Accessible Customer Service Policy


Board Approval Date: March 24, 2009

Purpose:

The purpose of this Customer Service Standards Policy is to fulfill the requirements set out in regulation 429/07 to establish a policy for March of Dimes Canada that governs the provision of its goods or services to persons with disabilities.

Persons Affected:

This policy shall apply to every person who deals with members of the public or other third parties on behalf of March of Dimes Canada, whether the person does so as an employee, agent, volunteer or otherwise.

Policy Directives:

1.0 BACKGROUND
The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (AODA) was passed by the Ontario legislature with the goal of creating standards to improve accessibility across the province. The AODA requires the government to develop specific standards of accessibility that are designed to help make Ontario more accessible. One of the specific standards that has been developed, and made law, is the Accessible Customer Service Standard. This standard details specific requirements for all service providers. In general, providers must deliver service in a way that preserves the dignity and independence of people with disabilities. Providers must also integrate services and provide equal opportunity.

2.0 STATEMENT
March of Dimes Canada and its subsidiaries shall use reasonable efforts to ensure that its policies, practices and procedures are consistent with the following principles:

  • The goods or services will be provided in a manner that respects the dignity and independence of persons with disabilities.
  • The provision of goods or services to persons with disabilities, and others, will 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 the goods or services.
  • Persons with disabilities will be given an opportunity equal to that given to others to obtain, use and benefit from the goods or services.
    Persons with disabilities may use assistive devices and/or support persons in the access of goods and services.
  • Persons with disabilities and their service animals will be accommodated in all aspects of service provision unless the animal is otherwise excluded by law.
  • March of Dimes Canada’ employees, when communicating with a person with a disability, shall do so in a manner that takes into account the person’s disability.

3.0 DEFINITIONS
“Accessibility Committee” shall mean those persons appointed to coordinate the policies of March of Dimes Canada to ensure compliance with the AODA.

“Assistive devices” shall mean an auxiliary aid such as communication aids, cognition aids, personal mobility aids and medical aids (i.e. canes, crutches, wheelchairs, or hearing aids).

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

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

“Persons with Disabilities” shall mean those individuals who have a disability 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, friend to 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.

4.0 EXCLUSIONS
To be identified from time to time as approved by Senior Management and the Board of Directors of March of Dimes Canada, notably as issues of undue hardship might arise.

5.0 PRACTICES AND PROCEDURES
To implement this policy, Senior management shall establish an Accessibility Advisory Committee that shall present and/or revise as required practices and procedures.

6.0 NON-COMPLIANCE
Failure to comply with this policy may result in disciplinary action up to and including termination.

7.0 REVIEW AND AMENDMENTS
The Accessibility Committee shall be responsible for the review process and any subsequent amendments to this policy document. Review and amendments shall take place within the organization and its subsidiaries annually.

8. 0 BEST PRACTICES AND PROCEDURES
Accessible Customer Service follows four basic principles:

  • Dignity
  • Independence
  • Integration
  • Equal Opportunity

Employees can achieve the standard by following these steps in relation to consumers:

  • Ask how you can help
  • Offer a variety of methods of communication
  • Understand the nature and scope of the service you offer

8.1 SERVICE ANIMALS, SUPPORT PERSON(S), ASSISTIVE DEVICES
We are committed to welcoming people with disabilities who are accompanied by a service animal on the parts of our premises that are open to the public and other third parties. We will also ensure that all staff, volunteers and others dealing with the public are properly trained in how to interact with people with disabilities who are accompanied by a service animal.

We are committed to welcoming people with disabilities who are accompanied by a support person or who use assistive devices while accessing goods and/or services. Any person with a disability who is accompanied by a support person will be allowed to enter March of Dimes Canada’s premises with his or her support person. At no time will a person with a disability who is accompanied by a support person be prevented from having access to his or her support person while on our premises.

8.2 ADMISSION FEES – ADVANCE NOTICE
Whenever fee schedules are established for March of Dimes Canada activities, sufficient advance notice will be given and support person’s fees, if required, will be identified. Event information will be clear and easily accessible, whether it be signage, documentation, posters, web site or any other form of communication.

8.3 SERVICE DISRUPTION - NOTICE
It is possible that from time to time there will be disruptions in service, such as an entrance way that is under repair, renovations that limit access to an area, or technology that is temporarily unavailable. If a disruption in service is planned, and expected, it is important to provide reasonable notice. People with disabilities may often go to a lot of trouble to access services, such as booking transit or arranging a ride. Notice will be provided on the website, over the phone, or in writing where applicable, and in accordance with the Business Recovery Plan.

8.4 UNEXPECTED DISRUPTION IN SERVICE - NOTICE
In the event of an unexpected disruption in service, notice may be provided in a variety of ways and will be done as quickly as possible. In the event of a service disruption, alternative methods of service may be considered and those impacted by service interruption shall be informed of any alternative methods.

9.0 TRAINING
The following individuals will receive training:

  • Every person who participates in developing the policy, practices and procedures under Ontario Regulation 429/07 – Accessibility Standards for Customer Service.
  • Every person who deals with the public on behalf of March of Dimes Canada, including 3rd parties i.e. employees, agents, volunteers, management.

All levels of current employees and volunteers shall receive training by January 1, 2010.

New employees and volunteers shall receive training as soon as “practicable” after being assigned.

Ongoing training on changes to policies, procedures, and new equipment shall be provided. The method and amount of training shall be geared to the trainee’s role in terms of accessibility, and the resources of MODC and its subsidiaries.

9.1 TRAINING RECORDS
Training records shall be kept, including the dates when the training is provided, number of individuals to whom the training was provided and their names.

10.0 FEEDBACK PROCESS
In keeping with the March of Dimes Canada vision “to create a society inclusive of people with physical disabilities” and our mission, “to maximize the independence and personal empowerment and community participation of people with physical disabilities,” comments relating to our programs and services with regard to customer service are welcomed and appreciated. Feedback regarding the way March of Dimes Canada provides goods and services to people with disabilities can be made: verbally, by e-mail, by feedback card or in writing. All feedback will be directed to the director for that business unit.

References:

This policy was modified from the Accessibility Standards for Customer Service Ontario Regulation 429/07 (Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act. 2005)

Documentation: (if applicable)

March of Dimes Canada shall upon request, give a copy of the policies, practices and procedures required under the Ontario Regulation 429/07 – Accessibility Standards for Customer Service to any person.

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March of Dimes Canada is compliant with all AODA Standards. For more information about all March of Dimes Canada's AODA Standards, please click here to see our AODA Multi-Year Accessibility Plan. ​



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