- Accessibility Policy
Solutions - Your Organized Living Store is committed to provide its goods and services, and hiring staff in a way that respects the dignity and independence of persons with disabilities. We are also committed to giving persons with disabilities the same opportunity to access our goods and services and allowing them to benefit from the same services, in the same place and in a similar way as other customers.
Creating a province where every person who lives or visits can participate fully makes good sense — for our people, our stores, and our communities. And it is what we believe, as a retail store environment serving members of the public.
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, and applies to the provision of goods and services to the public or other third parties, not to the goods themselves.
All goods and services provided by Solutions shall follow the principles of dignity, independence, integration and equal opportunity.
This policy applies to all Solutions employees.
It is the responsibility of the management team to ensure that all employees are trained on accessibility standards and follow the guidelines set out in this policy.
This policy applies to the provision of goods and services at premises owned and operated by Solutions.
This policy applies to employees, volunteers, and contractors who deal with the public or other third parties that act on behalf of Solutions and interact with Solutions customers, and to all persons who develop and/or approve customer service policies, practices and procedures for the organizations.
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 customers bring with them such as a wheelchair, walker or a personal oxygen tank that might assist in moving, breathing, communicating, hearing, seeing, remembering and/or reading.
Disability– the term disability as defined by the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act 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.
Customer - According to the government, a customer is anyone that the company interacts with. It can be a courier person, contractor, supplier, customer, or client.
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.
Employees - Every person who deals with members of the public or other third parties on behalf of our company.
Persons with Disabilities - individuals who have a disability as defined under the Ontario Human Rights Code.
Service Animal – as reflected in Ontario Regulation 429/07, 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.
Service Dog – as reflected in Health Protection and Promotion Act, Ontario Regulation 562 a dog other than a guide dog for the blind is a service dog if:
it is readily apparent to an average person that the dog functions as a service dog for a person with a medical disability;
or the person who requires the dog can provide on request a letter from a physician or nurse confirming that the person requires a service dog.
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.
In accordance with the Accessibility Standards for Customer Service, Ontario Regulation 429/07, this policy addresses the following:
The Provision of Goods and Services to Persons with Disabilities;
The Use of Assistive Devices
The Use of Guide Dogs, Service Animals and Service Dogs
The Use of Support Persons
Notice of Service Disruptions
Notice of Availability and Format of Required Documents
1) The Provision of Goods and Services to Persons with Disabilities
Solutions will make every reasonable effort to ensure that its policies, practices and procedures are consistent with the principles of dignity, independence, integration and equal opportunity by:
ensuring that all customers receive the same value and quality;
allowing customers with disabilities to do things in their own way, at their own pace, when accessing goods and services provided it does not present a safety risk;
using alternative methods when possible to ensure that customers with disabilities have access to the same services, in the same place and in a similar manner;
taking into account individual needs when providing goods and services;
communicating in a manner that takes into account the customer's disability.
2) Assistive Devices
Customer’s own assistive device(s):
Persons with disabilities may use their own assistive devices as required when accessing goods or services provided by Solutions.
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. All staff will be trained to the best of their ability to identify and recognize assistive devices that may be used by customers with disabilities.
For example, open flames and oxygen tanks cannot be near one another. Therefore, the accommodation of a customer with an oxygen tank may involve ensuring the customer is in a location that would be considered safe for both the customer and business. Or, where elevators are not present and where an individual requires assistive devices for the purposes of mobility, service will be provided in a location that meets the needs of the customer – bringing product to the customer.
Assistive devices provided by Solutions:
Should Solutions provide assistive devices for in our locations for persons with disabilities to access our goods and services, all staff will be trained on the use of such devices.
3) Guide Dogs, Service Animals and Service Dogs
A customer with a disability that is accompanied by guide dog, service animal or service dog will be allowed access to premises that are open to the public unless otherwise excluded by law. “No pet” policies do not apply to guide dogs, service animals and/or service dogs.
Food Service Areas:
A customer with a disability that is accompanied by guide dog or service dog will be allowed access to food service areas that are open to the public unless otherwise excluded by law.
Other types of service animals are not permitted into food service areas due to the Health Protection and Promotion Act, Ontario Regulation 562 Section 60.
If a guide dog, service animal or service dog is excluded by law (see applicable laws below) Solutions will offer alternative methods to enable the person with a disability to access goods and services, when possible (for example, securing the animal in a safe location and offering the guidance of an employee).
Dog Owners' Liability Act, Ontario: If there is a conflict between a provision of this Act or of a regulation under this or any other Act relating to banned breeds (such as pitbulls) and a provision of a by-law passed by a municipality relating to these breeds, the provision that is more restrictive in relation to controls or bans on these breeds prevails.
Recognizing a Guide Dog, Service Dog and/or Service Animal:
If it is not readily apparent that the animal is being used by the customer for reasons relating to his or her disability, Solutions may request verification from the customer. Verification may include:
a letter from a physician or nurse confirming that the person requires the animal for reasons related to the disability;
a valid identification card signed by the Attorney General of Canada; or,
a certificate of training from a recognized guide dog or service animal training school.
