ACCESSIBLE CUSTOMER SERVICE
The Art Gallery of Burlington is a champion of visual art and fine craft in Burlington. We engage the community in the appreciation and creation of visual arts and are home to our art and fine craft guilds. We provide opportunities for discovery and ‘hands-on’ learning, as well as mentoring and showcasing visual artists at all skill levels. AGB is dedicated to building and promoting its collection of Canadian contemporary ceramics.
In fulfilling our mission, the Art Gallery of Burlington (hereinafter referred to as the AGB) 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 the same way as other customers.
The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (AODA) was created with the goal of developing standards that would improve accessibility for people with disabilities across the Province. The AODA allows the Provincial Government to develop specific standards of accessibility and to enforce them. The standards are made into regulations pursuant to the AODA.
Ontario Regulation 429/07 – Accessibility Standard for Customer Service came into force on January 1, 2008. The customer service regulation is the first standard developed under the AODA. The regulation requires designated non-profit organizations, to be in compliance with a number of customer service accessibility standards by January 1, 2012.
This policy is intended to meet the requirements of Ontario Regulation 429/07 under the Accessibility for Ontarians Disabilities Act, 2005. It applies to the provision of goods and services to the public, not the goods themselves.
a) This policy aims to ensure that persons with disabilities are provided equal opportunity to obtain, use and benefit from AGB goods and services. Reasonable efforts will be made to ensure that:
- Goods and services are provided in a manner that respects the dignity and independence of persons with disabilities;
- The goods and services provided to persons with disabilities are integrated with the provision to others unless an alternate measure is necessary to allow a person with a disability to benefit from the goods and services. The alternate measure may be temporary or permanent;
- Communication with a person with a disability are conducted in a manner that takes into account his or her disability;
- People with disabilities may use assistive devices, service animals and support persons as is necessary to access AGB goods and services. If a service animal is excluded by law from a premise, other measures will be made available for the person with a disability to access the goods or services.
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, as defined by the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005, means anything that prevents a person with a disability from fully participating in all aspects of society because of his or her disability, including a physical barrier, an architectural barrier, an information or communications barrier, an attitudinal barrier, a technological barrier, a policy or a practice.
Disability, as defined by the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 and the Ontario Human Rights Code, is:
- 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,
- a condition of mental impairment or a developmental disability,
- a learning disability, or a dysfunction in one or more of the processes involved in understanding or using symbols or spoken language,
- a mental disorder, or
- an injury or disability for which benefits were claimed or received under the insurance plan established under the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act, 1997.
The AGB is committed to excellence in serving all customers including people with disabilities and we will carry out our functions and responsibilities in the following areas:
The AGB 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.
The AGB is committed to providing fully accessible telephone service to our customers. We will train staff to communicate with customers over the telephone in clear and plain language and to speak clearly and slowly. We will offer to communicate with customers by email if telephone communication is not suitable to their communication needs or is not available.
As reflected in Ontario Regulation 429/07, 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; or if the person provides a letter from a physician or nurse confirming that the person requires the animal for reasons relating to the disability.
As reflected in Ontario Regulation 429/07, a support person means, in relation to a person with a disability, another person who accompanies him or her in order to help with communication, mobility, personal care or medical needs or with access to goods or services.
a) This policy governs the provision of goods and services by the AGB as well as the provision of the AGB goods and services off the premises by AGB employees, volunteers, agents and/or contractors who act on behalf or represent the AGB.
b) The part of the policy that deals with the use of service animals and support persons applies only to goods and services provided by the AGB at premises owned or operated by the AGB.
a) Persons with disabilities may use assistive devices as required in accessing goods and/or services provided by the AGB unless otherwise prohibited by law.
a) Persons with disabilities are permitted to be accompanied by their support person in areas/premises that are open to the public, when accessing goods and services provided by the AGB.
b) Where admission fees for the support person are applicable, advance notice of the fee will be made available.
c) The AGB may deem it necessary to require a support person for a person with a disability in order to protect the health and safety of that person or of others on the premises. This will only occur after consultation with the person with a disability and when it is the only reasonable means to allow the person with a disability to access the AGB goods or services.
a) Persons with disabilities are permitted to be accompanied by their service animal and keep that animal with them in areas/premises that are open to the public, when accessing goods and services provided by the AGB, unless superseded by other legislation.
b) In the event that a service animal is prohibited by law from the premises, the AGB will ensure that other measures are available to enable the person with a disability to obtain, use or benefit from AGB goods and services.
c) It is the responsibility of the person using the service animal to ensure that the service animal is kept in control at all times.
