Customer Service Accessibility Policy

Purpose and Policy Statement

The goal of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (AODA) is to create a more accessible Ontario by identifying, and to the fullest extent possible, preventing and eliminating barriers experienced by people with disabilities. A Standard for customer service has been established under the Act to ensure goods and services are, where possible, equally accessible to every member of the public.

Qualicom is committed to providing a barrier-free environment for our customers. The objective of this Policy is to ensure that we meet the requirements of the Standard and promote its underlying core principles, as described below.

Application

The Policy applies to all people who, on behalf of Qualicom, deal with members of the public or other third parties. This includes our employees, agents, and contractors.

Definitions

Accessibility Report

The report required to be filed pursuant to section 14 of the Act.

Assistive Device

Any device used to assist a person in performing a particular task or tasks or to aid that person in activities of daily living.

Disability

Has the same definition as is provided under the Act and Human Rights Code, R.S.O. 1990, c. H.19.

Service Animal

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.
  • The person provides a letter from a physician or nurse confirming that the person requires the animal for reasons relating to the disability.
Support Person

A person who accompanies a person with a disability to assist with communication, mobility, personal care or medical needs or with access to goods or services.

"We", "Our" and "Staff"

Qualicom and its employees, agents and contractors.

Core Principles of the Policy

We endeavor to ensure that the Policy and related practices and procedures are consistent with the following core principles:

  • Dignity – Persons with a disability must be treated as valued customers as deserving of service as any other customer.
  • Equality of Opportunity – Persons with a disability should be given an opportunity equal to that given to others to obtain, use and benefit from our goods and services.
  • Integration – Wherever possible, persons with a disability should benefit from our goods and services in the same place and in the same or similar manner as any other customer. In circumstances where integration does not serve the needs of the person with a disability, goods and services will, to the fullest extent possible, be provided in another way that takes into account the person's individual needs.
  • Independence – Goods and services must be provided in a way that respects the independence of persons with a disability. To this end, we will always be willing to assist a person with a disability but will not do so without the express permission of the person.

Implementation

Qualicom takes the responsibility for:

  • Developing and implementing policies, practices and procedures to ensure the accessible provision of goods and services to persons with a disability.
  • Developing and implementing an accessibility training program as required under the Act.
  • Developing a feedback procedure as required under the Act.
  • Filing Accessibility Reports as required under section 14 of the Act.

Providing Goods and Services to People with Disabilities

Communication

Qualicom will communicate with people with disabilities in ways that take into account their disability. Approaches for communication are set out in our accessibility training program.

Mediums of accessible communication we currently employ include:

  • Online (website) for written communication.
  • Phone (personal assistance or self-service) for audio communication.
  • In person.

Assistive Devices

Persons with a disability are permitted, where possible, to use their own Assistive Device when on our premises for the purposes of obtaining, using or benefiting from our goods and services.

If there is a physical, technological or other type of barrier that prevents the use of an Assistive Device on our premises we will first endeavour to remove that barrier. If we are not able to remove the barrier we will ask the person how he/she can be accommodated and what alternative methods of service would be more accessible to him/her. We will make best efforts to provide an alternative means of assistance to the person with a disability.

Staff will receive training on various Assistive Devices that may be used by persons with a disability while accessing our goods and services.

Service Animals

Persons with a disability may enter Qualicom premises accompanied by a Service Animal, and keep the Service Animal with them, if the public has access to such premises and the Service Animal is not otherwise excluded by law.

Support Persons

A person with a disability may enter Qualicom premises with a Support Person and have access to the Support Person while on the premises.

Qualicom may require a person with a disability to be accompanied by a Support Person where it is necessary to protect the health or safety of the person with a disability or the health or safety of others on the premises.

Staff will receive training on how to interact with persons with a disability who are accompanied by a Support Person.

Notice of Temporary Disruptions

Qualicom will notify customers if there is a planned or unexpected disruption of a facility or service persons with a disability use to access our goods and services. The notice will be posted at the entrance of the applicable premises and on the home page of the Qualicom website.

The notice will include the following information:

  • That a facility or service is unavailable.
  • The anticipated duration of the disruption.
  • The reason for the disruption.
  • Alternative facilities or services, if available.

Training and Records

Qualicom will provide training, and ongoing training as required under the Act, to employees who deal with the public or other third parties on Qualicom behalf.

Content of Training

Training will include:

  • A review of the purpose of the Act and requirements of the Standard.
  • A review of the Policy.
  • How to interact and communicate with persons with various types of disabilities.
  • How to interact with persons with a disability who use an Assistive Device or require the assistance of a Service Animal or Support Person.
  • How to use equipment or devices made available on our premises to assist persons with a disability to obtain, use or benefit from our goods and services.
  • What to do if a person with a disability is having difficulty accessing our premises and/or services.

Timing of Training

Training will be provided to all persons to whom this Policy applies as soon as practicable after he or she is assigned the applicable duties.

Documenting Training

Records of the training provided, including the training protocol, the dates on which the training was provided and the number of participants will be maintained in accordance with the requirements of the Act.

