1. Purpose and Background Information
The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (AODA) is a Provincial Act with the purpose of developing, implementing and mandating accessibility standards in order to achieve accessibility for persons with disabilities, with respect to goods, services, facilities, accommodation, employment, buildings, structures and premises. Under the AODA, Ontario Regulation 429/07, entitled “Accessibility Standards for Customer Service” (the Regulation), came into force on January 1, 2008. The Regulation establishes accessibility standards specific to customer service for public sector organizations and other persons or organizations that provide goods and services to members of the public or other third parties.
The objectives of this policy is to identify what the equal treatment provisions of the Ontario Human Rights Code, through the AODA and the Regulation, require as a minimum legal standard in program design and service delivery to persons with disabilities and addresses the following:
- The provision of goods and services to persons with disabilities;
- The use of assistive devices by persons with disabilities;
- The use of service animals by persons with disabilities;
- The use of support persons by persons with disabilities;
- Notice of temporary disruptions in services and facilities;
- Customer feedback regarding the provision of goods and services to persons with disabilities;
- Notice of availability and format of documents.
This policy applies to all IMS employees, volunteers, visitors and others who deal with the public or other third parties on their behalf.
3.0 Policy Statement
3.1 Our commitment
IMS strives at all times to provide goods and services in a way that respects the dignity, independence, integration and equal opportunity of persons with disabilities.
3.2 Providing goods and services to people with disabilities
IMS is committed to excellence in serving all customers including people with disabilities. This commitment is demonstrated in the areas of:
- Communication – we communicate with people with disabilities in ways that take into account their disability. We train staff who communicate with customers on how to interact and communicate with people with various types of disabilities.
- Telephone Services – we are committed to providing fully accessible telephone service to our customers. We train staff to communicate with customers over the telephone in clear and plain language and to speak clearly and slowly.
- Assistive Devices – we are committed to serving people with disabilities who use assistive devices to obtain, use or benefit from our goods and services. We ensure that our staff is trained and familiar with various assistive devices that may be used by customers with disabilities while accessing our goods or services.
- Billing – we are committed to providing accessible invoices to all our customers. Invoices will be provided in alternative format upon request. We will answer any questions customers may have about the content of the invoice in person, by telephone or email.
- Use of Service Animals and Support Persons – we are committed to welcoming people with disabilities who are accompanied by a service animal on the parts of the premises that are open to the public and other third parties. We will also ensure that all employees, volunteers and others dealing with the public are properly trained in how to interact with people with disabilities who are accompanied by a service animal. We are committed to welcoming people with disabilities who are accompanied by a support person. Any person with a disability who is accompanied by a support person will be allowed to enter IMS premises with his or her support person. At no time will a person with a disability who is accompanied by a support person be prevented from having access to his or her support person while on the premises.
- Notice of Temporary Disruption – IMS provides customers with notice in the event of a planned or unexpected disruption of the goods or services usually provided to people with disabilities. This notice will be posted via IMS website, email and/or physical posting (temporary signage) on the public entrances to the premises. The notice shall include:
- The time, date and location of the disruption;
- Information about the reason for the disruption;
- Anticipated duration of the disruption;
- Descriptions of alternative access to goods and services or facilities, if any;
- Contact information for the responsible service area.
IMS provides training to all employees, volunteers and others who deal with the public or other third parties on our behalf. Training is developed and can be delivered in various formats.
Training will include the following:
- The purposes of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 and the requirements of the customer service standard
- How to interact and communicate with people with disabilities who use an assistive device or require the assistance of a service animal or support person
- How to learn about the use of various assistive devices
- What to do if a person with a disability is having difficulty in accessing IMS goods and services
- IMS policies, practices and procedures relating to the customer service standard. Applicable departmental employees will be trained on policies, practices and procedures that affect the way goods and services are provided to people with disabilities. They will also be trained on an ongoing basis when changes are made to these policies, practices and procedures.
The ultimate goal for IMS is to meet and surpass customer expectations while serving customers with disabilities. Comments on our services regarding how well those expectations are being met are welcome and appreciated.
Customers who wish to provide feedback can do so by contacting Human Resources by mail, fax 519-745-9774, telephone 519-745-8887 ext. 4226,
email at email@example.com or in person by arranging an appointment.
IMS will respond within ten (10) business days.
4.3 Modifications to this or other policies
IMS is committed to developing customer service policies that respect and promote the dignity and independence of people with disabilities. All IMS policies and procedures will be developed or updated in such a manner as to respect and promote the dignity and independence of persons with disabilities.
4.4 Questions about this policy
This policy exists to achieve service excellence to customers with disabilities. Questions about this policy can be directed to Human Resources Department at: firstname.lastname@example.org