Accessible Customer Service Procedure
This procedure addresses the accessibility requirements for the standards under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005, which focuses on Accessible Customer Service. The Customer Service Standard requires Virtual Elementary School (VES) to prevent, identify, and remove barriers to provide accessible service to its customers. VES is committed to providing persons with disabilities equal opportunities to access our services in a manner and format that respects dignity and independence. Whenever possible, goods and services provided by VES shall be accessible through the use of assistive devices, service animals, and support persons, and regular business operations will be reinforced with personnel training on accessibility requirements.
This procedure applies to the provision of goods and services at premises owned and operated by VES, and to employees, volunteers, agents, and contractors who deal with the public, or other third parties that act on behalf of VES, on or off the premises.
Procedures & Responsibilities
In accordance with the Accessibility Standards for Customer Service, Ontario Regulation 429/07, the procedure addresses the following:
- The Provision of Goods and Services to Persons with Disabilities
- The Use of Assistive Devices
- The Use of Guide Dogs, Service Animals and Service Dogs
- The Use of Support Persons
- Notice of Service Disruptions
- Customer Feedback
- Training provisions
- Notice of Availability and Format of Required Documents
- Employment Accessibility
A. The Provision of Goods and Services to Persons with Disabilities
VES will make every reasonable effort to ensure that its policies, procedures, and practices are consistent with the principles of dignity, independence, integration, and equal opportunity in the following ways:
- Ensuring all customers receive the same value and quality
- Allowing customers with disabilities to do things in their own way and at their own pace when accessing goods and services, as 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 different individual needs when providing goods and services
- Communicating in a manner that takes into account the customer’s disability
B. The Use of Assistive Devices
Persons with disabilities may use their own assistive devices as required when accessing goods or services provided by VES. 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.
C. The Use of Guide Dogs, Service Animals and Service Dogs
When an individual with a disability should need to access VES with their service animal, they will be allowed access to premises that are open to the public.
The customer that is accompanied by the service animal is responsible for maintaining care and control of the animal at all times. If a health and safety concern presents itself, VES will make all reasonable efforts to meet the needs of all individuals.
D. The Use of Support Persons
When an individual with a disability should need to access VES with a support person, VES will ensure that both persons are allowed to enter the premises together and that the customer is not prevented from having access to the support person. In situations where confidential information might be discussed, consent will be obtained from the customer prior to the conversation taking place.
E. Notice of Service Disruptions
Service disruptions may occur due to reasons that may not be within the control or knowledge of VES. In the event of any temporary disruptions to facilities or services that customers with disabilities rely on to access or use VES’s goods or services, reasonable efforts will be made to provide advanced notice. In some circumstances, such as in the situation of unplanned, temporary disruptions, advanced notice may not be possible.
Notifications will include the following:
- Goods or services that are disrupted or unavailable
- Reason for the disruption
- Anticipated duration
- A description of alternative services or options
F. Customer Feedback
VES shall provide customers with the opportunity to provide feedback on the service provided to customers with disabilities. Feedback options will be listed under the “Contact” page of the website and shall be sent to Human Resources. Feedback can be provided in writing (mail or email) or verbally (by telephone) and will be acknowledged within 7 days of receipt.
Customers can submit feedback to the Human Resources Department:
27 Main Street North, Box 402
Bayfield, ON N0M1G0
Training will be provided to the following groups of people:
- All employees, volunteers, agents, and contractors who deal with the public or other third parties that act on behalf of VES
- Those who are involved in the development and approval of customer service policies, practices, and procedures
As reflected in Ontario Regulation 429/07, training will cover the following:
- A review of the purpose of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005
- A review of 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 service animal, and/or require the use of a support person
- Instructions on what to do if a person with a disability is having difficulty accessing the services
- VES’s policies, procedures, and practices pertaining to providing accessible customer service to customers with disabilities
VES will provide training as soon as practicable. Training will be provided to new employees, volunteers, agents, and/or contractors who deal with the public or act on behalf of VES during the first few weeks of employment. Revised training will be provided in the event of changes to legislation, procedures, and/or practices.
H. Notice of Availability and Format of Required Documents
Except as otherwise stated, Virtual Elementary School will provide, or make arrangements to provide, accessible formats and communication supports for persons with disabilities upon request. VES will provide these supports at no additional cost and within a timely manner.
I. Employment Accessibility
Virtual Elementary School welcomes applications from persons with disabilities. Accommodations will be provided upon request for candidates participating in the selection process. Throughout employment at VES, employees that identify with a disability will be supported and provided with the necessary accommodations.
If you have any questions or concerns about this policy or its related procedures, please contact the Human Resources Department: