Accessibility for Ontarians With Dissabilities Act, 2004
To ensure The Central Group’s compliance with the private sector requirements of the Customer Service Standards under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (“AODA”).
- TCG will establish policies, practices and procedures regarding providing goods and services to people with disabilities. If, and when, these services change, TCG will update our policies, practices and procedures, and provide training, as required.
- TCG will use reasonable efforts to ensure that TCG’s policies, practices and procedures are consistent with the core principles of independence, dignity, integration and equal opportunity.
- Customers with disabilities may use their personal assistive devices on TCG’s premises and use any other measures TCG offers (assistive devices, services, etc.) to help them to access TCG’s goods and services.
- TCG will communicate with customers and clients in a manner that accommodates their disability.
- Customers with disabilities may be accompanied by their service animal in those areas of TCG’s premises that are open to the public, unless the animal is excluded by another law. If the service animal is excluded by another law, TCG will have an alternative method to provide services.
- Customers with disabilities may be accompanied by a support person in all premises which are open to the public. A support person can be a personal support worker, a volunteer, a family member or a friend. A support person might help the customer with a variety of things, from communicating to helping with mobility, personal care or medical needs.
- TCG will provide notice when facilities or services on which customers with disabilities rely are temporarily disrupted. The notice will be posted at a conspicuous place on TCG’s premises, on our website or by another reasonable method. The notice will include the reason, duration and any alternative methods available to access TCG’s goods or services.
- TCG will train staff, volunteers, contractors and other third parties who interact with the public on our behalf on topics outlined in the Customer Service Standards.
- TCG will train staff, volunteers, contractors and other third parties who are involved in developing our policies, practices and procedures on topics outlined in the Customer Service Standards.
- TCG will establish a process for people to provide feedback on how we provide goods or services to customers with disabilities. The feedback process will permit people to provide their feedback in person, by telephone, in writing or by delivering an electronic text by e-mail or on diskette or otherwise. TCG will include a process on how our representatives will respond and take corrective action on complaints. Information regarding our feedback process will be readily available to the public.
- TCG will have a written training policy that includes a summary of the contents of the training and details of when the training is to be provided. TCG will keep records of the dates that training is provided and how many people were trained.
TCG strongly encourages all of our staff, volunteers, contractors and other third parties who represent our company to adhere to the following practices:
- Always communicate in the most appropriate manner possible, considering the individual’s disability. Sometimes the best approach is to ask the customer with a disability how you can best communicate with them.
- Don’t touch items or equipment, such as canes or wheelchairs, without first obtaining permission from the client. Never move them out of the customer’s reach.
- Ensure that you never leave a customer in an awkward, dangerous or undignified position, such as in the path of opening doors, or facing a wall.
- In the case where a customer with a disability is accompanied by their support animal, avoid making assumptions about the animal. Service animals are often easily identified through the use of coats and/or harnesses. If you’re unsure if the animal is a pet or a service animal, ask the customer. Avoid touching or addressing service animals, as they are working and have to pay attention at all times.
- In the case where a customer with a disability is accompanied by a support person, ensure that you always communicate directly with the client, unless they ask you to speak with the support person.
- Always approach the customer/client in a manner and from a direction that best allows them to become aware of your presence without being startled.
- Let the customer know about accessible features in the immediate environment that are appropriate to their needs, g., TTY, accessible washroom facilities, etc.
- Always treat a customer with a disability with the same respect, consideration and patience that you have for everyone else. Avoid interrupting and/or finishing their sentences. Never assume that someone with a particular disability, such as speech impairment, also has another disability.
- Never make assumptions about what the customer/client is capable of doing. If in doubt ask if, and how, you can be of assistance to them. They will likely appreciate your attention and consideration. Remember that our clients are our best source of information about their needs.
Accommodating Special Needs
We recognize that there may be times when employees will have special needs that require accommodation. The Central Group is committed to making services available to employees with special needs to ensure a barrier-free work environment. TCG will make accommodations for the special needs of employees to the point of undue hardship with respect to the issues of health, safety and cost to the organization. This policy provides guidelines on how we will handle accommodation requests.
- To ensure equality of opportunity for all employees, TCG will work with you to accommodate your individual needs.
- While these needs will vary depending on the circumstances, some of the measures we may offer, depending on availability, include:
- Assistance through the Employee Assistance Program (for more information about this program see EAP Policy);
- Making changes to existing procedures or adopting new procedures reassigning duties;
- Alternative work arrangements (such as,, flextime, compressed work weeks and telecommuting;
- Personal days;
- Accommodating persons with disabilities in a manner that respects their dignity and helps maximize their contribution to TCG.
- You are expected to take responsibility for your own accommodation needs and to work with us to explore possible solutions.
- There may be times when we will need to obtain an expert opinion to assess your accommodation requirements, such as having you attend an independent medical examination. We expect you to cooperate in this process.
- Once an accommodation plan has been implemented, we expect you to meet any agreed upon performance and job standards.
- We expect you to continue to work with us on an ongoing basis to evaluate the accommodation plan and determine whether it is still required.
- TCG will ensure that we offer a barrier-free work environment when planning work-related events to the extent that we are able to do so.
- TCG will work with you to put an accommodation plan into place which respects the employee’s right to privacy and confidentiality.
- There may be times when we will require written information from you regarding your needs, including any restrictions or limitations you may have.
- TCG will select the accommodation method that is least disruptive to our business and balances the needs of all employees.
The Central Group will respect your privacy and confidentiality in addressing any accommodation needs.