B. Accessibility Standards for Customer Service Policy
The objective of this policy is to identify what the equal treatment provisions are of the Ontario Human Rights Code through the AODA and the Service Regulation. This is a requirement with respect to service delivery to persons with disabilities and addresses the following:
- The Provision of Goods and Services to Persons with Disabilities;
- Accessible Customer Service Principles;
- The Use of Assistive Devices;
- The Use of Guide Dogs and Service Animals;
- The Use of Support Persons;
- Notice of Service Disruptions;
- Customer Feedback, and
- Notice of Availability and Format of Required Documents.
Providing Goods and Services to People with Disabilities
Medline Canada has been providing exceptional service and quality medical products to the Canadian health care industry for 13 years. Medline Canada is more than just a distribution company: we deliver innovative solutions for today’s leading health care providers. Medline is committed to comply with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (AODA) to ensure that all customers have equal access to all of our services. Medline Canada’s goal is to remove any barriers that could prevent any customer from receiving our services.
In accordance with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA), Medline is committed in providing a work environment that is accessible and inclusive to all persons who work and visit our office and warehouse.
Disability (as defined by the Ontario Human Rights Code): 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) A condition of mental impairment or a developmental disability,
- b) A learning disability, or a dysfunction in one or more of the processes involved in understanding or using symbols or spoken language,
- c) 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.
Barrier: A barrier is anything that keeps individuals with a disability from fully participating in all aspects of society because of their disability. These barriers can be attitudinal, architectural/structural, technological, or systemic.
Medline Canada premises: This refers to the physical area where the general public is allowed access. These areas are the Medline Canada head office building (excluding warehouse area).
Accessible Customer Service Principles
Medline will strive to ensure that its policies, practices and procedures are consistent with the following core principles as outlined in the AODA.
Dignity: Goods and services are provided in a manner that is respectful to persons with a disability and does not diminish the person’s importance.
Independence: Accommodating a person’s disability means respecting their right to do for themselves and to choose the way they wish to receive goods and services.
Integration: Persons with disabilities can access all goods and services. This may require alternative formats and flexible approaches. It means inclusiveness and full participation. This is a fundamental human right.
Equal Opportunity: Service is provided to persons with disabilities in a way that their opportunity to access goods and services is equal to that given to others.
Providing Goods and Services to People with Disabilities
Personal assistive technologies are permitted and unrestricted in all areas of the premises to which Medline Canada staff and the public have access. Please note that the provision, use and safety of various assistive technologies is the responsibility of the person with the disability.
When communicating with a person with a disability, Medline Canada staff will do so in an assistive and respectful manner that takes into account the person’s disability. Medline Canada staff will be patient, understanding and avoid stereotyping and making assumptions. They will accommodate persons with disabilities based on their specified needs, and:
- Look at and interact directly with the customer, not the interpreter or support person.
- Use correct and appropriate terminology.
- Avoid touching service animals, assistive devices or the person with the disability without asking permission.
Medline commits to provide training regarding how to interact and communicate with persons with various types of disabilities.
Service Animals and Support Persons
For the purpose of this policy, a ‘service animal’ is defined as either:
- a) A “guide dog,” as defined in section 1 of the Blind Persons’ Rights Act; or
- b) A “service animal” for a person with a disability:
(i) if it is readily apparent that the animal is used by the person for reasons relating to his or her disability; or
(ii) if the person provides a letter from a physician or nurse confirming that the person requires the animal for reasons relating to the disability.
Service animals accompanying persons with a disability are welcome within the premises if not otherwise excluded by law. If a service animal is excluded by law, Medline Canada will ensure that alternate means are available within reasonable time and location to provide persons with a disability access to the building.
There may be rare circumstances where, for reasons of health and safety of another person, allowing a person with a disability to enter a premises accompanied by a service animal needs to be considered. Examples of such situations include but are not limited to: where a person is allergic to animals and adversely affected if they are in close proximity to a service animal. In such circumstances, Medline Canada will examine alternate measures available to enable the person with a disability access.
If it is not readily apparent that an animal is a service animal, Medline Canada may ask the person with the service animal to provide verification of the animal’s duty. Please note that the use and safety of the service animal is the responsibility of the person with a disability. They must comply with all applicable legislation which includes, but is not limited to, the Provincial Dog Owner’s Liability Act and City by-laws.
For the purpose of this policy, a ‘support person’ is defined as someone in relation to a person with a disability, another person who accompanies him or her in order to help with communication, mobility, personal care or medical needs or with access services.
