Stewart Park Festival Accessibility Policy

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1. PREAMBLE
Stewart Park Festival is committed to accessibility where possible for all festival attendees and participants in all festival programs and activities. The following policies will be put into practice as required by Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act.

2. THE SITE
The site itself is a level grassed area with access from all sides, including the food area. There are washroom facilities for persons with disabilities, as well as a designated seating area. The only venue with a 2nd floor (Studio Theatre) has an elevator.

3. ACCESSIBLE COMMUNICATION
Stewart Park Festival is committed to meeting the communication needs of people with disabilities. When asked, we will, provide information and communication materials in accessible formats with communication supports to the best of our ability. Our Stewart Park Festival website is provided in large-text format and visitors can access the program from this format.

We will have an information booth on site where visitors can access one-on-one support from our volunteers to provide any necessary communication guidance.

4. SERVICE ANIMALS AND ASSISTIVE DEVICES
The festival makes every effort to ensure that employees and volunteers are trained and familiar with various assistive devices that may be used by people with disabilities attending the festival. Stewart Park Festival welcomes people with disabilities who are accompanied by certified service animals. While dogs are not allowed on the festival site because of a town by-law, certified service dogs are the exception.

5. SUPPORT PERSONS/WORKERS
The Stewart Park Festival welcomes all support persons including family members, friends, and contract support workers accompanying an individual with a disability.

If an individual with a disability has a family member, friend or support worker and they wish to attend the ticketed after-hours event, the support person will get entrance at no charge.

6. NOTICE OF TEMPORARY DISRUPTION OF SERVICES
In the event of a planned or unexpected disruption to services or facilities for people with disabilities (including, but not limited to, on-site facilities, accessible parking, and volunteer assistance), Stewart Park Festival will promptly up-date all affected people by announcements from the main stage and by means of the local radio station (Lake 88).

Complete copies of the Emergency Plan, including all Emergency Response Procedures, will be kept at the BIA office for issue during training and distributed at the start of the Festival to each event location. It is understood that Festival Committee members are expected to carry a copy of the Emergency Contact Numbers with them at all times.

7. TRAINING
Festival volunteers are informed and trained in regards to the policy, as well as the provision of goods and services to persons with disabilities. This training takes place at the festival’s Volunteer Orientation Session on the Tuesday prior to the festival and includes a quick overview of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act and the Stewart Park Festival Accessibility Policy. It also includes training on how to interact and communicate with people with various types of disabilities and what to do if a person with a disability is having difficulty in accessing onsite services. Volunteers are shown a short training video. Information in regards to the festival’s Accessibility Policy is also found in the Volunteer Hand-out.

The volunteers who work the gate are trained in how to direct accommodation requests. To the best of its ability, the festival will provide information and communication materials in accessible formats with communication supports.

The festival’s Site Coordinator, in conjunction with support staff, is assigned to respond to or resolve accommodation requests during the weekend.

8. TRANSPORTATION
There is a shuttle bus operating during the festival. In 2017 the festival will investigate the possibility of using a vehicle that accommodates wheelchairs.

The festival has a number of handicap parking spaces, as well as a handicap loading & unloading area. These are clearly marked on the festival map posted on its website and in its program.

9. INFORMATION AND FEEDBACK PROCESS
Individuals may request information regarding the festival’s accessibility policy at any time by contacting [email protected] or by phoning 613-267-3311 exl.2251.

Festival attendees who wish to provide feedback on the way Stewart Park Festival provides services to people with disabilities are encouraged may provide comments on either written or verbal at the Info Booth during the festival or at [email protected]

10. ONGOING PROCESS
The Stewart Park Festival is committed to meeting the needs of those with disabilities. The festival prides itself on being small enough to attend to the individual needs of such individuals, while being large enough to provide the amenities they need.

The festival will continue to seek input from people with disabilities in order to ensure their needs are being met. A festival feedback form is available at the Info Booth and the volunteer coordinator gathers feedback from all of the volunteers.

The festival reviews its practices annually. Any that do not respect and promote the dignity and independence of people with disabilities are modified or removed.