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Accessible Customer Service. Introduction The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (AODA) was created with the goal of developing standards.

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Presentation on theme: "Accessible Customer Service. Introduction The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (AODA) was created with the goal of developing standards."— Presentation transcript:

1 Accessible Customer Service

2 Introduction The 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 disability Increasing as the population gets older In 2025 approximately 1 in 5 people in Ontario will have a disability

3 What is Accessible Customer Service? Flexible service that meets the needs of an individual customer Putting the person first. Allowing for comments/suggestions on how to improve accessible customer service Providing as much notice as possible if there is a disruption in service Understanding that some methods of service may not work for all people Principles Dignity Independence Integration Equal opportunity

4 Accessibility 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: Employment Receipt of Goods and Services Transportation The Built Environment Information and Communication The 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.

5 Ontario Regulation 429/07 This 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, Review of Requirements of ON Reg. 429/07: 1.Establishment of policies, practices, and procedures 2.Accommodation for use of service animals and support persons 3.Public notice of temporary disruptions of service 4.Staff training 5.Feedback processes for providers of goods or services 6.Notice of availability of ON Reg. 429/07 required documents 7.Accessible format of documents The Regulation can be read in full at the following website:

6 Customer Service Standard It is important to remember all customers have different needs and learning what those needs are requires patience and a willingness to learn. The customer service standard is geared towards eliminating stereotypes and discrimination by setting the expectation for all providers to consider the needs of their customers and to make changes.

7 Hamilton 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. Objective To ensure the HCAs policies, practices, and procedures are consistent with the following principles: The dignity and independence of persons with disabilities will be respected Provision of goods/services to persons with disabilities, and others, will be integrated unless an alternate measure is necessary Persons with disabilities will be given equal opportunities Assistive devices and/or support persons will be permitted HCA employees shall take a persons disabilities into account when communicating

8 Hamilton 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: Communication Telephone services Assistive devices Billing Use of service animals Support persons

9 Hamilton Conservation Authority: Customer Service Policy Communication A persons disability will be taken into account Staff who serve the public will be trained on how to communicate with people with various types of disabilities Telephone Services Staff will use clear and plain language and speak clearly and slowly If telephone communication is not suitable, or communication through a support person will be offered

10 Hamilton Conservation Authority: Customer Service Policy Assistive Devices Staff will be trained and familiar with various devices that may be used by customers with disabilities Billing On request, invoices will be provided in the following formats: hard copy, large print attachment, , and fax Questions about the content of invoices will be answered in person, by telephone, or through

11 Hamilton Conservation Authority: Customer Service Policy Service Animals a 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 animal Guide dogs are one of the most common service animals

12 Hamilton Conservation Authority: Customer Service Policy Use of Service Animals Individuals with disabilities who use a service animal will be welcomed on HCA premises unless excluded by law, in which case alternative measures will be available Staff will be trained on how to properly interact with those accompanied by a service animal Service animals must be supervised and controlled by their owners If 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

13 Hamilton Conservation Authority: Customer Service Policy Support Persons A 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.

14 Hamilton Conservation Authority: Customer Service Policy Support Persons Individuals with disabilities who are accompanied by a support person will be allowed on HCA premises with the support person HCA 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 others This will only occur after consultation with the disabled person and when it is the only means to allow the person access to HCA goods/services Support persons will be charged the disabled fee for admission to Wild Water Works and Westfield Heritage Village where there is a per person fee At other conservation areas where a daily vehicle admission fee is charged, a discount per disabled person and attendant will be applied

15 Hamilton Conservation Authority: Customer Service Policy Notice of Service Disruptions Notice 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 possible E.g. entrance repairs, renovations to an accessible washroom, out of service elevators Notices 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

16 Hamilton Conservation Authority: Customer Service Policy Documentation HCA shall, upon request, supply a copy of the policies, practices, and procedures required under the ON Reg. 429/07 to any person Customer Feedback Feedback 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] Exclusions The 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

17 What is Considered a Disability? Any degree of physical disability, infirmity, malformation, or disfigurement that is caused by bodily injury, birth defect, or illness Conditions of mental or developmental impairment Learning disabilities or a dysfunction in understanding or using spoken language Mental Disorders An injury or disability for which benefits were claimed under the insurance plan of the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act.

