What is AODA?
The goal of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (“AODA”) is to create a more accessible Ontario, by identifying, and to the extent possible, preventing and eliminating barriers experienced by persons with disability.
Accessible Customer Service
We are committed to providing services that are accessible, and compliant with the customer service requirements of AODA, to all persons that we serve in a manner that:
- respects the dignity and independence of persons with disabilities;
- integrates each person, as fully as reasonably possible, to benefit from services;
- facilitates, as fully as reasonably possible, an equal opportunity to that given to others in all aspects of our day to day operations;
- allows all persons to benefit from the same services, in the same place, and in a similar way, as is reasonable available.
We will implement the following procedures and practices:
- when communicating with a person with a disability, the communication will be done in such a manner to take into consideration the person’s disability;
- persons with disabilities who are accompanied by either a support person or a service animal are permitted on our premises;
- notice will be provided when a known disruption will likely affect persons with disabilities;
- individuals are free to provide feedback on how we provide services to persons with disabilities by contacting the legal department as outlined under the headline “Feedback Process” below.
- persons with disabilities are free to use their assistive devices;
We will provide training on the provision of its services to people with disabilities to:
- every person who deals with members of the public or other third parties on behalf of us, whether the person does so as an employee, agent, volunteer or otherwise; and
- every person who participates in developing our policies, practices and procedures governing the provision of services to members of the public or other third parties.
The training will include:
- a review of the purposes of AODA and the requirements of the customer standard;
- current internal policies, practices and procedures regarding the provision of services to persons with disabilities;
- how to interact and communicate with people with a disability;
- how to interact with people 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;
- how to use equipment and devices available on our premises or otherwise provided by us that may help with the provision of the products or services to a person with a disability; and
- protocol to deal with a situation where a person with a disability is having difficulty accessing our products and services.
We will communicate with persons with disabilities in ways that take into account their disability. This means that employees will communicate and interact with them in a manner that enables persons with disabilities to use and receive our products, services and/or facilities. We will train employees who communicate with customers on how to interact and communicate with persons with disabilities.
We are committed to enable persons with disabilities, who use assistive devices, to obtain, access or use its products and services.
We will ensure that staff will know how to use, and instruct others in the use of, assistive devices should their assistance be required.
Service Animals and Support Persons
Persons with disabilities may bring their service animal on the parts of our premises that are open to the public or other third parties, except where the animal is excluded by law. If the service animal is excluded by law, reasonable steps will be taken by the staff to accommodate the person with disability on a case by case basis, such as meeting the person in a different part of the premises.
Persons with disabilities may be accompanied by a support person. On rare occasions, a manager may determine that a support person is required, consistent with certain legal requirements. In these instances, managers will suggest appropriate alternatives and provide assistance to those persons, to enable them to access our products and/or services.
When a support person is required (e.g., sign language facilitators, interpreters, etc.), he or she will be permitted to accompany the person with a disability on the parts of our premises that are open to the public or to our sponsored or required meeting or event. The support person may be required to sign in with his/her name, address, identification, and name of the accompanied person with disability.
We will ensure that all employees, volunteers and third parties dealing with the public are trained in how to interact with persons with disabilities who are accompanied by a service animal or support person.
Accessible Document Formats
Within a reasonable time, following request by a person with a disability, we will take steps to make documents available in a format that is accessible to that person, unless it is not technically feasible to do so.
We have established a process for receiving and responding to feedback on the manner in which it provides services to persons with disabilities. Information about this process is available to any person.
Personal privacy will be respected, and all feedback will be reviewed for possible action that can be taken to improve our policies, practices and procedures.
Complaints will be dealt with as soon as reasonably practicable.
We will endeavour to provide feedback responses and/or documents requested in a format that is accessible to the complainant.
Notice of Temporary Disruptions
We will provide notice in the event of a planned or unexpected disruption in the facilities or services usually used by persons with disabilities. This notice will include information with respect to the reason for the disruption, how long the disruption is expected to last, and a description of any alternative facilities or services if available.
The notice will be posed in a conspicuous place on the premises.
Modifications to the Policy
We are committed to ensuring that our customer service policies, practices and procedures respect and promote the dignity and independence of all persons with disabilities. Therefore, no changes will be made to this Policy before considering the impact on persons with disabilities.
Any of our operational policy affecting customer service that do not respect and promote the dignity, independence, integration and equal opportunity of persons with disabilities will be modified or revoked.