Accessibility for persons with disabilities: Customer Service Policy – Ontario
The intent of this policy is to ensure that Upper Canada Forest Products (UCS) (the “Company”) provides persons with disabilities with full accessibility to goods and services at all times, in a way that respects their dignity, independence and equality. UCS is committed to providing persons with disabilities the same opportunity to access our goods and services resulting in the same benefit from these services, in the same place and in some similar way as other customers.
Scope and responsibility
This policy applies to all Company employees, contractors, independent contractors, agents and volunteers working on our behalf in Ontario. Management shall provide leadership regarding this policy, and shall make all employees in each location in Ontario aware of the policy and the Company’s commitment to providing persons with both visible and non-visible disabilities with full accessibility to goods and services. The Company will provide training, guidance and assistance to all divisions in fulfilling the intent of this policy.
• Providing goods and services to persons with disabilities
UCS is committed to excellence in serving all customers, including persons with disabilities. The Company will carry out its functions and responsibilities in the following areas:
We will communicate with persons with disabilities in ways that consider their disability. We will train all employees who communicate with customers on how to interact and communicate with persons with various types of disabilities.
• Telephone services
We are committed to providing fully accessible telephone service to our customers. We will train staff to communicate with customers over the telephone clearly and to speak slowly. We will offer to communicate with customers by other means of communication if telephone communication is not suitable to their communication needs or is not available (e.g. email, in person).
• Assistive devices
We are committed to serving persons with disabilities who use assistive devices to obtain, use or benefit from our goods and services. We will ensure that our staff is trained and familiar with various assistive devices that may be used by customers with disabilities while accessing our goods or services.
We are committed to providing accessible invoices to all our customers. For this reason, invoices will be provided in various formats upon request: hard copies, large print and via email. We will answer any questions customers may have about the content of the invoice in person, by telephone or via email.
• Use of service animals and support persons
We are committed to welcoming persons with disabilities who are accompanied by a service animal on the parts of UCS premises that are open to the public and other third parties, unless otherwise excluded by law. We will also ensure that all staff, volunteers, and others dealing with the public are properly trained in how to interact with persons with disabilities who are accompanied by a service animal.
We are committed to welcoming persons 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 UCS 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
UCS 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 facility or service that is unavailable, the reason for the disruption, its anticipated duration, and a description of alternative facilities or services if available. This notice will be placed at public entrances in our facilities.
• Training for employees
UCS will provide training to all employees, contractors, independent contractors, agents and volunteers working on our behalf. In addition, we will ensure that training is provided to third parties working on our behalf, and all those who are involved in the development and approvals of customer service policies, practices and procedures. Training will be provided to all new employees during their induction.
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 persons with various types of visible and non-visible disabilities.
- How to interact with persons with disabilities who use an assistive device or require the assistance of a service animal or support person.
- How to use the various assistive devices available on UCS’s premises or otherwise that may help with the provision of goods or services to persons with disabilities.
- What to do if a person with a disability is having difficulty accessing UCS’s goods and services.
- UCS’s policies, practices and procedures (the procedures will be department specific therefore only general guidelines will be included in the training) relating to the customer service standard.
- Applicable staff will be trained on policies, practices and procedures that affect the way goods and services are provided to persons with disabilities.
- Staff will also be trained on an ongoing basis when changes are made to these policies, practices and procedures. Specific procedure training will occur within the department.
• Workplace emergency response information
In addition to providing customers with disabilities with full accessibility to goods and services always in a way that respects their dignity, independence and equality, UCS is committed to providing employees with disabilities with the same opportunities as other employees. UCS will provide individualized workplace emergency response information to all employees with a visible or non-visible disability, if the individual so requires. With the employee’s consent, this information can also be provided to the individual who is designated to assist the employee with disabilities.
• Accessible feedback process
The goal of UCS is to meet and surpass customer expectations while serving all customers regardless of disabilities. Comments on our services regarding how well those expectations are being met are welcome and appreciated.
Feedback, comments and complaints will be addressed according to established procedures and policies; please see contact details outlined in the ‘Questions about our Policy’ section.
All feedback processes will be made available in accessible formats or with the appropriate communication supports, on request.
• Modifications to this or other policies
We are committed to developing customer service policies that respect and promote the dignity and independence of persons with disabilities. Therefore, no changes will be made to this policy before considering the impact on persons with disabilities.
Any policy of UCS that does not respect and promote the dignity, independence and equality of persons with disabilities will be modified or removed.
• Questions about this policy
This policy exists to achieve service and excellence to customers with disabilities. If anyone has a question about the policy, or if the purpose of this policy is not clear, please contact Human Resources, who will provide you with further information. Questions can be sent by email to: [email protected]
• Availability to the public
This policy is made available to any member of the public in an accessible format, upon request.
For more information, please refer to our AODA Policy and Multi-Year Accessibility Plan.