Accessible Customer Service

Background

Kinark is required to comply with the Accessibility Standards for Customer Services, Ontario Regulation 429/07 by January 2012.

This policy has been prepared to outline what Kinark will do to comply with the regulation and what our clients may expect from us.

The intent of this policy is 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 Kinark and its staff.

Policy

Kinark provides people with disabilities the same respect, access to services and service benefits as others.

Scope

This policy applies to all staff, students, volunteers and consultants of Kinark as all these people provide some form of client or customer service. This policy also applies to all services offered at facilities owned, leased or operated by Kinark.

Providing Services to People with Disabilities

Kinark will use all reasonable efforts to ensure that its policies, practices and procedures are consistent with the following principles:

  • The services are provided in a manner that respects the dignity and independence of persons with disabilities;
  • The provision of services to persons with disabilities are integrated with those provided to persons who do not have disabilities, unless an alternative measure is necessary to enable a person with a disability to obtain, use or benefit from Kinark’s services; and
  • Communicate in a manner that takes into account the person’s disability.

Assistive Devices

A person with a disability may provide their own assistive device for the purpose of obtaining, using and benefiting from Kinark’s services. Exceptions may occur in situations where Kinark has determined that the assistive device may pose a risk to the health, safety and security of a person with a disability or the health, safety and security of others on the premises. Any risk would be considered on a case-by-case basis. In such situations, Kinark may offer the person with a disability other reasonable measures to assist him or her in obtaining, using and benefiting from Kinark’s services, where Kinark has such other measures available.

It is the responsibility of the person with a disability to ensure that their assistive device is operated in a safe and controlled manner at all times.

Service Animals

Kinark recognizes that some individuals with disabilities may require the use of service animals in order to enter Kinark premises or access services. Persons with disabilities who are accompanied by a service animal will be permitted to enter the parts of the premises that are common areas and to keep the animal with them, unless the animal is otherwise excluded by law from the premises. Excluded areas include, where food preparation is being undertaken, medication preparation areas, and clean or sterile supply storage areas.

 People accompanied by service animals are responsible for the care and supervision of their service animals. Kinark will not accept responsibility for service animal’s care while the animal is on the premises.

If any person has a severe allergy to animals, which could result in health and safety concerns, reasonable efforts will be made to meet the needs of all individuals.

Support Persons

Kinark recognizes that some individuals with disabilities rely on support persons for assistance while accessing services. A person with a disability who is accompanied by a support person will be allowed to enter Kinark’s premises together with the support person and will not be prevented from having access to the support person while on our premises or while receiving services.

In situations where privacy and consent issues are applicable, a support person is subject to the same confidentiality requirements as the person with a disability that they are assisting as well as staff. A support person may be required to sign an oath of confidentiality and privacy.

Staff Training

Kinark will provide training to all staff, students, volunteers and consultants about the provision of services to persons with disabilities and all those who are involved in the development and approvals of customer service policies, practices and procedures.

The training is provided through a web-based application. This is considered mandatory training and new staff will be required to complete this training within their first month of employment.

The content of the training will include:

  • A review of the purposes of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 and the requirements of the Accessibility Standards for Customer Service; How to interact and communicate with persons with various types of disabilities;
  • How to interact with persons with disabilities who use an assistive device or require the assistance of a service animal or a support person;
  • What to do if a person with a disability is having difficulty in accessing Kinark services; and
  • Kinark policies, practices and procedures relating to the provision of services to persons with disabilities and customer service standards.

Notice of Temporary Disruption

Temporary disruptions in Kinark’s services may occur due to reasons that may or may not be within Kinark’s control or knowledge. Kinark will make reasonable efforts to provide prior notice of planned disruptions, if possible. However, in the case where the disruption is unplanned, Kinark will provide notice as soon as possible.

This notice will include information about the reason for the disruption, its anticipated duration, and a description of alternative services, if available. The notice will normally be posted on the premises or on the telephone auto-attendant, where appropriate in the circumstances.

Feedback Process

Kinark is committed to providing high quality services. Feedback regarding the way the Kinark provides services to all people with or without disabilities is welcomed and appreciated. Feedback, or questions about this policy, can be made by e-mail, verbally, or in writing.

All feedback can be made by:

  • Speaking directly to the Kinark Program Director and/or
  • Contacting the Kinark Ombudsman:

905-474-9595
privacyofficer@kinark.on.ca
Kinark Ombudsman
Kinark Child and Family Services
500 Hood Rd., Ste 200
Markham, ON L3R 9Z3

Complaints will be addressed according to Kinark’s complaint policy.

Modifications to This or Other Policies

Kinark is committed to developing and maintaining customer service policies that respect and promote the dignity and independence of people with disabilities. Therefore, no changes will be made to this or other policies before considering the impact on people with disabilities.

Copies of this Policy

Kinark recognizes that persons with disabilities use methods other than the standard print to access information. If Kinark is required to give a copy of this policy to a person with a disability, Kinark will provide the policy, or the information contained in the policy, in a format that takes account the person’s disability.

Alternatively, Kinark and the person with a disability may agree on an alternate format for the document or information.

For more information about our accessibility policies and plans, please call our corporate office at 905-474-9595.