This policy is designed to meet the standards and act in accordance with Regulation 191/11, Integrated Accessibility Standards under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005. These standards were developed to identify, remove, and prevent barriers and increase accessibility for persons with disabilities in the areas of information and communications and employment. The Customer Service Standard is the first of the Standards under the AODA. The mandate of the Standard is that all obligated organizations must take measures to provide accessible service to all customers, including customers with all types of disabilities.
LEA is committed to provide goods and services in a way that respects the dignity and independence of persons with disabilities. LEA is also committed to ensuring our employees are educated and adhere to this policy. The Company will make all reasonable efforts to ensure that all people are treated and provided customer service in a manner that is consistent with the principles of the AODA: Dignity, Independence, Equal opportunity and Integration.
Customer Service and Communication
LEA will ensure that positive customer service and communication is provided to all persons with a disability by adhering to the following:
- Make all reasonable efforts to ensure that the provision of goods and services to persons with disabilities will be integrated into regular practice.
- Offer and provide alternative measures and/or formats, if necessary, when requested by an individual with a disability.
- Ensure that, to the extent possible, accessible goods and services are delivered in a timely manner.
- All communication shall be provided in a manner that respects the dignity and independence of persons with disabilities.
Persons with disabilities may require the use of their own assistive devices to access services or goods. An assistive device is any device that is used, designed, made or adapted to assist people in performing a particular task. LEA will take all reasonable measures to ensure goods and services are accessible to persons using assistive devices, including training employees in how best to assist a customer using an assistive device.
In the case the use of an assistive device poses a further challenge to the accessibility of goods and services or raises a potential safety concern, all reasonable efforts will be made to accommodate the individual, which may include using an alternative assistive device or providing the same service in a different manner.
LEA is committed to welcoming persons with disabilities who are accompanied by a service animal. We will ensure that all staff who deal with the public are properly trained in how to interact with people with disabilities who are accompanied by a service animal.
The following terms apply to a person with a disability who is accompanied by a service animal:
- In the event a particular service animal is not allowed by law on or in a particular area of the premises, all reasonable efforts will be made to accommodate the individual, which may include an alternative form of assistance or providing the same service in a different manner.
- In the event of a valid health & safety issue, all reasonable efforts will be made to accommodate the individual, which may include an alternative form of assistance or providing the same service in a different manner.
- In the case of service dogs, the law allows them to accompany their owner to go where food is served, sold, or offered for sale. The law also states service dogs are not allowed in places where food is manufactured, prepared, processed or handled.
- The owner is responsible for always maintaining control of the animal.
LEA is committed to welcoming persons with disabilities who are accompanied by a support person.
The following terms apply to a person with a disability who is accompanied by support person:
- LEA may require a person with a disability to be accompanied by a support person while on the premises in situations where it is necessary due to health and safety concerns.
- Consent from the person with a disability is required when communicating confidential issues related to the person with a disability, in the presence of a support person.
Notice of Temporary Disruptions
LEA will publicly notify customers of temporary disruptions of services or facilities. If the disruption is planned the organization will publicly notify customers of the upcoming service disruption in advance of the start of the service disruption.
A notice of temporary disruption will include:
- When the disruption will happen if it is a case where it is planned;
- Steps to take to access alternative methods;
- A description of alternative facilities or services if they are available;
- The reason for the disruption; and
- How long the disruption will last.
The notice may be delivered to the public by the following methods:
- Posting at the main entrances and the source of the disruption;
- Via phone and email notification to regular customers or customers with scheduled appointments;
- The Company website.
A feedback process regarding the provision of goods and services to persons with disabilities has been established. The way feedback may be provided will be in such a way that best suites the person with a disability.
LEA will review all feedback received and respond in a timely manner. If the feedback is of a serious concern a response to the person submitting the complaint will be issued as soon as reasonably possible.
LEA will ensure that all employees and applicable third parties who interact with customers are provided with AODA Customer Service Standard Training. Training will also be required for those individuals who are involved in the development or implementation of customer service policies, practices, and procedures.
The trained will address:
- The purpose of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005.
- The requirements of the Accessibility Standards for Customer Service.
- Information about LEA Consulting policies and procedures (including this policy).
- Best practice how to communicate with persons with various types of disabilities.
- Best practice how to interact with people with disabilities who use assistive devices, require the assistance of a service animal or a support person.
LEA will retain a record of all individuals who have completed the required training.
Notice of Availability of Documents and Alternative Formats
LEA will post notice of the availability of this policy, other documents prescribed by the Standard and the availability of alternative formats upon request. This information will be provided in our Statement of Commitment, which is posted at a conspicuous location for customers, as well on the Company website.
Accessibility in Employment
LEA is committed to compliance with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (AODA) and its accessibility standards. LEA shall provide accessibility and accommodation for persons with disabilities through AODA’s customer service standard, integrated accessibility standard (IAS) and all other standards as they are developed, and in accordance with the requirements of the Ontario Human Rights Code.
Accommodations will be made up to undo hardship to the agency as outlined in AODA.
Individualized Emergency Response Plans for Staff
Employees with disabilities who may require assistance in an emergency are encouraged to identify their accessibility needs to their immediate supervisor so that individualized emergency accommodation plans can be created. Individualized plans will be created using the organization’s template.
Accessible Formats and Communication Supports for Employees
LEA will ensure all Employees have information that is needed to perform their job; and information that is generally available to Employees in the workplace. When an Employee with a disability requests accessible formats or communication supports, LEA will consult with the Employee and provide or arrange for the provision of a suitable accommodation.
Employees will communicate requests for accommodation to their Team/Program Lead and/or directly with the Executive Director in writing. Confidentiality will be maintained.
Accommodation in Performance Management, Career Development and Advancement and Reassignment
LEA will ensure its performance management, career development and advancement opportunities and reassignment process is accessible to Employees with disabilities. When an Employee with a disability requests accessible formats or communication supports, LEA will consult with the Employee and provide or arrange for the provision of a suitable accommodation. LEA will notify successful applicants of its policies for accommodating Employees with disabilities when making offers of employment.