Accessible Customer Service Policy
1. PURPOSE & SCOPE
The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (AODA) is the Provincial Legislation with the purpose of developing, implementing and enforcing accessibility standards in order to achieve accessibility for persons with disabilities with respect to goods, services, facilities, accommodation, employment, buildings, structures and premises on or before January 1, 2025.
This policy is in accordance with the Accessibility Standards for Customer Service Ontario Regulation 429-07 and addresses the following:
• The provision of goods and services to persons with disabilities
• The use of assistive devices by persons with disabilities
• The use of service animals by persons with disabilities
• The use of support persons by persons with disabilities
• Notice of temporary disruptions in services and facilities
• Staff training
• Customer feedback regarding the provisions of goods and services to persons with disabilities
• Notice of availability and format of documents
2. POLICY STATEMENT
Uncle Bob’s Franchise Corporation (“Uncle Bob’s”) strives at all times to provide equitable treatment with respect to goods and services without discrimination and harassment as prohibited by the Ontario Human Rights Code and the AODA.
Uncle Bob’s is committed to providing its goods and services in a way that respects the dignity and independence of persons with disabilities. Persons with disabilities will benefit from the same services, in the same place and in a similar way as other customers.
Management will ensure that all employees are properly trained on policies, practices and procedures that affect the way goods and services are provided to persons with disabilities. Employees will also be trained on an ongoing basis when changes are made to these policies, practices and procedures.
Employees shall follow the policies, practices and procedures outlined when dealing with persons with disabilities.
3. PROVIDING GOODS & SERVICES TO PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES
Uncle Bob’s is committed to excellence in service all customers including persons with disabilities and we will carry out our functions and responsibilities in the following areas:
- 3.1 COMMUNICATION
Uncle Bob’s will communicate with persons with disabilities in ways that take into consideration their disability. Employees will be trained on how to interact and communicate with persons with various types of disabilities.
- 3.1.1 Telephone Communications
Uncle Bob’s is committed to providing fully accessible telephone service to our customers. We will train employees 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, fax, or letter if telephone communication is not suitable to their communication needs or is not available.
- 3.1.1 Telephone Communications
- 3.2 USE OF ASSISTIVE DEVICES, SERVICE ANIMALS AND SUPPORT PERSONS
Uncle Bob’s will ensure that the access, use and benefit of goods or services are not compromised for persons with disabilities who require the use of assistive devices or who are accompanied by a service animal or support person.
- 3.2.1 Assistive Devices
Assistive devices required by a person with a disability is permitted except where the device may pose a risk to the health and safety of a person with a disability or the health and safety of others on the premises.
- 3.2.2 Service Animals
A guest with a disability that is accompanied by a service animal will be allowed access to premises that are open to the public unless otherwise excluded by law. Examples of service animals include dogs used by people who are blind, hearing alert animals for people who are deaf, deafened or hard of hearing, and animals trained to alert an individual to an oncoming seizure and lead them to safety.
- If a service animal is excluded by law, Uncle Bob’s will ensure that alternative methods to allow the person with a disability to use or benefit from our goods and services, whenever reasonably possible
- If it is not readily apparent that the service animal is being used by the guest for reasons relating to his or her disability, Uncle Bob’s may request verification
- A guest that is accompanied by a service animal is responsible for maintaining care and control of the animal at all times
- If a health and safety concern presents itself, for example in the form of a severe allergy to the animal, Uncle Bob’s will make all reasonable efforts to accommodate the needs of all individuals
- No service animal can be evicted, excluded or separated from its owners unless the animal demonstrates behavior posing a direct threat to the health and safety of others
- Those who object to the presence of a service animal will be consulted individually to find a compromise that does not hinder access for the individual with a disability
- In the event that a service animal must be separated from an individual, reasonable steps will be taken to serve the customer and address the safety and well-being of the service animal.
- 3.2.3 Support Persons
A support person is an individual who accompanies a guest with a disability to help his or her communication, mobility, personal care or medical needs or with accessing goods and/or services. All support persons are welcome at all Uncle Bob’s locations. Cost for goods and services for a support person accompanying a person with a disability will be the responsibility of the support person.
