2IntroductionThe Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (AODA) was created with the goal of developing standards that would help make Ontario more accessible for people with disabilities.Statistics:Approximately 1.85 million Ontarians (1 in 7 people) have a disabilityIncreasing as the population gets olderIn 2025 approximately 1 in 5 people in Ontario will have a disability
3What is Accessible Customer Service? Flexible service that meets the needs of an individual customerPutting the person first.Allowing for comments/suggestions on how to improve accessible customer serviceProviding as much notice as possible if there is a disruption in serviceUnderstanding that some methods of service may not work for all peoplePrinciplesDignityIntegrationIndependenceEqual opportunity
4Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) PURPOSE:To break down the barriers that prevent or limit persons with disabilities from participating in a variety of activities in Ontario, including:EmploymentReceipt of Goods and ServicesTransportationThe Built EnvironmentInformation and CommunicationThe AODA complements the requirements under the Human Rights Code and other laws that protect disabled persons from discrimination or harassment.Its intent is to have organizations take proactive measures to address accessibility issues.
5Ontario Regulation 429/07This regulation is part of the AODA which has been designed to establish accessibility standards for customer service for organizations in Ontario.These standards must be met by private sector organizations by Jan. 1, 2012.Review of Requirements of ON Reg. 429/07:Establishment of policies, practices, and proceduresAccommodation for use of service animals and support personsPublic notice of temporary disruptions of serviceStaff trainingFeedback processes for providers of goods or servicesNotice of availability of ON Reg. 429/07 required documentsAccessible format of documentsThe Regulation can be read in full at the following website:
6Customer Service Standard It is important to remember all customers havedifferent needs and learning what those needsare requires patience and a willingness to learn.The customer service standard is gearedtowards eliminating stereotypes anddiscrimination by setting the expectation for allproviders to consider the needs of theircustomers and to make changes.
7Hamilton Conservation Authority: Customer Service Policy Policy Statement:The HCA is committed to excellence in serving all customers, including providing accessible customer service to people with disabilities.ObjectiveTo ensure the HCA’s policies, practices, and procedures are consistent with the following principles:The dignity and independence of persons with disabilities will be respectedProvision of goods/services to persons with disabilities, and others, will be integrated unless an alternate measure is necessaryPersons with disabilities will be given equal opportunitiesAssistive devices and/or support persons will be permittedHCA employees shall take a person’s disabilities into account when communicating
8Hamilton Conservation Authority: Customer Service Policy HCA has committed to excellence in serving all customers, including people with disabilities and will carry out functions and responsibilities in the following areas:CommunicationTelephone servicesAssistive devicesBillingUse of service animalsSupport persons
9Hamilton Conservation Authority: Customer Service Policy CommunicationA person’s disability will be taken into accountStaff who serve the public will be trained on how to communicate with people with various types of disabilitiesTelephone ServicesStaff will use clear and plain language and speak clearly and slowlyIf telephone communication is not suitable, or communication through a support person will be offered
10Hamilton Conservation Authority: Customer Service Policy Assistive DevicesStaff will be trained and familiar with various devicesthat may be used by customers with disabilitiesBillingOn request, invoices will be provided in the following formats: hard copy, large print attachment, , and faxQuestions about the content of invoices will be answered in person, by telephone, or through
11Hamilton Conservation Authority: Customer Service Policy Service Animalsa service animal is an animal used by a person with a disability for reasons related to his or her disability.A service animal is NOT a pet, they are a working animalGuide dogs are one of the most common service animals
12Hamilton Conservation Authority: Customer Service Policy Use of Service AnimalsIndividuals with disabilities who use a service animal will be welcomed on HCA premises unless excluded by law, in which case alternative measures will be availableStaff will be trained on how to properly interactwith those accompanied by a service animalService animals must be supervisedand controlled by their ownersIf a service animal is unruly or disruptive, employees may ask that the animal be removed from the area or refuse access to goods/services In this event, other reasonable arrangements shall be explored with the assistance of the disabled person
13Hamilton Conservation Authority: Customer Service Policy Support PersonsA support person is a person who accompanies a person with a disability in order to help with communication, mobility, personal care or medical needs or with access to goods or services.
