Accessible Customer Service Policy
Policy No. 04/09
Date Approved: May 28, 2003
Date Amended: January 25, 2017
Reporting Requirement: Annual Reporting
Legislative Authority: O. Reg. 191/11 Integrated Accessibility Standards, Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005, Police Services Act, R.S.O. 1990, and c.P.15, as amended. s. 31(1)
Related to: Board's Accessibility Policy No. 01/13
The Regional Municipality of York Police Services Board (“the Board”) is committed to providing exceptional customer service to all members of the public. The Board recognizes that public confidence, trust and satisfaction in the Police Services Board and in York Regional Police (“YRP”) are enhanced when citizens receive the highest quality customer service.
It is the Board’s policy to ensure that the same level of customer service is also provided to people with disabilities, when accessing all Board and YRP services. It is the policy of the Board to ensure that people with disabilities benefit fully from the same services, in the same place and in the same or similar manner as other customers. Board policies, procedures and practices are consistent with the core principles of independence, dignity, integration and equality of opportunity for people with disabilities.
1.1 This policy applies to the Board, the Chief of Police and YRP. The Chief of Police shall set policies and procedures for YRP in accordance with this Policy and the provisions set out in the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005.
2.1 To ensure that persons with disabilities have access to all services provided by the Board and YRP and that all services are provided to persons with disabilities in the same manner as everyone else.
2.2 The Board and YRP will ensure that all its public meetings, functions, workshops and community events are held in locations that are accessible for people with disabilities.
This policy meets the compliance requirements of Part IV.2 Customer Service Standard of Ontario Regulation 191/11 Integrated Accessibility Standards.
For the purposes of this policy, the degree of ease that goods, services and facilities can be used by a person with a disability (see Disability).
The overarching policy for the requirements of the accessibility standards developed under the AODA.
May include, but are not limited to, large print recorded audio and electronic formats, braille and other formats usable by people with disabilities.
A third party individual or organization who deals directly with members of the public to provide a program, service or facility o behalf of the Board.
Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005.
Technical aids, communication devices, or medical aids modified or customized that are used to increase, maintain or improve how a person with a disability can function. Assistive Devices may include but are not limited to: mobility aids, digital or manual communication tools or assistive medical devices and aids. Assistive Devices may accompany the customer or already be on the premises and are used to assist persons with disabilities in carrying out activities or in accessing the services provided by the Board.
The Regional Municipality of York Police Services Board, including its members, employees, agents, representatives and persons working on the Board’s behalf.
May include but is not limited to captioning augmentative sound devices, plain language, sign language and other supports that facilitate effective communications.
Customer service refers to the service provided to citizens who contact the Board or the YRP seeking information or assistance, to access services or to initiate a complaint.
Customer Service Standards:
The standards established under Part IV.2 Customer Service Standard of Ontario Regulation 191/11 Integrated Accessibility Standards under the AODA, as amended.
Dignity means service is provided in a way that allows the person with a disability to maintain self-respect and is provided respect from other people.
As defined in the Ontario Human Rights Code states:
a) 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,
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.
Equal opportunity means service is provided to a person with a disability in such a way that they can access goods and services equal to that given to others.
Independence means when a person with a disability is able to do things on their own without unnecessary help or interference from others with the exception of a support person.
Integration means service is provided in a way that allows the person with a disability to benefit from the same services, in the same place, and in the same or similar manner as other customers, unless an alternate measure is necessary to enable a person with a disability to access goods or services.
The policies, practices and procedures of a business which sets out how goods and services are offered or delivered on a day- to- day basis.
An animal is a “service animal” for a person with a disability if it is obvious that the animal is used by the person for reasons relating to help with his or her disability; or if the person provides documentation from a regulated health professional which confirms the necessity of the service animal for reasons relating to an individual’s disability.
A “support person” means another person that goes with a person with a disability to help with communication, mobility, personal care or medical needs or to get goods or services.
A “temporary disruption” means a short term planned or unplanned disruption to facilities or services that people with disabilities usually use to obtain goods and services.
Potential temporary disruptions may include, but are not limited to meetings moved or cancelled and failure of communications or information technology equipment or related to fire, flood, road closures, mechanical failures, elevator out of service, courts moved or cancelled.
The York Regional Police including its members, employees, agents, representatives, volunteers and persons working on YRP’s behalf.