In the event of a planned service disruption to facilities, services or systems that are relied upon by people with disabilities to access AGB goods or services, notice of the disruption shall be provided in advance.
a) Notice will include information about the reason for the disruption, its anticipated duration and a description of alternative facilities, services or systems that may be available.
b) Notice may be given by posting the information in a conspicuous place on premises owned or operated by the provider of goods or services, or posted on the AGB web site or by such other method as is reasonable under the circumstances.
c) In the event of an unexpected disruption, notice will be provided as soon as possible.
Availability of Documents
a) As required by Ontario Regulation 429/07, the AGB will prepared one or more documents, describing the following, and provide them upon request to any person;
- AGB policies, practices and procedures governing the provision of goods and services for people with disabilities;
- AGB policies, practices and procedures governing the use of service animals and support persons;
- The steps AGB will take in connection with a temporary disruption of services;
- AGB process for receiving and responding to feedback on the provision of goods and services for people with disabilities;
- AGB policies, practices and procedures for the provision of accessible customer service
b) When providing a document to a person with a disability, the AGB will provide the document, or the information contained in the document, in a format that take the person’s disability into account.
Notice of Availability of Documents
a) Notice of the availability of all documents required by the Accessibility Standards for Customer Service will be posted on the AGB’s website.
b) The AGB will make reasonable efforts to respond to requests for documents in alternate formats in a timely manner.
a) As required by Ontario Regulation 429/07, the following individuals will receive training on a number of topics as outlined in the regulation:
- Staff, volunteers, agents/contractors and any other individuals who participate in the development of the AGB policies, practices and procedures governing the provision of goods and services to members of the public or third parties; and,
- Staff, volunteers, agents/contractors and any other individuals who interact with the public or other third parties on behalf of the AGB.
b) The training will include the following topics:
- A review of the purposes of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 and the requirements of Ontario Regulation 429/07;
- How to interact and communicate with people with various types of disabilities;
- How to interact with people with disabilities who use an assistive device, service animal or a support person;
- How to use the equipment or assistive devices available at AGB premises;
- What action to take if a person with a disability is having difficulty accessing goods and services; and
- AGB customer services policies, practices and procedures governing the provision of goods and services to people with disabilities.
Timeline for Training
Training will be provided as soon as practicable upon an individual being assigned the applicable duties as well as on an ongoing basis as changes occur to the AGB’s policies, procedures and practices governing the provision of goods or services to persons with disabilities.
Records of Training
As required by Ontario Regulation 429/07, the AGB will keep records of the training provided
a) The AGB shall create and maintain a feedback process so that members of the public are able to comment on the provision of goods and services to people with disabilities.
b) The feedback process allows for comments in person, by telephone, in writing or by delivering an electronic text by email, or other reasonable method.
c) The feedback process specifies the actions that will be taken by the AGB if complaints or suggestions are received.
References and Related Documents
- Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2001
- Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005
- Ontario Regulation 429/07 – Accessibility Standards for Customer Service
- Ontario Human Rights Code
- Health Protection and Promotion Act, R.R.O. 1990, Reg. 562
- Food Safety and Quality Act, 2001, O. Reg. 31/05
- The Blind Person’s Rights Act, R.R.O. 1990, Regulation 58
- City of Burlington Annual Accessibility Plan
- City of Burlington Animal Control By-Law Number 60-2005 (as amended)
- Other Accessibility Standards as approved into regulation
Policy Approved By
Ian Ross, Executive Director
Date: December 14, 2011