Accessibility Policy

Welcome to Dr. Bernstein Diet & Health Clinics AODA Training

Dr. Bernstein Diet & Health Clinics is committed to ensuring all employees have the training required under the Accessibility of Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (AODA) and to provide training on how to deliver the required customer service standards.

Objectives

  • Understand the purpose of the AODA and the required customer service standards;
  • How to interact and communicate with people with various types of disabilities;
  • How to interact with people with disabilities who use assistive devices, a service animal or a support person;
  • What to do if a person with a particular disability is having difficulty accessing our services;
  • Understand the Company’s customer service standard policies, practices and procedures governing the provision of goods and services to people with disabilities.

AODA Overview

The Accessibility Standard for Customer Service, Ontario Regulation 429/07 is a law in Ontario with the purpose of developing, implementing and mandating accessibility standards in order to achieve accessibility for persons with disabilities, with respect to goods, services, facilities, accommodation, employment, buildings, structures and premises. The Customer Service Standard involves understanding that customers with disabilities may have different needs and determining the best way to help them access the services available.

A disability is defined by AODA as: “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, and degree of paralysis, amputation, lack of physical coordination, 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 or;

  • A condition or mental impairment or a development disability, or;
  • A learning disability, or a dysfunction in one or more of the processes involved in understanding or using symbols or spoken language, or;
  • 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; (“handicap”).”

At such time as new or revised standards are developed under the AODA, the Company will review and update this policy, as necessary to ensure consistency.

Understanding Persons with Disabilities

Objectives:

  • Identify different barriers met by persons with disabilities and their specific needs;
  • Learn how to interact with people with disabilities;
  • Respond appropriately to a customer with a disability.

Understanding Different Types of Disabilities

Vision Loss: The person may have partial vision; therefore one must not assume that they cannot see. Provide clear and precise verbal directions. Avoid saying “over there” or using hand gestures as directions.

Hearing Loss: Don’t shout; simply ask “how can I help?” You might need an alternative form of communication. Therefore, you may need to conduct your conversations in writing using pen and paper. Make sure the person can see your full face in order to help with lip reading.

Deaf-Blind: Don’t assume a deaf-blind person has no vision or hearing. Not all vision or hearing loss is complete. Identify yourself to the person’s intervener when you initially approach the person, but then speak directly to the person who is deaf-blind.

Mental Health Disabilities: Remain patient. Allow the person the time to process the information and get their message across. If the person appears to be in crisis, ask them how you can best help them.

Speech and Language Impairments: Be patient if they speak slowly or with a stutter. It is insulting for the person if you cut them off to complete their sentences. Ask closed questions that can be answered with a “yes” or “no”. Don’t assume a person with a speech impairment must also have a developmental disability.

Intellectual or Developmental Disabilities: Provide information in sections. Don’t overwhelm the person with too many details at once. Confirm that the person understands what you have said by having them repeat what you have said back to you in their own words.

Learning Disabilities: Allow the person the extra time they need to process the information you have given them. It may take them longer to respond to you. Remain patient and be ready to repeat explanations if necessary.

Physical / Mobility Disabilities: Ask before you offer help. Persons with physical disabilities will have their own ways of doing things. Make sure that the person with the physical disability is aware of the accessible features available to them (automatic doors, accessible washrooms, elevators, etc.).

Mental Health Disabilities: Such disabilities: Include anxiety disorders (phobias, panic disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorders) and mood disorders (depression, bi-polar), as well as schizophrenia. You likely won’t know that the person has a mental health disability unless you are informed of it. Usually it will not affect your interaction, however in some cases, it may and you should be prepared for this possibility.

