Ottawa Bluesfest is committed to providing accessible customer service to people with disabilities; in a manner that respects their dignity, independence, integration and that is equitable in relation to the broader public. The festival permits people with disabilities to use assistive devices, service animals and/or support personnel. The festival has established an Accessibility volunteer team (A-Team) who provide support and feedback to continually improve the accessibility of the event. A-Team volunteers will be roaming the site to offer support, and stationed in the A-Team Tent (near the Info Booth) to offer guidance and light support as needed.
The policy applies to all persons who interact with members of the public on behalf of the festival, whether the person does so as an employee, volunteer or contractor.
Festival services, programs and goods are to be provided to people with disabilities in a manner that:
- Accommodates disability-related needs*
- Reflects the principles of dignity and independence
- Seeks to provide integrated services and equality of opportunity
*Accommodate is defined as modifying the delivery of services, programs and goods to make them accessible to persons with disabilities.
We will communicate respectfully with people with disabilities in ways that take into account their disability, providing assistance (e.g. reading text aloud) when requested.
People with disabilities are permitted to use their own personal assistive devices at all times to access goods and services provided by the Ottawa Bluesfest. However, due to the ground’s natural terrain and size, it can be difficult to manoeuvre a wheelchair. The festival does not provide personal care or golf cart rides, but RBC Bluesfest’s volunteer A-Team does offer push service and light support.
There is an elevated platform in the main bowl designated for patrons using wheelchairs with view of the main Stage, in addition to priority access to the VIP Club areas at other stages.
Collapsible lawn chairs are permitted throughout the site and we encourage those who may have difficulty standing for long periods to bring them.
We welcome people with disabilities and their service animals. Service animals are allowed on the Ottawa Bluesfest site and in the office.
People with disabilities who rely on a support person are welcome to attend our event.
Support persons are permitted on the festival grounds without additional cost above the admission price for the patron with a disability (one support person per person with a disability). We shall notify customers of this policy via a notice posted on our festival website.
**The definition of a "support person" under the Guide to the Accessibility Standards for Customer Service, Ontario Regulation 429/07 is as follows:
- (8) "support person" means, in relation to a person with a disability, another person who accompanies him or her in order to help with communication, mobility, personal care or medical needs or with access to goods or services.
Training for staff
Ottawa Bluesfest will provide training to employees, volunteers and others who deal with the public or other third parties on their behalf. The training is done through http://curriculum.org/sae-en/.
Training will include:
- An overview of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 and the requirements of the customer service standard
- Ottawa Bluesfest’s accessible customer service plan.
- How to interact and communicate with people with various types of disabilities
- How to interact with people with disabilities who use an assistive device or require the assistance of a service animal or a support person
- What to do if a person with a disability experiences difficulty in accessing Ottawa Bluesfest’s goods and services
Customers who wish to provide feedback on how Ottawa Bluesfest provides goods and services to people with disabilities can do so via e-mail or verbally (phone or in person). All feedback will be directed to Mike Rouleau, Director of Operations (firstname.lastname@example.org, 613-247-1188 x. 232). A confirmation of feedback will be given within 48 hours of receipt. Complaints will be addressed according to our organization’s regular complaint management procedures.