Customer Access Policy

ACCESSIBLE CUSTOMER SERVICE POLICY

Issued: November 1, 2012

Authorized by: Keith McIntosh, President & CEO

Revision No: N/A

1.0 PURPOSE

This policy is intended to meet the requirements of the Accessibility Standards for Customer Service, Ontario Regulation 429/07 under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005, and applies to the provision of goods and services to our customers.

All goods and services provided by Southbridge Capital Inc. (“SCI”) shall follow the principles of dignity, independence, integration and equal opportunity.

2.0 SCOPE

2.1 This policy applies to the provision of goods and services at premises owned and operated by SCI in Ontario.

2.2 This policy applies to employees, representatives, agents and/or contractors who deal with customers on behalf of SCI, including when the provision of goods and services occurs off the premises of SCI, such as customer visits or meetings, wherever they occur.

2.3 The section of this policy that addresses the use of guide dogs, service animals and service dogs only applies to the provision of goods and services that take place at the premises owned and operated by SCI in Ontario.

2.4 This policy shall also apply to all persons who participate in the development of the SCI’s policies, practices and procedures governing the provision of goods and services to our customers in Ontario.

3.0 DEFINITIONS

Assistive Device – is a technical aid, communication device or other instrument that is used to maintain or improve the functional abilities of people with disabilities. Personal assistive devices are typically devices that customers bring with them such as a wheelchair, walker or a personal oxygen tank that might assist in hearing, seeing, communicating, moving, breathing, remembering and/or reading.

Disability – the term disability as defined by the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005, and the Ontario Human Rights Code means:

  • 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 co-ordination, 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 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.

Guide Dog – a highly-trained working dog that has been trained at one of the facilities listed in Ontario Regulation 58 under the Blind Persons’ Rights Act, to provide mobility, safety and increased independence for people who are blind.

Service Animal – as reflected in Ontario Regulation 429/07, 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 the person requires the animal for reasons relating to the disability.

Service Dog – as reflected in Health Protection and Promotion Act, Ontario Regulation 562, a dog other than a guide dog for the blind is a service dog if:

  • it is readily apparent to an average person that the dog functions as a service dog for a person with a medical disability;
  • or the person who requires the dog can provide on request a letter from a physician or nurse confirming that the person requires a service dog.

Support Person – as reflected in Ontario Regulation 429/07, a support person means, in relation to a person with a disability, another person who accompanies him or her in order to help with communication, mobility, personal care, medical needs or access to goods and services.

4.0 PROCEDURES

In accordance with the Accessibility Standards for Customer Service, Ontario Regulation 429/07, this policy addresses the following:

4.1 The Provision of Goods and Services to Persons with Disabilities

4.2 The Use of Assistive Devices

4.3 The Use of Guide Dogs, Service Animals and Service Dogs

4.4 The Use of Support Persons

4.5 Notice of Service Disruptions

4.6 Customer Feedback

4.7 Training

4.8 Notice of Availability and Format of Required Documents

4.9 Customer Visits and Emergency Evacuation

4.10 Administration

4.1 The Provision of Goods and Services to Persons with Disabilities

SCI will make every reasonable effort to ensure that its policies, practices and procedures are consistent with the principles of dignity, independence, integration and equal opportunity by:

  • ensuring all customers receive the same value and quality;
  • allowing customers with disabilities to do things in their own ways and at their own pace when accessing goods and services as long as this does not present a safety risk;
  • using alternative methods when possible to ensure customers with disabilities have access to the same services, in the same place and in a similar manner;
  • taking into account individual needs when providing goods and services; and
  • communicating in a manner that takes into account the customer’s disability.

4.2 The Use of Assistive Devices

Persons with disabilities may use their own assistive devices, as required, when accessing goods or services provided by SCI.

In cases where the assistive device presents a safety concern or where accessibility might be an issue, other reasonable measures will be used to ensure the access of goods and services. Where elevators are not present and where an individual requires assistive devices for the purposes of mobility, service will be provided in a location that meets the needs of the customer.

4.3 The Use of Guide Dogs, Service Animals and Service Dogs

A customer with a disability that is accompanied by a guide dog, service animal or service dog will be allowed access to SCI premises.

Applicable Laws:

Dog Owners’ Liability Act, Ontario: If there is a conflict between a provision of this Act or of a regulation under this or any other Act relating to banned breeds (such as pitbulls), and a provision of a by-law passed by a municipality relating to these breeds, the provision that is more restrictive in relation to controls or bans on these breeds prevails.

Care and Control of the Animal:

The customer that is accompanied by a guide dog, service dog and/or service animal is responsible for maintaining care and control of the animal at all times.

Allergies:

If a health and safety concern presents itself (for example, in the form of a severe allergy to the animal), SCI will make all reasonable efforts to meet the needs of all individuals.

