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Accessibility Policy - Komandor

Komandor’s Accessibility Policy

About this handbook:

This handbook serves as information to all employees about the provisions of the Customer Service Standard of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act.

Ensuring accessible services:

KOMANDOR provides goods and services to the public, as well as various facilities that support the needs of its customers, vendors and staff. KOMANDOR is committed to ensuring its goods, services and facilities are accessible to persons with disabilities, so that they have the same opportunities and benefits as others. Ensuring accessible services includes communicating with persons with disabilities in a way which takes into account their abilities.

What is a disability?

Disabilities include past, present and perceived conditions. They range in type and severity and include physical, psychological, learning, intellectual, developmental, cognitive and medical disabilities, as well as hearing and vision loss. Some disabilities are evident, such as a person with paraplegia who uses a wheelchair. However, the nature or degree of certain disabilities might not be so obvious. Chronic fatigue syndrome and learning disabilities for example, are non-evident conditions. Other disabilities might remain hidden as a result of their episodic nature, such as epilepsy. A disability might become apparent over time through extended interaction or it might only become known when a disability accommodation is requested. Otherwise, the disability might remain non-evident if the individual chooses not to disclose it.

Disclosing a disability:

Persons with disabilities choose whether or not to disclose a disability based on a number of factors, including the type of relationship, the context of the interaction, their perception of the inquiry (curiosity versus assistance) and their comfort level. Persons with disabilities who disclose information about their disability are revealing information regarding their own health and body that would ordinarily be considered private between persons who do not know each other well. How a disclosure is received can affect how a person will approach a new situation or relationship. Disclosures should always be received respectfully and sensitively. If you are unsure of how to assist someone with a disability, ask them – they are their own expert regarding accommodation!

A few helpful tips:

Physical Disabilities:

Some people may use assistive devices, while others may have conditions such as arthritis, or heart or lung conditions and may have difficulty with moving, standing or sitting for long periods.

  • Ask before providing help. Persons with physical disabilities often have their own way of doing things.
  • If the person uses a wheelchair or scooter, sit down beside him/her, to enable eye contact and reduce neck strain for longer interactions.
  • Offer preferential seating.
  • If you have permission to move a person in a wheelchair, make sure the person is comfortable before you leave him/her.

 

Hearing Loss:

There are different types of hearing loss. Commonly used terms are hard of hearing, deafened, deaf and Deaf. Persons who are deafened or hard of hearing may use devices such as hearing aids, cochlear implants, or FM systems; they may rely on lip reading. A person with little or no functional hearing may use sign language.

  • Ensure you have his/her attention before speaking. Discreetly wave your hand or gently tap the shoulder if needed.
  • Reduce background noise.
  • Keep your face visible to enable lip reading. If the person is using an interpreter, speak directly to the person, not the interpreter.
  • Speak clearly, pacing your speech and pauses normally. Don’t shout or over-pronounce words.
  • Offer to communicate in writing (pen and paper) as needed. Few people with vision loss are totally blind. Some have limited vision, such as the loss of side, peripheral, or central vision.

 

Vision Loss:

Few people with vision loss are totally blind. Some have limited vision, such as the loss of side, peripheral, or central vision.

  • Don’t assume the person cannot see you.
  • To get the person’s attention, address him/her directly; say your name; do not touch the person.
  • Ask the person in which format he/she would like to receive information.
  • When providing printed information, offer to read, summarize or describe it.
  • Don’t be afraid to use words such as “see,” “read” or “look.”
  • When offering to guide someone, hold out your elbow. Give clear, precise directions.

 

Deafblind:

People who are deafblind have a combination of vision and hearing loss. Many persons who are deafblind will be accompanied by an intervenor, a person who helps with communicating. Many different ways may be used to communicate, including sign language, tactile sign language, Braille, speech and lip reading.

  • Ask the person what will help the two of you to communicate.
  • Many people will explain what to do, perhaps giving you an assistance card or note.
  • Try to communicate your presence before you get too close in order not to alarm him/her.

 

Speech or Language Disabilities:

Some persons have problems expressing themselves, or understanding written or spoken language.

  • Don’t assume that a person who has difficulty speaking also has an intellectual or developmental disability.
  • Allow the person to complete what he/she is saying without interruptions.
  • If you don’t understand, ask the person to repeat the information.
  • Ask questions that can be answered ‘yes’ or ‘no.’
  • If the person uses a communication board, symbols or cards, follow his/her lead.

 

Intellectual or Developmental Disabilities:

Intellectual or developmental disabilities such as Down Syndrome can limit a person’s ability to learn, communicate and live independently.

  • As much as possible, treat persons with an intellectual or developmental disability like anyone else. They will appreciate respectful treatment.
  • Speak slowly and use plain language.
  • Provide one piece of information at a time.
  • Ask, “Do you understand this?” to check your communication.

 

Assistive Devices

Assistive devices help a person with a disability do everyday tasks and activities. Some devices include:

  • Laptops, pocket recorders, digital audio players.
  • Hearing aid, teletypewriter (TTY) for people unable to speak or hear by phone.
  • Mobility devices such as scooters, walkers or crutches, magnifiers, white cane.
  • Communication boards (which use symbols, words or pictures to create messages), speech generating devices.

 

Personal Supports

A support person or service animal may accompany a person with a disability in order to help with communication, mobility, personal care or medical needs.

  • Welcome the support person, but focus service and communication on the individual.
  • Service animals are welcomed at KOMANDOR.
  • Do not distract the service animals – this includes talking, petting or feeding.

 

Learning Disabilities

Examples include dyslexia (problems with reading and language-based learning); dyscalculia (problems with mathematics); and dysgraphia (problems with writing and fine motor skills.) Having a learning disability does not mean a person is incapable of learning. Rather, it means they learn in a different way.

