1. Policy Statement:
In fulfilling PORT CARES mission, PORT CARES strives at all times to provide its goods and services 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 employees and clients.
2. Policy Component:
Port Cares is committed to excellence in serving all employees and clients including people with disabilities and we will carry out our functions and responsibilities in the following areas:
2.0 Information and Communication
• PORT CARES is devoted to treating all clients equally. Upon request, we will make necessary arrangements to provide communication supports for people with disabilities.
• Front line staff will receive the necessary training to ensure they are able to effectively communicate with all clients, including those with disabilities.
2.2 Telephone Services
• PORT CARES is committed to providing full accessible telephone services to our clients. We will train our staff to be sensitive in their communication approach and style, with the goal of providing customers with consistent high quality satisfaction.
• PORT CARES will offer to communicate with people by email or in person if telephone is not suitable for the person’s communication needs.
2.3 Assistive Devices
• We are committed to serving people with disabilities who use assistive devices to obtain, use or benefit from our goods and services. We will ensure that our staff are trained and familiar with various assistive devices that may be used by customers and employees with disabilities while accessing our goods and services.
• It is our policy to allow people to use their personal assistive devices to access our services. We will also ensure that staff are responsive to customer needs and aware of assistive devices available on our premises: ramps and location of accessible washroom facilities.
• We are committed to providing accessible invoices to all of our clients. For this reason, invoices will be provided in the following formats upon request: hard copy, large print, fax and email.
• For customers requesting further clarification regarding the content of their invoice, PORT CARES will respond to inquiries in person, by telephone or by email.
2.5 Use of Service Animals and Support Persons
• We are committed to welcoming 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. We will also ensure that all staff, volunteers and others dealing with the public are properly trained in how to interact with people with disabilities who are accompanied by a service animal.
• We are committed to welcoming people with disabilities who are accompanied by a support person. Any person with a disability who is accompanied by a support person will be allowed to enter PORT CARES premises with his or her support person. 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
2.6 Notice of Temporary Disruption
• PORT CARES will provide customers with notice in the event of a planned or unexpected disruption in the facilities or services usually used by people with disabilities. This notice will include information about the reason for the disruption, its anticipated duration (if known), and a description of alternative facilities or services, if available.
• The notice will be placed at all public entrances and service counters on our premises.
2.7 Training for Staff
• All PORT CARES employees, volunteers and third parties providing goods and services on PORT CARES behalf shall be required to undergo training on the requirements of AODA. Training will include the following:
a) The purpose of Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 and the requirements for the customer service standard
b) Best practices for communicating and interacting with people with disabilities
c) Best practices for interacting with people with disability who utilize assistive devices or require assistance from a service animal and/or a support person
d) How to handle situations where a client with disabilities is unable or having difficulties accessing goods and services provided by PORT CARES
e) Applicable staff will be trained on policies, practices and procedures that affect the way goods and services are provided to people with disabilities. Staff will also be trained on an ongoing basis when changes are made to these policies, practices and procedures
2.8 Feedback Process
• The ultimate goal of PORT CARES is to meet and surpass client expectations, including those with disabilities. Comments on our services regarding how well those expectations are being met are welcomed and appreciate.
• Feedback can be submitted via email to HR@portcares.ca, verbally to the HR Manager, or suggestions can be placed in our suggestion box, located in the reception area by the main entrance.
• Those requesting a reply can expect one within 14 days. Replies can be provided in an accessible format upon request.
3.0 Employment Standards
• Upon request, PORT CARES will provide appropriate accommodations to job applicants who have been chosen to participate in the selection process.
• The HR Manager will consult with candidates on an individual basis to ensure suitable accommodations are carried out.
3.2 Employee Support
• PORT CARES will inform its new and existing employees of the policies used to support employees with disabilities.
3.3 Accessible Formats and Communication Supports for Employees
• Upon request, PORT CARES will arrange for the provision of accessible formats and communication supports for:
• Information that is needed in order for an employee to perform his/her job functions; and
• Information that is generally available to employees in the workplace.
3.4 Emergency Response
• PORT CARES has developed an individualized workplace emergency response procedure to assist employees with disabilities.
3.5 Documented Individual Accommodation Plans
• For employees with disabilities, the HR Manager will develop and maintain documentation of individual accommodation plans to ensure they receive continuous and consistent support.
3.6 Return to Work Process
• For employees who have been off work due to a disability, PORT CARES has established a policy to facilitate the return to work process. Policy I-20 of the PORT CARES Policy and Procedure Manual outlines the steps that will be taken.
3.7 Performance and Career Development
• PORT CARES will take into account the accessibility needs of its employees with disabilities and individual accommodations when undertaking performance management and career development initiatives.
4.0 Modification to This or Other Policies
• We are committed to developing client service policies that respect and promote the dignity and independence of people with disabilities. Therefore, no changes will be made to this policy before considering the impact on people with disabilities
• Any policy of PORT CARES that does not respect and promote the dignity and independence of people with disabilities will be modified or removed