14Hamilton Conservation Authority: Customer Service Policy Support PersonsIndividuals with disabilities who are accompanied by a support person will be allowed on HCA premises with the support personHCA may deem it necessary to require a support person for a person with a disability in order to protect the health and safety of that person or othersThis will only occur after consultation with the disabled person and when it is the only means to allow the person access to HCA goods/servicesSupport persons will be charged the disabled fee foradmission to Wild Water Works and Westfield HeritageVillage where there is a per person feeAt other conservation areas where a daily vehicleadmission fee is charged, a discount per disabledperson and attendant will be applied
15Hamilton Conservation Authority: Customer Service Policy Notice of Service DisruptionsNotice will be provided in the event of planned or unexpected disruption in the facilities or services usually used by people with disabilities either in advance or as soon as possibleE.g. entrance repairs, renovations to an accessible washroom, out of service elevatorsNotices will include the reason for the disruption, its anticipated duration, and a description of available alternatives Will be posted in a manner that is reasonable under the circumstances such as on premises, on our website, or over the phone on the main line greeting
16Hamilton Conservation Authority: Customer Service Policy DocumentationHCA shall, upon request, supply a copy of the policies, practices, and procedures required under the ON Reg. 429/07 to any personCustomer FeedbackFeedback regarding the way HCA provides goods and services to people with disabilities can be made by , telephone, or in writing to the Accessibility Coordinator. Response will be made to any complaint within 30 days. [See last slide for contact information]ExclusionsThe Accessible Customer Service Standards Policy shall not apply during any period where HCA has declared a “State of Emergency” as defined under the Emergency Management Act
17What is Considered a Disability? Any degree of physical disability, infirmity, malformation, or disfigurement that is caused by bodily injury, birth defect, or illnessConditions of mental or developmental impairmentLearning disabilities or a dysfunction in understanding or using spoken languageMental DisordersAn injury or disability for which benefits were claimed under the insurance plan of the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act.
18Types of Disabilities Physical Hearing Vision Deaf-Blind Speech Mental HealthLearning
20Physical Disabilities Includes a range of functional limitations from minor difficulties in moving or coordinating one part of the body, through muscle weakness, tremors, or paralysis.It can be congenital (e.g.. Muscular dystrophy) or acquired (e.g.. Tendonitis).A Physical Disability may affect the ability to:Perform manual taskse.g.. holding a pen, turning a key, gripping a door knob)Move around independentlyControl the speed or coordination of movementsReach, pull, or manipulate objectsHave strength or endurance
21Physical Disabilities Tips for Customer Service:Wheelchairs and other mobility devices are part of a persons personal space.Don’t touch, move, or lean on themKeep ramps and corridors free of clutterIf a counter is too high or wide, step around it to provide serviceProvide seating for those who cannot stand in line
22Hearing Disabilities Hearing loss can cause problems in distinguishing certain frequencies, sounds, or words.A person who is deaf, deafened, or hard of hearing may be unable to:Use a public telephoneUnderstand speech in noisy environmentsPronounce words clearly enough to be understood by strangers
23Hearing Disabilities Tips for Customer Service: Deaf people may use a sign language interpreter to communicate.Always direct your attention to the deaf person, not the interpreterIf necessary, write notes back and forth to share informationFace the person and keep your hands and other objects away from your face and mouthDon’t shoutSpeak clearly
24Vision DisabilitiesVision disabilities range from slightly reduced visual activity to total blindness.Vision loss can result in:Difficulty reading or seeing facesDifficulty maneuvering in unfamiliar placesInability to differentiate colours or distancesA narrow field of visionThe need for bright light or contrastNight blindness
25Vision Disabilities Tips for Customer Service: Verbally identify yourself before making physical contactIf the person uses a service animalDo NOT touch or approach the animal, it is workingVerbally describe the setting, form, and location as necessaryOffer your arm to guide the person. Don’t grab or pull.
