Accessible Customer Service Policy

Introduction

The Ottawa Humane Society (OHS) is committed to the principles of independence, dignity, integration and equal opportunity for people with disabilities.

We are also committed to excellence in serving all customers, including people with disabilities.

Policies

Assistive devices:

We will ensure that our staff are trained and familiar with various assistive devices that may be used by customers with disabilities while accessing our goods or services.

Communication:

We will communicate with people with disabilities in ways that take into account their disability.

Service animals:

We welcome people with disabilities and their service animals. Service animals are allowed on the parts of our premises that are open to the public.

Support persons:

A person with a disability who is accompanied by a support person will be allowed to have that person accompany them to the public areas of our premises to access our programs, services and special events.

Fees will not be charged for support persons accompanying a person with a disability attending Ottawa Humane Society’s educational programming. We will notify customers of this through a notice on our written and digital promotional materials. This does not apply to fundraising events.

Procedures

Notice of temporary disruption:

In the event of a planned or unexpected disruption to services or facilities for customers with disabilities, the OHS will notify customers promptly. This clearly posted notice will include information about the reason for the disruption, its anticipated length of time, and a description of alternative facilities or services, if available.

The notice will be placed at the main adoption entrance, the MAS/Admissions entrance and the Education Centre entrance.

Training for staff

The OHS will provide training to employees and volunteers who deal with the public or other third parties on their behalf. Individuals in the following positions will be trained:

  • Dispatchers
  • Adoption Reception Attendants
  • All Customer Service Representatives
  • All Rescue and Investigations Staff
  • All Coordinators, Supervisors, Managers and Directors

This training will be provided to staff within a year of hiring.

Training will include:

  • An overview of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 and the requirements of the customer service standard
  • The OHS’s accessible customer service plan.
  • 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
  • An introduction to equipment or devices available on-site that may help with providing goods or services to people with disabilities
  • What to do if a person with a disability is having difficulty in accessing the Ottawa Humane Society’s goods and services

Staff will also be re-trained when changes are made to this document.

Feedback process

Customers who wish to provide feedback on the way the OHS provides goods and services to people with disabilities can do so by e-mail, telephone, or through the OHS feedback card. All feedback will be directed to the Director of Operations. Customers can expect acknowledgement in one business day.  The OHS will solicit feedback about the way the OHS provides goods and services to people with disabilities from time to time, using its regular communication channels. Complaints will be addressed according to the OHS’s regular complaints policy and procedures.

Modifications to this or other policies

Any policy of the Ottawa Humane Society that does not respect and promote the dignity and independence of people with disabilities will be modified or removed.

Responsibilities

All staff are responsible to be familiar with this document, to uphold its principles and adhere to its terms.

The Director: Operations is responsible for receiving feedback, acknowledging its receipt, collating the information and forwarding the results and recommendations to the Executive Director and government.

The Manager: Finance and Administration is responsible for ensuring that all staff who require training receive it in the timelines specified in this policy.

The Executive Director is responsible for ensuring the overall adherence to this policy.