Accessible Customer Service Policy

PURPOSE AND CORE PRINCIPLES

This policy is adopted pursuant to the Accessibility Standards for Customer Service, enacted pursuant to the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disability Act, 2005 (“AODA”), but it reflects the Carleton University Academic Staff Association’s longstanding commitment to accommodate the needs of persons with disabilities and to treat all persons with dignity and respect.

The purposes of this policy are to ensure that CUASA meets its regulatory requirements under the AODA and to promote the principles set out below. CUASA endeavors to ensure that all of our practices, policies and procedures are consistent with the following four core principles:

  1. Dignity – CUASA’s services will be provided to persons with a disability in a manner that respects their dignity.
  2. Equality of Opportunity – Persons with a disability should be given an opportunity equal to that given to others to obtain, use and benefit from CUASA’s goods and services.
  3. Integration – Wherever possible, persons with a disability should benefit from our goods and services in the same place and in the same or similar manner as any other customer. In circumstances where integration does not serve the needs of the person with a disability, goods and services will, to the extent possible, be provided in another way that takes into account the person’s individual needs.
  4. Independence – Goods and services will be provided in a way that respects the independence of persons with a disability.

APPLICATION

This Policy applies to all employees and volunteers who, on behalf of CUASA, deal with members of the public, including members of CUASA. The Policy also applies to all persons responsible for the development, implementation or oversight of CUASA policies, practices and procedures.

DEFINITIONS

Assistive Device – Any device used to assist a person with a disability in performing a particular task or tasks or to aid that person in activities of daily living.

Disability – Has the same definition as is provided under the AODA and the Ontario Human Rights Code.

Service Animal – An animal is a service animal for a person with a disability,

(a)       if it is readily apparent that the animal is used by the person for reasons relating to his or her disability; or

(b)       if the person provides a letter from a physician or nurse confirming that the person requires the animal for reasons relating to the disability.

Support Person – A person who accompanies a person with a disability in order to assist with communication, mobility, personal care or medical needs or with access to goods or services.

PROVISION OF GOODS AND SERVICES

Communication

CUASA is committed to communicating with the public (including CUASA members) in a manner that is accessible and that takes into account the individual needs of persons with a disability. Our staff and volunteers receive training on how to communicate with persons with various types of disabilities.

Assistive Devices

While CUASA does not provide any assistive devices, persons with a disability are invited to use their own Assistive Device when on our premises for the purposes of obtaining, using or benefiting from CUASA’s goods and services. Our staff and volunteers receive training on how to interact appropriately with people who use a variety of assistive devices.

If there is a physical, technological or other type of barrier that prevents the use of an Assistive Device on our premises, we will endeavour to remove that barrier. If we are not able to remove the barrier, we will ask the person how he/she can be accommodated and what alternative methods of service would be more accessible to him/her. We will make reasonable efforts to provide an alternative and accessible means of assistance to the person with a disability.

Service Animals

Persons with a disability may enter our premises accompanied by a Service Animal and may keep the Service Animal with them in all areas of CUASA’s premises that are open to the public. We will ensure that the animal’s working role is respected at all times. Our staff and volunteers receive training on how to interact property and respectfully with persons who rely on a service animal.

Support Persons

Persons with a disability are welcome to be accompanied by a Support Person while visiting CUASA’s premises. At no time will a person with a disability be denied access to his or her Support Person while on our premises. Our staff and volunteers receive training on how to interaction appropriately with someone who is accompanied by a Support Person.

CUASA may require a person with a disability to be accompanied by a Support Person while on our premises, but only where it is necessary to protect the health or safety of the person with a disability or the health or safety of others on the premises.

CUASA occasionally holds functions for which it charges attendees an admission fee. We will ensure that, if a separate admission fee is to be charged for a Support Person, advance notice is provided of the existence and the amount of the admission fee to be charged.

FEEDBACK PROCEDURE

CUASA’s goal is to ensure unimpeded access to our services for all persons with disabilities, in a manner that respects their dignity and independence and is consistent with the principles of integration and equal opportunity. We welcome and appreciate constructive feedback on whether our services are being provided in a manner that achieves this goal.

Feedback should be directed to the attention of and/or the President or Executive Director and can be provided in a variety of ways:

In person at 2006 Dunton Tower

By telephone at 613-520-5607

By mail in writing to 2006 Dunton Tower, 1125 Colonel By Drive, Ottawa, ON K1S 5B6

By email in writing to cuasa@cuasa.ca

By fax in writing to 613-520-4426

We will endeavour to acknowledge all feedback (except anonymous feedback) within FIVE (5) business days. All feedback will be reviewed for possible action that can improve our service delivery.

Where practicable, complaints will be addressed immediately. However, some complaints may require more effort and time. In such cases, complainants will be notified of the anticipated time required to address their concerns and of the actions that are ultimately taken by CUASA in response to their complaint.

We will respond to all feedback in a manner that takes into account the complainant’s disability.

DOCUMENTATION

A copy of this Policy shall be made available to any person upon request. We will provide the Policy in a format that takes into account a person’s disability. A person with a disability who requires that the Policy be provided in an alternative accessible format (eg. on diskette, in audio format or in large print) should let us know.

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