Feedback Procedure

Receiving Feedback

Qualicom welcomes and appreciates feedback regarding this Policy and its implementation. Feedback can be provided in the following ways:

  • In person at Qualicom head office.
  • By telephone at 416-492-3833.
  • In writing to 401-3389 Steeles Ave. E., Toronto, ON, M2H 3S8.
  • By fax at 416-492-8603
  • By email

Responding to Feedback

Qualicom will acknowledge and respond to any feedback, comments, or complaints in writing or any other means specified by a customer within 10 business days.

All feedback, comments, or complaints will be directed to Qualicom management committee for review.

Documentation To Be Made Available

This Policy will be posted at the front desk of all Qualicom premises.

Format of Documents

Qualicom will provide documents, or the information contained in documents, required to be provided under the Standard, to any person with a disability in a format that takes the person's disability into account.

Integrated Accessibility Policy and Multi Year Plan

This 2014-2021 accessibility plan outlines the policies and actions that Qualicom Innovations Inc. will put in place to improve opportunities for people with disabilities.

Statement of Commitment

Qualicom Innovations Inc. is committed to treating all people in a way that allows them to maintain their dignity and independence. We believe in integration and equal opportunity. We are committed to meeting the needs of people with disabilities in a timely manner, and will do so by preventing and removing barriers to accessibility and meeting accessibility requirements under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act.

Customer Service Standard

Status: Complete/Ongoing

Qualicom has developed policies to comply with Regulation 429/07 of the AODA – Accessibility Standards for Customer Service. Please refer to Accessibility Standards for Customer Service policy for details. We will review this policy on an annual basis to ensure Qualicom continuously meets accessibility requirements.

Employment Standard

Accessible Emergency Information

Status: Complete/Ongoing

Qualicom is committed to providing the customers and clients with publicly available emergency information in an accessible way upon request. We will also provide employees with disabilities with individualized emergency response information when necessary.

Qualicom will review the emergency information annually or as required.

Recruitment

Status: Complete/Ongoing

Qualicom is committed to fair and accessible employment practices. We will ensure that we will be taking the following steps to notify the public and staff that, when requested, Qualicom will accommodate people with disabilities during the recruitment and assessment processes and when people are hired.

  • Let job applicants know that we will accommodate disabilities during the selection process.
  • If a job applicant requests accommodation, consult with them and make adjustment that best suit their needs.
  • Notify successful applicants of our policies for accommodating employees with disabilities.

Information for Employees

Status: Complete/Ongoing

Qualicom will make sure that employees know about our policies for supporting employees with disabilities by:

  • Notifying employees of availability of policies when this requirement comes into effect for Qualicom.
  • Informing employees of policies when they are hired.
  • Informing employees of changes to the policies.

Processes to Accommodate Employees

Status: Complete/Ongoing

Qualicom will annually review our processes for developing individual accommodation plans and return to work policies for employees that have been absent due to a disability.

We will take steps to ensure the accessibility needs of employees with disabilities are taken into account if Qualicom is using performance management, career development and redeployment processes.

Other

Qualicom will also take steps in preventing and removing any other accessibility barriers as required or requested.

Information and Communication Standard

Emergency Information

Status: Completed

Qualicom will provide emergency and public safety information in accessible format upon request. We will work with the person requesting the information to figure out how to meet their needs.

Accessible Websites and Web Content

Status: Completed/Ongoing (to be completed by January 1, 2021)

Qualicom is committed to meeting the communication needs of people with disabilities.

All our public websites and content on those sites currently conform to WCAG 2.0, Level A.

By January 1, 2021 Qualicom will make all websites and content conform to WCAG 2.0, Level AA.

Feedback

Status: Completed

Qualicom has put into place an accessible feedback process to receive and respond to feedback from people with disabilities and customers.

Feedback Procedure

A. Receiving Feedback

Qualicom welcomes and appreciates feedback regarding this Policy and its implementation. Feedback can be provided in the following ways:

  • In person at Qualicom head office
  • By telephone at 416-492-3833
  • In writing to 401-3389 Steeles Ave. E., Toronto, ON, M2H 3S8
  • By fax at 416-492-8603
  • By email
B. Responding to Feedback

Qualicom will acknowledge and respond to any feedback, comments, or complaints in writing or any other means specified by a customer within 10 business days.

All feedback, comments, or complaints will be directed to Qualicom management committee for review.

Accessible Formats and Communication Supports

Status: Ongoing

Qualicom will make sure that all publicly available information is made accessible upon request by:

  • Letting the public know that we will make information accessible upon request.
  • Consulting with people who request accessible information to understand how to meet their needs as soon as possible.

General Requirements

Training

Status: Ongoing

Qualicom provides training to existing employees, volunteers and other staff members on Ontario’s accessibility laws and on the Human Rights Code as it relates to people with disabilities. Training is provided in a way that best suits the duties of employees, volunteers and other staff member.

All new employees will receive applicable training during Orientation session.

Contact Information

For more information, questions, or concerns regarding accessibility at Qualicom or to request communication in an accessible format, please contact us

  • In person at Qualicom head office
  • By telephone at 416-492-3833
  • In writing to 401-3389 Steeles Ave. E., Toronto, ON, M2H 3S8
  • By fax at 416-492-8603
  • By email