Access for Persons with Disabilities: Customer Service Standard Policy

1. Policy Statement

C.S.T. Consultants Inc. (“CST”) will endeavour to provide its services in a way that respects the independence and dignity of all persons and encourages integration and equality of opportunity. CST is committed to preventing, identifying, and removing barriers that impede the ability of persons with disabilities to access our services.

 

2. Background

The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (AODA) was created with the goal of developing and enforcing standards to improve accessibility for people with disabilities across Ontario. CST’s Accessibility for Persons with Disabilities: Customer Service Policy is consistent with the AODA and its regulation, the Accessibility Standards for Customer Service.

 

3. Definitions

Assistive Devices include technical aids, communication devices, medical aids and other supports that are used by persons with disabilities to enable them to carry out the activities of daily living.
Barrier means anything that prevents a person with a disability from fully participating in all aspects of society because of his or her disability, including a physical barrier, an architectural barrier, information or communications barriers, an attitudinal barrier, a technological barrier, a policy or practice.

Disability, as defined by the Ontario Human Rights Code, is:
  • 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;
  • A condition of mental impairment or a developmental disability;
  • A learning disability, or a dysfunction in one or more of the processes involved in understanding or using symbols or spoken language;
  • A mental disorder; or
  • An injury or disability for which benefits were claimed or received under the insurance plan established under the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act, 1997.
A Service Animal is an animal used by a person with a disability for reasons relating to his or her disability.

A Support Person is a person who accompanies a person with a disability in order to help with communication, mobility, personal care or medical needs or with access to goods or services. A support person can be a paid professional, a volunteer, a friend or a family member.

 

4. Assistive Devices

Persons with disabilities may use their personal assistive devices as required in accessing services provided by CST. It is the responsibility of the person using the assistive device to ensure that the assistive device is operated in a safe and controlled manner at all times. If CST determines that the assistive device may pose a health and safety risk to the person with a disability or to others, CST may prohibit the use of the personal assistive device, in which case CST will make every effort to ensure that other measures are made available to enable the person with a disability to access CST’s services.

 

5. Support Persons

Persons with disabilities are permitted to be accompanied by their support person when accessing services provided by CST.

 

6. Service Animals

Persons with disabilities are permitted to be accompanied by their service animal when accessing services provided at premises owned or operated by CST that are open to the public. It is the responsibility of the person using the service animal to ensure that the service animal is kept in control at all times. If a service animal is excluded from the premises by law, CST will make every effort to ensure that other measures are made available to enable the person with a disability to access CST’s services.

 

7. Service Disruptions

Where there is a temporary disruption to services, CST will take reasonable steps to notify persons with disabilities who might be affected by the disruption. In particular, CST will identify the reason for the disruption, its anticipated length, and information about alternative services.

 

8. Notice of Availability of Documents

All documents that detail CST’s accessibility policies and procedures will be posted on CST’s website, as appropriate, and will be made available upon request. CST will make every effort to make the information available to persons with disabilities in a format that takes into account their disability.

 

9. Training For Staff

CST will train all employees, volunteers and others who deal with the public or third parties on CST’s behalf and all those who are involved in the development and approvals of customer service policies, practices and procedures. Training will include the following:
  • An overview of the AODA, 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;
  • What to do if a person with a disability is having difficulty in accessing CST services;
  • CST’s policies, practices and procedures relating to the Customer Service Standard

 

10. Feedback Process

CST welcomes feedback on the ways in which it provides its customer service to persons with disabilities. Individuals are encouraged to provide their feedback directly to Human Resources at 416-445-7377 who will be responsible for investigating the matter and determining the actions to be taken.

In all cases, every effort will be made to respond to the feedback in a timely and effective manner.