26Speech Disabilities Tips for Customer Service Speech disabilities involve the partial or total loss of the ability to speak.Typical speech disabilities include problems with:PronunciationHoarseness or breathinessPitch and loudnessStuttering or slurringTips for Customer ServiceIf possible, communicate in a quiet environmentGive the person your full attention.Don’t interrupt or finish their sentencesAsk them to repeat as necessary or to write out their messageVerify your understanding
27Deaf-Blindness This is a combination of hearing and vision loss. A person who is deaf-blind may:Experience significant difficulty accessing information and performing daily activitiesUse the services of an Intervener who will relay information, facilitate auditory and visual information, and act as a sighted guide.The Intervener will usually sign on the individual’s hand.Deaf-blind individuals may also communicate through various sign language systems, Braille, telephone devices, communication boards, or any combination of theseTips for Customer Service:Direct your attention to your customer, not the IntervenerBe patient, understand that communication may take some time
28Mental Health Disabilities These disabilities include a range of disorders, however there are three main types:AnxietyMoodBehavioralPeople with mental health disabilities may:Seem edgy or irritatedAct aggressivelyBe perceived as pushy or abruptBe unable to make a decisionStart laughing or get angry for no apparent reason
29Mental Health Disabilities Tips for Customer Service:Treat each person as an individualAsk the individual what would make them most comfortableRespect their needs to the maximum extent possibleTry to reduce stress/anxiety in situationsStay calm and courteous, even if the customer exhibits unusual behaviorFocus on the service they need and how you can helpTake the customer away from situation, noise, and distractions to facilitate one on one service.
30Learning Disabilities Learning disabilities include a range of disorders that effect verbal and non-verbal information acquisition, retention, understanding, and processing.People with a learning disability have average or above average intelligence, but take in and process information and express knowledge in different ways.Learning disabilities can result in difficulties:ReadingProblem solvingTime managementWay findingProcessing information
31Learning Disabilities Learning disabilities are generally invisible and ability to function varies greatly.Tips for Customer Service:Respond to any requests forverbal informationAssist in filling out formsBe courteousAllow extra time to complete tasks
32Intellectual Disabilities Intellectual disabilities affect a person’s ability to think and reason.Causes include:Genetic factors (e.g.. Downs Syndrome)Exposure to environmental toxins (e.g.. Fetal Alcohol Syndrome)Brain traumaPsychiatric disordersA person with an intellectual disorder may have difficulty with:Understanding spoken and written informationConceptual informationPerception of sensory informationMemory
33Intellectual Disabilities Tips for Customer Service:Use clear, simple languageBe prepared to explain and provide examples regarding informationRemember that the person is an adult and unless you are informed otherwise, can make their own decisionsBe patient and verify your understanding
34Sensory DisabilitiesSmell: Inability to sense smells or hypersensitivity to odors and smells. A person with a smelling disability may have:allergies to certain odors, scents or chemicals be unable to identify dangerous gases, smoke, fumes, and spoiled foodTouch: Can affect a person’s ability to sense texture, temperature, vibration, or pressure. Sensations may be reduced or heightened resulting in:hypersensitivity to touch or temperature numbness and the inability to feel touch sensationsTaste: Can limit the experience of the four primary taste sensation; sweet, bitter, salty, and sour. Person may be unable to: identify spoiled food or noxious substances
35Other DisabilitiesOther disabilities result from a range of conditions including:AccidentsIllnesses or diseases (e.g. Asthma, diabetes, cancer, HIV/AIDS)Environmental sensitivitiesSeizure disordersHeart diseaseStroke and joint replacement
36Temporary Disabilities Temporary disabilities result from a range of other conditions including:AccidentsSeizure disordersHeart diseaseStroke and joint replacement
37Assistive DevicesAny tool, technology or other mechanism that enables a person with a disability to do everyday tasks and activities such as moving, communicating and lifting.Assistive Devices include:Wheelchairs and ScootersCanes, walkers, and bracesComputer software programsService animals such as guide dogsSupport people: Social Workers, Interveners, Guide or Sign Language InterpretersSpecific assistive devices may exist at each park within the HCA. You will be trained on how to use these devices at your park.
38Alternative Formats for Communication Large printElectronicBrailleSign languageClosed captionAudioRead information aloudWrite down instructionsDraw a diagramElectronicLarge PrintBrailleAudio
39How Can You be of Service? Your Role at WorkIdentify and remove barriers that prevent people with disabilities from fully participating in the services provided by your park.Take time to understand the needs of each customerAsk how you can help; the customer with the disability usually knows what works best for them!When unsure of the disability, never assumeRemain calm and be patientBe open to working with people with disabilities to find the best solution
40How Can You be of Service? General Customer Service Tips:Treat all customers with respectGive them your full attentionOffer a variety of methods of communicationUnderstand the nature and scope of the services you provideAccept feedback
41Accessibility Coordinator Manager of Customer Service and Operations838 Mineral Springs RoadPO Box 81067Ancaster, ONL9G 4X1Phone: Ext. 168Fax:
42The Accessible Customer Service training is now complete The Accessible Customer Service training is now complete. Please continue on to the test. Thank you.