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Accessible Customer Service Policy

Classification number LCG 1104
Framework category Legal, Compliance and Governance
Approving authority Board of Governors
Policy owner Vice-President, Human Resources and Services
Approval date June 2010
Review date To be assigned
Last updated Editorial Amendments, February 18, 2020

Preamble

Consistent with the Accessibility Policy and the University’s commitment to creating a campus community that is inclusive of all individuals, this document is intended to inform and guide in the provision of accessible customer service at the University pursuant to the Accessibility Standards for Customer Service under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (2008).

Policy

The University is committed to providing access to goods and services in a manner that respects the dignity and independence of persons with disabilities, integrated to the extent possible with services provided to others, and offered in a way that gives persons with disabilities an opportunity to benefit from these services that is equal to service that is given to others.  

To this end, the University will review its policies, procedures and methods of communication on a regular basis to ensure that they continue to take into account the needs of persons with disabilities.  The University will also provide training and awareness in a variety of formats to all employees (including administrators, faculty, staff), volunteers, agents, contractors and others who deal with the public or third parties on behalf of the University, and those involved in developing customer service policies, practices and procedures at the University. 

This policy applies to customer service that is provided by the University to the public and third parties, unless the service is dealt with under other policies and regulations pertaining to persons with disabilities.  This policy also applies to customer service that may be provided by University personnel in person, by telephone and/or in writing.  Further, this policy applies to University sponsored events and activities that are open to the public.  Where special events are held on campus by third parties, the University will require that the needs of persons with disabilities are taken into account.

Procedures

Provision of customer service

The University will endeavour to provide its services in a way that respects the independence and dignity of all persons and encourages integration and equality of opportunity. For persons with disabilities seeking access to university services, this includes:

  1. Assistive devices - Providing alternative means for obtaining these services through the use of assistive devices or other assistive measures where available;

  2. Service animals - Permitting persons who require the use of a guide dog or other service animal  to be accompanied by the guide dog or service animal when on parts of campus that are open to the public and third parties, except in those areas of campus where animals are excluded by law. Alternative arrangements will be made for the individual to access any service in those areas that do not permit service animals by law. While on campus, service animals must at all times remain under the care and control of the person with the disability.

  3. Support persons - Permitting persons to be accompanied by a support person when on parts of the campus that are open to the public or third parties. The University may require that a person who is normally accompanied by a support person be accompanied by a support person while on campus if necessary to protect the health and safety of the person with a disability or the health and safety of others on campus.

  4. Admission fees - Where admission fees are charged, providing advance notice of any admission charges that would be required for a support person of a person with a disability. 

Service disruptions

Where there is a temporary disruption of services or facilities that are normally used by persons with disabilities, notice will be posted in a conspicuous location at or near the site of the disruption, on the University website, and through any other method that is reasonable in the given circumstances. The notice will contain the reason for the disruption, its duration, and information about alternative services or facilities where available.

Where practicable, Faculties and departments are encouraged to post signage at facilities and services normally used by persons with disabilities to indicate the alternative services and facilities that are available if a disruption were to occur in that area. 

Accessible customer service training

The University will provide training to employees, volunteers, agents, contractors and others who could reasonably be expected to interact with the public on behalf of the University or influence the development of policies, procedures and practices on providing customer service to persons with disabilities at the University.

Training on the University’s policies, practices and procedures regarding accessible customer service will be provided in a variety of formats and will include information on:

  1. How to interact and communicate with persons with various types of disabilities;
  2. How to interact with persons with disabilities who use an assistive device or require the assistance of a guide dog or service animal or assistance of a support person;
  3. How to use equipment or devices available on University campuses or otherwise provided by the University that may help with the provision of goods or services to a person with a disability; and
  4. What to do if a person with a particular type of disability is having difficulty accessing the University's goods or services.

New faculty, staff, contractors, volunteers and third parties will be provided with training and/or awareness literature within a reasonable period of time after commencement their duties at the University.  Employees will also be trained on an ongoing basis as changes are made to these policies, practices and/or procedures.

The University will keep records of the training provided, including dates and number of persons trained.

Feedback on customer service

The University welcomes feedback on the ways in which it provides its customer service to persons with disabilities. Individuals are encouraged to provide their feedback directly to the Faculty or department from which they received the service and the feedback may be provided in person, by telephone, in writing or by electronic text.  Individuals may also provide feedback using the Accessibility Feedback Form available on the University's website. 

Wherever possible, feedback regarding customer service for students with disabilities will be responded to by the Faculty or department to which the feedback has been directed.  Where the feedback is of a more general nature, and is not directed at any particular area of the University, the Director of Human Resources will be responsible for investigating the matter and determining the actions to be taken.  In all cases, every effort will be made to respond to the feedback in a timely and effective manner. 

Availability of documents on customer service

All documents that detail the University’s policies and procedures for the provision of customer service to persons with disabilities will be posted on the University's website and made available upon request.  The University will make every effort to make the information available to persons with disabilities in a format that take into account their disability.