Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation (IASR) Customer Service Policy
Accessibility for Ontarians with Disability Act (AODA)
Purpose of Policy
The commitments in this policy are intended to ensure that accessibility remains a priority in CAA Niagara’s decision-making process and will serve to assist in ensuring that decisions improve accessibility and do not inadvertently create barriers.
This policy meets the requirements of the customer service standards included in the Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005. It applies to the provision of goods and services to the public or other third parties, not to the goods themselves.
A technical aid, communication device, or other instrument that is used to maintain or improve the functional abilities of people with disabilities. Personal assistive devices are typically devices that customers bring with them, such as a wheelchair, walker, or a personal oxygen tank, and that might assist in hearing, seeing, communicating, moving, breathing, remembering, or reading.
As defined by the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005, and the Ontario Human Rights Code, refers to:
- 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 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;
- A condition of mental impairment or a developmental disability;
- A learning disability, or dysfunction in one or more of the processes involved in understanding or using symbols or spoken language;
- A mental disorder; or
- An injury or disability for which benefits were claimed or received under the insurance plan established under the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act, 1997.
A highly-trained working dog that has been trained at one of the facilities listed in Ontario Regulation 58 under the Blind Persons’ Rights Act, to provide mobility, safety, and increased independence for people who are blind.
A service animal for a person with a disability if:
- The animal can be readily identified as one that is being used by the person for reasons relating to the person’s disability, as a result of visual indicators such as the vest or harness worn by the animal; or
- The person provides documentation from a member of one of the following regulated health professional colleges confirming that the person requires the animal for reasons relating to the disability:
- College of Audiologists and Speech-Language Pathologists of Ontario;
- College of Chiropractors of Ontario;
- College of Nurses of Ontario;
- College of Occupational Therapists of Ontario;
- College of Optometrists of Ontario;
- College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario;
- College of Physiotherapists of Ontario;
- College of Psychologists of Ontario; or
- College of Registered Psychotherapists and Registered Mental Health Therapists of Ontario.
In relation to a person with a disability, another person who accompanies them in order to help with communication, mobility, personal care, medical needs, or access to goods and services.
The Provision of Goods and Services to Persons with Disabilities
CAA Niagara will make every reasonable effort to ensure that its policies, practices, and procedures are consistent with the principles of dignity, independence, integration, and equal opportunity by:
- Ensuring that all customers receive the same value and quality;
- Allowing customers with disabilities to do things in their own ways, at their own pace when accessing goods and services, as long as this does not present a health and 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 accommodation needs when providing goods and services; and
- Communicating in a manner that takes into account the customer’s disability.
Use of Assistive Devices
CAA Niagara is committed to serving persons with disabilities who use assistive devices to obtain, to use, or to benefit from our goods and services. CAA Niagara will provide training to all people to whom this policy applies on or about the assistive devices that persons with disabilities may use to access CAA Niagara goods and services.
Guide Dogs and Service Animals
A customer with a disability who is accompanied by a guide dog or service animal will be allowed access to premises that are open to the public unless otherwise excluded by law. “No pet” policies do not apply to guide dogs or service animals.
CAA Niagara employees may respectfully ask if an animal is a service animal and will not ask the nature of the person’s disability or purpose of the animal.
Recognizing a Guide Dog or Service Animal: If it is not readily apparent that the animal is being used by the customer for reasons relating to their disability, CAA Niagara may request verification from the customer.
Care and Control of the Animal: The customer who is accompanied by a guide dog or service animal is responsible for maintaining care and control of the animal at all times.
Allergies and Other Health and Safety Concerns: If a health and safety concern presents itself, for example, in the form of a severe allergy to the animal, CAA Niagara will make all reasonable efforts to meet the needs of all individuals. Pursuant to the company’s obligations under the Human Rights Code and the Occupational Health and Safety Act, each customer’s accommodation needs will be considered on a case-by-case basis, up to the point of undue hardship.
Due diligence needs to be paid to address health and safety requirements. For example, if a person’s health and safety could be seriously affected by the presence of a service animal on the premises open to the public, management must fully analyze all options for safely accommodating the service animal.
Options could include creating distance between the two individuals to eliminate in-person contact, changing the time the two individuals receive service, or using air purifiers and other measures that could allow the person to use their service animal on the premises.
In very exceptional circumstances where a service animal becomes out of control, causing a clear disruption or a threat to the health and safety of others, and the animal’s behaviour is not corrected by the owner, a person with a disability can be asked to remove their service animal from the premises.
