Customer Service Policy

Customer Service Policy

Providing Goods and Services to People with Disabilities

Purpose

The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (AODA) is provincial legislation that ensures accessibility for persons with disabilities with respect to goods, services, facilities, accommodation, employment, buildings, structures and premises.

The Accessibility Standards for Customer Service contained within the AODA establishes accessibility standards specific to customer service for organizations that provide goods and services to members of the public or other third parties.

 

Policy Statement

Cornerstone and its employees will strive at all times to provide Cornerstone's goods and services in a manner that is based upon the principles of dignity, independence, integration and equal opportunity. Whenever possible, persons with disabilities will benefit from the same goods and services, in the same place and in a similar way as other customers.

Definitions

(1) Disability (as defined by the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005):
• 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 coordination, blindness or visual impediment, deafness or hearing impediment, muteness or speech impediment, or physical reliance on a guide dog or other animal or a wheelchair or other remedial appliance or device
• A condition of mental impairment or a developmental disability
• A learning disability, or a dysfunction in one or more of the processes involved in understanding or using symbols or spoken language
• A mental disorder
• An injury or disability for which benefits were claimed or received under the insurance plan established under the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act, 1997

(2) Dignity - Service is provided in a way that allows a person with a disability to maintain self respect and the respect of other people. People with disabilities should never be treated as afterthoughts or forced to accept lesser service, quality or convenience.

(3) Independence - Service is provided in a way that allows a person with a disability to do things on their own without unnecessary help or interference from others.

(4) Integration - Service is provided in a way that allows a person with a disability to benefit from the same service, in the same place, and in the same or similar way as other customers, unless an alternate measure is necessary to enable the person to access goods and services.

(5) Equal Opportunity - Service is provided in a way that allows a person with a disability to have an opportunity, equal to that given to others, to access goods or services.

(6) Assistive Device - 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 personal oxygen tank.

(7) Support Person (as reflected in Ontario Regulation 429/07) - A support person, in relation to a person with a disability is, another person who accompanies him or her in order to help with communication, mobility, personal care, medical needs or access to goods and services.

(8) 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 animal is required for reasons relating to the disability.
Communicating with Persons with Disabilities
• Cornerstone is committed to communicating with persons with disabilities in ways that take into consideration their disability. To ensure this:
• Cornerstone staff will be trained in how to interact and communicate with customers with disabilities guided by the principles of dignity, independence, integration and equal opportunity.
• Customers with disabilities will be offered alternative means of communication that will meet their needs as promptly as possible.
Use of Assistive Devices

Persons with disabilities will be permitted to obtain, use or benefit from Cornerstone's goods or services through the use of their own assistive devices.
It should be noted that it is the responsibility of the person with the disability to ensure that his or her assistive device is operated in a safe and controlled manner at all times.

 

Use of Support Persons

Cornerstone will welcome people with disabilities who are accompanied by a support person on the parts of our premises that are open to the public and other third parties. At no time will a person with a disability who is accompanied by a support person be prevented from having access to his or her support person while on Cornerstone's premises.

 

Use of Service Animals

Cornerstone will welcome people with disabilities who are accompanied by a service animal on the parts of our premises that are open to the public and other third parties. At no time will a person with a disability who is accompanied by a service animal be prevented from having access to his or her service animal while on Cornerstone's premises.

Notice of a Temporary Disruption of Service

In the event that a planned temporary service disruption will occur that will limit a person with a disability from gaining access to Cornerstone's facilities, goods or services, Cornerstone will make the disruption known in the following ways:
• A notice of the service disruption will be posted in the area where the service disruption is located.
• A message will be posted on the Cornerstone website
• Notices will include information about the reason for the disruption and its anticipated duration.

If an unexpected service disruption occurs, Cornerstone will provide any appropriate assistive measures available to deliver its goods and service to persons with disabilities as required.

 

Employee Training

Cornerstone will provide customer service training to all Employees who deal with the public or other third parties and to anyone involved in the development and approvals of customer service policies, practices and procedures.

Training will be provided by the Human Resources department and will be available in multiple formats including face to face classroom training and a Power Point module. Other formats will be made available as requested.

The training will include:
• The purpose of The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 and the requirements of its Customer 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 support person.
• What to do if a person with a disability is having difficulty accessing goods and services from Cornerstone.
• Cornerstone's policies, practices and procedures relating to the Customer Service Standard.

 

Customer Feedback Process

Cornerstone's goal is to meet the needs of our customers, including the unique requirements of customers with disabilities. Comments on our services regarding how well those expectations are being met are welcomed and appreciated.
Feedback regarding the way Cornerstone provides goods and services to people with disabilities can be communicated to the Human Resources Department using any of the following methods:

Contact: Jim Grant Vice President, Human Resources
Telephone: (416) 932-9555 x 2122
Email:  jim@cstonecompanies.com
In Person:  Human Resources Department 20 Eglinton Avenue West, 4th Floor Toronto, ON M4R 1K8

In order to ensure that customer feedback is managed in a fair and consistent manner, we will take the following steps when feedback is received:
• The author of the feedback will be provided with a response in the same format in which the feedback was received within 5 business days.
• The response from Cornerstone will include information on what actions were or will be taken.
• All feedback received will be tracked and documented along with the actions taken by Cornerstone.
• Whenever possible, the customer feedback provided will be used to improve customer service and accessibility at Cornerstone.

 

Availability of Documents

This policy and any other documents deemed as relevant to the Customer Service Standard will be made available upon making a request to the Cornerstone Human Resources Department. These documents will be provided in a format that takes into account a customer's disability upon request.