1. PURPOSE AND GOAL
The stated purpose of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (AODA) is: to benefit all Ontarians by a) developing, implementing and enforcing accessibility standards in order to achieve accessibility for Ontarians with disabilities with respect to goods, services, facilities, accommodation, employment, buildings, structures and premises on or before January 1, 2025.
Unifor is committed to meet the compliance date of January 1, 2012 for the Government of Ontario's Accessibility Standard for Customer Service. Ontario Regulation 429/07 - Accessibility Standards for Customer Service - applies to every designated public sector organization and to every person or organization that provides goods or services to members of the public or other third parties and that has at least one employee in Ontario.
The AODA and Ontario Regulation 429/07 contain and refer to various definitions that are relevant to this policy, some of which are set out below.
a) Barrier: anything that prevents a person with a disability from fully participating in all aspects of society because of his or her disability, including a physical barrier, an architectural barrier, an information or communications barrier, an attitudinal barrier, a technological barrier, a policy or a practice (“obstacle”).
- 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 a 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 (“handicap”).
c) Guide Dog: a dog trained as a guide for a blind person and having the qualifications prescribed by the regulations (Blind Persons’ Rights Act 1990 s1 (1)).
d) Service Animal: Section 4(9) of the Accessibility Standards on Customer Service indicates that an animal acting as a service animal for a person with a disability, (a) if it is readily apparent that the animal is used by the person for reasons relating to his or her disability; or (b) if the person provides a letter from a physician or nurse confirming that the person requires the animal for reasons relating to the disability.
e) Support Person: 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 to goods or services.
Unifor is committed to excellence in serving all members and third parties including people with disabilities. Unifor strives to ensure that its policies, procedures, and practices provide that its goods and services are provided in a way that respects the dignity and independence of people with disabilities. We are also committed to giving people 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 members/customers.
These policies and procedures apply to all goods and services that are delivered by the Unifor, by any means including in person, by telephone, electronically, by mail, visually, orally or by written means.
This policy applies to all Unifor national representatives, support staff, coordinators, administrative staff, elected officials, discussion leaders, volunteers and third parties who deal with the public on behalf of the Unifor.
This also applies to persons involved in developing Unifor policies, procedures, and practices pertaining to the provision of goods and services to the public or other third parties, whether they do so as employees, volunteers, agents or otherwise.
Training is required for all Unifor national representatives, support staff, coordinators, administrative staff, elected officials, discussion leaders, volunteers and third parties that interact with the public on behalf of the Union, or who are involved in developing policies, practices and procedures.
The training will include the core principles of customer service which include: dignity, equity, inclusion, independence, integration, sensitivity and equality. The required training must include:
a) the purpose of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 and the requirements of the customer service standard;
b) information on how to communicate and interact with people with various types of disabilities;
c) how to interact with people who have an assistive device or require the assistance of a service animal or support person;
d) how to learn about the use of various assistive devices;
e) what to do if a person has difficulty accessing Unifor’s goods and services; and,
f) Unifor’s policies, practices and procedures relating to the customer service standard.
Staff will also be trained on an ongoing basis when changes are made to these policies, practices and procedures.
A training program of varying modules will be implemented which will ensure compliance and meet the needs of various departments and employee groups.
Records will be kept indicating the date and training provided, and the number of individuals to whom it was provided.
Third party organizations providing goods or services on behalf of Unifor shall provide relevant training, learning opportunities or direction to employees and volunteers regarding their roles and responsibilities under the AODA.
a) Communications: Unifor supports an accessible Ontario, promoting the independence and integration of those with disabilities. When communicating with a person with a disability, individuals working on behalf of Unifor do so in a manner that takes into account the person’s disability and makes reasonable efforts to have the person with a disability understand both the content and intent of its communications.
We are committed to providing fully accessible telephone service to our members/customers. Unifor provides training to all people to whom this policy applies on how to communicate with members and third parties over the telephone in clear and plain language and to speak clearly and slowly.
b) Use of Assistive Devices: Unifor is committed to serving persons with disabilities who use assistive devices to obtain, to use, or to benefit from our goods and services. Unifor will provide training to all people to whom this policy applies on or about the assistive devices that persons with disabilities may use to access Unifor goods and services.
c) Use of Service Animals: Unifor is committed to welcoming persons with disabilities and their service animals at our various sites that are open to the public and other third parties, and welcomes the person to keep the service animal with them. Unifor provides training to all people to whom this policy applies on how to interact with persons with disabilities whom a service animal accompanies. If the law excludes the service animal from Unifor sites, Unifor will facilitate by other means the manner by which persons with disabilities can access Unifor goods and services.
d) Use of Support Persons: Unifor is committed to welcoming people with disabilities accompanied by a support person. On occasion persons with disabilities require the assistance of a support person in order to help with communication, mobility, personal care or medical needs or with access to goods and services. If necessary, for protecting the health and safety of the person with the disability or others on the site, Unifor may require a support person to accompany a person with a disability. 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 our premises.
e) Notice of Temporary Disruptions in Services and Facilities: If there is a temporary disruption in Unifor site facilities or services which are utilized by persons with disabilities, completely or in part, Unifor will give members and third parties notice of the disruption. The notice shall be posted appropriately at the facility and on the Unifor web site when appropriate. When the disruption is planned, advanced notice will be provided. This notice will include information about the reason for the disruption, its anticipated duration, and a description of alternative facilities or services, if available.
f) Emergency Situations: Staff will be familiar with emergency procedures and how to assist members and third parties or staff who may require help during an emergency.
The ultimate goal of Unifor is to meet and surpass expectations while serving members and third parties with disabilities. An accessible, simple to use system of providing feedback and complaints will be made available through a range of service channels.
Comments on our services regarding how well those expectations are being met are welcome and appreciated. A Customer Feedback Form is available:
Online - click here;
By e-mail - @email
By mail - Karen Davis, Director Office Administration, 205 Placer Court, Toronto, ON M2H 3H9
By fax - 416-495-6554
By phone - Karen Davis, Director Office Administration, 416-497-4110 x 3775
In person by arranging an appointment
Members and third parties can expect to hear back within ten business days.
Unifor makes reasonable efforts to inform persons to whom it provides goods and services that the documents required under Ontario Regulation 429/07 are available upon request. Unifor gives the person the documents, or the information contained in the documents, in a format that takes into account the person’s disability.
Notices in public areas will notify members and third parties that their feedback is welcomed and valued for the continual improvement of services so as to avoid inadvertently excluding people with disabilities from activities or services.
Staff will make note of feedback given in person, verbally or in writing, online, by telephone, or any other means.
All feedback will be directed to the Unifor National Secretary-Treasurer. The Director of Office Administration will consult with customer service staff regarding feedback and complaints and on improvements to customer service.
7. MODIFICATIONS TO THIS OR OTHER POLICIES
Unifor is committed to developing policies and procedures that respect and promote the dignity and independence of persons with disabilities.
8. QUESTIONS ABOUT THIS POLICY
This policy exists to achieve service excellence to members and third parties with disabilities. Questions about this policy can be directed to Karen Davis, Director Office Administration at Unifor at @email or by calling 416-497-4110 extension 3775.
This policy is available in alternate formats upon request.
Ontario Human Rights Code: http://www.e-laws.gov.on.ca/html/statutes/english/elaws_statutes_90h19_e.htm
Ontario Regulation 429/07 - Accessibility Standards for Customer Service:
Ministry of Community and Social Services: Access Ontario www.accesson.ca/compliance
Ministry of Community and Social Services: Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities