Accessible customer service

This Accessibility Standards for Customer Service policy governs CaRMS’ provision of goods and services to members of the public or other third parties in accordance with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (AODA) and the Accessibility Standards for Customer Service, which aims to establish accessibility standards for people with disabilities. This policy details CaRMS’ commitment to ensuring that we provide accessible customer service to people with various kinds of disabilities and respects the core principles of independence, dignity, integration and equal opportunity.

Policy

1.0 Core principles

CaRMS will strive to ensure that the provision of goods and services are consistent with the principles of dignity, independence, integration, and equal opportunity by:

a. Dignity – Providing goods and services in a manner that respects the dignity and independence of persons with disabilities;

b. Independence – Accommodating a person’s disability by respecting their right to do for themselves and to choose the way they wish to receive goods and services.

c. Integration – Providing goods and services so that persons with disabilities are able to fully benefit from the same services, in the same location, and in the same or similar way as persons without disabilities, unless an alternative measure is necessary or requested; and

d. Equal opportunity – Giving people with disabilities the same opportunity equal to that of persons without disabilities to obtain, use or benefit from CaRMS’ goods and services.

2.0 Use of assistive devices

Personal assistive devices are permitted and unrestricted on CaRMS premises, except if they are a hazard to the health and safety of the person with the disability and/or others. CaRMS will train, on an ongoing basis, current and future employees in the use of various assistive devices and related policies. The provision, use and safety of personal assistive devices are the responsibility of the person with the disability.

3.0 Communication

When communicating with a person with a disability, CaRMS will do so in a manner that takes into account the person’s disability. CaRMS will accommodate communication requests for accommodations, such as real time interpreters, website text readers, etc.

4.0 Use of service animals and support persons

4.1 Service animals

Persons with disabilities who are accompanied by guide dogs or other service animals will be permitted to enter CaRMS’ premises that are open to the public with the animal and will be allowed to keep the animal with them, unless the animal is otherwise excluded by law. If a service animal is excluded by law, CaRMS will ensure that other means are available within reasonable time and location to provide persons with a disability access to CaRMS services.

If it is not readily apparent that the animal is a service animal, CaRMS may ask the person with a disability for verification confirming the animal’s duty.

It is the responsibility of the person with the disability to ensure the safety of the service animal and that the service animal is kept in control at all times.

4.2 Support persons

CaRMS welcomes support persons who are accompanying persons with disabilities, the support person should be hired or chosen by the person with the disability to accompany them in order to assist in accessing goods or services and/or for the purposes of providing support with mobility, personal assistance, and/or communication.

CaRMS may require a person with a disability to be accompanied by a support person while on the CaRMS’ premises in situations where it is deemed necessary to support the health and safety of the person with the disability and/or others.

When support persons are required for CaRMS sponsored meetings and/or events, the person with a disability will be required to provide his or her own support person. If there are fees associated with the meeting and/or event, the support person will not be charged the regular fee. Advance notice of said fees will be provided if such circumstances exist.

5.0 Notice of temporary disruptions

CaRMS will make reasonable efforts to provide notice to persons with disabilities in the event of a planned or unexpected disruption of the facilities or services usually provided to people with disabilities. If the disruption is anticipated, CaRMS will provide a reasonable amount of advance notice of the disruption. If the disruption is unexpected, notice will be provided as soon as possible.

The notice will include information about the reason for the disruption, its anticipated duration, and a description of alternative facilities or services, if available.

The notice will be posted on CaRMS website, or another method that is reasonable given the circumstances.

6.0 Training

CaRMS will provide training to all employees, contractors and third parties who deal with the public on behalf of CaRMS, and all those who are involved in the development of CaRMS’ policies, practices and procedures concerning the provision of goods and services to the public or other third parties.

Training will include the following:

a. A review of purposes of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 and the requirements of the customer service standard;

b. Instructions on how to interact and communicate with people with various types of disabilities;

c. Instructions on how to interact with people with disabilities who use an assistive device or require the assistance of a service animal or a support person;

d. Information about the equipment or devices available on CaRMS’ premises that may help with the provision of goods and services to persons with disabilities;

e. What to do if a person with a disability is having problems accessing CaRMS’ goods and services; and

f. A review of CaRMS’ policies, practices and procedures relating to the provision of goods and services to persons with disabilities.

