Accessible Service Policy

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Accessible Service Policy
 

Intent

This policy is intended to meet the requirements of Accessibility Standards for Customer Service, Ontario Regulation 429/07 under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005. In accordance with that regulation, this policy addresses the following:

Policy

Inter Pares is committed to respecting the dignity, independence, integration and equal opportunity of all persons. Inter Pares will make every reasonable effort to ensure that its policies, practices and procedures are consistent with that commitment, by:

  • ensuring that all people receive the same value and quality of service;
  • allowing people with disabilities to do things their own way, at their own pace, when accessing goods and services as long as this does not present a safety risk;
  • using alternate methods when possible to ensure that people with disabilities have access to the same services, in the same place and in a similar manner;
  • considering individual needs when providing goods and services; and
  • communicating in a manner that takes these needs into account.

Scope

This policy applies to all Inter Pares’ employees, volunteers and interns who provide services to the public or represent Inter Pares to the public, as well as to third parties that act on behalf of Inter Pares, such as call centre staff. The section of the policy that addresses the use of guide dogs, service dogs and service animals only applies to the provision of services that take place at Inter Pares office in Ottawa, and at any event Inter Pares might hold in off-site public venues.

Definitions

Assistive Device – is 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 persons bring with them such as a wheelchair, walker or a personal oxygen tank that might assist in hearing, seeing, communicating, moving, breathing, remembering and/or reading.

Disability – the term disability 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 co-ordination, 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.

Guide Dog – is 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.

Service Dog/ Service Animal – an animal is a service animal for a person with a disability if:

  • it is readily apparent that the animal is used by the person for reasons relating to his or her disability; or
  • if the person provides a letter from a physician or nurse confirming that the person requires the animal for reasons relating to the disability.

Support Person – as reflected in Ontario Regulation 429/07, a support person means, in relation to a person with a disability, another person who accompanies him or her in order to help with communication, mobility, personal care, medical needs or access to goods and services.

Application

1. Support Persons
If a person with a disability is accompanied by a support person, Inter Pares will ensure that both persons are allowed to enter the premises together and that the person is not prevented from having access to the support person. In situations where confidential information might be discussed, consent will be obtained from the person, prior to any conversation where confidential information might be discussed. 

Admission Fees:  If payment is required by a support person for admission to the premises Inter Pares will ensure that notice is given in advance by posting notice of admission fees for support persons where Inter Pares fees are posted.

2. Assistive Devices
Persons with disabilities may use their own assistive devices as required when accessing goods or services provided by Inter Pares.

In cases where the assistive device presents a safety concern or where accessibility might be an issue, other reasonable measures will be used to ensure the access of goods and services.  For example, open flames and oxygen tanks cannot be near one another. Therefore, the accommodation of a person with an oxygen tank may involve ensuring the person is in a safe location. 

3. Guide Dogs, Service Animals and Service Dogs
Service animals may accompany persons with disabilities on our premises and at any event Inter Pares might hold in off-site public venues.  Care and control of the service animal is the responsibility of the person being accompanied. 

If a health and safety concern presents itself for example in the form of a severe allergy to the animal, Inter Pares will make all reasonable efforts to meet the needs of all individuals.

4. Notice of Disruptions in Service
In the event of planned or unexpected disruption to facilities or services that persons with disabilities rely on to access or use Inter Pares' services, reasonable efforts will be made to provide advance notice. This will be done by posting notices in conspicuous places, including at the main door, contacting persons with appointments, and by other reasonable means.

In some circumstances such as in the situation of unplanned temporary disruptions, advance notice may not be possible. In the unlikely event of an extended disruption in services we will post a notice on our website.

5. Notice of Availability and Format of Documents
Inter Pares will post this policy to the Inter Pares’ website and make available on the website the option of enlarging print for easier viewing. Inter Pares will also post this policy in a conspicuous place that is visible to visitors to its office in Ottawa.

Feedback Process

Inter Pares shall provide persons with the opportunity to provide feedback regarding the way Inter Pares provides materials, information, and services to persons with disabilities. Information about the feedback process will be readily available to all persons, and notice of the process will be made available on our website. Feedback can be made orally (in person or by telephone), or in writing using our feedback form (in person, via Canada Post, courier, fax, or e-mail), to:

Human Resources Committee
221 Laurier Ave. East
Ottawa, ON K1R 6N9
E-mail: info@interpares.ca

Telephone: (613) 563-4801

Toll-free: (866) 563-4801

Fax: (613) 594-4704


TTY/TDD users may contact us free of charge through Bell Relay Service by dialing 711.

Persons that provide formal feedback will receive acknowledgement of their feedback, along with any resulting actions taken or to be taken based on concerns or complaints that were submitted.  

Training

Training will be provided to:

  • all employees, volunteers, agents and contractors who deal with the public on Inter Pares’ behalf, or other third parties that act on behalf of Inter Pares; for example: event operators, call centers, volunteers at event stands; and
  • those who are involved in the development and approval of accessible service policies, practices and procedures.

Training Provisions:

As reflected in Ontario Regulation 429/07, regardless of the format, training will cover the following:

  • A review of the purpose of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005;
  • 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, service dog or other service animal; or
    • require the use of a support person (including the handling of admission fees);
  • Instructions on what to do if a person with a disability is having difficulty accessing our services;
  • Inter Pares' policies, procedures and practices pertaining to providing accessible service to persons with disabilities.

Training Schedule:

Inter Pares will provide training as soon as practicable. Training will be provided to new employees, volunteers and interns who deal with the public or act on our behalf. Inter Pares will also ensure that third parties who may deal with public on Inter Pares' behalf, such as call centres, have been appropriately trained. Revised training will be provided in the event of changes to legislation, procedures or practices.

Administration

If you have any questions or concerns about this policy or its related procedures please contact:

Human Resources Committee
221 Laurier Ave. East
Ottawa, ON K1R 6N9
E-mail: info@interpares.ca

Telephone: (613) 563-4801

Toll-free: (866) 563-4801

Fax: (613) 594-4704

TTY/TDD users may contact us free of charge through Bell Relay Service by dialing 711.

This policy and its related procedures will be reviewed as required in the event of legislative changes.

Referenced Documents:

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