Sensory Disability:A person with a smelling disability or hypersensitivity to odours and smells may have allergies or may be unable to identify dangerous gases, smoke, fumes, and spoiled food. A person with touch disabilities could have numbness and the inability to feel sensations. General Tips for all Disabilities:

  • Speak directly to the person, not to their interpreter or support person. Speak normally, do not speak slowly and loudly;
  • Don’t touch or speak to service animals. They are not pets; they are “on the job” and need to be left alone to focus;
  • Treat any assistive device the person may be using as part of their physical space and only touch it if asked to;

Terminology

Instead of Use
Visual Impaired Person with impairment
Confined to wheelchair Person who uses a wheelchair
Cripple, cripples, lame Person with mobility impairment
(The)Deaf Person who is deaf
Hearing Impaired Person who is hard of hearing
Handicapped Person with a disability
Handicapped parking Accessible parking
Handicapped bathrooms Accessible bathrooms
Mentally retarded Person with an intellectual disability

 

Providing Customer Service to Persons with Disabilities

Ensure that all persons receive the same value and quality of customer service. Remember to treat people with disabilities in the same manner that you would treat all other clients.

Remember to T-A-L-K with them:

  • Take the time to offer assistance from the beginning. Learn and understand the needs and requirements of persons with disabilities when they enter the clinic. They have the same needs as persons that do not have disabilities.
  • Ask, don’t assume. Never assist unless you are asked to, as you would with a person without a disability, unless it is a clear emergency.
  • Listen attentively and speak directly to the person with a disability, instead of their companion / attendant.
  • Know the accommodations and special services available – be knowledgeable about services that are available in your immediate area and in your community. Remember to ask “May I help you?”. These are four easy words that convey a great message.

 

What are Barriers?

A barrier is anything that prevents a person with a disability from accessing a service or standard of service available to others, or anything that makes it difficult for them to take part in society.

A Barrier could be:

  • Physical or architectural – these can include poor lighting, cluttered aisles, or counters that are too high;
  • Information or communication which may include small print or complicated fonts; signs or directions that are difficult to understand; websites that are difficult to navigate;
  • Attitudinal barriers are those that discriminate against people with disabilities. Example: thinking that people with disabilities are inferior or assuming that a person who has a speech impairment can’t understand you;
  • Technological – posting documents on websites that cannot be accessed or viewed by people with visual disabilities who are using screen readers;
  • Policy or practice – ensure policies and procedures focus on treating everyone fairly.

 

WHAT ARE IMPAIRMENTS?

Impairment is a reduction in physical or mental function as a result of a medical condition. The medical condition could be caused by an injury, disease or other disorder.

Interacting with Persons Who Use a Service Animal

  • Remember that a service animal is not a pet. It is a working animal.
  • Avoid touching or addressing service animals. They are working and have to pay attention at all times.
  • Avoid making assumptions about the animal. Not all service animals wear special collars or harnesses. If you are not sure if the animal is a pet or a service animal, ask the person.
  • Remember your customer is responsible for the care and supervision of their service animal.

Support Persons

If a person with a disability is accompanied by a support person, Dr. Bernstein Diet & Health Clinics will ensure that both parties are allowed to enter the premises open to the public.

Interacting with a Person who has a Support Person

A person with a disability might not introduce their support person. Take the lead from the person using or requesting your services. Speak directly to the person, not to their support person.

 

Assistive Devices

What is an assistive device?

An assistive device is a tool, technology or other mechanism that enables a person with a disability to do everyday tasks and activities such as moving, communicating or lifting. It helps the person to maintain their independence at home, at work and in the community.

How do I interact with a person who uses an assistive device?

Many persons with disabilities will have their own personal assistive devices, such as wheelchairs, scooters or walkers. Don’t touch or handle an assistive device without permission. If you have permission to move a person in a wheelchair remember to:

  • Wait for and follow the person’s instructions;
  • Confirm that the person is ready to move;
  • Describe what you are going to do before you do it;
  • Don’t leave the person in an awkward, dangerous or undignified position such as facing a wall or in the path of opening doors.
  • Let the person know about accessible features in the immediate environment (E.g. automatic doors, accessible washrooms).

 

Dealing with Difficult Situations

REACH

  • Recognize the situation;
  • Evaluate the situation;
  • Approach the situation with the right attitude;
  • Control the situation;
  • Help the customer;

 

  • Create a positive atmosphere for persons with disabilities;
  • Respect their dignity and independence;
  • Ensure an opportunity to obtain goods and services equal to that given to others;
  • Allow persons with a disability to benefit from the same services, in the same place, and in a similar way to other persons.

