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TOWNSHIP OF KING 

ACCESSIBILITY FOR ONTARIANS WITH DISABILTIES ACT, 2005 

ACCESSIBILITY STANDARDS FOR CUSTOMER SERVICE - PROCEDURES

POLICIES, GUIDELINES AND PROCEDURES           

CORPORATE ACCESSIBILITY STANDARDS

Policy No. CAS

Accessibility Standards for Customer Service

Effective Date : January 1, 2010

Revision No : 1
Date: August 14, 2009

Approved by : Council
Date Approved : August 24, 2009

Policy Statement

Through the establishment of the Accessibility Standards for Customer Service policy and supporting procedures and practices that respect the dignity and independence of persons with disabilities, the Township of King is reflecting its commitment to sound governance, accountability and focus on service excellence in fulfilling its mission to always strive to meet or exceed expectations.

Purpose

The Township of King is committed to giving people with disabilities the same opportunity to access Township’s goods and services and allowing them to benefit from the same services, in the same place and in a similar way as other customers. To ensure support for and compliance with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (AODA) and relevant regulations, the Township of King will make reasonable efforts to ensure that it provides accessible customer service to people with various kinds of disabilities and respects the core principles of independence, dignity, integration and equal opportunity, as defined herein.

Procedures:

Accessible Customer Service

The Township of King shall make reasonable efforts to ensure that its policies, procedures and practices as amended from time to time are consistent with the following principles:

  • The goods or services will be provided in a manner that respects the dignity and independence of persons with disabilities.

  • The provision of goods or services to persons with disabilities and others must be integrated unless an alternate measure is necessary, whether temporarily or on a permanent basis, to enable a person with a disability to obtain, use or benefit from the goods or services.

  • Persons with disabilities must be given an opportunity equal to that given to others to obtain, use and benefit from the goods or services.

Assistive Devices

The Township of King permits persons with disabilities to use and keep with them their own personal assistive devices to obtain, use or benefit from the goods or services offered by the Township of King.

Where Township-owned assistive devices are available, appropriate staff within the applicable department will be knowledgeable of the presence and trained in the use of the assistive devices. Staff will be available to assist with the Township owned assistive devices if requested for use by an individual.

Each department will maintain a list of assistive devices available within the department and will review it from time to time.

A person with a disability may use an assistive device such as, but not limited to, wheelchairs, walkers, white canes used by people who are blind or who have low vision, note taking devices, portable magnifiers, recording machines, assistive listening devices, personal oxygen tanks and devices for grasping.

When interacting with a person with a disability who may use one or more assistive devices staff will:

  • Ensure that the person is permitted to enter the premises with the device and to use the device to access goods or services.

  • Ensure that persons with disabilities are aware of assistive devices available on the Township of King premises.

  • Offer an assistive device in a manner that respects the person’s dignity and independence.

  • Do not lean or reach over an assistive device.

  • Remove potential barriers to the use of assistive devices where possible.

Communication

When communicating with a person with a disability, Township of King employees shall do so in a manner that takes into account the person’s disability

Should the Township of King be requested to provide a person with a disability a public document or information, the Township of King will take into consideration the communication needs of the person with a disability and will provide the information in an agreed upon format.

In-house printed material and publications produced on behalf of the Corporation of the Township of King should contain a note indicating “alternative formats are available upon request” and include the relevant contact information.

In-house printing and publications produced on behalf of the Corporation of the Township of King, where possible, should adhere to the CNIB’s Clear Print Standards.

If one form or method of communication cannot be used by a person with a disability, he/she may be able to use another form or method, or a combination. 

When communicating with a person with a disability ensure you confirm with him/her to ensure they understand the information being presented.  Ask:  Do you understand?  Do you have any questions? 

Each table in the following pages defines a specific category of disability and outlines some communication tips to help provide service to customers.

Vision Disabilities :

Definition :

Tips For Serving Customers :

A vision disability reduces a person’s ability    see clearly.

It may restrict a person’s ability to read signs, locate landmarks or see hazards.

Most individuals who are legally blind have some remaining vision – very few are totally blind.

