Accessibility Standards For Customer Service

ACCESSIBILITY STANDARDS FOR CUSTOMER SERVICE

Purpose

The AODA was passed by the Ontario legislature with the goal of creating a barrier-free Ontario by 2025. Under the AODA, the government will develop and enforce specific standards to improve accessibility across the province. The standards will set requirements in a number of key areas. Five sets of standards are planned, including:

  1. Customer Service – regulation now in force
  2. Transportation
  3. Information and Communication
  4. Built Environment
  5. Employment

The Accessibiliy Standards for Customer Service, Ontario Regulation 429/07, (O.Reg 429/07) is the first standard that has been developed and officially made law. It sets out specific and general requirements to ensure goods and services are provided in ways that are accessible to people with disabilities.

The objective of this policy is to meet the requirements of the Accessiblity for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (the ‘AODA’) and Ontario Regulation 429/07 entitled ‘Accessibility Standards for Customer Service’. This policy applies to all Anago (Non) Residential Resources Inc. employees, volunteers including board members and students.


Policy

Anago endeavours to ensure that its policies, practices, and procedures for the provision of its services are consistent with the principles of dignity, independence, integration and equal opportunity as outlined in the Accessibility Standards for Customer Service:

  1. Our services must be provided in a manner that respects the dignity and independence of persons with disabilities.
  2. The provision of our services to persons with disabilities and others must be integrated unless an alternate measure is necessary, whether temporarily or on a permanent basis, to enable a person with a disability to obtain, use or benefit from our services.
  3. Persons with disabilities must be given an opportunity equal to that given to others to obtain, use and benefit from our services.

Definitions

“Alternative format” shall mean any other ways of publishing information beyond traditional printing (i.e. large print, audio format, etc.)

“Assistive devices” shall mean a technical aide, communication device, or medical aid modified or customized, that is used to increase, maintain, or improve the functional abilities of people with disabilities. Examples include, but are not limited to walkers, canes, wheelchairs, hearing aids or oxygen tanks.

“Barrier” shall mean anything that prevents a person with a disability from fully participating in all aspects of society because of his or her diability, including a physical barrier, an architectural barrier, information or communications barrier, an attitudinal barrier, a technological barrier, a policy or a practice.

“Customers” shall mean any person who receives goods or services.

“Disabilities” shall mean the same as the definition of diability found in the Ontario Human Rights Code:

  1. Any degree of physical disability, infirmity, malformation or disfigurement that is caused by bodily injury, birth defect or illness and, without limiting the generality of the forgoing, includes diabetes mellitus, epilepsy, a brain injury, any degree of paralysis, amputation, lack of physical co-ordination, blindness or visual impediment, deafness or hearing impediment, muteness or speech impediment, or physical reliance on a guide dog or other animal or on a wheelchair or other remedial appliance or device,
  2. A condition of mental impairment or a developmental disability,
  3. A learning disability, or a dysfunction in one or more of the processes involved in understanding or using symbols or spoken language,
  4. A mental disorder, or
  5. An injury or disability for which benefits were claimed or received under the insurance plan established under the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act, 1997.

“Employees” shall mean every person who deals with members of the public or other third parties on behalf of the Association, whether the person does so as an employee, agent, volunteer or otherwise.

“Persons with Disabilities” shall mean those individuals that are afflicted with a disibility as defined under the Ontario Human Rights Code.

“Service Animals” shall mean any animal individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of a person with a disability.

“Support persons” shall mean any person, whether a paid professional, volunteer, family member or friend, who accompanies a person with a disability in order to help with communications, personal care or medical needs or with access to goods or services.


Procedures

Use of Assistive Devices
Anago recognizes that some people use assistive devices (such as wheelchairs, mobility aids, hearing aids, etc) to access services. Anago shall support people in the use of their assistive devices to obtain or receive services unless otherwise prohibited due to health and safety or privacy issues. In these situations, Anago may offer a person with a disability other reasonable measures to assist in obtaining and using Anago’s services where applicable.

It is the responsibility of the person with a disability to ensure that their assistive device is operating in a safe and controlled manner at all times.

Communication
Anago shall communicate in a manner that takes into account the person’s disability.

  • Communication shall be respectful and individualized i.e. in person, by phone, written, or online.
  • Requested documents shall be in a format that takes into account the person’s disability and supports will be provided to ensure the person is able to understand and use the documents.
  • Anago shall ensure that any areas of premises that are not open to the public are marked “Employees Only”.

Service Animals
Anago recognizes that some people may require the use of guide dogs or other service animals to access services. People who are accompanied by a guide dog or other service animal will be permitted to enter Anago’s premises and to keep the animal with them, unless the animal is otherwise excluded by law from the premises.

