AODA Customer Service Policy
Reena promotes the values of excellent customer service, and will ensure that when delivering services and goods to people with disabilities, the services are delivered in ways that are accessible and in accordance with the Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act 2005, which includes Customer Service. The Customer Service policy is posted on Reena’s website and is available in an accessible format or with communication support, on request.
Reena is committed to provide, as much as possible, a barrier-free environment. It recognizes that some people may use assistive devices (tools, technology or other mechanisms) that enable them to carry out activities of daily living. Reena recognizes that some people require assistance from a support person while accessing services and/or the use of guide dogs or other service animals to access services. It understands the impact that service disruptions can have on people with disabilities, who rely on and require access to premises and/or services.
Reena acknowledges the value and importance of receiving feedback, as it enables learning and improvement in the areas of support and customer service values. Reena recognizes the rights of a person with disability/customers to offer suggestions, make a complaint, or provide any feedback on providing and improving its services. Reena will ensure that its feedback process is accessible by providing or arranging for accessible formats and communication supports, on request.
Reena is committed to ensuring that all employees are and feel safe while at work. The Accessibility Standard for Employment allows for employees with a disability to plan for emergencies or to access information regarding emergencies in a format that best meets the need of the employee.
This policy outlines the responsibilities of all Reena employees, volunteers and Board of Directors (i.e. employees) who deal with the public or other third parties on Reena’s behalf.
Reena will follow the Integrated Accessibility Standard for Information and Communications to ensure that emergency and public safety information is accessible to people with disabilities.
Roles and Responsibilities
- In the event of a service disruption, make necessary repairs in as timely a manner as possible in order to resume full services.
- Provide AODA training to all employees.
- Provide accessible communication to all, regardless of specific communication skills (e.g. verbal, non-verbal, etc.).
- Provide notices on planned or unexpected disruption to services or facilities.
- Provide employees with disabilities with an Individual Accommodation Plan.
- Communicate in a manner that takes into account the person’s disability so that communication is accessible to everyone.
- Be familiar and supportive of the use of various assistive devices.
- Support individuals in communicating in various
- All communication (in person, by phone, written or by email) will be respectful and preserve a person’s independence and dignity.
- All employees shall receive training on how to communicate with people with disabilities.
- All employees will ask the person with a disability on the best way(s) to communicate (i.e. verbally, large print, adaptive technology, etc.) Reena employees will offer alternative forms of communication in a format that best meets the need(s) of the person.
- Inform a person with a disability about the accessible features in the immediate area (i.e. automatic doors, accessible washrooms, elevators, ramps).
- Not deny access to services to people with a disability due to the use of an assistive device.
- Support people with disabilities to use their assistive devices to access services provided.
- Support people with disabilities to use their assistive devices to ensure independence and equal opportunity of services.
- Not touch a person’s assistive device without asking for permission.
- Reena will not deny a support person from entering any premises open to the public or third parties as long as they are accompanying the person with a disability.
- Reena will not charge any additional service fees to the support person. Only the cost of services for the person with the disability will be charged, when applicable.
- Reena will notify, with as much advance notice as possible, the cost of any fees that are to be charged for non-service items that need to be paid by the support person (i.e. meals).
- If Reena requires a person with a disability to be accompanied by a support person for health or safety reasons, it will:
- consult with the person with a disability to understand their needs;
- consider health or safety reasons based on available evidence; and
- determine if there is no other reasonable way to protect the health or safety of the person or others on the premises
- In such a situation, there is no admission fee or fare for the support person.
Notice of Temporary Disruptions
In the event of a planned or unexpected disruption to services or facilities (e.g., repair of accessible doors) for customers with disabilities, Reena will provide notice of the disruption by:
- posting notice on the main entry to the physical premises of the affected location;
- providing notice on its phone system; and in some cases
- during a planned service disruption, on the agency’s website.
