1.1 Skyline and its group of companies (collectively, “Skyline”) is committed to excellence in serving all customers including people with disabilities. The objective of this policy is to meet the requirements in accordance with the Accessibility Standards for Customer Service (Ontario Regulation 429/07).
2.1 This policy applies to all Skyline employees who deal with the public and who develop policy on behalf of Skyline as well as any third party providing goods and services on behalf of Skyline who may interact with Skyline’s customers, the public or third parties.
3.1 Disability: For the purposes of this policy ‘disability’ is defined according to the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act 2005 as:
- a) 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, any degree of paralysis, amputation, lack of physical co-ordination, 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,
- b) a condition of mental impairment or a developmental disability,
- c) a learning disability, or a dysfunction in one or more of the processes involved in understanding or using symbols or spoken language,
- d) a mental disorder, or
- e) 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”)
3.2 Service Animal: 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 relating 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. O. Reg. 429/07, s. 4 (9).
3.3 Support Person: means, in relation to a person with a disability, another person who accompanies him or her in order to help with communication, mobility, personal care or medical needs or with access to goods or services. O. Reg. 429/07, s. 4 (8).
4.1 The Human Resources Manager will ensure that Skyline implements and updates this policy and related procedures as appropriate.
4.2 Senior Management and Managers/Supervisors will ensure that employees and any third party who report to them or conduct business on their behalf are trained on accessible customer service following corporate standards.
a) Additionally, Senior Management and Managers/Supervisors will ensure that:
- Procedures under this policy are communicated to staff and are carried out consistently.
- Feedback from the public regarding accessible customer service is addressed in accordance to the policy and related procedures.
4.3 Employees will ensure that accessible customer service is provided to all customers in accordance to the policy and related procedures.
5.1 Guiding Principles: Skyline is committed to providing accessible customer service to persons who have disabilities. Skyline will make reasonable efforts to ensure that this Policy and related practices and procedures are consistent with the following principles as prescribed in the Customer Service Standard:
- a) Provide goods and services in a way that respects the dignity and independence of people with disabilities.
- b) Give people with disabilities the same opportunity to access goods and services and allow them to benefit from the same services, in the same place and in a similar way as other customers.
- c) Communicate in a manner that takes into account the person’s disability by providing training to those who communicate with customers on how to interact with people with various types of disabilities.
5.2 Assistive Devices: A person with a disability may provide their own assistive device for the purpose of obtaining, using and benefiting from Skyline’s goods and services unless otherwise prohibited by law (i.e.: health and safety reasons). In such situations, Skyline may offer person with a disability other reasonable measures to assist him or her in obtaining, using and benefiting from Skyline’s goods and services, where Skyline has such other measures available. Skyline will provide training and information to all employees on various assistive devices that are available at the residential complex for customers.
5.3 Service Animals: Skyline is committed to welcoming people with disabilities who are accompanied by a service animal on the parts of the premises that are open to the public and other third parties except where prohibited by law. If a guide dog or other service animal accompanies a visiting person with a disability, Skyline shall ensure that the person is permitted to enter the premises with the animal and keep the animal with him or her.
5.4 Support Persons: Skyline is committed to welcoming people with disabilities who are accompanied by a support person. If a support person accompanies a visiting person with a disability, Skyline shall ensure that both persons are entitled to enter the premises together and that the person with a disability is not prevented from having access to the support person while on the premises.
5.5 Notice of Temporary Disruptions Policy: Temporary disruptions in the Skyline’s services and facilities may occur due to reasons that may or may not be within the Skyline’s control or knowledge. Skyline will make reasonable efforts to provide prior notice of planned disruptions if possible, recognizing that in some circumstances such as in the situation of unplanned temporary disruptions, advance notice will not be possible.
a) Skyline will make reasonable efforts to provide notice of the disruption to the public, by posting a notice in a visible place which includes the following:
- information about the reason for the disruption;
- its anticipated duration; and
- a description of alternative facilities or services, if any, that may be available.
b) Notice will be provided by a variety of methods, depending on the circumstances, and may include postings in conspicuous places at the residential complex, in other facilities of the residential complex, on the Skyline’s website or by any other means that will reasonably ensure that the notice reaches those persons potentially affected by the temporary disruption in a manner that is accessible to them.
5.6 Staff Training: Skyline will deliver training to all its employees and others who deal with the public on its behalf, and all those who are involved in the development and approval of customer service policies, practices and procedures including managers, supervisors, etc. In addition, staff will participate in further training specific to the customer service policies, procedures and practices of Skyline. This training will be required for all new employees within three (3) months of employment. Refresher training and updating of knowledge will be required for all staff every two (2) years.
5.7 Training will include the following:
- a) An overview of the purposes of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 and the requirements of the Customer Service Standard;
- b) Training on how to interact and communicate with people with various types of disabilities;
- c) Training 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;
- d) Training on how to use equipment or assistive devices available at the residential complex or otherwise provided by Skyline that may help with the provision of goods or services to a person with a disability;
- e) Training on what to do if a person with a disability is having difficulty in accessing Skyline’s goods and services
- f) Training on the current policies, practices and procedures relating to the Customer Service Standard.
- g) Skyline will keep records of the training provided, including the dates on which training was received and the names and number of participants.
5.8 Feedback Process: Feedback about the delivery of goods and services to persons with disabilities may be given by telephone, in person, in writing, or online. All feedback will be kept in strict confidence and will be used to improve customer service.
a) If the feedback raises serious concerns with respect to the delivery of goods and services to persons with disabilities, Skyline will provide a response to the concerns in a timely manner.
5.9 Document Format & Availability: This Policy and any corresponding practices and procedures will be made available to any person on request. Skyline shall post notice of the availability of these documents in a conspicuous place at the residential complex and, if applicable, on Skyline’s website.
a) Upon request, Skyline shall provide this Policy and other any forms created pursuant to the Customer Service Standard in a format that takes into account the disability of the person submitting the request.
6.0 APPLICABLE LEGISLATION:
6.1 Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005, S.O. 2005, c. 11 (the “AODA”) and Ontario Regulation 429/07 (the “Customer Service Standard”).
6.2 Residential Tenancies Act, S.O. 2006, c.17 (the “R.T.A.”)
6.3 Human Rights Code, R.S.O. 1990, c. H.19 (the “Code”)