The Arthritis Society is committed to excellence in serving all customers including people with disabilities. This policy is intended to meet the requirements of Accessibility Standards for Customer Service, Ontario Regulation 429-07 under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005, and applies to the provision of goods and services to the public or other third parties, not to the goods themselves.
All goods and services provided by The Arthritis Society shall follow the principles of dignity, independence, integration and equal opportunity.
- This policy applies to the provision of goods and services at premises owned and operated by The Arthritis Society.
- This policy applies to employees, volunteers, agents and/or contractors who deal with the public or other third parties that act on behalf of The Arthritis Society, including when the provision of goods and services occurs off the premises of The Arthritis Society such as: program delivery services, events and off-site therapy or rehabilitation sessions.
- The section of this policy that addresses the use of guide dogs, service animals and service dogs only applies to the provision of goods and services that take place at the premises owned and operated by The Arthritis Society.
- This policy shall also apply to all persons who participate in the development of The Arthritis Society's policies, practices and procedures governing the provision of goods and services to members of the public or third parties.
In accordance with the Accessibility Standards for Customer Service, Ontario Regulation 429-07, this policy addresses the following:
- The provision of Goods and Services to Persons with Disabilities
- The use of assistive devices
- The use of service animals
- The use of support persons
- Notice of Service Disruptions
- Customer Feedback
- Notice of availability and format of required documents
The Provision of Goods and Services to Persons with Disabilities
The Arthritis Society will make every reasonable effort to ensure that its policies, practices and procedures are consistent with the principles of dignity, independence, integration and equal opportunity by:
- Ensuring that all customers receive the same value and quality,
- Allowing customers with disabilities to do things in their own ways at their own pace when accessing our goods and services as a long as this does not present a safety risk,
- Using alternative methods when possible to ensure that customers with disabilities have access to the same services, in the same place and in a similar manner;
- Taking into account individual needs when providing goods and services, and
- Communicating in a manner that takes into account the customer's disability.
A person with a disability will be allowed to use his or her personal assistive device(s) while accessing our services.
In cases where the assistive device presents a safety concern or where accessibility might be an issue, other reasonable measures will be used to ensure the access of goods and services.
We welcome people with disabilities and their service animals. Service animals are allowed on the parts of our premises that are open to the public.
In cases where a service animal poses a health and safety concern, other reasonable measures will be used to ensure the access of goods and services.
A person with a disability who is accompanied by a support person will be allowed to have that person accompany them on our premises. Fees will not be charged for support persons.
Notice of temporary disruption
Service disruptions may occur due to reasons that may or may not be within the control or knowledge of The Arthritis Society. In the event of a planned or unexpected disruption to services or facilities for customers with disabilities, The Arthritis Society will notify customers promptly. This clearly posted notice will include information about what goods or services are unavailable, the reason for the disruption, its anticipated length of time, and a description of alternative facilities or services, if available. The notice will be placed at the front door of the Society's premises, as a message on our voicemail and on the Society's website.
The ultimate goal of this policy is to meet service delivery expectations while serving customers with disabilities. Customers who wish to provide feedback on the way The Arthritis Society provides goods and services to people with disabilities can can provide feedback verbally over the phone, or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
All feedback will be directed to the Human Resources and addressed accordingly. Customerscan expect to hear back within five (5) business days. Complaints will be addressed according to our organization's regular complaint management procedures.
Training for staff
The Arthritis Society will provide training to employees, volunteers and others who deal with the public or other third parties on their behalf.
This training will be provided to staff, volunteers and third party providers when they join or perform work on behalf of the Society as soon as it is practical. Revised training will be provided in the event of changes to legislation, procedures and/or practices.
By the end of training participants will:
- have had an overview of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 and the requirements of the customer service standard;
- understand The Arthritis Society's accessible customer service plan,
- be aware of how to interact and communicate with people with various types of disabilities,
- be aware of how to interact with people with disabilities who use an assistive device or require the assistance of a service animal or a support person,
- be aware of how to use available assistive devices at The Arthritis Society (this will vary by location),
- know what to do if a person with a disability is having difficulty in accessing The Arthritis Society's goods and services, and
- be knowledgeable of our feedback process and how to help our customers provide us with feedback on our accessibility.
The Arthritis Society will keep a record of training that includes the dates training was provided and the number of employees who attended the training.
Notice of availability and format of documents
The Arthritis Society shall notify customers that the documents related to the Accessibility Standard for Customer Service are available upon request and in a format that takes into account the customer's disability. Notification will be given by posting the information in a conspicuous place owned and operated by The Arthritis Society, The Arthritis Society's website and/or any other reasonable method.