As a courtesy, particularly if the person and service animal have been in attendance on the premises for a long time, employees may ask whether the animal requires water, may designate an area in which the service animal can relieve itself, or ask whether the employee can be of assistance pertaining to the service animal.
If a customer with a disability is accompanied by a support person, CAA Niagara will ensure that both persons may enter the premises together and that the customer is not prevented from having access to the support person.
There may be times where seating and availability prevent the customer and support person from sitting beside each other. In these situations, the company will make every reasonable attempt to resolve the issue.
In situations where confidential information might be discussed, consent will be obtained from the customer before any potentially confidential information is mentioned.
Admission Fees: Fees may be charged for support persons to attend events or go on trips. Fees may vary and depend on third-party suppliers’ processes. Notice will be provided ahead of time of fees, and upon notifying of a support person attending.
Notice of Temporary Disruptions
Notice of Temporary Disruption Service disruptions may occur for reasons that may or may not be within the control or knowledge of CAA Niagara. In the event of any temporary disruptions to facilities or services that customers with disabilities rely on to access or use goods or services, reasonable efforts will be made to provide advance notice. In some circumstances, such as in the situation of unplanned temporary disruptions, advance notice may not be possible. If a notification needs to be posted, the following information will be included unless it is not readily available or known: • Goods or services that are disrupted or unavailable;
- Reason for the disruption;
- Anticipated duration; and
- A description of alternative services or options
Notification Options: When disruptions occur, CAA Niagara will provide notice by:
- Posting notices in conspicuous places, including at the point of disruption, at the main entrance, and the nearest accessible entrance to the service disruption, or on the company website;
- Contacting customers with appointments;
- Verbally notifying customers when they make a reservation or appointment; or
- By any other method that may be reasonable under the circumstances.
CAA Niagara will provide training to employees, volunteers and others who deal with the public or other third parties on their behalf.
Training will include:
- A review of the purpose of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005; • A review of the requirements of the customer service standards;
- Instructions on how to interact and communicate with people with various types of disabilities;
- Instructions on how to interact with people with disabilities who:
- Use assistive devices;
- Require the assistance of a guide dog or other service animal; or
- Require the use of a support person (including the handling of admission fees);
- Instructions on how to use equipment or devices that are available at our premises or that we provide that may help people with disabilities;
- Instructions on what to do if a person with a disability is having difficulty accessing our services; and
- Policies, procedures, and practices of the company pertaining to providing accessible customer service to customers with disabilities
Training Schedule: CAA Niagara will provide training as soon as practicable. Training will be provided to new employees, volunteers, agents, and contractors during onboarding, within one month of hire. Revised training will be provided in the event of changes to legislation, procedures, policies, or practices
Record of Training: CAA Niagara will keep a record of training that includes the dates training was provided and the names of the employees who attended the training.
The ultimate goal of CAA Niagara is to meet and surpass expectations while serving members and customers with disabilities. An accessible, simple-to-use system of providing feedback and complaints will be made available through a range of service channels.
Comments on our services regarding how well those expectations are being met are welcome and appreciated. A Customer Feedback Form is available:
- Online: CLICK HERE
- By e-mail: email@example.com
- By mail: Christine Manuel, VP Human Resources, 3271 Schmon Parkway, Thorold ON, L2V 4Y6
- By fax: 905-984-2006
- By phone: Christine Manuel, 905-984-8585
- Or in person by arranging an appointment
Members and third parties can expect to hear back within ten business days.
All feedback will be reviewed, and Human Resources will consult with customer service management regarding feedback and complaints and on improvements to customer service.
Notice of Availability and Format of Documents to Customers
CAA Niagara will notify customers that the documents related to the customer service standards are available upon request and in a format that takes into account the customer’s disability. Notification will be given by posting the information in a conspicuous place owned and operated by CAA Niagara, the website of CAA Niagara, and any other reasonable method.
Notices in public areas will notify members and third parties that their feedback is welcomed and valued for the continual improvement of services to avoid inadvertently excluding people with disabilities from activities or services.
Modifications to this or other policies
CAA Niagara is committed to developing policies and procedures that respect and promote the dignity and independence of persons with disabilities.
Questions about this Policy
This policy exists to achieve service excellence to members and third parties with disabilities. Questions about this policy can be directed to Christine Manuel, VP Human Resource at CAA Niagara at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 905-984-8585.
Download CAA Niagara's Accessibility Plan (PDF).
Accessibility Compliance Reports (ACR)
Download CAA Niagara's 2023 Accessibility Compliance Report (PDF).