Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) Customer Service Standards Policy
Introduction and Statement of Organizational Commitment
DLS is committed to providing goods and services in a way that respects the dignity and independence of persons with disabilities. This policy outlines how DLS fulfills this commitment and what individuals can expect when accessing services at DLS. This policy has been prepared to meet the compliance requirements of the Customer Service Standard included in the integrated Accessibility Standards under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 and to articulate what people may expect from DLS regarding this standard.
DLS reviews its accessibility policies, practices and procedures on a regular basis to ensure they continue to respect the needs of persons with disabilities.
"Disability" as per the Ontario Human Rights Code, means:
- Any degree of physical disability, infirmity, malformation, or disfigurement that is caused by bodily injury, birth defect, or illness.
- 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;
Reasonable efforts will be made to ensure that persons with disabilities are provided equal opportunity to obtain, use and benefit from DLS’s goods and services that are provided in a manner that respects the dignity and independence of persons with disabilities.
- Information and Communication
DLS communicates with its clients in person by: telephone; print signs, brochures etc.; in- person meetings; and email. DLS will select a communication channel that makes the communication most accessible. Employees shall do so in a manner that considers the person’s disability and will make reasonable efforts to have the person with a disability understand both the content and intent of its communications. DLS will make information publicly available and provide them in an accessible format upon request. DLS invites participants in meetings; consultations etc. to identify any accommodation needs before their arrival so that DLS can better meet the service needs of all individuals.
DLS will, except where impracticable, ensure that its internet websites that are accessible to members of the public confirm with the applicable requirements of the Word Wide Web Consortium Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 by the dates specified in the Accessibility Legislation.
- Assistive Devices: communication aids, cognition aids, personal mobility aids and medical aids (e.g. canes, crutches, wheelchairs or hearing aids)
DLS permits and encourages persons with disability to use assistive devices while interacting with DLS. DLS will ensure that staff are trained on or about the assistive options made available by DLS and are aware that persons with disabilities may use their own assistive devices.
- Service Animals
DLS permits individuals using guide dogs or service animals in areas that are available to the public or third parties. There may be occasions when the service animal is excluded from an area by law, or other legitimate business reason. In these unusual circumstances, if DLS is unable to accommodate a service dog for reasons beyond our control (such as others who have allergies to animals) DLS will ensure that other options are provided to ensure the person with a disability can access goods and services provided by DLS.
- Support Person
A person with a disability may be accompanied by his or her support person in those areas that are open to the public or other third parties. The support person may be required to agree to specific requirements such as confidentiality agreements. On occasion, persons with disabilities may require the assistance of a support person to protect their health and safety or the health and safety of others. If necessary, DLS may require a person with a disability to be accompanied by a support person while on DLS premises to ensure that health and safety interests are protected for all individuals.
- Notice of Temporary Disruption in Service
If there is a temporary disruption in facilities or services provided by DLS, notice of disruption will be provided. The nature of the notice will depend upon the nature of the disruption and may range from posting the information at a conspicuous place on DLS premises, or on the website, or by any other method as is reasonable in the circumstance.
- Employee Training
DLS will provide the training set out by the AODA to ensure that DLS employees have the skills and knowledge to deliver customer service to persons with disabilities with sensitivity and respect.
Feedback in the form of comments or suggestions can be provided by regular mail, fax, email, phone or in person. If the individual wishes to be contacted about their feedback, the name and contact of the individual must be provided. While we will endeavour to provide feedback as quickly as possible, some concerns may require more effort to address. In both situations, DLS will provide either feedback or acknowledgement of how the matter will be addressed.
Accommodation on the basis of Disability
The purpose of this Statement of Policy and Procedure is to state DLS`s commitment to preventing and removing barriers to people with disabilities, to accommodate persons with disabilities to the point of undue hardship and to establish a process by which persons with disabilities may request accommodation.
DLS is committed to fair and accessible employment practices.
During the recruitment and assessment process DLS shall notify job applicants and the public about its commitment to accommodate those with disabilities and shall advise those selected for an interview that accommodation is available upon request.
Successful applicants and employees shall be notified of DLS`s policies regarding accommodating employees with disabilities as soon as practicable after their employment begins.
Employees who wish to raise a potential accommodation shall do so by submitting a request for accommodation to Human Resources.
When necessary to facilitate the assessment and determination of a reasonable accommodation, the employee may be required to participate in development of an accommodation plan and provide relevant medical information to DLS. This information shall be kept confidential and will only be disclosed to those necessary in the assessment and development of the accommodation.
DLS permits service animals in areas that are available to the public or third parties.
Human Resources and the immediate Manager will jointly assess the accommodation issue considering the information provided and the individual needs of the employee. They will jointly finalize a decision regarding the accommodation issue and Human Resources will inform the employee in writing.
DLS will meet the needs of disabled people by identifying, preventing, and removing barriers with the intention of increasing accessibility. This action supports the Company’s commitment to accessibility and the legislation under the Government of Ontario’s Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 and the Ontario Human Rights Code.
Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities training has been provided to all employees. Continuous training will be provided to new employees and where a situation arises requiring additional training.