Accessible Customer Service Procedure

Purpose

Orillia Power Corporation is committed to providing its goods and services in a way that respects the dignity, independence, integration and equality for all people. Orillia Power Corporation is also committed to giving people with disabilities the same opportunity to access our goods and services and allows them to benefit from the same services, in the same place and in a similar way as other customers.

Legislation

The Accessibility Standards for Customer Service is the first regulation to come into force under the AODA on January 01, 2008 and must be implemented by implemented by private sector organizations on or before January 01, 2012. The Customer Service Standard required public sector organizations to establish policies, practices and procedures on providing goods and services to people with disabilities and must address the following:

  • The provision of goods and services to person with disabilities
  • The use of assistive devices, service animals and/or support persons by person with disabilities
  • Notice of temporary disruptions in services and facilities
  • Customer feedback regarding the provisions of goods and services to person with disabilities
  • Notice of availability for format of documents

Scope

This procedure applies to all persons who deal with members of the public on behalf of Orillia Power Distribution Corporation and Orillia Power Generation Corporation, whether the person does so as an employee, volunteer, contractor or third-party.

Definitions

AODA: is the Accessibility of Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005

Assistive Device: is a technical aid, communication device or medical aid modified or customized, that is used to increase, maintain or improve the functional abilities of people with disabilities.

Barrier: means anything that prevents a person with a disability from fully participating in all aspects of society because of his/her disability, including a physical barrier, an architectural barrier, information or communications barrier, an attitudinal barrier, a technological barrier a policy or a practice.

Contractor: a company person with a formal or informal contract to do a specific job on behalf of Orillia Power Corporation.

Disability:

  1. 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 coordination, 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 medical appliance or device.
  2. A condition of mental impairment or a developmental disability,
  3. A learning disability, or a dysfunction in one or more of the processes involved in understanding or using symbols or spoken language,
  4. A mental disorder, or
  5. An injury or disability for which benefits were claimed or received under the insurance plan established under the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act, 1997

OPC: the Orillia Power Corporation.

Service Animal: is any animal used by a person with a disability for reasons relating to the disability where it is readily apparent that the animal is used by the person for reasons relating to his or her disability, or if the person provides a letter from a registered health care professional confirming that the person required the animal for reasons relating to the disability.

Support Person: is a person who accompanies a person with a disability, in order to assist him or her with communication, mobility, personal care of medical need or with access to goods or services.

References

Procedure

Implementation

Orillia Power Corporation shall use reasonable efforts to ensure that its policies, practices and procedures are consistent with the following principles:

  • The goods or services will be provided in a manner that respects the dignity and independence of persons with disabilities.
  • The provisions of goods or services to person with disabilities and others, will be integrated unless an alternate measure is necessary, whether temporarily or on a permanent basis, to enable a person with a disability to obtain, use or benefit from the goods or services.
  • Persons with disabilities will be given an opportunity equal to that given to others to obtain, use and benefit from the goods or services.
  • Persons with disabilities may use assistive devices and/or support persons in the access of goods and services.
  • OPC employees when communicating with a person with a disability shall do so in a manner that takes into account the person’s disability.

Service Animals

Any person with a disability accompanied by a service animal will be permitted to enter the premises with the animal and keep it with him/her, unless the animal is otherwise excluded from the premises by law.

If the service animal is excluded from the premises by law, OPC will look to other available measures to allow the person with the disability to obtain, use or benefit from the goods or service.

Support Persons

When a person with a disability is accompanied by a support person, both are permitted to enter together and are not prevented from having access to each other while on the premises. It may be a requirement of OPC that a person with a disability to be accompanied by a support person in order to protect the health and safety of the person with a disability while on the premises.

Where fees for goos or services are required as admission to the premises OPC will not charge admission in respect of support persons.

Disruption of Services

In the event of a planned disruption in a facility or service usually used by persons with disabilities, OPC shall give notice of the disruption to the public. The notice shall include information bout the reason for the disruption, its anticipated duration and provide alternatives, if available. Notice of disruption may be given by posting the information in a conspicuous place on the premises owned or operated by OPC, posed on the OPC website or by such other method as is reasonable under the circumstances.

In the event of an unexpected disruption, notice will be provided as soon a possible.

Feedback Process

The public is permitted to provide feedback on accessibility of the provisions of goods and services to:

  1. By Mail or In Person:
    Orillia Power Corporation
    Human Resources Office
    360 West Street South
    P.O. Box 398
    L3V 6J9
  2. By Telephone:
    (705) 326-2495 ext. 223
  3. By Email: vbates@orilliapower.ca

Assistive Devices

Persons with disabilities are permitted to use person assistive devices in order to access goods or services of OPC. OPC may also provide assistive devices if available in order that persons with disabilities may access the goods or services.

Training for Staff

All OPC employees, volunteers, agents, contractors and others who deal with the public on behalf of OPC and those involved in developing customer service policies, practices and procedures will receive Accessibility Awareness Training. Training will be provided as soon a practicable, as well as on an ongoing basis as changes occur to OPC’s policies and procedures.

Training must include instruction on the following:

  • A review of the AODA and the requirements of the Customer Service Standard;
  • How to provide goods and services in a manner that respects the dignity and independence of persons with disabilities;
  • How to interact and communicate with persons with various types of disabilities;
  • How to interact with persons with disabilities who use an assistive device or require assistance of a service animal or a support person;
  • What to do if a person with a disability is having difficulty assessing a good or service
  • Process for providing feedback

Notice of Availability of Documents

All document required by the Accessibility Standards of Customer Service are available upon request. Notice of the availability of the documents will be posted on OPC’s website.