Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act – Customer Service Care
Policy #: Section: #3 Effective: Revised: 3-21
Program Services, Standards and Guidelines
In accordance with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 and Ontario Regulation 429/07 “Accessibility Standards for Customer Service”
Community Living Espanola (CLE) will endeavour to ensure that its policies, practices and procedures for the provision of its services are consistent with the principles outlined in the Accessibility Standards for Customer Services.
CLE will provide an environment in all of its facilities that reflects the values of diversity, dignity, inclusion, independence and equal opportunity for all persons who have a disability.
This policy, practices and procedures have been established by CLE to govern the provision of its services in accordance with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 and specifically Regulation 429/07 “Accessibility Standards for Customer Service”. The agency will ensure that all people are treated with dignity and respect when they are customers of Community Living Espanola.
This statement of Policy and Procedures applies to all employees, people receiving supports, volunteers and students.
It is the responsibility of the Program Manager to ensure that all employees, participants, volunteers and students understand and comply with the policy.
It is the responsibility of all employees, participants, volunteers and student to adhere to the policy.
Accessibility – extent to which a consumer or user can obtain a good or service. Ease of contact with a person or organization. Ease of entry.
Assistive Device – A device that assists users in accomplishing day to day functions (such as wheelchairs, mobility aids, hearing aids, special eating utensils).
Service Animals – Animals that have been trained to perform tasks that assist people with disabilities, i.e., guide dog.
Communication – The process of transferring information from one person to another.
All employees, volunteers and others who deal with the public or other third parties on behalf of the organization will receive training which will include:
- The purpose of the Accessibility for Ontarians Disability Act, 2005 and the requirements of the Customer Service standard.
- A review of this policy including an annual review.
- How to interact and communicate with individuals who have various types disabilities, including the use of assistive devices, or people who require the assistance of a service animal or support person.
- Responses for a person who has a disability if they are having difficulty accessing agency goods and services.
- How to communicate with individuals who have various disabilities.
The training will be conducted within the new employee’s probationary period and annually thereafter. The training will be followed by a test to determine the employees’ understanding of the policy. Additional training will be provided when changes are made to policies, procedures and practices.
When communicating with an individual who has a disability, employees of CLE will communicate in a manner that takes into account the person’s disability and is respectful of the person.
The organization will communicate with customers over the phone utilizing clear and plain language. In addition to the telephone, email and texting messages can be used.
An assessment of physical accessibility needs will be conducted annually at each location.
CLE will support individuals who use assistive devices to obtain, use or benefit from its services. The agency will also ensure that employees are aware of available assistive devices that are at locations that may be used by customers.
CLE is committed to welcoming people who have disabilities who are accompanied by a service animal on the premises that are open to the public.
For individuals who require a support person for assistance while accessing service, the support person may enter the premises. CLE will endeavour to eliminate or reduce costs to support persons for events its hosts. If the agency is charging for a support person, that person will be informed well in advance and in a manner that best suits the needs of the event.
Accessible invoices will be provided to customers as required. Upon request invoices will be provided in large print or by email. Questions about any invoice will be answered in a manner required by the individual.
Notice of Temporary Disruption
In the event of a planned or unexpected disruption to CLE’s facilities or services that are usually used by persons who have a disability, CLE will provide notice of the disruption to the public. This will include the reason for the disruption, its anticipated duration and a description of alternative facilities or services, if available.
Notice shall also be placed on public entrances and the service counters on the premises.
CLE strives to meet and exceed customer expectations while serving customers who have disabilities. Comments, both positive and negative are welcomed and considered instrumental in measuring how well customers’ expectations are being met.
Complaints regarding CLE’s Accessibility Policy can be made by utilizing the agency’s internal complaint procedure.
If anyone has questions regarding this policy, CLE will provide copies of this policy, or the information contained in the policy in a format that takes into account the person’s disability.