- 3.2.1 Assistive Devices
- 3.3 NOTICE OF TEMPORARY DISRUPTION TO FACILITIES OR SERVICES
Uncle Bob’s will provide customers with notice in the event of a planned or unexpected disruption in the facilities or services usually used by persons 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 on our premises.
4. STAFF TRAINING
Uncle Bob’s will provide training to all employees and all those who are involved in the development and approvals of customer service policies, practices and procedures.
This training will be provided to all new employees and on an ongoing basis to ensure all employees stay current with any policy or procedural changes as it relates to the AODA Customer Service Standard.
The training will include:
• The purposes of the AODA, 2005 and the requirements of the customers service standard
• How to interact and communicate with persons with various types of disabilities
• How to interact with persons with disabilities who use an assistive device, service animal or a support person
• How to use relay services for telephone communications
• What to do if a person with a disability is having difficulty accessing goods and services at Uncle Bob’s
• Current policies, practices and procedures relating to the customer service standard
5. FEEDBACK PROCESS
The ultimate goal of Uncle Bobs is to meet and surpass customer expectations while service customers with disabilities. Comments on our services regarding how well those expectations are being met are welcomed and appreciated.
Feedback regarding the way Uncle Bob’s provides goods and services to persons with disabilities can be made by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or verbally to the location’s Managing Partner. Complaints will be addressed according to complaint categories already established in our company’s complaint management procedures.
6. MODIFICATIONS TO THIS OR OTHER POLICIES
Uncle Bob’s is committed to developing customer service policies that respect and promote dignity and independence of persons with disabilities. Therefore, no changes will be made to this policy before considering the impact on persons with disabilities. Uncle Bob’s will provide policy and procedure documents produced by the Uncle Bob’s in an alternative format upon request, within a reasonable amount of time.
7. QUESTIONS ABOUT THIS POLICY
This policy exists to achieve service excellence to customers with disabilities. If you have any questions on this policy or would like to obtain this document in an alternate format, please feel free to contact Head Office by mail, phone, or email.
Integrated Accessibility Standards Policy
1. PURPOSE & SCOPE
The Ontario government passed the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) in 2005. It is the goal of the government of Ontario to make Ontario accessible by 2025. Uncle Bob’s Franchise Corporation (“Uncle Bob’s”) is committed to complying with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 and all of the standards under it in order to meet the accessibility needs of persons with disabilities in a timely manner.
2. POLICY STATEMENT
Uncle Bob’s is committed to treating all people in a way that allows them to maintain their dignity and independence. We believe in integration and equal opportunity. We are committed to meeting the needs of persons with disabilities in a timely manner, and will do so by identifying, removing and preventing barriers to accessibility and meeting accessibility standards in accordance with the AODA.
3. ACCESSIBILITY PLAN
Uncle Bob’s will establish, implement, maintain and document a Multi-Year Accessibility Plan outlining Uncle Bob’s strategy to identify, remove and prevent barriers and increase accessibility for persons with disabilities, in accordance with Uncle Bob’s. The Multi-Year Accessibility Plan will be reviewed and updated at least once every five years. Upon request, Uncle Bob’s will provide a copy of the Multi-Year Accessibility Plan in an accessible format.
Uncle Bob’s is committed to ensuring that all employees, volunteers, and all other persons who provide goods, services and facilities on Uncle Bob’s behalf, and persons participating in the development and approval of Uncle Bob’s policies, are provided with appropriate training on the requirements of the IASR and on the Ontario Human Rights Code as it pertains to persons with disabilities, and are provided with such training as soon as practicable. Uncle Bob’s will keep a record of the training it provides, including the dates on which the training is provided and the number of individuals to whom it is provided.
5. INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION STANDARDS
Uncle Bob’s is committed to complying with the provisions of the AODA in respect of this requirement, with the objective of making applicable company information and communications accessible to persons with disabilities.
- 5.1 Accessible Websites and Web Content
In accordance with the IASR, Uncle Bob’s will ensure that our public websites and online content conform with the World Wide Web Consortium Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0, Level A (new websites and online content) by January 1, 2016, to Level AA for all content by January 1, 2021.
