Customer Service Policy for the Provision of Goods and Services to People with Disabilities
1. Purpose / Objective
In accordance with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (the “Act”) and Ontario Regulation 429/07 (the “Customer Service Standard”) Wesley Acres Inc. has developed policies, practices and procedures for the provision of goods or services to people with disabilities.
The Policy is guided by the fundamental principles underlying the Customer Service Standard. We are committed to ensuring that the requirements set out in the Act and the Customer Service Standard is rigorously observed.
We recognize the importance of making goods and services accessible to people with disabilities. We are committed to providing excellent customer service and a respectful, welcoming and inclusive environment to all individuals who use our goods and services.
“We” and “Our” means Wesley Acres Inc.
For the purpose of the Policy, all definitions in the Act and the Customer Service Standard will be deemed to be definitions under the Policy.
3. Mission Statement
Wesley Acres Inc. is committed to eliminating obstacles faced by members/customers who have disabilities. We will make reasonable efforts to ensure that the Policy and related practices and procedures are consistent with the following principles as prescribed in the Customer Service Standard:
i. The Company will provide goods and services in a manner that respects the dignity and independence of people with disabilities;
ii. The Company will provide integrated services to people with disabilities wherever possible and we will provide alternative measures to provide goods and services to people with disabilities where integration is not possible; and
iii. The Company will provide equal opportunity to people with disabilities to obtain, use or benefit from our goods or services.
This policy applies to all employees of Wesley Acres Inc. and any third party that provides goods and services on behalf of the Company and who may interact with the public or third parties.
5. Providing Goods and Services to People with Disabilities
When communicating with a person with a disability, we will take into account the particular individual’s needs and circumstances. Staff members who communicate with customers or third parties have been trained on how to interact with people with various types of disabilities in order to ensure we provide responsive and effective communication.
ii. Assistive Devices
The Company will permit the use of personal assistive devices by people with disabilities to obtain, use or benefit from our goods and services.
Our staff is trained and familiar with various assistive devices that may be used by people with disabilities accessing our goods and services, so as to better provide services to these individuals. The Company is able to provide assistive communication devices:
- Large print
iii. Telephone Services
In order to provide effective service to people with disabilities, our Staff is trained to speak to customers slowly in clear and plain language over the telephone. If the disability provides a barrier to telephone communications, we are committed to communicate through email or fax.
In order to best serve people with disabilities, we provide our invoices in the following formats upon request: hard copy, large print, and fax or by email. Questions regarding invoices will be answered in person, by telephone, fax or by email.
v. Public Information and Feedback
All of our public information (applications, news letters, website, etc) will be made accessible upon request.
Individuals with disabilities seeking employment with our organization are welcome to apply and we ensure your needs will be accommodated in the hiring process. Individuals with disabilities already under our employ will have their needs accommodated for day to day tasks, meetings, talent development, etc. Workplace information will be made accessible to employees upon request.
6. Use of Service Animals and Support Persons
A person with a disability who uses the assistance of a service animal is permitted to access all areas of our premises open to the public or third parties with the service animal. If it is not readily apparent that the animal is used by the person for reasons related to his or her disability, we may ask the person to provide a letter from a physician or nurse that confirms that the animal is required for reasons related to disability.
Our staff has been trained on how to interact with people with disabilities who are accompanied by a service animal.
A person with a disability who requires the assistance of a support person will be allowed to enter all areas of our premises open to the public or third parties with the support person. The person with a disability will not be prevented from access to the support person at any time while on our premises.
No fees will be charged for admission to our premises, by support persons who are enabling a person with a disability to access our products and services. Fees will only apply if the support person is receiving products and services for their own personal/professional gain. Some services and events may require that a support person pay for food and beverage costs based on a cost recovery only. This will be determined individually.
7. Notice of Temporary Disruption
If there is a temporary disruption in the facilities or services usually used by people with disabilities we will provide customers with notice as soon as possible. In the notice of disruption, we will include the following information:
i. The reason for the disruption,
ii. The anticipated duration of the disruption, and
iii. A description of any alternative facilities or services, if available.
The notice will be posted on all public entrances to our premises.
8. Training for Staff
The Company will provide training to all of its employees, relevant volunteers and other individuals who have contact with the public or third parties on our behalf, and all individuals who are involved in the development of our policies, practices and procedures. Training will be provided to each individual as soon as practical after he or she is assigned the duties which require the need for training.
Training will be received on an ongoing basis whenever we make changes to our policies, practices or procedures to ensure that the Policy is properly implemented and followed at all times.
All staff including part time seasonal workers will be required to participate in the training.
Our training program consists of the following:
i. An overview of the purpose of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 and the requirements under the Customer Service Standard;
ii. Training on how to interact and communicate with persons with various types of disabilities;
iii. Training on how to interact with persons with disabilities who use an assistive device or require the assistance of a guide dog or other service animal or the assistance of a support person;
iv. Training on how to use equipment or devices available on the Company’s premises or otherwise provided by the Company that may help with the provision of goods or services to a person with a disability;
v. Training on what to do if a person with a particular type of disability is having difficulty accessing the Company’s goods or services; and
vi. Training on our current policies, practices and procedures relating to the Customer Service Standard.
The Company will keep records of the training provided, including the dates on which the training was received and the number of participants.
9. Feedback Process
In order to properly assess the needs of people with disabilities, the Company has created a feedback process. We welcome comments from individuals on how effectively we are accommodating people with disabilities in the provision of our goods and services.
i. Receiving Feedback
Feedback may be provided in person, in writing, by email, by telephone or by another method.
ii. Responding to Complaints
The Company will address complaints that arise through the feedback process in a timely manner and in the same method that the feedback was received unless indicated otherwise by the person with a disability.
10. Notice of Availability of Documents
The Policy and any corresponding practices and procedures will be made available to any person on request.
We post notice of the availability of these documents on all our premises to which the Policy applies and on our website at:
11. Format of Documents
Upon request we will do our best to provide a copy of the Policy in a format that takes into account the disability of the person submitting the request.
12. Modifications to the Policy and Related Policies
Any modifications made to the Policy and any related policies will be for the purpose of improving our ability to provide services to people with disabilities. Any change made to the Policy or related policies will carefully take into account the impact on people with disabilities. Any provision of the Policy or related policies that does not enhance our ability to provide goods and services to people with disabilities will be modified accordingly.
13. Questions About the Policy
We welcome questions regarding our commitment to providing accessible goods and services to people with disabilities. Should you have any questions regarding our policies, please contact us and ask for the following representatives. They will be happy to assist:
Carol Babcock (Executive Director)
Josh Baker (Compliance & Communications)