Accessible Customer Service Policy

World Education Services (WES) is committed to providing accessible customer service to people who access our services. 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 to obtain the goods and services provided by the organization.

Sections within this Policy

Relevant policy: WES 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 also 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 a person with a disability as valued and as deserving of the same type of service provided to other clients and consumers.
  • Independence – freedom from control or influence of others; freedom to make choices or do things in a preferred way at a chosen pace.
  • Integration of services – allow clients and consumers who have a disability to fully benefit from the same programs and services in the same place and in similar ways to other clients and consumers.
  • Equality of opportunity – having the same chances, options, benefits as others and the special needs are taken into account to ensure they can fully participate in programs and services.

Scope / Application

This policy applies to all WES employees, Board members or any person who work 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 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 services 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 (Company) goods and services, 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 controlled manner at all times.

Service animals

  • An animal is qualified to be a service animal if it is readily apparent the animal is used by the person for reasons relating to his or her 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 alternate 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 program/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 situation of unplanned temporary 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 alternate facilities or services that may be available. The notice will be posted in reasonable places.
  • When possible, disruptions that are known in advance will be posted online.

Training

WES will provide training to all employees, interns, or any person who work on behalf of WES in the provision of goods and services to the public or clients as covered under the scope of this policy.  In addition, WES will provide training to persons involved in the development of policies, procedures and practices pertaining to the provision of 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 on WES policies, procedures and practices pertaining to the provision of goods and services to persons with disabilities;
  • How to communicate with persons with various types of disabilities;
  • How to interact with persons with disabilities who use assistive devices or who require the assistance of a service animal or support person;
  • How to use equipment or devices that are provided which may help people with disabilities access goods and services provided by WES , such as TTY telephones, elevators, etc.; and
  • What to do if a person with a particular type of disability is having difficulty accessing WES’ goods or 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 goods and services to persons with disabilities.

Feedback process

Feedback from customers and/or third parties is welcomed as it may identify areas that require change and encourage continuous service improvements.

Feedback can be provided by telephone, mail or electronic means according to the information set out below:

Shireen Sookdeo, Human Resources
2 Carlton Street, Suite 1400
Toronto, ON M5B1J3
437-888-1105
hrcan@wes.org

If customers with disabilities would prefer to use an alternate method other than what’s listed to give their feedback, and receive a response to it, they may request it.

If a person would like to register a complaint about the organization’s accessibility to persons with disabilities, we request that the complaint be made in writing (by e-mail or letter) wherever possible.