4. Customer Service Guidelines
The Board and YRP with the direction the Chief of Police shall comply with the following requirements:
4.1 All public inquiries made by telephone, email, mail, fax, in-person or in any other manner shall be dealt with in a timely, courteous, competent and fair manner.
4.2 The Chief of Police shall establish customer service standards for the organization and shall provide an annual report to the Board on compliance with the standards.
4.3 All individuals working on behalf of the Board and YRP shall receive training in customer service.
4.4 The Chief shall monitor community satisfaction on customer service and report the results annually to the Board.
5. Use of Assistive Devices
5.1 People with disabilities may use their own Assistive Devices or those offered by the Board when attending public Board meetings, functions, workshops and community events or when visiting the Board office for meetings or appointments or when accessing other Board services. A list of Assistive Devices made available by the Board is posted on the Board’s website.
5.2 Where the person’s Assistive Device is not allowed by law, Board staff will provide a reason and look for other ways for the person to obtain the goods or services. If a person with a disability uses an Assistive Device provided by the Board, the Board staff will be trained on how to use the Assistive Device in order to better serve the customer.
5.3 Upon request, the Board will obtain and pay for sign language interpreter services to facilitate the participation of people with disabilities at public meetings, functions, workshops and community events or when visiting the Board office for meetings or appointments or when accessing other Board services.
5.4 The Chief of Police shall establish Policies on allowing individuals to use their personal Assistive Devices to access services and/or Assistive Devices provided by YRP.
6. Service Animals and Support Persons
6.1 People with disabilities may be accompanied by their service animal while receiving services from the Board or YRP or when attending meetings, functions, workshops and community events offered by the Board and/or YRP.
6.2 Where a service animal is not allowed by law, other arrangements must be explored in order to provide service to a person with a disability. Where a service animal may affect the health and safety of others, staff should discuss the situation with all parties to make every effort to meet the needs of both people.
6.3 For health or safety reason, the Board or YRP may determine that a person with a disability may need to be accompanied by a support person to protect the health and safety of the person with a disability and/or the health and safety of others on the premises. Before making a decision, the Board or YRP must:
- consult with the person with a disability to understand their needs
- consider health or safety reasons based on available evidence
- determine if there is no other reasonable way to protect the health or safety of the person or others on the premises.
If there is an admission or participation fee in such a situation the fee must be waived.
7. Notice of Temporary Disruptions
7.1 When there is a temporary disruption to facilities or services used by people with disabilities, notice of disruption must be given as soon as possible. This may include posting the information in obvious places on the premises and on the website and/or by voicemail, email or text messaging or on social media, if practicable. The notice will include the reason for the disruption, the duration of the disruption and details about other facilities or services if they are available.
7.2 Consideration must be given to which people with disabilities will be most affected by the disruption and ensure that the notice is communicated in a way that matches their needs.
8. Accessible Customer Service Training
8.1 The Board and YRP members, volunteers and agents working for them will be trained on accessible customer service and how to interact with people with different disabilities as soon as possible. Training will include a review of the purpose of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 and the requirements of the Accessible Customer Service Standard:
- How to communicate with persons with different disabilities.
- How to interact with persons with disabilities who use an assistive device or who need the help of a service animal or a support person.
- How to use equipment or assistive devices that are available on the premises that relate to the job they do.
- What to do if a person with a disability is having a difficult time accessing the Board’s goods and services.
A record of trained individuals will be maintained by the Board and YRP.
9. Public Feedback Process
9.1 The Board and the Chief of Police will ensure that the feedback process on the provision of accessible customer service is accessible to people with disabilities and must be provided in alternative accessible formats and with communication supports, upon request.
9.2 The Board and the Chief of Police will collect and respond to feedback on how it provides services to people with disabilities. Feedback from the public can be submitted in writing, by telephone, in person, in electronic format or through other methods. Feedback to the Board can be submitted to the Executive Director (firstname.lastname@example.org) or by telephone at 1-877-464-9675.
9.3 The Executive Director shall report to the Board annually on the public feedback process including responses and actions taken.
9.4 The Chief of Police shall report to the Board annually on the public feedback process including the response and actions taken.
10. Notice of Availability of Documents and Document Format
10.1 All of the Board’s policies including the Accessible Customer Service policy, by-laws and public documentation are available on the Board’s website and can be provided in accessible format or with communication support, on request.
10.2 The Chief of Police shall provide notice of the availability of its policy and procedures on accessible customer service. The document can be made available on the YRP website and be provided in accessible format or with communication support upon request.