Accessible Customer Service Policy
Providing Goods and Services to People with Disabilities
At the Foundation Fighting Blindness, we know how important good customer service is. It is no different when we are serving a customer with a disability.
For the purpose of this policy, ‘customer’ is not merely a party to a commercial transaction but also includes our donors, volunteers, event participants, and funded researchers, as well as people requesting information.
Accessible customer service is not about our physical premises. It is simply about understanding that customers with disabilities may have different needs and providing accessible customer service can be as easy as asking: “How can I help?”
The Foundation Fighting Blindness is committed to excellence in serving all customers including people with disabilities. We will strive at all times to provide our 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 allow them to benefit from the same services, in the same place, and in a similar way as other customers. The Foundation Fighting Blindness is committed to excellence in serving Canadians with disabilities, in particular – due to our mission – people who are blind/visually impaired and people who are Deaf/deaf/hearing impaired.
The Foundation Fighting Blindness 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 Foundation Fighting Blindness is committed to training staff to communicate with customers over the telephone in plain language and to speak clearly. We will offer to communicate with customers by relay service, email, or other methods upon request if telephone communication is not suitable to their communication needs.
The Foundation Fighting Blindness is committed to serving people with disabilities who use assistive devices. We will ensure our staff is trained and familiar with various assistive devices that may be used by customers with disabilities while accessing our goods and services.
The Foundation Fighting Blindness is committed to welcoming people with disabilities who are accompanied by a service animal at our office and our events. Service animals are allowed on the parts of the premises that are open to the public. We will 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.
The Foundation Fighting Blindness is 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 our premises or events 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 on our premises or attending our events. For ticketed events, a discounted admission rate will be available for support persons.
Notice of temporary disruption
The Foundation Fighting Blindness will provide customers with notice in the event of a planned or unexpected disruption to services or facilities i.e. the website, elevator operation, washroom availability, or layout changes. This 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 reception and/or lobby, and on the website and outgoing voicemail message as appropriate.
Training for staff
The Foundation Fighting Blindness will provide training to all employees, volunteers, and others who deal with the public. This training will be provided to current staff and to new staff as a part of their on-boarding process.
The training will include:
- 1. An overview of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 and the requirements of the customer service standard
2. The Foundation Fighting Blindness policies, practices and procedures relating to the customer service standard
3. How to interact and communicate with people with various types of disabilities
4. How to interact with people with disabilities who use an assistive device or require the assistance of a service animal or a support person
5. How to use assistive devices to help with the provision of goods and services to people with disabilities.
6. What to do if a person with a disability is having difficulty in accessing the Foundation Fighting Blindness’ goods and services
- Feedback process
The goal of the Foundation Fighting Blindness is to meet and surpass expectations while serving customers with disabilities. Comments regarding how well those expectations are being met are welcome and encouraged.
Feedback regarding the way the Foundation Fighting Blindness provides goods and services to people with disabilities can be made in person, via mail, email, social media, or phone. All feedback will be directed to Communications Manager. People who provide feedback can expect to receive an initial reply within five (5) business days. Complaints will be addressed according to our organization’s complaint management procedures.
Modifications to this or other policies
The Foundation Fighting Blindness is committed to developing customer service policies that respect and promote the dignity and independence of people with disabilities. No changes will be made to this policy before considering the impact on people with disabilities. Any policy of the Foundation Fighting Blindness that does not respect and promote the dignity and independence of people with disabilities will be modified or removed.