Title: Accessible Customer Service Policy Last Updated: September 2013
Section: AODA Approved By: Health & Safety Committee
At HandyBros ClimateCare, we are committed to meeting the requirements of the accessibility standards, established by Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA), 2005, Customer Service Standard regulations. This policy applies to all goods and services delivered by HandyBros ClimateCare, and is consistent with the four customer service principles of the AODA; namely dignity, equity, independence, and integration.
This policy applies to all employees at HandyBros ClimateCare, regardless of status.
Disability includes, but is not limited to:
a) 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;
c) A learning disability, or a dysfunction in one or more of the processes involved in understanding or using symbols or spoken language;
d) A mental disorder; or
e) An injury or disability for which benefits were claimed or received under the insurance plan established under the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act, 1997.
Accessible: Capable of being entered or reached, approachable; able to be understood or appreciated.
Barrier: Anything that keeps someone with a disability from fully participating in all aspects of society because of their disability. Barriers can be visible and invisible. They can be architectural, physical, attitudinal, technological, organizational, and related to communication.
Assistive Device: A device used to assist persons with disabilities in carrying out activities or in accessing the services of persons or organizations covered by the Customer Service Standard. Assistive devices help people with a variety of disabilities, such as:
For people who have vision loss: magnifier – makes print and images larger and easier to read; white cane – helps people find their way around obstacles.
For people who are deaf, deafened, oral deaf, hard of hearing: hearing aid – makes sound louder and clearer; teletypewriter (TTY) – helps people who are unable to speak or hear to communicate by phone.
For people who have physical disabilities: mobility device (eg. wheelchair, scooter, walker, cane, crutches) – helps people who have difficulty walking.
For people who have learning disabilities: electronic notebook or laptop computer – used to take notes and to communicate.
For people who have intellectual/developmental disabilities: communication boards that are used to pass on a message by pointing to symbols, words, or pictures.
Guide Dog: A dog trained as a guide for a person who is blind and having the qualifications prescribed by the appropriate regulations.
Goods and Services: Goods and services provided by HandyBros ClimateCare.
Service Animals: Animals that are used to assist a person with a disability.
Support Person: An individual hired or chosen by a person with a disability to provide services or assistance with communication, mobility, personal care, medical needs, or with access to goods or services.
HandyBros ClimateCare is committed to securing, developing, and maintaining long-term, healthy, productive, and profitable relationships with our employees, our customers, and our suppliers. In doing this, we strive to improve accessibility to HandyBros ClimateCare for all of our stakeholders.
HandyBros ClimateCare is committed to excellence in serving all customers including people with disabilities and we will carry out our functions and responsibilities in the following areas:
We will communicate with people with disabilities in ways that take into account their disability and we will train staff who communicate with customers on how to interact and communicate with people with various types of disabilities.
Where applicable and reasonable, we will incorporate other ways of publishing information beyond traditional printing, for example audio format such as digital audio format, Braille used by some people who are blind or deaf-blind, easy-to-read, simplified summaries of materials for people with developmental or intellectual disabilities.
We are committed to providing fully accessible telephone service to our customers. We will train staff to communicate with customers over the telephone in clear and plain language and to speak clearly and slowly.
We will offer to communicate with customers by email, texting or fax if telephone communication is not suitable to their communication needs or is not available.
We are committed to serving people with disabilities who use assistive devices to obtain, use, or benefit from our goods and services. We will ensure that our staff is educated on the proper use of applicable assistive devices available for customer use on our premises: ramp for front door.
Correspondence, Invoices, and Other Documentation
We are committed to providing information in an accessible format to all of our customers. As part of this commitment and upon agreement with our customers, HandyBros ClimateCare will provide written correspondence including invoices, reports, and all other documentation in formats which accommodate our customers’ disabilities, upon request (i.e. large print, e mail, hard copy). We will answer any questions customers may have about the content of the information provided in person, by telephone, or email as required.
