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Accessible Customer Service Policy

World Education Services (WES) is committed to providing accessible customer service to its clients and customers. The intent of this policy is to ensure accessibility for persons with disabilities by identifying, removing, and preventing barriers that might interfere with the ability of such persons to obtain the goods and services WES provides.

Relevant policy: Accessibility Policy

Commitment

WES strives at all times to provide goods and services in a way that respects the dignity and independence of people with disabilities. The organization is committed to giving people with disabilities the same opportunity to access our goods and services and allowing them to benefit from the same services, in the same place and in a similar way as other customers.

Our practices are rooted in the following key principles:

  • Dignity: Treating people who have disabilities as valued and as deserving of the same type of service provided to clients and consumers who do not have disabilities
  • Independence: Respecting the agency of people who have disabilities, the freedom from the control or influence of others, and the freedom to make choices or do things in a preferred way or at a chosen pace
  • Integration of services: Allowing clients and consumers who have disabilities to fully benefit from the same programs and services in the same place and in similar ways to clients and consumers who do not have disabilities
  • Equality of opportunity: Offering the same chances, options, and benefits to all our customers; taking special needs into account to ensure that people with disabilities can fully participate in programs and services

Scope and Application

This policy applies to all WES employees and contractors, and to any person who works on behalf of WES in the provision of goods and services to clients and the public.

Procedures for Providing Goods and Services to People with Disabilities

WES is committed to excellence in serving all its customers, including people with disabilities, by removing barriers that might arise in the course of doing business, as follows.

Communication

  • We will communicate with people with disabilities in ways that accommodate their disability.
  • We are committed to providing fully accessible telephone service to our customers.
  • We will train employees to communicate with customers over the telephone in clear and plain language and to speak clearly and slowly.
  • In addition, we will offer to communicate with customers in alternative ways if telephone communication is not suitable to their communication needs or is not available.

Assistive Devices

  • A person with a disability may provide their own assistive device for the purpose of obtaining, using, and benefiting from WES goods and services.
  • Exceptions may occur in situations where WES has determined that the assistive device may pose a risk to the health and safety of a person with a disability or others on the premises.
  • In such situations, and others, WES may offer a person with a disability other reasonable measures to assist in obtaining, using, and benefiting from WES goods and services, when and where other measures are available.
  • It is the responsibility of the person with a disability to ensure that the assistive device is being operated in a safe and appropriate manner at all times.

Service Animals

  • An animal is qualified to be a service animal if it is readily apparent that the animal is used by the person for reasons relating to the person’s disability, or the person provides a letter from a regulated health professional confirming the use of the animal for reasons relating to the disability.
  • A person with a disability may be accompanied by a service animal on the parts of our premises that are open to the public and keep the animal with them if the animal is not otherwise excluded by law.
  • If a service animal is excluded by law, WES will ensure that alternative means are available to enable the person with a disability to obtain, use, and benefit from WES goods and services.
  • It is the responsibility of the person with a disability to ensure that the service animal is kept in control at all times.

Support Persons

  • A person with a disability may enter our premises with a support person and have access to the support person while on the premises.
  • Fees (where applicable) will not be charged for support persons for participation in programs or activities.

Notice of Temporary Disruption

  • WES will make reasonable efforts to provide prior notice of disruptions, if possible, recognizing that in some circumstances, such as in the case of unplanned disruptions, advance notice will not be possible.
  • In all cases, WES will notify customers promptly by posting a notice that includes information about the reason for the disruption, its expected duration, and a description of alternative facilities or services that may be available. The notice will be posted in reasonable places.
  • When possible, disruptions that are known about in advance will be posted online.

Training

WES will provide training in the provision of goods and services to the public or clients as covered under the scope of this policy to all employees, interns, or persons who work on behalf of WES.

In addition, WES will provide training to persons involved in the development of policies, procedures, and practices relating to the provision of its goods and services.

The content of the training will include:

  • An overview of the purposes of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005
  • An overview of the requirements of the customer service standard
  • Instruction in WES policies, procedures, and practices relating to the provision of goods and services to persons with disabilities
  • How to communicate with persons who have various types of disabilities
  • How to interact with persons who have disabilities and use assistive devices or who require the assistance of a service animal or support person
  • How to use equipment or devices, such as a TTY or text telephone, that are provided which may help people who have certain disabilities access goods and services WES provides
  • What to do if a person with a particular type of disability is having difficulty accessing WES goods and services

Training will be provided to new employees and will also be provided to all employees in connection with any changes to the policies, practices, and procedures governing the provision of WES goods and services to persons with disabilities.

Feedback Process

Feedback from customers or third parties is welcome as it may help identify areas that require change and encourage continual service improvements.

Feedback can be provided to Human Resources via the WES website by filling out the feedback form or by mail or email to the address below:

World Education Services
Human Resources
2 Carlton Street, Suite 1400
Toronto, ON M5B 1J3
[email protected]

If customers with disabilities would prefer to provide their feedback using another method and receive a response, they may request it.

To register a complaint about the organization’s accessibility to persons with disabilities, please submit the complaint in writing (by email or letter) if possible.

Upon receipt of a written complaint, WES will follow up directly with the complainant within five (5) business days and work to resolve the issue in a timely manner.

Creation date: January 2017
Revision date: June 2021