Multi-Year Plan and Accessible Customer Service Standards under AODA
Statement of Commitment Purpose
ERA is committed to excellence in serving our clients and employees, including people with disabilities. The purpose of this policy is to confirm our commitment to providing accessible services and equal opportunities to people with disabilities in a way that respects their dignity and independence. Wherever possible, the provision of services for people with disabilities will be integrated into our current policies and processes and included in future policy development.
The policy has been developed to align ERA’s policies and processes with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005, Accessibility Standard for Customer Service (AODA).
ERA’s Accessibility and Accommodation policies set out to express our commitment to support employees, candidates, visitors, clients and partners who have temporary or permanent disabilities, with the required support which includes individual accommodation or return to work plans, as well as plans with extra support in the event of evacuation of other such emergencies. We are committed to treating all people with disability (as defined by Ontario Human Rights Code) in a way that allows them to maintain their dignity and independence. We believe in integration and equal opportunity and are committed to meeting the needs of people with disabilities in a timely manner. We will do so by preventing and removing barriers to accessibility and meeting accessibility requirements under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act and Ontario’s accessibility laws. We have developed and will make available upon request, this policy and a multi-year accessibility plan which outlines the actions we will put for our employees, clients, and candidates with disabilities. Please refer to our policy for details about how ERA has and will continue to address Information and Communication, Employment and Training under these regulations.
ERA is committed to providing access to our facilities and delivering excellent service to our clients and employees. Our accessible customer service policies are consistent with the principles of independence, dignity, integration, and equality of opportunity for people with disabilities.
We will communicate in ways that consider the needs of people with disabilities. ERA recognizes that not all persons with disabilities use the same modalities of communicating and will take this into account when communicating with our clients and employees. In addition, if ERA receives a request from a person with disabilities, every reasonable effort will be made to accommodate the request.
We are committed to serving people with disabilities who use assistive devices to obtain, use, or benefit from our services. ERA ensures that our current and new employees are trained and familiar with assistive devices, including the use of canes, wheelchairs, etc., that may be used by clients with disabilities while accessing our services. In cases where the assistive device presents a significant and unavoidable health or safety concern or may not be permitted for other reasons, other measures will be used to ensure the person with a disability can access our goods, services, or facilities.
Service Animals and Support Persons
We welcome clients and visitors who are accompanied by a registered service animal or support person on our premises. ERA employees are trained on how to interact when this occurs. People with disabilities, who are accompanied by registered service animals or support persons, will have full access to all parts of our office that are open to the public.
Notice of Temporary Disruption
We will notify our clients and employees, as quickly as possible, of any planned or unexpected disruption that prevents people with disabilities from accessing our offices or from using services that they usually use. Notices will be placed in conspicuous areas such as entrances to our offices, reception areas where available, and employee lunchrooms. The message will also be distributed to clients and employees via email, verbally, or other methods accessible to the individual. The notices will include information about the reason for the disruption, its anticipated length of time, and a description of alternative facilities or services, if available.
ERA Is committed to providing accessible invoices and billing information to all our clients. Alternative invoices will be provided upon request. We will additionally answer any questions of concerns our clients may have about the contents of invoices in person, by phone or via email.
We have trained all ERA management and staff (including contractors) on providing customer service to people with disabilities that is compliant with the requirements of the Customer Service Standard. This training has been provided online, and in alternate formats when requested.
Some of the content covered in this training, but not limited to, are the following:
- The 5 Standards (Information and Communication Standard; Employment Standard; Transportation Standard, Design of Public Space Standard, 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 registered service animal or support person
- What to do if a person with a disability is having difficulty in accessing ERA’s office
- Individual Accommodation Plans and Individual Emergency Response Plan
- Return to work processes and accommodations for employees who have been absent from work due to a disability
- Recruitment and career development accommodation for employees with disabilities
When necessary, ERA will also train individuals from third parties who perform services on our behalf, or ensure that they have received training at their company that is compliant with the requirements of the Customer Service Standard. [EP1]
ERA has also produced a AODA policy that current and new employees have received, read, and understood.
We train every person as soon as practicable after being hired and provide training in respect of any changes to the policies.
ERA continuously reviews and updates customer service training as required, or at a minimum at when we file our Compliance Reports. Any updates to the plan will be reflected in the office documentation and electronically filed in the office system.
ERA maintains online training records that includes the names of employees who have completed the training, the date of the training, and, where possible, copies of the completed training certificates.
Notice of Availability of Documents and Format of Documents
When asked, ERA will provide information about its organization and services (including public safety information) in accessible formats or with communication supports, in a timely manner and at a cost that is no more than the regular cost charged to other persons. If ERA is unable to provide the requested documentation in a format that is accessible to the person making the request, ERA will explain why the information or communications cannot be converted and provide a summary of the information or communications in an alternate format.
ERA will notify employees, job applicants, and the public that accommodations can be made throughout the recruitment process. ERA’s job postings include a statement to let applicants know that it is committed to working with and providing reasonable accommodation to applicants with disabilities. It also notifies job applicants, when they are individually selected to participate in an assessment or selection process, that accommodations are available. Similarly, ERA notifies successful applicants of policies for accommodating employees with disabilities when making offers of employment.
Upon request, or when ERA is aware of the need to accommodate, ERA consults with the applicant or employee to provide accommodation in a manner that takes into account their accessibility needs. It also consults with them to provide or arrange for the provision of accessible formats or communication supports for information that the applicant or employee requires to perform their job and that is generally available to employees in the workplace.
ERA has a written process to develop individual accommodation and workplace emergency response plans for employees. As well, ERA has a written process for employees who return to work after being absent due to a workplace accident or approved medical leave and require disability-related accommodations.
We welcome feedback on how ERA provides services to people with disabilities and are committed to responding to all feedback from clients and employees within two business days. Feedback can be made in person, by phone, fax, or emails. Clients and employees can also write directly to Elizabeth Pellegrino from our Human Resources Department by sending an email to [email protected].
Here is more information on how you can reach us:
Be sure to provide your name and contact information when providing feedback
All complaints will be addressed by the Human Resources Department and/or owners. Where appropriate, an investigation into a complaint may be conducted.
Changes to Existing Policies
Any policies of this organization that do not respect and promote the principles of dignity, independence, integration and equal opportunity for people with disabilities will be modified or removed.
This document is publicly available. Accessible formats are available upon request.