The Notice of Disruption will include the following information:
- Type of disruption
- Reason for disruption
- Anticipated duration of disruption
- Description of alternate locations or services, if available
Making Emergency Information Accessible to the Public
- In the event that emergency or public safety information is requested, Reena will ensure that the information is delivered in a manner that is best understood by the person with a disability.
- Reena will make available public safety announcements by posting information in common areas on site (posters, etc.) and/or on the website or phone system.
- Reena will provide training to all employees, which includes a review of this policy, the purpose and objectives of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005, and the requirements of the Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation.
- All new Reena staff will be trained during their on-site orientation, which commences during their first on-site shift at Reena.
- Volunteers will receive orientation training from the volunteer coordinator prior to commencing volunteer work.
- Staff will also be trained on an ongoing basis when changes are made to these policies, practices, and procedures, and any revisions to Regulation 429/07.
- The Learning & Development Department will keep records of all training provided under AODA, and the IASR, including the dates on which the training was provided.
- Training will include:
- The purpose of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 and the requirements of the customer service component.
- How to interact and communicate with people with various types of disabilities.
- How to interact 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 Reena’s goods and services.
- Reena’s policies, practices, and procedures relating to the customer service standard.
Reena has an established policy and process for receiving and responding to feedback on the way in which it provides goods and services to people with disabilities and to make information about this process readily available.
Reena recognizes that people with disabilities may use different methods of communication. In order to ensure accessibility in this process, complaints, concerns, suggestions, and or any feedback may be submitted in a variety of ways. Reena uses different modes of communication as a day-to-day practice with the population it serves. The same principles will be applied when accepting complaints, concerns, suggests and providing feedback.
Customers are encouraged to provide feedback on the way that we provide goods and services to people with disabilities using any of the following methods:
- By telephone
- In writing
- In person
- By email
Responding to Feedback
All feedback regarding the way that Reena provides goods and services to people with disabilities will be directed according to the process outlined in Reena’s Feedback and Complaints’ Policy or the Collective Bargaining Agreement (if applicable). A record will be maintained by the Manager. This record will include:
- Time and date feedback was received
- Description of feedback given
- Nature of the feedback
- Any outcome or action taken
If a person wishes to be contacted, the Manager will respond within three (3) business days either in writing, in person, or by telephone, acknowledging the receipt of feedback and the outcome or actions to be taken (if any).
Notice of Feedback Process
Information about Reena’s process for receiving and responding to feedback will be made available to the public in the following formats:
- The feedback process will be posted on our website
- Upon request by contacting Human Resources
Individual Accommodation Plan
In order to assist employees with disabilities, Reena will develop an Individual Accommodation Plan (IAP) which will:
- Provide employees with individualized emergency response information for any employee who makes this request. Documentation may be requested to be provided from employees in order to better understand how to assist them.
- Share the necessary information (after receiving written consent from the employee) with any other staff member who may be designated to assist the employee in an emergency situation. Only information pertinent to the possible emergency situation shall be shared with others.
- If an employee with a disability requires assistance in an emergency situation, the employee’s Supervisor or Manager shall discuss with the employee the best possible way(s) to educate/ assist the employee to ensure full understanding and to be able to provide the best assistance possible.
Some ways to assist the employee may include, but are not be limited to:
- Printing a document in a large print format
- Reading a document out loud to someone
- Creating documents in a more accessible format (i.e. creating a customized fire evacuation plan for someone who can’t hear a fire alarm).
Once an IAP is developed, the employee’s Supervisor or Manager shall document this in writing and send a copy to Human Resources to be kept in the employee’s Human Resources file. Any emergency situation accommodations shall be reviewed when:
- The employee changes work locations;
- The employee’s overall accommodations needs change; or
- Reena reviews its Emergency Response policies.
Cross Reference Policies
- Assistive devices are any auxiliary aids including: communication aids, cognition aids, personal mobility aids and/or medical aids, such as a wheelchair or hearing aids.
- Support person may be a family member, friend, volunteer or a paid employee that the person with the disability has chosen to be of assistance.