Accessibility Standards for Customer Service

Accessibility Standards for Customer Service
To download a PDF copy of this policy please click here.

PURPOSE
This policy establishes the requirements for accessibility standards for customer service in accordance with the Accessibility Standards for Customer Service (Ontario Regulation 429/07) as set out within the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA).

The AODA was enacted for the purpose of developing, implementing and enforcing accessibility standards to ensure that customer service is available to everyone, including persons with disabilities.

APPLICATION AND SCOPE
This policy applies to:
1. All Woodbine Entertainment Group (WEG) employees including, but not limited to. temporary staff, volunteers, contractors and third party service providers who deal with members of the public and other third parties on behalf of WEG.

POLICY STATEMENT
WEG is committed to the provision of goods and services to all persons we serve, including persons with disabilities.  This commitment will be reflected in WEG’s policies, practices and procedures.

DEFINITIONS
Disability:  (Source: Guide to the Accessibility Standards for Customer Service, Ontario Regulation 429/07).  The following definition is the same as the definition of disability in the Ontario Human Rights Code and applies to the customer service standard of the AODA.

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 coordination, blindness or visual impediment, deafness or hearing impairment, 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 development 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.

The definition includes disabilities of different severity, visible as well as non-visible disabilities, and disabilities with effects that may come and go.

Personal Assistive Devices:  (Source:  Guide to the Accessibility Standards for Customer Service, Ontario Regulation 429/07)  Products or services that can help an individual carry out daily activities with greater ease and independence, such as a walker, a personal oxygen tank, TTY (Telephone Teletype), or amplification systems.

Service Animal:  (Source:  guide to the Accessibility Standards for Customer Service, Ontario Regulation 429/07) An animal is a service animal when it is readily apparent that the animal is used for reasons relating to a disability or the person with a disability has a letter from a physician or nurse that states the animal is required for disability related reasons.

Support Person:  (Source:  Guide to the Accessibility Standards for Customer Service, Ontario Regulation 429/07) A person who accompanies an individual with a disability to assist with communication, mobility, personal care of medical needs or with access to goods or services.  The support person could be a paid personal support worker, a volunteer, a friend or a family member.

REQUIREMENTS
1. General Principles

1.1 WEG will use reasonable efforts to ensure that policies, practices and procedures are documented and consistent with the following core principles of the standard:

a) Dignity - Respect the dignity of a person with a disability.  Treat them as customers and clients who are as valued and as deserving of effective and full service as any other customer.
b) Independence – People who may move or speak more slowly should not be denied an opportunity to participate in a program or service because of this factor.  A WEG employee should not hurry them or take over a task for them if they prefer to do it themselves in their own way.
c) Integration – Allow people with disabilities to fully benefit from the same services, in the same place and in the same or similar way as other customers.   Sometimes, integration does not serve the needs of all people with disabilities.  In the case of services, it means that people with disabilities have the same opportunity to benefit from the way you provide goods or services as others.  They should not have to make significantly more effort to access or obtain service.  They should also not have to accept lesser quality or more inconvenience.

2 Communication and Documentation

2.1  When communicating with a person with a disability, employees will do so in a manner that takes into account the person’s disability
2.2 When providing a copy of a document to a person with a disability WEG shall give the person the document, or the information contained in the document, in a format that takes into account the person’s disability.

3 Personal Assistive Devices

WEG permits customers with disabilities to use their own personal assistive devices providing the assistive device does not jeopardize or interfere with the integrity, assets of the organization and safety of other customers, employees or equine athletes.

4 WEG Assistance Provided

WEG may offer a person with a disability other reasonable measures to assist the person in obtaining, using or benefiting from WEG’s goods and services.  Where WEG provides assisted serviced they must be documented in policies, practices and procedures.

5 Support Persons

5.1 WEG ensures entry of customers with disabilities accompanied by a personal support person into WEG premises, with age restrictions in certain areas.
5.2 Where admission fees are charged, the support person will receive access free of charge.

6 Service Animals

6.1 A person with a disability may enter WEG premises accompanied by their guide dog or service animal in areas of the premises that are open to the public, unless the animal is excluded by another law or for safety considerations.  If a service animal is excluded by law or for safety considerations, other measures to provide service to the person with a disability may be used.

7 Notice of Disruption in Service

7.1 WEG will make reasonable efforts to provide notice to customers, when possible, if services are unavailable.
7.2 When a disruption occurs unexpectedly, notice shall conspicuously be posted as soon as possible.

8 Feedback

8.1 WEG will acknowledge feedback in a timely manner that takes into account the customer’s disability.
8.2 WEG will capture and track customer feedback

9 Training

9.1 All persons to whom this policy applies will receive training as required by the Accessibility Standards for Customer Service, including contractors, third parties and volunteers. 
9.2 Accessible Customer Service training will be provided to all WEG employees.
9.3 Records of training will be kept by the Director, Guest Services, including the dates that training was provided and the number of individuals who received the training. 
9.4 Training information will be available to customers upon request while maintaining personnel privacy considerations.


10. Availability of WEG Accessibility Plan

10.1 Public access to the annual WEG Accessibility Plan will be available in       alternative formats upon request to accessibility@woodbinentertainment.com.


11. Reporting

11.1 Annual reporting to the Ministry.
11.2 Annual reporting to WEG’s CSR Officer.