  • Ask the person how he/she would like to receive information. For example, if you have written material, offer to read the information aloud.
  • Be willing to explain something again – it may take a little longer for the person to process the information.
  • Give extra time to complete a task.

 

Mental Health Disabilities:

Mental health disabilities can cause changes in a person’s thinking, emotional state and behaviour and can disrupt the person’s ability to work. These changes may also affect the way the person interacts with others. With most mental health problems, the symptoms are not static and can improve or worsen over time. These disabilities are often invisible.

  • Ask the best way you can help.
  • Be patient and respectful. A person with a mental health disability may have difficulty concentrating.
  • If there is a concern about personal safety, call Police 911 EMERGENCY.
  • Ensure the safety of all.

 

Accessible Customer Service Policy

This Policy is available in alternate formats upon request.

Komandor Canada Closets & Doors Inc. (KOMANDOR) is committed to:

  1. providing goods and services in a way that respects the independence and dignity of people with disabilities;
  2. ensuring that, people with disabilities receive accessible goods and services of the same quality that others receive;
  3. ensuring that, to the extent possible, accessible goods and services are delivered in a timely manner.

This Policy has been prepared to meet the compliance requirements of the AODA Customer Service Standard. It explains what people may expect from KOMANDOR in regard to this standard and reflects the values of the company.

Komandor’s Accessible Customer Service Policy is intended to benefit the full range of persons with disabilities, as defined in the Ontario Human Rights Code. Whether a person’s disability is apparent or not, everyone should be treated with courtesy, made to feel welcome, and have their needs respected whenever they interact with Komandor Canada Closets & Doors Inc.

Assistive devices

People with disabilities may use their personal assistive devices when accessing our goods, services or facilities.

Communication

We will communicate with people with disabilities in ways that take into account their disability. This may include the following:

  • In person conversation
  • Telephone / TTY
  • Fax
  • E-mail

We will work with the person with a disability to determine what method of communication works for them.

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.

When we cannot easily identify that an animal is a service animal, our staff may ask a person to provide documentation (template, letter or form) from a regulated health professional that confirms the person needs the service animal for reasons relating to their disability.

A service animal can be easily identified through visual indicators, such as when it wears a harness or a vest, or when it helps the person perform certain tasks.

A regulated health professional is defined as a member of one of the following colleges:

  • College of Audiologists and Speech-Language Pathologists of Ontario
  • College of Chiropractors of Ontario
  • College of Nurses of Ontario
  • College of Occupational Therapists of Ontario
  • College of Optometrists of Ontario
  • College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario
  • College of Physiotherapists of Ontario
  • College of Psychologists of Ontario
  • College of Registered Psychotherapists and Registered Mental Health Therapists of Ontario

If service animals are prohibited by another law, we will do the following to ensure people with disabilities can access our goods, services or facilities:

  • explain why the animal is excluded
  • discuss with the customer another way of providing goods, services or facilities

 

Support persons

A person with a disability who is accompanied by a support person will be allowed to have that person accompany them on our premises.

In certain cases, KOMANDOR might require a person with a disability to be accompanied by a support person for the health or safety reasons of:

  • the person with a disability
  • others on the premises

Before making a decision, KOMANDOR will:

  • consult with the person with a disability to understand their needs
  • consider health or safety reasons based on available evidence
  • determine if there is no other reasonable way to protect the health or safety of the person or others on the premises

 

Notice of temporary disruption

In the event of a planned or unexpected disruption to services or facilities for customers with disabilities KOMANDOR 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.

Services/Facilities include:

  • Showroom locations
  • The notice will be made publicly available in the following ways:
  • Signs on the door
  • Website update

 

Training

KOMANDOR will provide accessible customer service training to:

  • all employees and volunteers
  • anyone involved in developing our policies
  • anyone who provides goods, services or facilities to customers on our behalf.

Staff will be trained on an ongoing basis and whenever changes are made to relevant policies, practices or procedures. Training will be provided to each person as soon as is practicable or after he or she is assigned applicable duties.

Training will include:

  • purpose of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 and the requirements of the customer service standard
  • KOMANDOR’s policies related to the 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 service animal or a support person
  • what to do if a person with a disability is having difficulty in accessing KOMANDOR’s goods, services or facilities

 

Feedback process

KOMANDOR welcomes feedback on how we provide accessible customer service. Customer feedback will help us identify barriers and respond to concerns. Feedback about this Policy or its implementation can be submitted:

  • online by completing a “Contact Us” form;
  • by telephoning our office. TTY users can use the Bell Relay System (no charge) by dialing 711;
  • in person at 863 Rangeview Rd., Mississauga, ON, Monday-Friday, 9:00 am – 4:45 pm; or
  • by mail to Komandor Canada Closets & Doors Inc., 863 Rangeview Rd., Mississauga, ON, L5E 1H1

All feedback, including complaints, should be directed to the company’s President.

Customers can expect to hear back in 3 business days.

KOMANDOR will make sure our feedback process is accessible to people with disabilities by providing or arranging for accessible formats and communication supports, on request.

Notice of availability of documents

KOMANDOR will notify the public that documents related to accessible customer service, are available upon request by posting a notice in the following location(s)/way(s):

  1. On our website
  2. At the front desk

KOMANDOR will provide this document in an accessible format or with communication support, on request. We will consult with the person making the request to determine the suitability of the format or communication support. We will provide the accessible format in a timely manner and, at no additional cost.

Modifications to this or other policies

Any policies of KOMANDOR that do not respect and promote the principles of dignity, independence, integration and equal opportunity for people with disabilities will be modified or removed.