May use a guide dog or white cane.

May need to view written documents in large print, or with help of a magnifier.

Don’t assume your customer can’t see you.

Speak normally and directly to customer.

Offer your elbow to guide.

If they accept, walk slowly, wait for permission.

Identify landmarks.

Be precise and descriptive with information.

Don’t walk away without saying goodbye

Be patient, interactions may take longer.

Hearing Disabilities :

Definition :

Tips For Serving Customers :

A person with a hearing loss may be deaf or hard of hearing.

Like other disabilities, hearing loss has a wide variety of degrees.

A person with a hearing impairment may require assistive device when communicating.

Attract the customer’s attention before speaking – gentle touch on the shoulder or wave of your hand.

Look at and speak directly to the person.

May have to use pen and paper to communicate.

Speak clearly; keep hands away from your face.

Reduce background noise.

Physical Disabilities or Disabilities Affecting Mobility :

Definition :

Tips For Serving Customers :

May restrict a person in the following ways :

Control or speed of movements

Coordination and balance

Ability to grasp some objects

Ability to walk long distances

Ability to sit or stand for prolonged periods

Can be present at birth, result from disease, injury or be temporary.

Speak directly to the person.

Ask before you help.

Don’t touch assistive devices, including wheelchairs unnecessarily unless it is an emergency.

Don’t leave the person in an awkward, dangerous or undignified position.

Intellectual of Developmental Disabilities :

Definition :

Tips For Serving Customers :

Intellectual development and capacity that is below average.

Can mildly or profoundly limit ability to learn, communicate, do everyday activities and live independently.

May be an invisible disability.

They may understand you more than you know.

Don’t assume what a person can or cannot do.

Use plain language.

Take your time, be patient

Ask: “Do you understand this?”

Provide one piece of information at a time.

If you can’t understand what is being said, don’t pretend. Just ask again.

Learning Disabilities :

Definition :

Tips For Serving Customers :

May affect how a person receives, expresses or processes information.

In many cases individual has average or above average intelligence.

May affect language based learning, mathematics, and/or writing, fine motor skills.

Take your time, be patient it may take a little more time for the person to understand and respond.

Provide information in a way that works for your customer (i.e. pen and paper)

Speak normally, clearly and directly to your customer.

Be prepared to explain the information you provide.

Mental Health Disabilities :

Definition :

Tips For Serving Customers :

Mental health disabilities include a range of disorders however there are three main types of mental health disabilities – anxiety, mood, behavioral.

A person with a mental health disability can look like anyone else; you may not know that a person has a mental health disability unless you are informed of it.

Treat the customer with the same level of respect and consideration.

Be confident and reassuring.

If the customer is in crisis, ask how best to help.

Take the customer seriously.

Don’t take things personally.

Speech or Language Disabilities :

Definition :

Tips For Serving Customers :

May have problems communicating.

May be difficult to pronounce words, slurring or stuttering.

May use communication boards or other assistive devices.

Don’t make assumptions.

Give whatever time they need to get their point across.

Ask questions that can be answered ‘yes’ or ‘no’, if possible.

Don’t interrupt or finish your customer’s sentences.

Say: “I don’t understand, can you please repeat that?”

Deaf Blind Disability :

Definition :

Tips For Serving Customers :

Cannot see or hear to some extent, this results in greater difficulties in accessing information and managing daily activities.

Many will be accompanied by an Intervener, a professional who helps with communicating.

Speak directly to your customer, not to the intervener.

Identify yourself to the intervener.

A customer who is deaf blind may have a card or note explaining how to communicate with them.

Support Persons :

The Township of King will allow a person with a disability, who requires, to be accompanied by a support person into all Township premises that are owned or operated public facilities.  Both persons are permitted to enter the premises together and the person with a disability will always have access to their support person.

Staff will direct all communication to the person directly and not the support person, unless instructed to do so.

Any confidential information such as tax information, personal information etc.  that is discussed in the presence of a support person will be identified as such prior to the information being released and the person with the disability will determine if the information can be released in the presence of the support person. In some incidences where confidentiality is important because of the nature of the information being discussed, the support person may be required to sign a confidentiality agreement.

