Toronto Building Policy Statement on Providing Customer Service to People with Disabilities
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This policy applies to all employees, contractors and volunteers.
The following is the (February 2010) Toronto Building policy statement on providing customer service to people with disabilities. Note that the policy may be revised as other standards are introduced under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005.
- Our Mission: To enhance the quality of life in the City of Toronto for all residents, businesses and visitors, through superior services delivered with professionalism, honesty and integrity while enhancing and beautifying communities where people live, work and play. As stewards of Toronto’s built environment we will ensure the construction, renovation and demolition of buildings achieves the health, safety, accessibility, conservation and environmental provisions of the Building Code Act and other applicable law. We champion the understanding and application of Building regulations supporting innovation and creation of safe building standards and requirements. We provide excellence in City services through innovative leadership, responding to all members of the public, the development community, other City Divisions, Agencies, Boards, Commissions and the Council of the City of Toronto.
- Our Commitment: In fulfilling our mission, Toronto Building 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 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 customers.
- Providing goods and service to people with disabilities: Toronto Building is committed to excellence in serving all customers including people with disabilities and we will carry out our functions and responsibilities in the flowing areas:
- We will communicate with people with disabilities in ways that take into account their disability.
- We will train staff who communicate with customers on how to interact and communicate with people with various types of disabilities.
3.2 Telephone services
- We are committed to providing fully accessible telephone service to our customers. We will train staff to communicate with customers over the telephone in clear plain language and to speak clearly and slowly.
- We will offer to communicate with customers by other means if telephone communication is not suitable to their communication needs or is not available.
3.3 Assistive Devices
- We are committed to serving people with disabilities who use assistive devices to obtain, use or benefit from our goods and service.
- We will ensure that our staff is trained and familiar with various assistive devices that may be used by customers with disabilities while accessing our goods and/or services.
- We will also ensure that staff knows how to use any available assistive devices on our premises.
- 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 Toronto Building’s offices and/or facilities where public meetings are being held 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 in our offices and/or facilities.
- Notice of temporary disruption: If necessary, Toronto Building will provide customers with notice in the event of a planned or unexpected disruption in the facilities or services usually used or required by people with disabilities. For example this could be a last minute rescheduling of a public meeting from a facility with assistive devices such as a power door, to one that does not have such a device. In such situations, Toronto Building will work to ensure notice is provided as soon as possible and will include information about the reason for the disruption, its anticipated duration (if applicable) and a description of alternative measures.
- Training for staff: Toronto Building will provide training to all employees, volunteers and others who deal with the public or other third parties on their behalf, and all those who are involved in the development and approvals of customer service policies, practices and procedures. Training will include the following:
- The purposes of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 and the requirements of the 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 a support person;
- How to use Toronto Building’s assistive communication devices and other assistive devices;
- What to do if a person with a disability is having difficulty accessing Toronto Building’s goods and services;
- Toronto Building’s policies, practices and procedures relating to the customer service standard.
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.
- Feedback process: The ultimate goal of Toronto Building is to meet and surpass customer expectations while serving customers with disabilities. Comments on our services regarding how well those expectations are being met are welcome and appreciated.Feedback regarding the way Toronto Building provides goods and services to people with disabilities can be made via by e-mail, phone, and in writing. All written feedback will be directed to the Toronto Building Accessibility Office:Email: email@example.com
Address: Toronto Building Accessibility Office
c/o Office of the Chief Building Official
Toronto City Hall, 100 Queen St. W.,
12th Floor East Tower
Toronto, ON M5H 2N2
Once received, the feedback will be assessed by the Toronto Building Accessibility Office and directed (if required) to the appropriate Toronto Building staff member. We aim to acknowledge verbal and e-mail enquires within two business days, with the understanding that further follow-up may be required. Written enquires will be acknowledged within 5 business days.
- Modifications to this or other policy: We are committed to developing customer 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 Toronto Building that does not respect and promote the dignity and independence of people with disabilities will be modified or removed.
- Questions about this policy: This policy exists to achieve service excellence to customers with disabilities. If anyone has a question about the policy, or if the purpose of a policy is not understood, please contact the Toronto Building Accessibility Office.
- City of Toronto Accessibility & Human Rights
- Tips and tools for serving people with disabilities from the Ministry of Community and Social Services
- AMCTO accessibility toolbox for municipalities
- How-to videos used in Ministry of Community and Social Services accessible customer service training
- A Guide to the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (AODA)
- Guide to the Accessibility Standard for Customer Service, Ontario Regulation 429/07