Care and Control of the Animal:
The customer that is accompanied by a guide dog, service dog and/or service animal is responsible for maintaining care and control of the animal at all time.
If a health and safety concern presents itself for example in the form of a severe allergy to the animal, Solutions will make all reasonable efforts to meet the needs of all individuals. For example, the individuals will be separated from each other to different parts of the store.
4) Support Persons
If a customer with a disability is accompanied by a support person, Solutions will ensure that both persons are allowed to enter the premises together and that the customer is not prevented from having access to the support person.
In situations where confidential information might be discussed, consent will be obtained from the customer, prior to any conversation where confidential information might be discussed.
There are no admission fees d to any of our customers, including persons with disabilities and support persons, therefore, no posting notification or advising of admission fees for support persons is required.
5) Notice of Disruptions in Service
Service disruptions may occur due to reasons that may or may not be within the control or knowledge of Solutions. In the event of any temporary disruptions to facilities or services that customers with disabilities rely on to access or use Solutions goods or services, reasonable efforts will be made to provide advance notice. In some circumstances such as in the situation of unplanned temporary disruptions, advance notice may not be possible.
Notifications will include:
In the event that a notification needs to be posted, the following information will be included unless it is not readily available or known:
goods or services that are disrupted or unavailable
reason for the disruption
a description of alternative services or options
When disruptions occur Solutions will provide notice by:
posting notice at the store location.
In addition to posting the notice at the store location, customers may also be:
verbally notified during checkout ; or
by any other method that may be reasonable under the circumstances.
6) Feedback Process
Solutions shall provide customers with the opportunity to provide feedback on the services provided to customers with disabilities. Information about the feedback process will be readily available to all customers and notice of the process will be made available by posting the process at the checkout counter. Feedback forms along with alternate methods of providing feedback such as verbally (in person or by telephone) or written (hand written, delivered, website or email), will be available upon request.
Customers can submit feedback to:
Solutions, Your Organized Living Store
1775 Sismet Road
Mississauga ON L4W 1P9
Tel: 905-282-9371, Ext 234
Customers who wish to provide feedback by completing an onsite customer feedback form or verbally can do so to any Solutions employee.
Customers that provide formal feedback will receive acknowledgement of their feedback within ten (10) business days or less, along with any resulting actions based on concerns that were submitted. Issues will be addressed according to Solutions’ complaint management policy (Refer to Store Operations Customer Service and Complaints Policy).
Training will be provided to all employees of Solutions, volunteers, and contractors who deal with the public or other third parties that act on behalf of Solutions; and to all persons who develop and/or approve customer service policies, procedures, and practices.
This training will be provided to all staff within four (4) weeks of joining Solutions either in a monthly store meeting, by ELearning, or by hard copy using the Accessibility Standards for Customer Service: Training Resource Handbook. Training will take place after any revisions to the policy.
All employees are required to read this policy and will complete an AODA Quiz upon completion of training.
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.
A review of the requirements of the Accessibility Standards for Customer Service, Ontario Regulation 429/07.
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 how to use equipment or devices in the event they become available at our locations or that we provide, that may help people with disabilities access our goods and services.
Instructions on what to do if a person with a disability is having difficulty accessing our services.
Solutions’ policies, procedures and practices pertaining to providing accessible customer service to customers with disabilities.
Record of Training:
Solutions store managers will keep a record of training. These records will be submitted to Human Resources immediately upon completion of training and will include the:
names of the participants
date of the training
method of training
content of training
duration of training
8) Notice of Availability and Format of Documents
Solutions shall notify customers that the documents related to the Accessibility Standard for Customer Service are available upon request and in a format that takes into account the customer's disability. Notification will be given by posting the information at the store checkout.
We are committed to developing customer service policies that respect and promote the dignity and independence of persons with disabilities. Any policy of Solutions that does not respect and promote the dignity, independence, integration and equal opportunity of persons with disabilities will be modified or removed.
If you have any questions about this policy or its related procedures please contact:
Solutions, Your Organized Living Store
1775 Sismet Road
Mississauga ON L4W 1P9
Tel: 905-282-9371, Ext 234
This policy and its related procedures will be reviewed as required in the event of legislative changes. This policy and additional resources are posted in hard copy in each store and in the HR office in the head office. A summary is included in the Employee Handbook.
Employee Acknowledgement & Agreement
After completing training, all employees, volunteers, and/or contractors will complete the AODA Quiz and acknowledge they:
have read and understand the Accessibility Standards for Customer Service Policy of Solutions
agree to adhere to this policy and will ensure that employees and volunteers working under their direction adhere to these guiding principles
understand that if they violate this policy, they may face corrective action, up to and including termination of employment.
Making Changes to Policy:
We are committed to developing polices that respect and promote the dignity and
independence of people with disabilities. Therefore, no changes will be made to this policy before considering the impact on people with disabilities.
Any policy that does not respect and promote the dignity and independence of people with disabilities will be modified or removed.