The Township of King may require a person with a disability to be accompanied by a support person when accessing goods and services, but only if a support person is necessary to protect the health or safety of the person with a disability or the health and safety of others on the premises.  Persons with a disability are free to accept a reasonable risk of injury to them just as others do.

A support person, when assisting a person with a disability to obtain, use or benefit from the Township’s goods and/or services, will be permitted to attend at no charge where an admission fee is applicable.

Service Animals :

The Township of King allows a person with a disability to be accompanied by a guide dog or other service animal onto all Township of King owned and operated public facilities and will ensure that the person is permitted to keep the animal with him or her unless the animal is otherwise excluded by law.

For the purpose of these Guidelines and in support of the Corporate Accessibility Standards for Customer Service Policy a service animal for a person with a disability is:

  • 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.

If the service animal is excluded by law, i.e. where food is prepared, the Township of King will ensure that other measures are available to enable the person with a disability to obtain, use or benefit from the Township of King’s goods and services.

Where a service animal is excluded by law from the premises, the reason why the animal is excluded shall be explained to the person with a disability. 

Township of King staff may request a letter from a physician or nurse confirming the person who requires the assistance of a service animal or guide dog to validate that the animal is as defined above by producing a certificate.

The guide dog or service animal must be in the care and control of the person with a disability while accessing goods and services at the Township of King.

Staff will not touch, handle, feed or speak to the guide dog or service animal.

If the Township of King is providing ongoing services to a person with a service animal or in other special circumstances the Township of King may request to maintain a copy of the letter.  A copy of the letter should only be kept when necessary and only for as long as necessary.  Collection of this information must adhere to all privacy and protection acts.

Notice of Service Disruption :

Notice of Service Disruptions shall be provided when facilities or services that people with disabilities usually use to access Township of King goods or services are temporarily unavailable or if the goods or service are expected in the near future to be temporarily unavailable, in whole or in part.

The Notice must include the following information:

  • The reason for and information about the disruption

  • Anticipated duration

  • Description of alternative facilities or services, if available

  • Contact information

When a disruption is known in advance or planned, a Notice of Disruption of Service will be posted 2 weeks prior to a service disruption whenever possible. Unexpected disruptions in service shall be posted as soon as possible.

 Notices may be given by posting the information in a conspicuous place on the premises, on the Township’s website or any other such method as is reasonable in the circumstances, for example:

  • On the Township of King owned, leased or operated buildings or property, on the front doors.

  • In the local newspaper

  • After hours service line

  • LED Display Boards where appropriate

  • Voicemail where appropriate

  • Or by other method as appropriate

Each department will appoint a designated person and back up person to be responsible for posting and maintaining the notice of service disruption.

Notices and signage that is written will take into consideration the Clear Print Accessibility Guidelines from the CNIB available at : www.cnib.ca.  

All service disruption notifications will be logged and recorded with the details of the service disruption and when the disruption was rectified. The department appointed person and/or backup person shall be responsible for maintaining the record.

Refer to Appendix 1 and 2 for sample Notice of Service Disruption Forms.

Training :

The Township of King shall ensure that the following persons will or have received training regarding the provision of its goods and services to persons with disabilities.

  1. Every person who deals with members of the public or other third parties on behalf of the Township of King, whether the person does so as an employee, agent, volunteer or otherwise.

  2. Every person who participates in developing the Township of King’s policies, practices and procedures governing the provision of goods or services to members of the public or other third parties.

The training shall include but is not limited to the following:

  1. Review of the purpose of the Accessibility for Ontarians Disabilities Act, 2005 (AODA) and requirements of theAccessibility Standards for Customer Service Ontario Regulation 429/07

  2. Instructions on how to interact and communicate with people with various types of disabilities

  3. Instruction on how to interact with people with disabilities who use assistive devices or require the assistance of a guide dog, other service animal or support person

  4. Instruction on how to use equipment or devices available at Town  premises or that you otherwise provide, that may help people with disabilities access our services, such as TTY telephones, elevators, lifts, accessible interactive kiosks, listening devices or other technology and

  5. Instruction on what to do if a person with a disability is having difficulty accessing the Township of King’s services

Training shall be provided to each person as soon as practical and training records shall be maintained to ensure compliance with the legislation.

