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Accessibility Policy

Note that the policy may be revised as other standards are introduced under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005.

Statement of Commitment:

CSMLS strives at all times to provide its goods and services in a way that respects the dignity and independence of people with disabilities.

We are also committed to giving people with disabilities the same opportunity to access our goods and services and allowing them to benefit from the same services, in the same place and in a similar way as other members.

This policy will extend from interactions with members in our office, on the phone and to include interactions at conferences or meetings as well.

The commitments in the Policy are intended to ensure that accessibility remains a priority at CSMLS’s decision –making process and will serve to assist in ensuring that decisions are improving accessibility and not inadvertently creating barriers.

Scope

This Policy applies to:

  • CSMLS Staff
  • CSMLS Board of Directors
  • CSMLS visitors and volunteers and
  • Contractors and subcontractors engaged by CSMLS

 

Providing goods and service to people with disabilities

In order to meet the needs of persons with disabilities, the principles of approach are:

Dignity – service is provided in a way that allows the individual to maintain self-respect and the respect of other persons.

Independence – when a person is able to do things on their own without unnecessary help or interference from others.

Integration – service is provided in a way that allows the individual to benefit from equivalent services, in the same place, and in the same or similar way as other individuals, unless an alternate measure is necessary to enable the individual to access goods or services.

Equal Opportunity – service is provided to individuals in such a way that they have an opportunity to access goods or services equal to that given to others.

Reasonable Efforts – taking approaches that meet the required needs of the individual.

 

The building at 33 Wellington Street North is access by appointment only regardless of member’s ability.

CSMLS is committed to excellence in serving all members including people with disabilities and we will carry out our functions and responsibilities in the following areas:

  • Communication

We will communicate with people with disabilities in ways that take into account their disability.

We will train staff who communicate with customers on how to interact and communicate with people with various types of disabilities.

  • Telephone services

We are committed to providing fully accessible telephone service to our customers. We will train staff to communicate with customers over the telephone in clear and plain language and to speak clearly and slowly.

  • Assistive devices

We are committed to serving people with disabilities who use assistive devices to obtain, use or benefit from our services. We will ensure that our staff are trained and familiar with various assistive devices that may be used by customers with disabilities while accessing our services.

We will also ensure that staff know how to use the following assistive devices available on our premises for customers: elevator, accessible washroom & front door.

  • Billing

We are committed to providing accessible invoices to all of our customers. For this reason, invoices will be provided in the following formats upon request: hard copy, large print or email.

We will answer any questions customers may have about the content of the invoice by telephone or email.

Use of service animals and support persons

We are committed to welcoming people with disabilities who are accompanied by a service animal on the parts of our premises that are open to the public and other third parties. We will also ensure that all staff, volunteers and others dealing with the public are properly trained in how to interact with people with disabilities who are accompanied by a service animal. Any person with a disability who is accompanied by a support person will be allowed to enter CSMLS’s premises with his or her support person. At no time will a person with a disability who is accompanied by a support person be prevented from having access to his or her support person while on our premises. There will be no additional cost for a support person at meetings or conferences (i.e. LABCON) the regular registration fees will apply for the member only.

Notice of temporary disruption

The CSMLS website, staff email as well as telephone system will provide members with notice in the event of a planned or unexpected disruption in the facilities or services usually used by people with disabilities.

This notice will include:

  • Information about the reason for the disruption,
  • Anticipated duration of disruption,

· Description of alternative facilities or services if available,

  • Who to contact for assistance, and

· Any other relevant information for accessing the facility or service

Training for staff

CSMLS will provide training to all employees, volunteers and all those who are involved in the development and approvals of customer service policies, practices and procedures (Appendix B).

This training will be provided in the first week of staff commencing their duties with CSMLS.

Training will include the following:

· The purposes of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 and the requirements of the customer service standard

· How to interact and communicate with people with various types of disabilities

· How to interact with people with disabilities who use an assistive device or require the assistance of a service animal or a support person

· CSMLS’s policies, practices and procedures relating to the customer service standard.

All staff will be trained on policies, practices and procedures that affect the way goods and services are provided to people with disabilities. Staff will also receive annual refresher training and updates when changes are made to these policies, practices and procedures.

Upon completion of the AODA Awareness Quiz, employees will be considered trained on this policy.

Feedback process

The ultimate goal of CSMLS is to meet and surpass customer expectations while serving customers with disabilities. Comments on our services regarding how well those expectations are being met are welcome and appreciated.

Feedback regarding the way CSMLS provides goods and services to people with disabilities can be made by e-mail, or verbally (1-800-263-8277) . You can expect to hear back in 48 hours or submission of feedback.

Complaints will be addressed according to processes already established in our company’s complaint management procedures.

Modifications to this or other policies

We are committed to developing customer service policies that respect and promote the dignity and independence of people with disabilities. Therefore, no changes will be made to this policy before considering the impact on people with disabilities. Any policy of CSMLS that does not respect and promote the dignity and independence of people with disabilities will be modified or removed.

Questions about this policy

This policy exists to achieve service excellence to customers with disabilities. If anyone has a question about the policy, or if the purpose of a policy is not understood, please contact CSMLS.