4.4 The Use of Support Persons

If a customer with a disability is accompanied by a support person, SCI will ensure that both persons are allowed to enter the premises together and that the customer is not prevented from having access to the support person.

In situations where confidential information might be discussed, consent will be obtained from the customer, prior to any conversation where confidential information might be discussed.

4.5 Notice of Service Disruptions

Service disruptions may occur due to reasons that may or may not be within the control or knowledge of SCI. In the event of any temporary disruptions to facilities or services that customers with disabilities rely on to access or use SCI’s goods or services, reasonable efforts will be made to provide advance notice. In some circumstances, such as in the situation of unplanned temporary disruptions, advance notice may not be possible.

In the event that a notification needs to be posted, the following information will be included unless it is not readily available or known:

  • goods or services that are disrupted or unavailable
  • reason for the disruption
  • anticipated duration
  • a description of alternative services or options

Notifications Options:

When disruptions occur, SCI will provide notice by:

  • posting notices in conspicuous places including at the point of disruption, at the main entrance and the nearest accessible entrance to the service disruption and/or on SCI’s website;
  • contacting customers with appointments;
  • verbally notifying customers when they are making a reservation or appointment; or
  • by any other method that may be reasonable under the circumstances.

4.6 Customer Feedback

SCI shall provide customers with the opportunity to provide feedback on the service provided to customers with disabilities. Information about the feedback process will be readily available to all customers and notice of the process will be made available on the company’s website.

Customer Feedback forms are available along with alternate methods of providing feedback, such as verbally (in person or by telephone) or written (hand written, delivered, website or email), will be available upon request.

Submitting Feedback:

Customers are encouraged to provide feedback (verbally, written or any other suitable method) to any SCI employee and may also submit feedback to:

Mike Petersen, President & CEO
80 Bloor Street West
Toronto, ON Canada M5S 2V1
Tel: 647.966.0052

Email: info@southbridgefunds.com

Website: www.southbridgecapitalinc.com

Customers who provide formal feedback will receive acknowledgement of their feedback, along with any resulting actions based on concerns or complaints that were submitted.

4.7 Training

Training will be provided to employees who deal with SCI’s customers, specifically:

a) Administrative Assistant

b) All employees who participate in the development of the SCI’s policies, practices and procedures governing the provision of goods and services to SCI’s customers in Ontario.

Training will also be provided to:

a) Representatives or agents who deal with SCI’s customers on behalf of SCI, including when the provision of goods and services occurs off the premises of SCI such as: on-site customer visits, equipment commissioning, and sales calls, etc. within Ontario.

Training Provisions:

As reflected in Ontario Regulation 429/07, regardless of the format, training will cover the following:

  • A review of the purpose of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005.
  • A review of the requirements of the Accessibility Standards for Customer Service, Ontario Regulation 429/07.
  • Instructions on how to interact and communicate with people with various types of disabilities.
  • Instructions on how to interact with people with disabilities who:
    • use assistive devices;
    • require the assistance of a guide dog, service dog or other service animal; or
    • require the use of a support person
  • Instructions on what to do if a person with a disability is having difficulty accessing SCI’s services.

SCI’s policies, procedures and practices pertaining to providing accessible customer service to customers with disabilities.

Training Schedule:

SCI will provide training as soon as practicable. Training will be provided to new employees, representatives, agents and/or contractors who deal with customers on behalf of SCI. Revised training will be provided in the event of changes to legislation, procedures and/or practices.

Record of Training:

SCI will keep a record of training that includes the dates training was provided and who specifically attended the training.

4.8 Notice of Availability and Format of Required Documents

SCI will notify customers that the documents related to the Accessibility Standard for Customer Service are available upon request and in a format that takes into account the customer’s disability. Notification will be given by posting the availability of such information on SCI’s website and/or in any other reasonable method.

4.9 Customer Visits and Emergency Evacuation

SCI employees are responsible for the persons they invite as customers into the building. Where possible, a SCI employee must accompany all customers at all times. In the event of an emergency evacuation, the attending employee will ensure, as reasonably possible, that his/her customer(s) are evacuated safely.

4.10 Administration

If you have any questions or concerns about this policy or its related procedures, please contact:

Mike Petersen, President & CEO
80 Bloor Street West
Toronto, ON Canada M5S 2V1
Tel: 647.966.0052

Email: info@southbridgefunds.com

Website: www.southbridgecapitalinc.com

This policy and its related procedures will be reviewed, as required, in the event of legislative changes.

5.0 RELATED DOCUMENTS/FORMS

Customers who provide formal feedback will receive acknowledgement of their feedback, along with any resulting actions based on concerns or complaints that were submitted.

We appreciate your time and your suggestions. If you have any questions or concerns about this policy or its related procedures, please do not hesitate to contact us.

[FEEDBACK-FORM]

6.0 REVISION HISTORY

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *