Consistent with B+H International LP’s (“B+H”)commitment to a workplace free of harassment and discrimination, it is the policy and practice of B+H that we treat all clients, employees, suppliers, business partners, visitors and other third partners we encounter during the course of providing our services, with fairness, respect, dignity and courtesy.
The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (2005) (“AODA”)was developed with the purpose of developing, implementing and enforcing accessibility standards across Ontario in order to achieve accessibility for persons with disabilities with respect to the provision of, and access to, goods and services.
Definition – Persons with Disabilities (AODA, 2005)
A person with a disability means,
- A physical disability
- A mental impairment or development disability, or mental disorder
- A learning disability
- An injury or disability in which benefits are received under the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act, 1997
For the purposes of this policy and per our compliance requirements, B+H will only address the Customer Service Standards.
Customer Service Standards:
- Provision of goods and services to persons with disabilities
- The use of Assistive Devices by persons with disabilities
- The use of Service Animals by persons with disabilities
- The use of Support Persons by persons with disabilities
- Notice of Service or Facilities Disruptions
- Employee Training
- Feedback process regarding the provision of goods and services to persons with disabilities
- Notice of Availability and Format of Documents
This policy is guided by the following “General Principles” as outlined in AODA:
Dignity – Goods and services are provided in a manner that is respectful to persons with disabilities and does not diminish the person’s importance
Independence – Accommodating a person’s disability means respecting their right to do for themselves and to choose the way they wish to receive goods and services
Integration – Persons with a disability can access all goods and services. This may require alternative formats and a flexible approach. It means inclusiveness and full participation. This is a fundamental human right.
Equal Opportunity – Services are provided to persons with disabilities in a way that their opportunity to access goods and services is equal to that given to others.
This policy applies to the delivery of all services in the Province of Ontario by B+H, by any means, including in person, by telephone, electronically, by mail, visually, verbally or by written means.
The policy applies to all B+H employeesand contingent workers (agency, independent contractors, third party, joint venture employees, etc.) who work in Ontario as volunteers, and third parties who interact with the public on behalf of B+H.
Policy and Procedures
Providing goods and services to people with disabilities
B+H is committed to serving all individuals including persons with disabilities and will carry out its functions and responsibilities to ensure that policies, procedures and practices are consistent with the general principles.
B+H is committed to communicating with persons with disabilities in ways that take into consideration their disability. To achieve this, B+H will:
- Train employees on how to interact and communicate with persons with disabilities guided by the general principles
- Offer reasonable alternative communication formats that will meet the needs of the individual, and
- Provide documents that will meet the needs of the client in a timely fashion.
Personal assistive devices and technologies are permitted in all areas of the B+H office. Exceptions may occur when B+H determines that the assistive device may pose a risk to the health and safety of the person with a disability or to others on the premises. In these situations, if a person with a disability is hindered from accessing services, B+H will endeavour to accommodate the individual by providing an alternative where possible.B+H will train, on an ongoing basis, current and future employees and contingent workers in the use of assistive devices and technologies.It should be noted that the provision, use and safety of personal assistive devices and technologies are the responsibility of the person with a disability.
Definition – Service Animal (AODA, 2005)
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 that person requires the animal for reasons relating to the disability.
A service animal is not a pet.
B+H welcomes individuals with disabilities and their service animals. Service animals may accompany the individual in any area of B+H’s office that is not prohibited by law. There may be circumstances where the health and safety of another person is at risk when allowing service animals in the office. (For example, if an individual has severe allergies to animals, or in an environment where machinery or other equipment are located.) In these situations, if a person with a disability is hindered from accessing services, B+H will endeavour to accommodate the individual by providing alternative arrangements where possible. For example, an alternative meeting format, delivery of service at an alternative time/location, etc.
Definition – Support Persons (AODA, 2005)
“Support Person” means, with relation to a person with a disability, another person who accompanies him or her in order to help with communications, mobility, personal care or other medical needs or with access to goods or services.
B+H is committed to welcoming persons with disabilities who are accompanied by a support person. Any person with a disability will be allowed to access any part of B+H’s office. There may be situations where confidential or proprietary information relating to B+H is discussed and in these situations B+H reserves the right to request support persons to sign a confidentiality or non-disclosure agreement to allow support persons to accompany the person with a disability.
B+H holds conferences, events, and workshops sponsored by B+H or by third parties that are outside daily work and/or office premises. For such events, support persons are permitted entry except where there is a fee that is payable by B+H or where the support persons have not pre-registered and/or the event does not have vacancy. Support persons will be responsible for their own costs to attend such events.
Individuals with support persons are encouraged to inform relevant persons of their participation/attendance.
If the support persons are necessary due to the health and safety of a person with disabilities, or that of others, B+H will require that the support person accompany the individual.
Notice of temporary service or facility disruptions
In the event that temporary service or facility disruptions occur that would limit persons with disabilities from gaining access to B+H’s services or facilities B+H will post a notice conspicuously and appropriately at the location of the disruption and on the B+H website. When disruption is planned, advance notice will be given.
To create awareness and ensure compliance, AODA customer service training is mandatory for all employees and contingent workers in Ontario. Managers, Project Managers, Principals and other Senior Leadership are responsible for ensuring that all employees and contingent workers comply with this policy. Human Resources will assist in supporting compliance with education materials and reporting.
Training shall include:
- Review of the purpose of the AODA legislation and the Accessibility Standards for Customer Service
- How to interact and communicate with persons with various types of disabilities
- How to interact and communicate with persons with disabilities who use an assistive device or require the assistance of a service animal or a support person
- The location of and instruction in the use of the available equipment or devices that may assist with the provision of services to persons with disabilities
- What to do if a person with a disability is having difficulty in accessing B+H services or facilities
- Current policies and procedures relating to the customer service standard.
Documentation of training of employees and contingent workers shall be maintained by Human Resources.
All new employees and contingent workers are required to complete AODA training with 45 days of their start date. In addition, all employees and contingent workers will be required to receive additional training should it be deemed that there are material updates to the course and/or the legislation.
Records will be kept indicating the date and training provided.
Third party organizations providing goods or services on behalf of B+H to Ontarians are required to provide relevant training, learning opportunities or direction to their employees and volunteers regarding their roles and responsibilities under AODA.
Feedback about the delivery of our services to persons with disabilities is welcomed as it may identify areas that require change and assist in continuous service improvement. Such feedback may be provided by completing the online feedback form on the B+H website. Feedback may also be provided in person by persons with disabilities directly to B+H or by completing the feedback form and submitting to Human Resources via email, mail or fax:
Human Resources Manager
B+H International LP
300-481 University Avenue
Toronto ON M5G 2H4
Phone: 1 416 596 2299
Fax: 1 416 586 0599
Internally, the feedback form will be available on the Intranet. The feedback form is available in a variety of formats at the request of the individual. Alternatively, feedback may be provided by other means as required.
How policy is communicated/availability of documents
All documents required by the Accessibility Standards for Customer Service including B+H’s AODA policy, notices of temporary disruptions, training and training records and feedback processes are available upon request subject to the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act. When providing these documents to a person with a disability, B+H will endeavour to provide the document, or the information contained in the document, in a format that takes into account the person’s disability in a timely manner.
Notice of availability of documents required by the Accessibility Standards for Customer Service will be posted on the B+H website.