Accessible Customer Service Plan To Provide Goods And Services To People With Disabilities
Strategic Coach is committed to excellence in serving all clients, including those with disabilities.
Tip: Remember the principles of independence, dignity, integration, and equal opportunity as you create your plan.
We will ensure that team members are trained and familiar with the various assistive devices (e.g., wheelchairs) we have on-site or that we provide that may be used by clients with disabilities while accessing our premises.
We will communicate with people with disabilities in ways that take into account their disability.
We welcome people with disabilities and their service animals. Service animals are allowed on the parts of our premises that are open to the public. If you cannot easily identify that the animals is a service animal, you can ask the person to provide documentation from a regulated health professional. The documentation must confirm that the person needs the service animal for reasons relating to their disability.
A person with a disability who is accompanied by a support person will be permitted to have that person accompany them on our premises for health and safety reasons. There will not be a fee charged for the support person, but there will be a Notice of Attendance/Disclosure that will need to be signed and submitted to Serafina Pupillo. We will notify clients with disabilities of this in their Acceptance Package. Before making a decision, we will need to (i) consult with the person with a disability to understand their needs; (ii) consider health or safety reasons based on available evidence; and (iii) determine if there is no other reasonable way to protect the health or safety of the person or others on the premises. In such a situation, we will waive the workshop fee for the support person.
Notice of temporary disruption
In the event of a planned or unexpected disruption, clients will be notified promptly by a notice that will be posted on each of the entrance doors of the premises and directly by a phone call and email to the client with the disability. This notice will include information about the reason for the disruption, its anticipated length of time, and a description of alternative facilities or services, if available. Front Stage Coordinators (Reception) will be responsible for posting the signs on the entrance doors located on Fraser Avenue and Pardee Avenue.
Strategic Coach will provide training to team members and others who deal with the public or other third parties on our behalf. Individuals in the following positions will be trained:
- Client Experience Team
- Front Stage Coordinators (Reception)
- Team Leaders
- Program Advisors
- Workshop Success Directors
This training will be provided to team members after they have completed their probationary period of three months with Strategic Coach.
Training will include:
- An overview of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 and the requirements of the customer service standard.
- The Strategic Coach plan related to the client service standard.
- How to interact and communicate with people with various types of disabilities.
- How to interact with people with disabilities who use an assistive device or require the assistance of a service animal or a support person.
- How to use the wheelchair and service elevator, which are available on-site, or how they may otherwise help with providing goods or services to people with disabilities.
- The procedures for getting the person with the disability up to the second floor (use of the ramp at the 2 Pardee entrance and down the hallway and up the elevator).
- What to do if a person with a disability is having difficulty accessing the Strategic Coach premises.
Team members will also be trained when changes are made to the accessible customer service plan.
Clients who wish to provide feedback on the way Strategic Coach provides goods and services to people with disabilities can email us directly with comments or suggestions via our website, www.strategiccoach.com. All feedback, including complaints, will be directed to and handled by Serafina Pupillo, Legal Services Director. To ensure our feedback process is accessible, we can provide or arrange for other accessible formats and communication support on request. Clients can expect to hear back within seven business days.
Modifications to this or other policies
Any policy of Strategic Coach that does not respect and promote the dignity and independence of people with disabilities will be modified or removed.
Accessibility Standard For Customer Service
How to communicate with people with different types of disabilities.
There are many types and degrees of disability. Openly communicating with our clients and responding to their needs is the key to excellent customer service for all.
Here are a few tips for interacting with people with various types of disabilities:
People with physical disabilities:
- If you need to have a lengthy conversation with someone who uses an assistive device that has them seated, consider sitting so you can make eye contact at the same level.
- Don’t touch assistive devices without permission.
- If you have permission to move a person’s assistive device, don’t leave them in an awkward, dangerous, or undignified position, such as facing the wall.
People with vision loss:
- Don’t assume the individual can’t see you, as many people who have low vision still have some sight.
- Identify yourself when you approach. Speak directly to the individual and not the intervenor or support person.
- Ask if they would like you to read any printed material out loud to them.
- Give precise and descriptive directions or instructions.
- Offer your elbow to guide them if needed. Never try to grab onto someone’s cane to lead them.
- A helpful way of indicating to a visually impaired person where something is located is to use a clock analogy (e.g., “Your coffee is on the table in front of you at 2 o’clock.”).
People who have hearing loss:
- Make sure you are in a well-lit area where they can see your face and read your lips.
- Attract the client’s attention before speaking.
- If the client is wearing a hearing aid, reduce background noise.
People who are deafblind (some degree of both hearing and vision loss):
- Ask the client how they would like to be communicated with.
- Speak directly to the client and not the intervenor or support person.
People with speech or language impairments:
- Don’t assume that a person with a speech impairment also has another disability.
- Whenever possible, ask questions that can be answered with “yes” or “no.”
- Be patient and do not finish the client’s sentences.
People who have learning disabilities:
- Be patient, as people with disabilities may take a little longer to process information, to understand, and to respond.
- Try to provide information in a way that takes into account the client’s disability.
People who have intellectual/developmental disabilities:
- Don’t make an assumption about what a person can do.
- Use plain language.
- Provide one piece of information at a time.
People who have mental health disabilities:
- Be sure to treat the client with the same respect and consideration you have for everyone else.
- Be confident, calm, and reassuring.
- If a client appears to be in crisis, ask them to tell you the best way to help.
How to interact with a person who has a guide dog or other service animal.
Under the standard, service animals must be allowed on the parts of the premises that are open to the public.
- Remember that a service animal is not a pet. It is a working animal. Avoid touching or addressing the animal.
How to interact with people who use assistive devices, and how to use any equipment that your organization provides to help customers with disabilities (e.g., wheelchair).
An assistive device is a tool, technology, or other mechanism that enables a person with a disability to do everyday tasks and activities, such as moving, communicating, or lifting.
- Don’t touch, handle, or move assistive devices without permission.
- Let the client know about accessible features in the office that are appropriate for their needs.
How to serve a person accompanied by a support person.
A support person can be a personal support worker, a volunteer, a family member, or a friend. A support person might help your client with a variety of things from communicating to helping with mobility, personal care, or medical needs. We must welcome support people to our workplace. They are permitted in any part of our premises that is open to the public.
How to assist people with disabilities who need help accessing the premises.
If you notice that a client is having difficulty accessing our goods or services, a good starting point is to simply ask, “How can I help you?”
Our clients are our best source for information about their needs. A solution can be simple, and they will likely appreciate your attention and consideration.
Accessibility For Ontarians With Disabilities Act & Ontario Human Rights Code
The Ontario Human Rights Code supports the principle of objective based accessibility and provides for equal rights and freedom from discrimination. Team members with disabilities are entitled to the same opportunities and benefits as team members without disabilities.
Team members are protected from discrimination because of any current, past, or perceived disabilities. In some cases, team members with disabilities may need special arrangements or accommodations so they can do their job. Clients also have the same rights to equal treatment and access to facilities and services.
Persons with disabilities face all kinds of barriers every day. These can be physical, attitudinal, or systemic. Strategic Coach will be proactive and make all reasonable efforts to remove barriers voluntarily.
It is important for team members to know that if they have a disability or acquire one at some point in their career, Strategic Coach will make all reasonable accommodations to support them. If you require such accommodations, please talk to your team leader or Karen Skylerk.