Accessibility Customer Service Standards

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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. Bernstein Diet and Health Clinics 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 Bernstein Diet and Health Clinics employees who come in contact with members of the public or who participate in developing Bernstein Diet and Health Clinics 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”).

 

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.

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. 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:

  • Ensuring persons receive the same value and quality of service;
  • Using alternative methods, when possible, to ensure that persons with disabilities have access to the same services in the same manner;
  • Taking into account individual needs when providing services;
  • 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.

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 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 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 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

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.

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

Training – 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 Bernstein Diet & Health Clinics.

Current employees will receive a 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:

  • 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;
  • Instructions on how to interact and communicate with people with various types of disabilities;
  • Instructions on how to interact with people with disabilities who;
  • Use assistive devices;
  • Require the assistance of a guide dog, service dog or other service animal, or require the use of a support person;
  • Instructions on what to do if a person with a disability is having difficulty accessing our services;
  • Instructions on Bernstein Diet & Health Clinics policies, procedures and practices pertaining to providing accessible customer service to persons with disabilities.
  • 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).

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

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 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:

  • It is readily apparent that the animal is used by the person for reasons related to his or her disability, or
  • 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;

  • It is readily apparent to an average person that the dog functions as a service dog for a person with a mental disability; or
  • 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 Bernstein Diet & Health Clinics will ensure that other reasonable measures are available to enable the person with the disability to obtain services.

 

Please note:

  • If it is not apparent that the animal is being used by the person for reasons relating to his or her disability, Bernstein Diet & Health Clinics may request verification.
  • 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. Others 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 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, 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. Bernstein Diet & Health Clinics will ensure the person is not prevented from having access to the support person while on our premises.

 

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