 

Placing a Bell Relay Service Call

Telecommunications Relay Service, also known as TRS, Relay Service, or IP-Relay, or Web-based relay services, is an operator service that allows people who are deaf, hard of hearing, speech disabled or deaf-blind to place calls to standard telephone users via keyboard or assistive device. You can find out more about this service at: www.bell.ca/specialneeds.

  1. Phone the Relay Service number (1-800-855-0511).
  2. Tell the operator your name, the name of the person you are calling and the number you wish to reach.
  3. The operator will make the call for you. You speak to the operator as if you were talking directly to the person you are calling. For example, say “Hi, How are you doing?” Do not say “Tell Him/her I say hello”.
  4. Remember to say “Go Ahead” when you finish speaking, so the person on the other end will know it is their turn to speak.
  5. If you normally speak very quickly, the operator may ask you to speak more slowly so your message can be typed while you are speaking. There will be a brief silences as the operator types to the TTY user and the user replies.

 

Accessibility Customer Service Standards

 

Statement of Policy and Procedure

Purpose

The Accessibility Standard for Customer Service, Ontario Regulation 429/07 is a law in Ontario with the purpose of developing, implementing and mandating accessibility standards in order to achieve accessibility for persons with disabilities, with respect to goods, services, facilities, accommodation, employment, buildings, structures and premises. Dr. Bernstein Diet and Health Clinic will ensure its services are accessible to everyone.

Accessibility standards will set requirements in a number of other key areas and will be reviewed at a minimum of every five years. At such time as new or revised standards are developed under the AODA, this policy will be reviewed and updated, to ensure consistency.

Application

This policy applies to all Dr. Bernstein Diet and Health Clinic employees who come in contact with members of the public or who participate in developing Dr. Bernstein Diet and Health Clinic policies, practices and procedures governing the provision of goods and services to the public.

Policy Statement

Definition: A disability as defined by AODA 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, and degree of paralysis, amputation, lack of physical coordination, 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 or;

  • A condition or mental impairment or a development disability, or;
  • A learning disability, or a dysfunction in one or more of the processes involved in understanding or
  • using symbols or spoken language, or;
  • 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; (‘handicap’).”

Dr. Bernstein Diet and Health Clinics is committed to building a culture that embraces diversity and strives to provide services in a way that respects the dignity and independence of persons with disabilities.

Dr. Bernstein Diet and Health Clinics is also committed to ensuring that persons with disabilities receive accessible services with the same value and timelines as other do.

The AODA details specific requirements and standards for accessibility in Ontario. Dr. Bernstein Diet and Health Clinics will make every reasonable effort to ensure that its policies and procedures are consistent with the principles of dignity, independence, integration and equal opportunity by:

  1. Ensuring persons receive the same value and quality of service;
  2. Using alternative methods, when possible, to ensure that persons with disabilities have access to the same services in the same manner;
  3. Taking into account individual needs when providing services;
  4. Communicating in a manner that takes into account the person’s disability.

Dignity – Goods and services are provided in a manner that is respectful to persons with a disability and does not diminish the person’s importance.

Independence – Accommodating a person’s disability, respecting their right to do for themselves and to choose the way they wish to receive goods and services.

Integration – Persons with disabilities can access all goods and services. They may require alternative formats and flexible approaches. It means inclusiveness and full participation. This is a fundamental Human Right.

Equal opportunity – Service is provided to persons with disabilities in a way that their opportunity to access goods and services is equal to that given to others.

Dr. Bernstein Diet and Health Clinics is committed to excellence in serving all persons including people with disabilities and will carry out responsibilities under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, (2005) in the following areas:

  • Communication
  • Training
  • Assistive Devices
  • Service Animals
  • Support Persons
  • Notification of Disruption in Services
  • Feedback

Responsibility

Management:

  • Monitor and support employees implementing the Accessibility Customer Service Policy;
  • Facilitate the use by persons with disabilities of their personal assistive devices, service animals; and allow access for their support person as outlined below when accessing Dr. Bernstein Diet and Health Clinics premises;
  • Respond to feedback including accessibility-related issues or concerns as outlined below.

