Accessibility Standards for Customer Service Policy
The Learning Enrichment Foundation (LEF) is committed to providing accessible customer service to all individuals (the public and employees) and to treat them with respect and dignity in accordance with the Accessibility Standards for Customer Service (Ontario Regulation 429/07).
The objective of this policy is to reinforce LEF’s commitment to provide our services and conduct our programs for both the public and employees in a manner that respects the dignity and independence of persons with disabilities. We are committed to ensuring that persons with disabilities have the same opportunities to access and benefit from our services in the same place and in a similar way as others and to the removal of any barriers that may impede full accessibility for people with disabilities. We seek customers comment and input about the accessibility of our services and programs.
This policy is supported by procedures, which outline the detailed processes and accommodations pursuant to this policy. The supporting procedures include the following:
When communicating with persons with disabilities, The Learning Enrichment Foundation will do so in a manner that takes into account their disability and in a manner that enables the person with disabilities to communicate effectively for purposes of requesting, using our facilities and receiving our services. This may mean providing services or documentation in an alternate format.
LEF is committed to providing fully accessible services to people with disabilities and trains front-line staff to communicate appropriately and respectfully in a manner that is clear and understandable to the receiver of the information.
The Provision of Goods and Services:
The Learning Enrichment Foundation will use reasonable efforts to ensure that the provision of its goods and services are consistent with the following principles:
- LEF’s goods and services are provided in a manner that respects the dignity and independence of persons with disabilities.
- The provisions of LEF’s goods and services to persons with disabilities are integrated with those provided to those who do not have disabilities wherever possible and practical given any situation.
- Persons with disabilities are given an opportunity equal to that of those without disabilities to obtain, use or benefit from LEF’s goods and services wherever possible.
A person with a disability may provide their own assistive device for the purpose of obtaining, using, and benefiting from LEF’s goods and services. Exceptions may occur in situations where LEF has determined that the assistive device may pose a risk to the health and safety of a person with a disability or the health and safety of others. In which cases, LEF may offer other measures to assist him or her in obtaining, using, and benefiting from LEF’s goods and services, where LEF has such other measures available.
We will establish comprehensive procedures for emergency preparedness for persons with disabilities. These procedures will include an evacuation assistance, self-identification protocol for employees and evacuation procedures for the public.
It is the responsibility of the person with a disability to ensure that his or her assistive device is always operated in a safe and controlled manner.
LEF is committed to welcoming persons with disabilities who are accompanied by a service animal when they access our services and facilities and may keep the service animal with them if the public has access to such premises and the service animal is not otherwise excluded by law. If the service animal is excluded by law, LEF will use reasonable efforts to ensure that alternate means are available to enable the person with a disability to obtain, use or benefit from LEF’s goods and services. We will ensure that all employees are properly trained in how to interact with people who are accompanied by a service animal.
If it is not readily apparent that the animal is a service animal, LEF may ask the person with a disability for a letter from a physician or nurse confirming that the customer requires the service animal for reasons relating to his or her disability.
It is the responsibility of the person with a disability to always keep their service animal under control.
We are committed to welcoming persons with disabilities who are accompanied by a support person when they access our services and facilities and will ensure that a person with a disability has access to his or her support person while on the premises.
At times, LEF may require that a person with a disability be accompanied by a support person while on the premises, where it is deemed necessary to protect the health and safety of the person with a disability or the health and safety of others on the premises.
We will train employees to interact with individuals who use the services of a support person.
Notice of Temporary Disruptions in Services and Facilities:
To the best of our ability LEF will provide employees, clients, and visitors with notice in the event of a planned or unexpected disruption in our facilities or services. This notice will include information about the reason for the disruption, how long the disruption is expected to last, and a description of any alternative facilities or services, if available. The notice will be placed at our reception area in accessible formats, and when feasible on our website. Depending on the nature of the disruption, notice will also be provided on an outgoing telephone message.
Requesting Accessible Service:
A person with a disability who has a special need may request an accommodation with respect to our services. The request should be made as soon as possible at the beginning of a service process. We will assess the request on a case-by-case basis and make our best efforts to respond to it effectively and in accordance with the principles established under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005, and the Ontario Human Rights Code.