Use of Service Animals and Support Persons
We are committed to welcoming people with disabilities who are accompanied by a service animal to the areas of our premises open to the public and other third parties. We will ensure that all staff and others dealing with the public are properly trained in how to interact with people with disabilities who are accompanied by a service animal.
HandyBros ClimateCare is committed to welcoming people with disabilities who are accompanied by a support person. Any person with a disability who is accompanied by a support person will be allowed to enter our 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.
Notice of Temporary Disruption
HandyBros ClimateCare will provide appropriate customers with proper notice in the event of a planned or unexpected disruption in the facilities or services usually accessed by people with disabilities. This notice will include information about the reason for the disruption, its anticipated duration, and a description of alternative facilities or services, if available.
The notice will be placed at all public entrances and service counters or reception on our premises.
Customer Service Training
HandyBros ClimateCare will provide training to all employees and others who deal with the public or other third parties on their behalf, and all those who are involved in the development and approvals of customer service policies, practices and procedures. This training will be provided annually for all new staff to attend. Staff will also be advised and/or trained (if required) when changes are made to these policies, practices, and procedures.
Training will include the following:
• The purposes of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 and the requirements of the customer service standard
• 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 a support person
• How to use the ramp at the front entrance.
• What to do if a person with a disability is having difficulty in accessing HandyBros ClimateCare’s goods and services.
• HandyBros ClimateCare’s policies, practices, and procedures relating to the customer service standard.
The ultimate goal of HandyBros ClimateCare is to meet and exceed customer expectations in serving customers with disabilities. HandyBros ClimateCare welcomes feedback from the public in an effort to continually improve our services.
Feedback regarding the way HandyBros ClimateCare provides goods and services to people with disabilities can be made by using the Customer Feedback Form (see appendix) via e-mail, verbally, suggestion box, feedback card, etc. All feedback will be directed to the owners Harold or Laurence VanderEnde. Customers can expect a response in 5-10 business days with regards to their feedback if a response is appropriate.
Modifications to This or Other Related AODA Policies
HandyBros ClimateCare is committed to developing customer service policies that respect and promote the dignity and independence of people with disabilities. As such, no changes will be made to this policy before considering the impact on people with disabilities. Any policy of HandyBros ClimateCare that does not respect and promote the dignity and independence of people with disabilities will be modified or removed.
Workplace Accessibility Barriers Assessment
The Workplace Accessibility Barriers Assessment is an organization-wide assessment that aims at ensuring that we meet the legislative requirements outlined in the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, Customer Service Standards.
The Workplace Accessibility Barriers Assessment tool (see Workplace Accessibility Barriers Assessment) will be completed by the Health and Safery Committee on a periodic basis. The results of this assessment will be made available to all employees, including the implementation of action items to reduce identified opportunities concerning accessibility.
Questions About this Policy
This policy exists to achieve service excellence for customers with disabilities. If any employee has questions about the policy, or if the purpose of a policy is not understood, an explanation will be provided by, or referred to the employee’s manager.
1. HandyBros ClimateCare will complete the online reporting requirements according to the set deadlines as required.
2. HandyBros ClimateCare will document in writing all of our policies and procedures on how we provide accessible customer service.
3. HandyBros ClimateCare will aim to notify customers that all of the documents required by the Customer Service Standard are available upon request.
4. When providing documents required under the Customer Service Standard, HandyBros ClimateCare will ensure that the information is in a format that takes into account the person’s disability.
HandyBros ClimateCare is committed to developing, implementing and enforcing accessibility standards in order to achieve accessibility for Ontarians with disabilities with respect to goods and services. Our policies and procedures will aim at making our customer service operations accessible to people with disabilities.
This Customer Service Policy is to be posted and retained in a clearly noticeable location in the workplace.
HandyBros ClimateCare is committed to reviewing this policy on an annual basis, or more frequently where necessary.
Further information on any of the above policies and the applicable programs and procedures can be obtained from Harold VanderEnde.