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Accessibility standard for customer service

The Accessibility Standard for Customer Service policy governs how the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) provides goods and services to members of the public or other third party organizations in accordance with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005  (AODA) and the Accessibility Standard for Customer Service, which aims to establish accessibility standards for people with disabilities.

CFI is committed to using reasonable efforts to ensure that it provides accessible customer service to people with various kinds of disabilities and respects the principles of independence, dignity, integration and equal opportunity.

Definition

“Disability” means:

  1. 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 co-ordination, blindness or visual impediment, deafness or hearing impediment, muteness or speech impediment, or physical reliance on a guide dog or other animal or on a wheelchair or other remedial appliance or device; 
  2. a condition of mental impairment or a developmental disability; 
  3. a learning disability, or a dysfunction in one or more of the processes involved in understanding or using symbols or spoken language; 
  4. a mental disorder; or 
  5. an injury or disability for which benefits were claimed or received under the insurance plan established under the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act, 1997.

Practices and procedures

CFI complies with the regulations of the Accessibility Standard for Customer Service by:

  • Providing goods and services in a manner that respects the dignity and independence of persons with disabilities;
  • Providing goods and services so that persons with disabilities are able to fully benefit from the same services, in the same place, and in the same or similar way as persons without disabilities, unless an alternative measure is necessary to enable a person with a disability to obtain, use, or benefit from CFI’s goods and services; and
  • Giving people with disabilities the same opportunity equal to that of persons without disabilities to obtain, use, or benefit from CFI’s goods and services.

Use of assistive devices

CFI permits persons with disabilities to use their personal assistive devices while on CFI’s premises to obtain, use, or benefit from CFI’s goods and services.

Use of service animals and support persons

Service Animals

Persons with disabilities who are accompanied by guide dogs or other service animals will be permitted to enter CFI’s premises that are open to the public with the animal and will be allowed to keep the animal with them, unless the animal is otherwise excluded by law.  If the service animal is excluded by law, CFI will use reasonable efforts to ensure that alternate means are available for persons with disabilities to obtain, use or benefit from CFI’s goods and services.

If it is not readily apparent that the animal is a service animal, CFI may ask the person with a disability for a letter from a physician or nurse confirming that the person requires the animal for reasons relating to his or her disability. 

It is the responsibility of the person with a disability to ensure that his or her service animal is kept in control at all times.

Support Persons

Persons with disabilities who are accompanied by a support person will be permitted to enter CFI’s premises that are open to the public and will not be prevented from having access to the support person while on the premises.

CFI may require a person with a disability to be accompanied by a support person while on CFI premises in situations where it is deemed necessary to protect the health and safety of the person with a disability and/or others.

When support persons are required for CFI sponsored meetings or events, the person with a disability will be required to provide his or her own support person.  If there are fees associated with the meeting or event, the support person will be charged the regular fee.  Advance notice of said fees will be provided if such circumstances exist.

Communication

When communicating with a person with a disability, CFI will do so in a manner that takes into account the person’s disability.

Website and Web Content

CFI complies with current content conformity norms and will implement appropriate updates in order to meet the stated requirements by January 1, 2021.

Notice of temporary disruptions

CFI will make reasonable efforts to provide notice to persons with disabilities in the event of a planned or unexpected disruption in the facilities or services usually used by people with disabilities.  If the disruption is anticipated, CFI will provide a reasonable amount of advance notice of the disruption.  If the disruption is unexpected, notice will be provided as soon as possible.

The notice will include information about the reason for the disruption, its anticipated duration, and a description of alternative facilities or services, if available.

The notice will be posted on CFI’s website, or in a pertinent location on the premises, or another method that is reasonable given the circumstances.

Training for staff

Training is provided to all employees who deal with the public or other third parties on our behalf.

Training includes the following topics:

  1. A review of the purposes of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 and the requirements of the customer service standard;
  2. Instructions on how to interact and communicate with people with various types of disabilities;
  3. Instructions on how to interact with people with disabilities who use an assistive device or require the assistance of a service animal or a support person;
  4. What to do if a person with a disability is having difficulty in accessing CFI’s goods and services.

New staff and current staff who commence new duties will be trained as soon as it is reasonable after starting the job.  Also, all applicable staff will receive training when there are any changes to the policies, practices or procedures that relate to the provision of goods or services for people with disabilities.

HR will keep records of the training, including the dates on which training is provided and the names and number of individuals to whom it was provided.

Feedback process

CFI is committed to providing high quality goods and services to all members of the public that it serves, including customers with disabilities.  Comments on how well CFI achieves this goal are welcomed and appreciated.

Feedback from members of the public regarding the way CFI provides goods and services to people with disabilities can be made by telephone, in person, in writing, in electronic format (e.g. e-mail) or through other relevant methods.

All feedback received will be directed to Eric Desjardins, Manager, Human Resources, who can be reached at:

230 Queen Street, Suite 450
Ottawa, Ontario  K1P 5E4
Telephone: 613-996-3115
Fax: 613-943-0923
E-mail: eric.desjardins@innovation.ca

Privacy will be respected and all feedback will be reviewed for possible action that can be taken to improve CFI services.  In most cases, a response to the feedback will be provided within 30 working days. Feedback and/or responses will be delivered in a format that is accessible to the complainant.

Notice of availability of documents

All documents required by the Accessibility Standards for Customer Service, including CFI’s policies, practices and procedures governing accessible customer service; documents on the use of service animals and support persons; notices of temporary disruptions; and documents regarding CFI’s feedback process, are available upon request.  CFI’s policy governing the provision goods and services for people with disabilities is posted on our website.

Format of documents

If CFI is required to give a copy of any document available under the Accessibility Standards for Customer Service to a person with a disability, CFI will provide the document, or the information contained within the document, in a format that takes into account the person’s disability.  Alternatively, CFI and the person with a disability may agree on an alternate format for the document or information.

If an alternative format is required, please contact Eric Desjardins, Manager, Human Resources.