The manager/supervisor will be responsible to develop and write a process for creating accommodation plans for employees with disabilities. This process must be documented and should include:
- How employees participate in the development of their individual accommodation plan
- How employees are assessed on an individual basis
- How employees can ask for a representative from the workplace (typically a Human Resources employee) to participate in the development of the accommodation plan
- How we can request assistance from an outside expert, at The Learning Enrichment Foundation’s own expense
- The steps to take to protect the privacy of the employee’s personal information
- How and when the employee will be provided with their personalized accommodation plan
- The schedule for when and how the plan will be reviewed and updated
- How we will provide the plan in an accessible format
- How the employee will be informed that their individual accommodation plan has not been accepted, if we are not able to provide the accommodation required
The plan must be documented and include:
- How we will provide workplace information in an accessible format, if requested
- How we will provide accessible emergency information, if needed
- Any other accommodation that is to be provided
The manager/supervisor together with the employee with a disability will determine and implement appropriate accommodation measures. However, the final decision rests with the Executive Director/Assistant Executive Director. A copy of the accommodation plan must be provided to Human Resources once final for inclusion to the employee file.
For Employee safety during emergencies see Policies 2.13-1, 2.13-2, 2.13-3
Training for Staff:
The Learning Enrichment Foundation provides training on this Policy and the requirements of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005, to all employees who deal with the public or other third parties on their behalf, or who are involved in the development and approval of customer service policies, practices, and procedures. New employees and those who commence new duties that involve interaction with the public or other third parties will undertake training as part of their orientation if they haven’t already done so.
Customer service training at LEF provides an overview of AODA legislation, including requirements for accessibility standards that apply to public and private sectors. During the course, employees and leaders learn about customer service standards for those with disabilities, different types of disabilities, and various ways to assist and provide aid to those with certain types of disabilities. The course also explores ways to improve customer service principles and skills by examining ways to lessen barriers for those with disabilities. The course covers many topics in depth, including:
- Accessibility standards and the responsibilities individuals and organizations have under the AODA.
- How to improve essential customer service skills by explaining different types of disabilities and showing how to interact and communicate with individuals with various disabilities.
- Discusses ways to help those with disabilities overcome accessibility challenges that may occur in an organization’s programs, services, or facilities.
LEF also provides training on Understanding Human Rights. This course covers how the Human Rights Code and the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 work together to provide equality and accessibility for all Ontarians. Human rights and accessibility requirements are inextricably linked to make society accessible to people with disabilities. This course covers many topics including:
- Understand requirements under the Human Rights Code and Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 related to discrimination, disability, and accommodation.
- Be aware of different forms of disabilities and discrimination.
- Understand the duty to accommodate individuals with disabilities.
Employees will be trained on an ongoing basis and will be provided further training when changes are made to these policies, practices, and procedures.
Our goal is to meet the expectations of people with disabilities who use our services. Comments on our services regarding how well those expectations are being met are welcome and appreciated.
Feedback regarding the way we provide services to people with disabilities may be made in person, by telephone, in writing or by e-mail. If one of these methods is not suitable a customer may request another method. All feedback is to be directed to Human Resources. We will respond to comments within 15 days of their receipt.
We may be contacted:
- In person, at our office located at 116 Industry Street, Toronto, Ontario, M6M 4L8
- By telephone, at 416-769-0830
- By mail, addressed to The Learning Enrichment Foundation, 116 Industry Street, Toronto, Ontario, M6M 4L8
- By e-mail, at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Through our website, at www.lefca.org
Notice of the Availability of Documents:
Notice of the availability of all documents required by the Accessibility Standards for Customer Service will be posted on LEF’s website and may be made available through other communication methods as necessary that takes the customer’s disability into account.
Roles and Responsibilities
This policy applies to all persons who deal with members of the public or other third parties on behalf of LEF, whether the person does so as an employee, agent, volunteer, contractor, consultant, or otherwise and all persons who participate in developing LEF’s policies, practices and procedures governing the provision of goods and services to members of the public or other third parties.
This policy and program will be reviewed at least annually to foster LEF’s commitment to providing a work environment in which individuals are treated with respect and promotes the dignity and independence of all people with disabilities. Therefore, any changes to how we deliver our services will be made.