The Accessibility Standards for Customer Service, Ontario Regulation 429/07, were created under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (AODA). The standards came into effect on January 1, 2008. The regulation sets our obligations for certain persons, businesses, and other organizations, to provide goods and services in a way that is accessible to people with disabilities in Ontario.
This policy ensures that people with disabilities are given equal opportunity to obtain, use, and benefit from South Nation Conservation (SNC) programs and services.
SNC is committed to providing optimal customer service to all of its clients and customers. Our goal is to ensure that people with disabilities are provided with an equal opportunity to enjoy SNC’s programs and services as people without disabilities. This Policy applies to the provision of goods and services and not to the services themselves.
The Policy ensures compliance with Regulation 429/07, Accessibility Standards for Customer Service. As part of compliance, SNC programs and services will be delivered:
- Ensuring that 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 individual needs when providing goods and services; and
- communicating in a manner that takes into account the customer’s disability.
Assistive Devices, Service Animals, and Support Persons
It is understood that people with disabilities may require the use of assistive devices, service animals, and/or support persons to access SNC’s programs and services. Any restrictions under other regulations that may interfere with such assistance will be identified and SNC will use reasonable efforts to make alternatives available to the customer. If there is a SNC admission fee for an event or program, the fee will not be applicable to support persons.
SNC will make this information available by posting a notice at its Administration Office and on its website.
Temporary Service Interruptions
In the event of a disruption to services or facilities for customers with disabilities (e.g. entrance to the Administration Office or use of facilities that are deemed accessible). South Nation Conservation will notify customers promptly.
Whether service disruptions are planned, or occur unexpectedly, South Nation Conservation will provide notice by: posting notices at the point of disruption; on the South Nation Conservation website (if appropriate); or any other method that may be reasonable under the circumstances.
Training for Staff
The AODA clearly outlines training requirements. Training will be provided to: all employees who provide customer service and/or are involved in the development of customer service policies, practices, and procedures; the Board of Directors, who are involved in the approval of customer service policies, practices, and procedures; and volunteers, agents and/or contractors who deal with the public, or other third parties who deal with the public that act of behalf of South Nation Conservation.
Records will be kept to verify that training has taken place. Training will include: the purpose of the AODA, and requirements of the standards. It will also include, but not be limited to: interacting and communicating with people with various disabilities; interacting with people who use assistive devices; service animals and/or support person(s); use of assistive devices and equipment associated with the services that we provide on our premises; and how to handle situations when a person with a particular type of disability is having difficulty accessing our goods and services.
Availability, Document Formats
As per SNC practice, all Policies, Procedures, and Regulations are available to the public upon request. When providing these documents to a person with a disability, the disability will be considered when determining the format the information will be shared. Information will be posted on SNC’s website and Administration Office regarding the availability of documents as outlined in the Accessibility Standards for Customer Service.
Feedback and Suggestions
South Nation Conservation will provide customers with the opportunity to provide feedback on the services provided to customers with disabilities. Information about the feedback process will be readily available to all customers and notice of the process will be made available at the Administration Office and on our website. Feedback forms will be available upon request along with alternate methods of providing feedback (e.g. in person, by telephone, e-mail, fax, delivered written correspondence).
Customers who wish to provide feedback by completing an on-site customer feedback form can do so with and South Nation Conservation employee. This feedback will be forwarded to the General Manager.
Customers that provide written feedback will receive acknowledgement of their feedback (if contact information is provided), along with any resulting actions based on concerns or complaints that were submitted.