If the animal is legally excluded from the premises, Anago will provide alternate measures to enable the person to obtain or receive services.

Support Persons
Anago recognizes that some people rely on support persons for assistance while accessing services and that these support people may accompany them on the premises. As well, people will have access to their support person while on the premises.

If Anago charges an admission fee in connection with a support person’s presence at an event or function, advance notice will be given regarding the amount, if any, that is to be paid by the support person.

Disruptions to Service
In the event of a planned or unexpected disruption to Anago’s facilities or services (e.g., temporary closure or a ramp), notice of the disruption will be provided to the public including; the reason for the disruption, its anticipated duration, and a description of alternative facilities or services that may be available. Notice of such disruption will normally be posted on Anago’s website and may also be posted on the physical premises by the supervisor or designate.

  • Employees shall inform their supervisor of any physical barriers, architectural barriers, information/communication barriers, technological barriers or a policy or practice that poses a barrier for people with disabilities.
  • Anago shall consider the impact on people with disabilities when planning new initiatives, when purchasing new equipment or technology, or undergoing facility repairs or renovations.

Training
Anago provides training to its employees, volunteers including board members, and students about the provision of services for people who have a disability. The training includes a review of this policy, the purposes of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005, as well as the requirements of the Accessibility Standards for Custome Service.

The training will also include:

  • How to interact and communicate with people who have various types of disabilities, including those who use assistive devices, service animals or support persons.
  • How to use any equipment or devices available at Anago that may help with the provision of services to people who have a disability; and,
  • What to do if a person who has a disability is having difficulty accessing Anago’s services.

Training will be done on an outgoing basis when changes are made to these policies, practices and procedures. New employees will be trained upon commencement of employment. Human Resources will keep a record of all training.

Feedback Process
The goal of Anago is to meed expectations of people who are supported while welcoming family members and other visitors. Comments on our services regarding how well those expectations are being met are welcomed and appreciated. Feedback may identify areas that require change and encourage continuous service improvements. Feedback regarding the provision of services to people with disabilities can be made in person, by phone, e-mail, in writing or throught the mail and will be dealt with in accordance with the Complaints’ Procedure.

Feedback regarding Anago’s Accessibility Standards for Customer Service can be made to any Director/designate.


Copies of this Policy

Anago shall make available copies of this policy, as well as the Complaints’ Procedure, on the Agency website or by requesting a copy from the Agency. Anago recognizes that people who have a disability use methods other than standard print to access information. Every effort shall be made to provide this policy, or the information contained in the policy, in a format that takes into account the person’s disability.

Posted
December 28, 2012

ACCOMMODATION FOR EMPLOYEES WITH DISABILITIES

Policy

Anago is committed to providing an accessible working, learning and living environment by providing barrier free employment, services and supports at all sites. The agency is also committed to ensuring that its policies, practices, and procedures for the provision of its services are consistent with the principles of dignity, independence, integration and equal opportunity.

In accordance with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005, Ontario Human Rights Code, and Accessibility Standards for Customer Service (AODA) Policy 0.19, Anago will proactively seek to reasonably accommodate employees by removing those barriers that limit, restrict or prevent them from participating fully and equally in the recruitment process and in the workplace because of disabilities.

 

Definitions

“Alternative format” shall mean any other ways of publishing information beyond traditional printing (i.e. large print, audio format, etc.)

 

“Barrier” shall mean anything that prevents a person with a disability form fully participating in all aspects of society because of his or her disability, including a physical barrier, an architectural barrier, information or communications barrier, an attitudinal barrier, a technological barrier, a policy or a practice.

 

“Disabilities” shall mean the same as the definition of disability found in the Ontario Human Rights Code:

  • Any degree of physical disability, infirmity, malformation or disfigurement that is caused by bodily injury, birth defect or illness and, without limiting the generality of the foregoing, includes diabetes mellitus, epilepsy, a brain injury, any degree of paralysis, amputation, lack of physical co-ordination, blindness or visual impediment, deafness or hearing impediment, muteness or speech impediment, or physical reliance on a guide dog or other animal or on a wheelchair or other remedial appliance or device,

(b)  A condition of mental impairment or a developmental disability,

  • A learning disability, or a dysfunction in one or more of the processes involved in understanding or using symbols or spoken language,
  • A mental disorder, or
  • An injury or disability for which benefits were claimed or received under the insurance plan established under the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act, 1997.

“Employees” shall mean every person who deals with members of the public or other third parties on behalf of the Association, whether the person does so as an employee, agent, volunteer or otherwise.

