The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (the AODA) is a Provincial Act with the purpose of developing, implementing and enforcing accessibility standards in order to achieve accessibility for persons with disabilities with respect to goods, services, facilities, accommodation, employment, buildings, structures and premises.
Under the AODA, Ontario Regulation 429/07 entitled “Accessibility Standards for Customer Service” establishes accessibility standards specific to customer service for public sector organizations and other persons or organizations that provide goods and services to members of the public or other third parties.
This policy has been developed in accordance with the Accessibility Standards for Customer Service (Ontario Regulation 429/07) and addresses the following:
- The 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 temporary disruptions in services and facilities
- Customer feedback regarding the provision of goods and services to persons with disabilities
- Notice of availability and format of documents
This policy applies to all persons who deal with members of the public or other third parties on behalf of bitHeads, whether the person does so as an employee, agent, contractor, volunteer, student on placement, or otherwise and all persons who participate in developing bitHeads’ policies, practices and procedures governing the provision of goods and services to members of the public or other third parties.
A device used to assist persons with disabilities in carrying out activities or in accessing the services of persons or organizations covered by the Customer Service Standard.
- Any degree of physical disability, infirmity, malformation or disfigurement that is caused by bodily injury, birth defect or illness and, without limiting the generality of the foregoing, includes diabetes mellitus, epilepsy, a brain injury, any degree of paralysis, amputation, lack of physical coordination, blindness or visual impediment, deafness or hearing impediment, muteness or speech impediment, or physical reliance on a guide dog or other animal or on a wheelchair or other remedial appliance or device.
- A condition of mental impairment or a developmental disability
- A learning disability or a dysfunction in one or more of the processes involved in understanding or using symbols or spoken language
- A mental disorder, or
- An injury or disability for which benefits were claimed or received under the insurance plan established under the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act, 1997.
A guide dog as defined in section 1 of the Blind Persons’ Rights Act is a dog trained as a guide for a blind person and having qualifications prescribed by the regulations under the Blind Persons’ Rights Act.
Any animal used by a person with a disability for reasons relating to the disability where it is readily apparent that the animal is used by the person for reasons relating to his or her disability; or where the person provides a letter from a physician or nurse confirming that she or she requires the animal for reasons relating to his or her disability; or a valid identification card signed by the Attorney General of Canada or a certificate of training from a recognized guide dog or service animal training school.
A person who accompanies a person with a disability in order to assist him or her with communication, mobility, personal care, or medical needs or with access to goods or services.
bitHeads is committed to providing quality goods and services that are accessible to all persons that we serve.
The Provision of Goods and Services to Persons with Disabilities
bitHeads will use reasonable efforts to ensure that its policies, practices and procedures are consistent with the following principles:
- bitHeads goods and services are provided in a manner that respects the dignity and independence of persons with disabilities;
- The provision of bitHeads goods and services to persons with disabilities are integrated with those provided to persons who do not have disabilities unless an alternative measure is necessary to enable a person with a disability to obtain, use or benefit from bitHeads goods or services and,
- Persons with disabilities are given an opportunity equal to that of persons without disabilities to obtain, use or benefit from bitHeads goods and services.
- Communication with Persons with Disabilities
When communicating with a person with a disability, bitHeads will do so in a manner that takes into account the person’s disability.
Notice of Temporary Disruptions in Services and Facilities
Temporary disruptions in bitHeads services and facilities may occur due to reasons that may or may not be within bitHeads control or knowledge.
bitHeads will make reasonable effort to provide notice of the disruption to the public or third parties, including information about the reason for the disruption, its anticipated duration, and a description of alternative facilities or services, if any, that may be available. bitHeads will make reasonable effort to provide prior notice of planned disruption if possible, recognizing that in some circumstances such as in the situation of unplanned temporary disruption, advance notice will not be possible. In such cases, bitHeads will provide notice as soon as possible.
When temporary disruptions occur to bitHeads services or facilities, bitHeads will provide notice by posting the information in visible places, or on bitHeads website, www.bitheads.com, or by any other method as soon as reasonably possible.
Assistive Devices and other Measures that Assist with Accessibility
A person with a disability may provide their own assistive device for the purpose of obtaining, using and benefitting from bitHeads goods or services. Exceptions may occur in situations where bitHeads has determined that the assistive devices may pose a risk to the health and safety of a person with a disability or the health and safety of others on the premises.
In these situations and others, bitHeads may offer a person with a disability other reasonable measures to assist him or her in obtaining, using and benefiting from bitHeads goods or services, where bitHeads has such other measures available.
It should be noted that it is the responsibility of the person with a disability to ensure that his or her assistive device is operated in a safe and controlled manner at all times.
Persons with a disability may enter premises owned and operated, or operated, by bitHeads, accompanied by a service animal and keep the animal with them if the public has access to such premises and the animal is not otherwise excluded by law. If a service animal is excluded by law, bitHeads will ensure that alternate means are available to enable the person with a disability to obtain, use or benefit from bitHeads goods or services.
It should be noted that it is the responsibility of the person with a disability to ensure that his or her service animal is kept in control at all times.
A person with a disability may enter premises owned and operated, or operated, by bitHeads with a support person and have access to the support person while on the premises.
bitHeads may require a person with a disability to be accompanied by a support person while on bitHeads premises in situations where it is necessary to protect the health or safety of the person with the disability or the health and safety of others on the premises.
bitHeads is committed to providing high quality goods and services to all members of the public or third parties it serves. Feedback from the public or third parties is welcomed as it may identify areas that require change and encourage continuous service improvements.
Feedback from a member of the public or third party about the delivery of goods and services to persons with disabilities may be given by telephone, in person, in writing, in electronic format or through other methods
Information about the feedback process will be readily available and notice of the process is posted on bitHeads website, www.bitheads.com, and in other appropriate locations.
bitHeads will ensure that all persons to whom this policy applies receive training as required by the Accessibility Standards for Customer Service. The content of the training will include:
- A review of the purposes of the AODA;
- Requirements of the Accessibility Standards for Customer Service (Ontario Regulation 429/07;
- Instructions on bitHeads policies, procedures and practices pertaining to the provision of goods or services to persons with disabilities;
- How to interact and communicate with persons with various types of disabilities;
- What to do if a person with a particular type of disability is having difficulty accessing our goods or services;
- How to interact with persons with disabilities who use assistive devices or who require the assistance of a support person or service animal; and
- Information about the equipment or devices available on bitHeads premises, if applicable.
Availability and Format of Documents Required by the Accessibility Standards for Customer Service
(Ontario Regulation 429/07)
All documents required by the Accessibility Standards for Customer Service including bitHeads Accessible Customer Service policies, procedures, and practices, notices of temporary disruptions, training records, and written feedback process are available upon request.
When providing a document to a person with a disability, bitHeads will provide the document, or the information contained in the document, in a format that takes the person’s disability into account.
Notice of the Availability of Documents
Notice of the availability of all documents required by the Accessibility Standards for Customer Service will be posted on bitHeads website and posted in a prominent location on our premises.