18 Types of Disabilities Physical Hearing Vision Deaf-Blind Speech Mental Health Learning

19 Other Types of Disabilities Intellectual Sensory: Taste, Smell, Touch Other Conditions: Cancer, Diabetes, Asthma… Temporary Disabilities

20 Physical 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 tasks e.g.. holding a pen, turning a key, gripping a door knob) Move around independently Control the speed or coordination of movements Reach, pull, or manipulate objects Have strength or endurance

21 Physical Disabilities Tips for Customer Service: Wheelchairs and other mobility devices are part of a persons personal space. Dont touch, move, or lean on them Keep ramps and corridors free of clutter If a counter is too high or wide, step around it to provide service Provide seating for those who cannot stand in line

22 Hearing 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 telephone Understand speech in noisy environments Pronounce words clearly enough to be understood by strangers

23 Hearing 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 interpreter If necessary, write notes back and forth to share information Face the person and keep your hands and other objects away from your face and mouth Dont shout Speak clearly

24 Vision Disabilities Vision disabilities range from slightly reduced visual activity to total blindness. Vision loss can result in: Difficulty reading or seeing faces Difficulty maneuvering in unfamiliar places Inability to differentiate colours or distances A narrow field of vision The need for bright light or contrast Night blindness

25 Vision Disabilities Tips for Customer Service: Verbally identify yourself before making physical contact If the person uses a service animal Do NOT touch or approach the animal, it is working Verbally describe the setting, form, and location as necessary Offer your arm to guide the person. Dont grab or pull.

26 Speech Disabilities Speech disabilities involve the partial or total loss of the ability to speak. Typical speech disabilities include problems with: Pronunciation Pitch and loudness Hoarseness or breathiness Stuttering or slurring Tips for Customer Service If possible, communicate in a quiet environment Give the person your full attention. Dont interrupt or finish their sentences Ask them to repeat as necessary or to write out their message Verify your understanding

27 Deaf-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 activities Use 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 individuals hand. Deaf-blind individuals may also communicate through various sign language systems, Braille, telephone devices, communication boards, or any combination of these Tips for Customer Service: Direct your attention to your customer, not the Intervener Be patient, understand that communication may take some time

28 Mental Health Disabilities These disabilities include a range of disorders, however there are three main types: 1.Anxiety 2.Mood 3.Behavioral People with mental health disabilities may: Seem edgy or irritated Act aggressively Be perceived as pushy or abrupt Be unable to make a decision Start laughing or get angry for no apparent reason

29 Mental Health Disabilities Tips for Customer Service: Treat each person as an individual Ask the individual what would make them most comfortable Respect their needs to the maximum extent possible Try to reduce stress/anxiety in situations Stay calm and courteous, even if the customer exhibits unusual behavior Focus on the service they need and how you can help Take the customer away from situation, noise, and distractions to facilitate one on one service.

30 Learning 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: Reading Problem solving Time management Way finding Processing information

31 Learning Disabilities Learning disabilities are generally invisible and ability to function varies greatly. Tips for Customer Service: Respond to any requests for verbal information Assist in filling out forms Be courteous Allow extra time to complete tasks

32 Intellectual Disabilities Intellectual disabilities affect a persons ability to think and reason. Causes include: Genetic factors (e.g.. Downs Syndrome) Exposure to environmental toxins (e.g.. Fetal Alcohol Syndrome) Brain trauma Psychiatric disorders A person with an intellectual disorder may have difficulty with: Understanding spoken and written information Conceptual information Perception of sensory information Memory

33 Intellectual Disabilities Tips for Customer Service : Use clear, simple language Be prepared to explain and provide examples regarding information Remember that the person is an adult and unless you are informed otherwise, can make their own decisions Be patient and verify your understanding

34 Sensory Disabilities Smell: 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 food Touch: Can affect a persons 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 sensations Taste: 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

35 Other Disabilities Other disabilities result from a range of conditions including: Accidents Illnesses or diseases (e.g. Asthma, diabetes, cancer, HIV/AIDS) Environmental sensitivities Seizure disorders Heart disease Stroke and joint replacement

36 Temporary Disabilities Temporary disabilities result from a range of other conditions including: Accidents Seizure disorders Heart disease Stroke and joint replacement

37 Assistive Devices Any 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 Scooters Canes, walkers, and braces Computer software programs Service animals such as guide dogs Support people: Social Workers, Interveners, Guide or Sign Language Interpreters Specific assistive devices may exist at each park within the HCA. You will be trained on how to use these devices at your park.

38 Alternative Formats for Communication Large print Electronic Braille Sign language Closed caption Audio Read information aloud Write down instructions Draw a diagram Large Print Audio Braille ElectronicElectronic

39 How Can You be of Service? Your Role at Work Identify 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 customer Ask how you can help; the customer with the disability usually knows what works best for them! When unsure of the disability, never assume Remain calm and be patient Be open to working with people with disabilities to find the best solution

40 How Can You be of Service? General Customer Service Tips: Treat all customers with respect Give them your full attention Offer a variety of methods of communication Understand the nature and scope of the services you provide Accept feedback

41 Accessibility Coordinator Manager of Customer Service and Operations 838 Mineral Springs Road PO Box Ancaster, ON L9G 4X1 Phone: Ext. 168 Fax:

42 The Accessible Customer Service training is now complete. Please continue on to the test. Thank you.

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