The Human Resources Division will record the content of the training provided, the name of the person, number of persons trained, location and date the training was completed.

New employees will be trained on the Accessibility Standards for Customer Service as indicated in the AODA as part of their orientation package or as soon as practical in the case of a new employee or if an employee changes positions.

Training must be provided as soon as practical to affected individuals if the Township of King’s polices, procedures or practices change in connection with the provision of goods or services to people with disabilities.

Feedback Process

The Township of King shall establish a process for receiving and responding to feedback regarding the manner in which the Township of King provides goods or services to persons with disabilities and shall make information about the process readily available to the public.

The process will permit persons to provide feedback in person, by telephone, in writing, by email, online, on disk or by other method.  Feedback will also be received on the Customer Feedback Form provided within each Department.

Feedback Forms are to be posted in conspicuous locations throughout the organization. The forms are directed to the appropriate Department (Director) and accessibility issues are forwarded to the Township Clerk for follow-up.

Under the following conditions staff will complete the form for the person who is providing the feedback:

  1. Feedback is from a person who is unable to provide written information due to their disability.

  2. Feedback is received over the telephone.

Staff will repeat back the information taken to the person providing the feedback to ensure it has been accurately recorded.

When a complaint regarding the accessibility of goods or services within the Township of King is received for response the complaint will be forwarded to the Township Clerk. 

The Township Clerk will respond within 14 business days to the person and will include the actions that will be taken to address and or improve the area of concern.  The response could be in written format such as a letter or email or verbal such as in person or over the telephone or alternative method as appropriate.

Notice of Availability of and Format of Documents :

The Township shall provide notice that upon request it will provide a copy of the following policies, procedures and practices as required to any person under Accessibility Standards for Customer Service Ontario Regulation 429/07.

  • Township policies, practices and procedures on the provision of goods or services to persons with disabilities – including a policy on the use of personal assistive devices by persons with disabilities to access Township goods or services.

  • Service animals and support persons – Policy, practice and procedures with respect to the entry of service animals and support persons to those areas of the premises that are owned or operated by the Township, where such are open to the public.

  • Notice of temporary disruption – the steps that will be taken in connection with a temporary planned or unexpected disruption to facilities or services that persons with disabilities usually use to access Township goods or services.

  • Training – description of the training policy on accessible customer service.

  • Feedback Process - description of the process for receiving and responding to feedback in the manner in which the Township provides goods or services to people with disabilities. 

Should the Township of King be requested to provide a person with a disability any document noted in this section, the Township of King will give the person the information contained in the document, in a format that takes into account the person’s disability.

If a person with a disability asks for a document in a different format, staff will discuss the available options to determine the most appropriate format to provide.

The timeframe attached to the conversion process varies depending on the media chosen, the size, complexity and quantity of documents to be converted.  Documents shall be returned in a timely manner depending on the factors previously noted.

Conversion shall be processed in-house whenever possible.  When a member of the public requests a piece of Township documentation in an alternate format the department of origin shall be responsible for the cost of the conversion, materials and distribution, not the public requestor.

Contact:

For more information about this policy, procedures and practices or questions related to accessibility at the Township of King, please contact:

Kathryn Moyle

Diane Moratto

Cara Tuch

Clerk

Sr. Administrative Assistant

Manager of Human Resources

2075 King Road

2075 King Road

2075 King Road

King City, ON L7B 1A1

King City, ON  L7B 1A1

King City, ON  L7B 1A1

905-833-5321, Ext. #4018

905-833-5321, Ext. #4068

903-833-5321, Ext. #4084

Cross-References:

Guide to the Accessibility Standards for Customer Service, Ontario Regulation 429/07

Compliance Manual :  Accessibility Standards for Customer Service, Ontario Regulation 429/07

Access On : www.AccessOn.ca