Employees:

  • Participate in required training related to Accessibility Standards for Customer Service;
  • Support the implementation of Accessibility Standards by providing service in a manner that respects the dignity and independence of persons with disabilities, including permitting the use of assistive devices, service animals and support persons as outlined below;

Human Resources:

  • Identify training needs for Dr. Bernstein Diet and Health Clinics;
  • Ensure resources are in place to support managers and supervisors in implementing accessibility;
  • File Accessibility Customer Service report with the Government of Ontario;.
  • Ensure Dr. Bernstein Diet and Health Clinics policies, practices and procedures related to the AODA are available to any person upon request;
  • Ensure training records are maintained in all employee files.

 

Procedure

Dr. Bernstein Diet & Health Clinics is committed to excellence in serving all persons including people with disabilities and will carry out functions and responsibilities in the following areas:

Communication – All employees will communicate with people with disabilities in ways that take their disability into consideration.

Dr. Bernstein Diet & Health Clinics will provide training to managers and employees whose duties involve interaction with the public or other third parties.

Training – Dr. Bernstein Diet & Health Clinics will provide training to all employees who participate in the developing the organization’s policies and other persons who provide goods, services or facilities on behalf of Dr. Bernstein Diet & Health Clinics.

Current employees will receive a Dr. Bernstein Diet & Health Clinics AODA training package. New employees will undertake training as part of their orientation. Training will be conducted on an ongoing basis when changes are made to these policies, practices and procedures.

As reflected in the on Ontario regulation 429/07, training will cover the following:

  1. A review of the purpose of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005; the requirements of the Accessibility Standards for Customer Service, Ontario Regulation 429/07;
  2. Instructions on how to interact and communicate with people with various types of disabilities;
  3. Instructions on how to interact with people with disabilities who;
    1. Use assistive devices;
    2. Require the assistance of a guide dog, service dog or other service animal, or require the use of a support person;
    3. Instructions on what to do if a person with a disability is having difficulty accessing our services;
    4. Instructions on Dr. Bernstein Diet & Health Clinics policies, procedures and practices pertaining to providing accessible customer service to persons with disabilities.
    5. Record of Training- Records will be maintained on file indicating the date and training provided.

Definitions

Assistive Devices – is any device that helps a person with a disability to do everyday tasks and activities. Assistive devices include digital audio players, hearing aids, teletypewriter (TTY) for people unable to speak or hear by phone, mobility devices (such as scooters, walkers or crutches, or white canes, oxygen tanks) and speech generating devices.

Note: Bell has a free Relay Service accessible from any phone (1-800-855-0511).

Dr. Bernstein Diet & Health Clinics is committed to serving people with disabilities, who may provide their own assistive device to obtain our services.

Dr. Bernstein Diet & Health Clinics will ensure that employees are trained and familiar with various assistive devices that may be used by persons with disabilities while accessing our services. In the event where the assistive device presents concern or when accessibility might be an issue, other reasonable measures will be establish to assist the person with a disability in obtaining, using and benefiting from Dr. Bernstein Diet & Health Clinics services.

Guide Dog – a highly trained working dog that has been trained at one of the facilities listed in the Ontario Regulations 58, under the Blind Rights Act, to provide mobility, safety and increased independence for people who are blind.

Service Animal – as reflected in Ontario Regulations 429/07 indicates that an animal is a service animal for a person with a disability if:

  1. It is readily apparent that the animal is used by the person for reasons related to his or her disability, or
  2. If the person provides a letter from a physician or nurse confirming that the person requires the animal for reasons relating to the disability.

Service Dog – as reflected in Health Protection and Promotion act, Ontario Regulation 562 a dog other than a guide dog for the blind is a service dog if:

  1. It is readily apparent to an average person that the dog functions as a service dog for a person with a mental disability; or
  2. The person who requires the dog can provide on request a letter from a physician or nurse confirming that the person requires a service dog.

