Branch Office Services is committed to ensuring that its policies, practices and procedures are consistent with the principles of independence, dignity, integration and equality of opportunity. Branch Office Services supports the full inclusion of persons with disabilities in its, policies, products and services. This is spelled out clearly in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, the Ontario Human Rights Code, the Ontarians with Disabilities Act (ODA), 2001 and the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA), 2005.
This policy has been prepared to outline what Branch must do to comply with the regulation and what our customers can expect from us. The term "customer" applies both to our employees and the services they can expect from Branch as an employer, as well as to our external customers who are the recipients of our products and services.
The policy is intended to benefit the full range of persons with disabilities, as defined in the Ontario Human Rights Code. Whether a person’s disability is apparent or not, everyone should be treated with courtesy, made to feel welcome, and have their need for accommodation respected whenever they interact with a government service.
This policy is available in alternate formats upon request.
Branch strives at all times to provide quality products and services in a way that respects the dignity and independence of persons with disabilities. Branch is committed to ensuring that customers with disabilities receive accessible products and services with the same quality and timeliness that others do.
Branch will provide training on customer service to all employees.
New employees as well as those who take on duties that involve interaction with the public or other third parties will receive training as part of their orientation within the first 90 days of employment.
Branch will provide staff with training that includes:
Employees will be trained on policies, practices and procedures that affect the way goods and services are provided to persons with disabilities. Training will also be provided on an ongoing basis when changes are made to these policies, practices and procedures.
Branch is committed to effectively serving persons with disabilities who use assistive devices to obtain, use or benefit from our products and services. Branch will inform customers of the assistive devices that are available at their various locations and ensure staff know how to use them.
Persons with disabilities may bring their service animal to premises that are open to the public or other third parties. Branch will ensure that all employees, volunteers and third parties dealing with the public are trained on how to interact with persons with disabilities who are accompanied by a service animal.
On rare occasions — such as when other laws need to be considered a manager may determine that a support person is required or that a service animal cannot enter an area of the premises. In these cases, managers will suggest appropriate alternatives and provide assistance.
Any person with a disability who is accompanied by a support person will be allowed to enter Branch premises open to the public or other third parties with that person. At no time will a person with a disability who is accompanied by a support person be prevented from having access to that person while on our premises.
Branch attractions or events will not charge an admission fee for support persons. This policy will be posted (1) on Branch’s website; (2) included in information where admission fees are published; and (3) at entrances and/or location(s) where fees are collected. This is consistent with recent decisions such as the “one person one fare” case.
Support persons (e.g., sign language interpreters, real-time captioners, attendants) may be required for Branch sponsored meetings, consultations or events. In these cases, Branch will arrange to pay support persons directly for their time and reasonable travel expenses on request, in accordance with Branch’s travel and hospitality guidelines.
Branch will communicate with people who have disabilities in a way that takes their disability into account. Employees will communicate using methods that enable people with disabilities to use, receive and request eps products and services.
Employees who communicate with customers will be trained on how to interact and communicate with persons who have various types of disabilities.
The ultimate goal of this policy is to meet service delivery expectations while serving customers with disabilities. Comments on how well those expectations are being met are welcome and appreciated.
Branch will inform customers of methods available for giving feedback. If a method is not suitable, customers may request another way of providing their thoughts. Privacy will be respected and all feedback will be reviewed for action that may be taken to improve Branch services.
Complaints will be addressed immediately if possible. However, some complaints may require more time and effort to address. Customers can expect acknowledgement of verbal/telephone feedback, or feedback left on a comment card, within two business days. Response to a mailed/e-mailed complaint is made within 15 business days. The acknowledgement must indicate when the matter will be addressed and when the customer will be notified. Branch must follow up with any required action within the timeframe noted in the acknowledgement. Every effort will be made to provide the response in a format that is accessible to the person who provided the comments.
Branch will provide customers with notice in the event of a planned or unexpected disruption at the facilities or with the services used by persons with disabilities. This notice will include information about the reason for the disruption, how long the disruption is expected to last, and whether any alternative facilities or services are available.
The notice will be placed at all public entrances on our premises. Depending on the nature of the disruption, notice will also be provided on outgoing telephone messages Branch’s websites.
Branch is committed to ensuring that their customer service policies, practices and procedures respect and promote the dignity and independence of all persons with disabilities. Therefore, no changes will be made to this policy before considering the impact on persons with disabilities.
Any operational policy affecting customer service that does not respect and promote the dignity, independence, integration and equal opportunity of persons with disabilities will be modified or revoked.
The goal of this policy is to help achieve service excellence to customers with disabilities. If you have any questions, concerns or requests, please contact Human Resources.