff.

11. Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation Training

  • Wilfrid Laurier University will provide training on the requirements of the IASR and on the Ontario Human Rights Code as it pertains to persons with disabilities;
  • The Library will offer customized training in the policies, practices and procedures under the IASR that are unique to the Library environment.

12. Accessibility Awareness Training for Educators

  • Accessibility awareness training will be offered by the University to educators at Laurier. Library staff involved in instruction will be encouraged to attend.

13. Feedback Process

  • Feedback about the delivery of goods and services to persons with disabilities in the Library may be given by telephone, in person, in writing, or online at library.wlu.ca/help/feedback ;
  • Upon request the Library will arrange for accessible formats or communication supports to facilitate the feedback processes outlined above;
  • Information about the University’s feedback process will be readily available to the public and notice of the process will be posted on Wilfrid Laurier University’s website (https://www.wlu.ca/) and/or in other appropriate locations.

Policy Approved by Library Council January 11, 2017