A person with a disability that is accompanied by a guide dog, service animal or service dog may bring their service animal on the parts of our premises that are open to the public unless otherwise excluded by law. Should the animal be excluded from the premises by law Dr. Bernstein Diet & Health Clinics will ensure that other reasonable measures are available to enable the person with the disability to obtain services.

Please note:

  1. If it is not apparent that the animal is being used by the person for reasons relating to his or her disability, Dr. Bernstein Diet & Health Clinics may request verification.
  2. The person that is accompanied by the guide dog, service dog or service animal is responsible for maintaining care and control of the animal at all times.

There are all types of service animals who help people with disabilities other than vision loss.

Hearing alert animals help deaf people, or people who are hard of hearing, they are trained to alert an individual to an oncoming seizure, assist people with Autism, mental health disabilities, physical and other disabilities.

Support Person – as reflected in the Ontario Regulations 427/07, a support person means, in relation to a person with a disability, another person who accompanies him or her in order to help with the communication, mobility, personal care, medical needs or access to Dr. Bernstein Diet & Health Clinics services. The support person can be a paid personal support worker, volunteer, friend or a family member.

If a person with a disability is accompanied by a support person, Dr. Bernstein Diet & Health Clinics will ensure that both parties are allowed to enter premises open to the public or other third parties with his or her support person. Dr. Bernstein Diet & Health Clinics will ensure the person is not prevented from having access to the support person while on our premises.

NOTIFICATION OF DISRUPTIONS

Dr. Bernstein Diet and Health Clinics will provide persons with notice in the event of a planned or unexpected disruption to services. Notice will be posted in accessible formats at Dr. Bernstein Diet & Health Clinics premises in a conspicuous place or by other reasonable method, as appropriate.

Notifications will include: Services that are disrupted or unavailable;

  • Reasons for the disruption;
  • Anticipated duration;
  • A description of alternative services or options.

FEEDBACK

Dr. Bernstein Diet & Health Clinics accepts feedback from persons with disabilities on how their needs were met and responds to their feedback, where required.

Feedback forms along with alternative methods of providing feedback such as verbally in person or by telephone or written will be available both upon request. If a method is not suitable, requests for another method are accepted.

Privacy will be respected and all feedback will be reviewed for possible action that can be taken to improve Dr. Bernstein Diet & Health Clinics services. Where possible, complaints will be addressed immediately. However, some complaints may require more effort to address and must be reviewed for action.

Requests regarding feedback can be made to:

Dr. Bernstein Diet & Health Clinics
Attn: Human Resource Department
21 Kern Road, Toronto, Ontario, M3B 1S9
Phone: 1-888-372-3438
Fax: 1-416-447-0835
Email: stacy@drdiet.com

AVAILABILITY AND FORMAT OF DOCUMENTS (ALTERNATIVE FORMATS)

All documents required by the Accessibility for Customer Service, including Dr. Bernstein Diet & Health Clinics Accessible Customer Service Policy, Notices of temporary disruptions, training records and written feedback process are available upon request, subject to the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act.

When providing these documents to a person with a disability, Dr. Bernstein Diet & Health Clinics will provide the document or the information contained in the document, in a format that takes the person’s disability into account. Requests can be made to the Dr. Bernstein Diet & Health Clinics Head Office.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

For more information on the AODA Customer Service Standards, please contact:

Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) Contact Centre (Service Ontario)

Toll Free: 1-866-515-2025
TTY: 416-325-3408/Toll Free: 1-800-268-7095
Fax: 416-325-3407

Or visit the following websites: www.AcessON.ca and www.mcss.gov.on.ca

ONTARIO HUMAN RIGHTS CODE

The Ontario Human Rights Code guarantees that every person has a right to equal treatment with respect to services, goods, facilities and employment.

Dr. Bernstein Diet & Health Clinics is committed to principles of workplace diversity and social inclusion and will continue to develop and implement workplace diversity and social inclusion principles across all of its policies, procedures, and decisions.

*Individual weight loss may vary. Call for details. Compliance with our program is required.