Medline Canada welcomes support persons accompanying persons with a disability in order to assist in accessing goods or services or for the purposes of providing support with mobility, personal assistance or communication. Individuals who are accompanied by a support person are encouraged to inform Human Resources of their companion.
Notice of Planned or Unplanned Disruption in Services
For the purposes of this policy, a ‘facility or service disruption’ is defined as planned and unplanned unavailability of facilities or services operated by or on behalf of Medline Canada, including but not limited to closed washroom facilities, automatic doors that are inoperable due to maintenance and websites that are temporarily unavailable.
In the event of a service disruption to Medline Canada staff or members of the public, it is the responsibility of individual service areas (Facilities, Human Resources, IT Services, etc.) to take reasonable steps to report such disruption in a timely fashion through appropriate information channels. Such channels include, but are not limited to, Work Force Now, temporary signage on or immediately adjacent to the affected area, and/or communication via email to affected individuals, departments or groups.
If the Medline Canada website should expect a planned temporary service disruption, advance notice where possible, keeping with the conditions of the service disruption section of this policy, shall be provided on the website.
In accordance with the AODA, notice must be conspicuous and indicate any alternatives that exist to allow access to persons with disabilities during the disruption. The required information necessary for any communication of a temporary disruption may include:
- The time, date and location of the disruption;
- Information about the reason for the disruption;
- Anticipated duration of the disruption;
- Descriptions of other services, if any; and
- Contact information for the responsible service area.
Medline Canada shall require that the following will receive training about the provision of its goods or services to people with disabilities:
- Every person who deals with members of the public or other third parties on behalf of Medline Canada
- Every person who participates in developing Medline Canada policies, practices and procedures governing the provision of services to members of the public or other third parties.
Medline Canada shall provide training to its employees and will log and maintain records which will record the details of the training provided, as well as the name of the person, location, and date the training was completed. Individuals in the following positions will be trained: Customer Service, Sales Representatives and new hires.
Medline Canada will provide training to each person as soon as practicable after he or she is assigned the applicable duties. Training will also be provided on an ongoing basis in connection with changes to applicable legislation, and/or Medline Canada policies, procedures and practices governing the provision of services to person with disabilities.
Medline Canada employees training will include a review of the purposes of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (AODA), S.O. 2005, c11 and the Accessible Standards for Customer Service Ontario Regulation 429/07, the requirements of this policy, and any other Medline Canada policies, practices and procedures regarding the provision of services to persons with disabilities and instruction about the following matters:
- How to interact and communicate with people with various types of disability;
- How to interact with people with disabilities who use an assistive device or require the assistance of a guide dog or other service animal or the assistance of a support person;
- How to use equipment or devices available on the provider’s premises or otherwise provided by the provider that may help with the provision of goods or services to a person with a disability; and
- What to do if a person with a particular type of disability is having difficulty accessing the provider’s services.
Feedback about the delivery of services to persons with disabilities is welcomed, as it may identify areas that require change and assist in continuous service improvement. Such feedback may be forwarded by telephone, in person, in writing, by email, on diskette or otherwise. Medline Canada will make best efforts to provide a response in the same format in which the feedback was received.
Where possible, feedback will be addressed immediately. Some feedback may, however, require more effort to address and may need to be reviewed before an action is taken. Medline Canada will respond in a timely manner to all formal feedback.
Feedback may be provided directly via:
1) In person: Toya Jean-Louis – HR Generalist
2) By telephone: 905-636-2100
3) In writing: To the attention of Toya Jean-Louis
4) By email: HRCanada@medline.com
If the feedback is received by Medline Canada personnel other than the Human Resources department the Medline Canada personnel will forward the submission to their supervisor who will in turn forward it to the Human Resources department.
At that point, Medline Canada will assess current policies, practices, and procedures to determine if any changes are required.
Human Resources will follow up with the person, who submitted the feedback if more clarification is needed or if the person has requested that a follow up take place.
Human Resources will keep records of all steps, including any discussions with the person submitting the feedback and any actions taken.
Notice of Availability and format of Documents
Medline Canada shall notify the public that the documents related to the Accessibility Standard for Customer Service are available upon request and in a format that takes into account the person’s disability. Notification will be given by posting the information in a conspicuous place owned and operated by Medline Canada, and/or any other reasonable method.
All documents required by the Accessibility Standards for Customer Service, including The Medline Canada Accessibility Standard Policy, notices of temporary disruptions, training records, and written feedback process are available upon request, subject to the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (“FIPPA”). When providing these documents to a person with a disability, Medline Canada will endeavor to provide the document, or the information contained in the document, in a format that takes the person’s disability into account.