 

“Reasonable Accommodation” shall mean an individualized process which, to the point of undue hardship, involves the removal or alleviation of barriers that prevent an otherwise capable individual from participating equally in the workplace because of a disability. For the purpose of this policy, “reasonable accommodation” and “accommodation” are used interchangeably.

“Undue Hardship” shall mean to the point at which, having regard to all of the relevant circumstances, providing an employee with accommodation is outweighed by financial and/or agency costs, the impact on other employees, health and safety considerations and/or relevant factors involved in providing the accommodation.

Procedures

The Accommodation for Employees with Disabilities Policy is available at all Anago sites, is on the website and is provided to employees during the orientation period. The policy is reviewed annually and alternative formats of this policy will be made available if required and as requested.

Anago is committed to providing reasonable accommodations on an individualized basis for individuals who are impeded from fully accessing the workplace or performing the essential requirements of their work because of disabilities. All accommodations will be provided to the point of undue hardship.

 

Accommodation Requests and Return to Work Process

Any candidate or employee may request accommodation at any time. All accommodation requests are to be brought to the attention of Human Resources by submitting an Accommodation Request Form (HR209). If requested, the employee may provide his/her accommodation request in an alternative format that takes into account his/her accommodation needs.

Each employee who requests or requires workplace accommodation for a disability will be considered individually and on a case-by-case basis, when determining appropriate and reasonable accommodation measures. Supervisors and employees are both responsible for cooperating in the employee’s accommodation and/or return to work. A collaborative meeting will be held with the Employee, Supervisor, Human Resources and the union.

For employees returning to work after an illness or injury, the return to work process involves a review to determine whether there are any disabilities and/or required accommodation prior to the employee returning to the workplace, and is covered by the Employee Incident/Injury and Early and Safe Return to Work (ESRTW ) Policy 12.17.

 

Medical Documentation

Medical documentation must be provided which clearly confirms that the employee has a disability that interferes in his/her ability to do his/her job or otherwise participate fully in the workplace, outlines the specific functional abilities, limitations or restrictions that need to be accommodated, anticipated duration of the accommodation and prognosis for a safe return to work (if applicable).

Human Resources will review the medical documentation and will only communicate non-confidential information (e.g. functional abilities, limitations or restrictions, prognosis, anticipated duration of accommodation) to the employee’s supervisor. No confidential information (e.g. diagnosis, treatment plan, name/specialty of the health care professional) will be shared without the prior written consent of the employee, except only where the information needs to be shared with a supervisor or others in order to achieve the accommodation, in which case the employee will be consulted first.   All medical documentation will be stored with Human Resources in a strictly confidential manner and treated in accordance with the policy provisions for confidentiality.

Individual Accommodation Plan (IAP)

Upon approval, an Individual Accommodation Plan (IAP) (HR210) will be developed for the purpose of implementing the required accommodation and/or facilitating the return to work process for employees with disabilities. The IAP defines and addresses any barriers in order to identify appropriate accommodation measures and outlines the nature of the accommodation and the measures agreed upon.

All possible reasonable accommodation measures must be explored. The accommodation measures selected to be include in the IAP must be the measures that most respect the dignity of the employee while achieving the goal of providing the employee with reasonable accommodation, provided that no accommodation measure need be selected which creates undue hardship.

Anago is not required to create a new position for the employee. The Accommodation process and IAP are designed to assist the employee in performing his/her current position. However, in some cases, the employee may be assigned a temporary positions pending resolution of his/her disability to the point where he/she is able to return to his/her position, with or without accommodation.

The supervisor, with cooperation from the employee, is responsible for ensuring that the measures outlined in the IAP are implemented. Human Resources can assist with these measure where required. The IAP will be provided in an alternate format, if requested.

Follow Up

Human Resources and/or the Supervisor must conduct ongoing monitoring and reassessment of the IAP during the period of accommodation. Regular, documented accommodation meetings must occur throughout the period of accommodation. The IAP must be reviewed or revised if the restrictions or limitations have changed or if updated medical documentation is received.   Human Resources may request updated medical information on a periodic basis to support ongoing accommodations.

For long-term accommodation plan, the IAP should be reviewed at least annually or based on any of the following conditions:

  • Accommodation requirements change
  • Transfer to a different work site
  • Job responsibilities change

 

Denial of Request

In the event that an accommodation request is denied, the employee will be provided with written documentation of the reasons of the denial. These reasons will also be provided in an alternate format upon request.  The denial of an accommodation request may be appealed, in writing, within 10 working days to the Director of Human Resources or designate. The Director of Human Resources or designate shall make a final decision as soon as reasonably possible, based on a review of the accommodation request, the written documentation of the reasons for the denial and any further information provided by or obtained from all parties regarding the request.

Posted January 1,  2016