Purpose and Background
This policy is intended to meet the requirements of the Accessibility Standards for Customer Service, Ontario Regulation 429/07 under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, (AODA) 2005, and applies to the provision of goods and services to the public provided by People, Words & Change (PWC).
The Regulation establishes accessibility standards specific to customer service for public sector organizations and other persons or organization that provides goods and services to members of the public or other third parties.
The objective of this policy is to identify what the equal treatment provisions of the Ontario Human Rights Code, through AODA and the Regulation, require a minimum legal standard in program design and service delivery to persons with disabilities 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 disruption in services and facilities;
- Customer feedback regarding the provision of goods and services to persons with disabilities; and,
- Notice of availability and format of documents.
People, Words & Change (PWC) is a non-profit, charitable organization providing opportunities for English-speaking adults in Ottawa to improve literacy, numeracy or basic computer skills which are essential to working, learning, and living. One-on-one tutoring is provided free of charge by volunteer tutors to meet the needs and goals of the learners.
PWC is committed to providing equal treatment to people with disabilities with respect to the use and benefit of PWC services, programs, goods, and facilities in a manner that respects their dignity and that is equitable in relation to the broader public. This commitment extends to visitors, and employees with visible or non-visible disabilities.
We will ensure that our staff are trained and familiar with various assistive learning devices that may be used by learners or volunteer tutors with disabilities.
We will communicate with people with disabilities in ways that take into account their disability.
We welcome people with disabilities and their service animals. Service animals are allowed on the parts of the PWC premises open to the public.
A person with a disability who is accompanied by a support person will be allowed to have that person accompany them on our premises.
Notice of Temporary Disruption
In the event of a planned or unexpected disruption to services or facilities that affects the needs of learners with disabilities, PWC will notify learners promptly in an appropriate manner. This notice will include information about the reason for the disruption and its anticipated length.
Training for Staff
PWC will provide training to employees, board members and volunteer tutors and any others who may deal with our learners. Individuals in the following positions will be trained:
- Executive Director
- Education Counsellors
- Administrative Assistant
- Computer Instructor
Training is available through training modules developed in partnership with the provincial government, at Access Forward:
- Customer Service Standard
- General Requirements
- Information and Communications Standard; and,
- Employment Standard.
The training will be provided to staff within the probation period. Volunteer tutors are asked to complete the online course and to provide a copy of the resulting certificate to the PWC office.
Training will include:
- An overview of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005, and the requirements of the customer standard.
- PWC’s accessible customer service policy.
- Guidance on how to interact and communicate with people with various types of disabilities.
- Guidance on 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 accessing PWC’s services.
- The requirements for making your employment practices accessible.
Staff will also be trained when changes are made to our Accessible Customer Service Policy.
Learners who wish to provide feedback on the way PWC provides services to people with disabilities can e-mail, discuss with a staff member, write a note, etc. (in whatever way is appropriate for this learner). All feedback will be directed to the Executive Director. Learners can expect to hear back within seven (7) days. Complaints will be addressed according to our organization’s complaint resolution process.
A person with an accessibility complaint is encouraged to bring the matter to the attention of the person responsible for the matter, in the first instance. If this approach is attempted and does not produce a satisfactory result, the matter must be reported to the Education Counsellor responsible for the match, if appropriate, or to the Executive Director of PWC, if appropriate. Matters that cannot be resolved satisfactorily by these means should be reported to any member of the Board of Directors. The person to whom such matter is reported will investigate and take appropriate action.
Modifications to this or other policies
Any policy of PWC that does not respect and promote the dignity and independence of people with disabilities will be modified or removed.