Current employees will be trained before January 1, 2012 and new employees or those who commence new duties, will be trained as soon as possible. Additionally, applicable employees will receive training when there are changes to policies, practices or procedures that relate to the provision of goods and services to persons with disabilities.

The human resources department will keep records of training; outlining who has been trained, what type of training has been provided and the date the training took place.

7.0 Feedback process

CaRMS is committed to providing high quality goods and services to all members of the public that we serve, including customers with disabilities. Comments on how well CaRMS achieves this goal are welcomed and appreciated, as feedback may identify areas that require change and will assist in continuous service improvement.

Feedback can be made by telephone, in person, in writing, or via email. CaRMS will make best efforts to provide a response in the same format in which the feedback was received.

Please direct feedback to the Human Resources Manager, at:

Mail:
Canadian Resident Matching Service (CaRMS)
171 Nepean Street, Suite 300
Ottawa, Ontario
K2P 0B4

Phone: 1.877.227.6742

Email: hr@carms.ca

Please note that an appointment is required for in-person service.

Privacy will be respected, in accordance with CaRMS’ privacy policy and all feedback will be reviewed. A response to feedback will be provided within 30 business days. Feedback and/or responses will be delivered in a format that is accessible to the complainant.

8.0 Notice of availability of documents

All documents required by the Accessibility Standards for Customer Service, including CaRMS’ policies, practices and procedures governing accessible customer service; documents on the use of service animals and support persons; notices of temporary disruptions; and documents regarding CaRMS’ feedback process, are available upon request. CaRMS’ Accessible Customer Service Policy governing the provision of goods and services for people with disabilities will be posted on CaRMS’ website.

9.0 Format of documents

If CaRMS is required to provide a copy of any document available under the Accessibility Standards for Customer Service to a person with a disability, CaRMS will provide the document, or the information contained within the document, in a format that takes into account the person’s disability. Alternatively, CaRMS and the person with the disability may agree on an alternate format for the document or information.

If an alternate format is required, please contact the Human Resources Manager.

Definitions

Accessible: Means obtainable, usable, readable, audible, visible, understandable, clear, able to be entered and exited, flexible, etc. To be accessible to all people, a variety of accessibility plans are necessary. Ensuring inclusive practices will ensure that all goods and services can be accessed by a larger audience.

Alternative formats: Refers to alternate ways to provide goods and services. This may be through forms of communication such as speech or writing, or methods such as in person or over the phone. Other examples are large print, electronic text, Braille, sign language, communication devices, media caption, etc.

Assistive device: Any piece of equipment a person with a disability uses to help him or her with daily living. Personal assistive devices include, but are not limited to: walkers, wheelchairs, hearing aids, canes or speech amplification devices.

Disability: (a) Any degree of physical disability, infirmity, malformation, or disfigurement that is caused by bodily injury, birth defect or illness; (b) a condition of mental impairment or a developmental disability; (c) a learning disability, or a dysfunction in one or more of the processes involved in understanding or using symbols or spoken language; (d) a mental disorder; or (e) an injury or disability for which benefits were claimed or received under the insurance plan established under the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act, 1997.

Guide dog: A dog trained as a guide for a blind person and having the qualifications prescribed by the regulations under the Blind Persons’ Rights Act.

Service animal: Any animal used by a person with a disability where it is readily apparent that the animal is used by the person for reasons relating to his or her disability; or where the person provides a letter from a physician confirming that the person requires the animal for reasons relating to his or her disability.

Support person: A person who accompanies a person with a disability in order to help him or her with daily tasks, such as communication, mobility, personal care or medical needs or with access to goods and services. The support person may be a paid support worker, a volunteer, a friend or family member; the support person does not need to have special training or qualifications.

This policy may be made available in alternative formats upon request.