- 5.2 Feedback
Uncle Bob’s is committed to ensuring a positive customer experience and that the process for receiving and responding to feedback is accessible to persons with disabilities by providing, or arranging for the provision of, accessible formats and communications supports, upon request.Feedback can be provided in the following ways:
- 5.3 Accessible Formats and Communication Supports
Upon request, Uncle Bob’s will provide, or will arrange for the provision of accessible formats and communication supports for persons with disabilities. Uncle Bob’s will do so in a timely manner that takes into account the person’s accessibility needs due to disability and at a cost that is no more than the regular cost charged to other persons.
Uncle Bob’s will consult with the person making the request in determining the suitability of an accessible format or communication support. Uncle Bob’s will also notify the public about the availability of accessible formats and communication supports.
- 5.4 Emergency Procedure, Plans or Public Safety Information
Uncle Bob’s is committed to complying with the provisions of the AODA in respect of this requirement, with the objective of making our company premises safer for persons with disabilities during emergency circumstances.
Emergency procedures, plans and public safety information that are prepared by Uncle Bob’s and made available to the public, will be made available in an accessible format or with appropriate communication supports, upon request.
6. EMPLOYMENT STANDARDS
Uncle Bob’s is committed to complying with the provisions of the AODA in respect of this requirement, with the objective of making the recruitment process accessible to persons with disabilities.
- 6.1 Recruitment, Assessment or Selection Process
Uncle Bob’s will notify job applicants, when they are individually selected to participate further in an assessment or selection process, that accommodations are available upon request in relation to the materials or processes to be used.
If a selected applicant requests an accommodation, Uncle Bob’s will consult with the applicant and provide, or arrange for the provision of, a suitable accommodation in a manner that takes into account the applicant’s accessibility needs due to disability.
- 6.2 Notice to Successful Applicants
When making offers of employment, Uncle Bob’s will notify the successful applicant of its policies for accommodating Employees with disabilities.
- 6.3 Informing Employee of Supports
Uncle Bob’s will inform its employees of its policies (and any changes to those policies) used to support employees with disabilities, including but not limited to policies on the provision of job accommodations that take into account an employee’s accessibility needs due to disability. This information will be provided to new employees as soon as practicable after commencing employment.
- 6.4 Accessible Formats and Communication Supports for Employees
Upon the request of an employee with a disability, Uncle Bob’s will consult with the employee to provide, or arrange for the provision of, accessible formats and communication supports for information that is needed to perform the employee’s job, and information that is generally available to other employees.
In determining the suitability of an accessible format or communication support, Uncle Bob’s will consult with the employee making the request.
- 6.5 Documented Individual Accommodation Plans
Uncle Bob’s will maintain a written process for the development of documented individual accommodation plans for employees with disabilities. If requested, information regarding accessible formats and communications supports provided will also be included in individual accommodation plans.
In addition, the plans will include individualized workplace emergency response information (where required), and will identify any other accommodation that is to be provided.
- 6.6 Return to Work Process
Uncle Bob’s will develop and have in place a documented return to work process for its Employees who have been absent from work due to a disability and who require disability-related accommodations in order to return to work.
The return to work process will outline the steps Uncle Bob’s will take to facilitate the return to work and will include documented individual accommodation plans as part of the process.
- 6.7 Performance Management, Career Development and Advancement & Redeployment
Uncle Bob’s will take into account the accessibility needs of employees with disabilities, as well as individual accommodation plans, when conducting performance management, providing career development and advancement to employees, or when redeploying employees.
- 6.8 Workplace Emergency Response Information
Uncle Bob’s will provide individualized workplace emergency response information to employees who have a disability, if the disability is such that the individualized information is necessary, and if Uncle Bob’s is aware of the need for accommodation due to the employee’s disability. Uncle Bob’s will provide this information as soon as practicable after becoming aware of the need for accommodation. Where the employee requires assistance, Uncle Bob’s will, with the consent of the employee, provide the workplace emergency response information to the person designated by Uncle Bob’s to provide assistance to the employee.Uncle Bob’s will review the individualized workplace emergency response information when the employee moves to a different location in the organization, when the employee’s overall accommodations needs or plans are reviewed and when Uncle Bob’s reviews its general emergency response practices.
7. QUESTIONS ABOUT THIS POLICY
The Uncle Bob’s AODA Integrated Accessibility Standards Policy will be reviewed and updated on an annual basis. If you have any questions on this accessibility plan or would like to obtain this document in an alternate format, please feel free to contact Head Office by mail, phone, or email.