Accessible Customer Service
The purpose of this policy is to establish guidelines on providing goods and services to people with disabilities that will facilitate accessibility. This policy establishes accessibility standards for customer service in accordance with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 and in keeping with Accessibility Standards for Customer Services, Ontario regulation 429/07.
This policy describes how Royal LePage Grand Valley Realty works with its employees, volunteers, and sales representatives to provide its goods and services in a manner that respects the dignity, independence, integration and equal opportunity of persons with disabilities.
Dignity means a customer with a disability is valued and deserving of effective and full service. People with disabilities are not treated as an afterthought or forced to accept lesser service, quality or convenience.
Independence means freedom from control or influence of others — freedom to make one's own choices. In other situations, it may mean the freedom to do things in your own way.
Integration means customers with disabilities fully benefit from the same services, in the same place and in the same or similar way as other customers. Integration means that policies, practices and procedures are designed to be accessible to everyone including people with disabilities.
Equal opportunity means having the same chances, options, benefits and results as others. People with disabilities should not have to make significantly more effort to access or obtain service. They should also not have to accept lesser quality or more inconvenience.
There are a number of legal requirements under the standard. To comply, businesses and organizations must:
- Set up policies, practices and procedures on providing goods or services to people with disabilities
- Make reasonable efforts to ensure that policies, practices and procedures are consistent with the key principles of independence, dignity, integration and equality of opportunity
- Have a policy about the use of assistive devices by people with disabilities
- Communicate with a person with a disability in a manner that takes into account his or her disability
- Let people with disabilities bring their service animals onto the parts of the premises open to the public or third parties except in some situations
- Let people with disabilities bring their support persons with them when accessing goods or services
- If our organization charges an admission fee, let people know ahead of time what, if any, admission will be charged for a support person
- Let the public know when facilities or services that people with disabilities usually use to access their goods and services are temporarily not available
- Ensure that our staff receive training on how to serve people with disabilities, including staff involved in developing customer service policies, practices and procedures and staff who are likely to interact with customers.
- Receive feedback and let people know how feedback will be responded to and what action will be taken on any complaints. Make the information about the feedback process readily available to the public.
Interacting with Persons with Disabilities
Here are some things Royal Grand Valley Realty will keep in mind when serving customers with disabilities:
- If we're not sure what to do, we will ask our customer, "May I help you?" We recognize that our customers with disabilities know if they need help and how we can provide it.
- We will speak directly to our customer.
- Not everybody with the same disability experiences the same things. We will not make assumptions about the types of disability a person has.
- We recognize that our customers are not required to tell us about their disabilities.
- We will take the time to get to know our customer's needs and focus on meeting those needs.
- If we can't understand what our customer is saying, we will politely ask him or her to repeat it.
- We will exercise patience.
‘Devices’ are anything used to assist persons with disabilities in carrying out activities or in accessing the services of persons or organizations covered by the customer service standard. Assistive devices include, but are not limited to, wheelchairs, reading machines, recording machines, hearing devices, devices for grasping, or a white cane.
Persons with disabilities may choose to use their own personal assistive devices, while accessing good or services provided by Royal LePage Grand Valley Realty.
Should a person with a disability be unable to access Royal LePage Grand Valley Realty’s services through the use of their own personal assistive devices, Royal LePage Grand Valley Realty will assess service delivery and potential services options to meet the needs of the individual.
For the purpose of this policy, a ‘service animal’ is defined as either:
- A “guide dog,” as defined in Section 1 of the Blind Person’s Rights’ Act; or
- A “service animal” for a person with a disability.
- If it is readily apparent that the animal is used by the person for the reasons relating to his or her disability; or
- If the person provides a letter from a physician or a nurse confirming that the person requires the animal for reasons relating to the disability
The customer that is accompanied by a guide dog, service dog and/or service animal is responsible for maintaining care and control of the animal at all time.
If a health and safety concern presents itself, for example, in the form of a severe allergy to the animal, Royal LePage Grand Valley Realty will make all reasonable efforts to meet the needs of all individuals.
For the purpose of this policy, a support person is defined as another person who accompanies a person with a disability in order to help him or her with communication, mobility, personal care or medical needs or with access to goods or services.
Royal LePage Grand Valley Realty is committed to welcoming people with disabilities who are accompanied by a support person. People with disabilities have the right to have access to their support person while accessing the goods or services provided by Royal LePage Grand Valley Realty.
If confidential information is going to be discussed, the person with the disability should be asked if they prefer their support person to remain present. If the support person is present when confidential information is to be disclosed, signed consent must be received from the person with the disability. A signed confidentiality agreement should also be obtained from the support person.
Notice of temporary disruption
Royal LePage Grand Valley Realty will notify persons with disabilities promptly in the event of a planned or unexpected disruption to services or facilities. This notice will be provided in accessible formats and posted in public areas. These formats may include:
· Posting notices in conspicuous places including at the point of disruption, at the main entrance and the nearest accessible entrance to the service disruption
· Royal LePage Grand Valley Realty Website
· Contacting customers with appointments;
· Verbally notifying customers when they are making an appointment
- By any other method that may be reasonable under the circumstances.
Training of employees
Royal LePage Grand Valley Realty will provide training to all of its employees, volunteers, and sales on how to serve people with disabilities.
Royal LePage Grand Valley Realty employee, volunteer, and sales representative training will include a review of the purpose of the Accessibilities for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005, S.O. 2005, c11 and the Access Standards for Customer Service, Ontario Regulation 429/07, the requirements of this policy, and instruction about the following matters:
i. How to interact and communicate with people with various types of disability;
ii. How to interact with people with disabilities who use an assistive device or require the assistance of a support person;
iii. What to do if a person with a particular type of disability is having difficulty accessing Royal LePage Grand Valley Realty goods or services;
- Royal LePage Grand Valley Realty’s policies, procedures and practices pertaining to the provision of goods, services and training to persons with disabilities.
Training will also occur on an ongoing basis and whenever changes are made to relevant policies, practices and procedures.
Royal LePage Grand Valley Realty is committed to providing high quality customer service and will continue to enhance and improve the accessibility of our customer service to our customers, visitors and members who use our facilities, and other members of the public with disabilities.
Royal LePage Grand Valley Realty encourages feedback regarding how it provides goods and services to persons with disabilities.
Responses to feedback received are not mandatory. If a person who submits feedback requests a response and provides contact information, Royal LePage Grand Valley Realty will follow up with the individual within two working days in the format in which the feedback was received. All feedback will be kept in the strictest confidence and will be used to improve customer service.
Feedback can be provided via the following methods:
• E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
• Mail: #15c-370 Highland Road West, Kitchener, N2M 5J9
• Phone: 519-745-7000
Modifications to this or other policies
Royal LePage Grand Valley Realty is committed to ensuring that its policies, practices and procedures are consistent with and promote the core principles of dignity, independence, integration and equal opportunity. Any Royal LePage Grand Valley Realty policy that does not respect and promote the dignity and independence of persons with disabilities will be modified or removed.