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IPC Customer Service Standard

(PDF Version)

November 2009

The goals of IPC customer service standard policies, practices, and procedures are granting independence, dignity, integration and equality of opportunity, to all persons.

Principles

  1. The IPC will provide services in a manner that respects the dignity and independence of persons with disabilities.

  2. The IPC will provide services to persons with disabilities that are integrated to ensure that a person with a disability can obtain, use and benefit from our services.

  3. The IPC will provide persons with disabilities the same opportunity to obtain, use and benefit from our services as persons without disabilities.


Policy

The IPC will ensure that all persons, be they callers, visitors, requesters, individuals with privacy complaints etc., are treated promptly, and in a courteous manner.

The IPC will ensure that persons with disabilities:

  • Are treated with dignity and independence;
  • Have integrated access to services; and
  • Have equal access to all IPC services that everyone in Ontario benefits from.


Procedures and Common Examples

The IPC understands that information about a disability is personal and private and must be treated confidentially. We will not ask for proof of a disability but rather accept an individual’s disclosure of their disability.

If a member of the public requests a document in Braille, we will give them the option of having someone read them the document immediately, or forward them a Braille version of the document as soon as possible, or both. We will also offer the option of having an audio version of the document made.

If a member of the public is unable to stand at our reception desk, we will offer them a chair and provide the same service while they are seated.

The IPC will offer assistance to members of the public who appear to need help in accessing items based on slow or difficult movements. If the person states that they do not need assistance, we will respect that choice and provide as much time as they need within normal business hours.

The IPC will answer the TTY machine when it rings and provide efficient service. (This could require getting an Analyst / Information Officer / etc., to come to reception and provide the service through the TTY machine.)

The IPC will communicate with persons with disabilities in ways that take their disability into account. This means that staff will communicate in a manner that enables persons with disabilities, to communicate effectively for the purpose of accessing our services. This may include but is not restricted to:

  • Pen and paper;
  • Typing messages back and forth;
  • Adjusting speaking style to more slowly or clearly;
  • Electronic communication systems; and
  • Gestures.

If a person with a disability is accompanied by a support person, the IPC will ensure that both persons are permitted to enter the premises together and that the person with a disability is not prevented from having access to the support person. The IPC will provide services to the individual with the disability – not to a companion, caregiver or family member — unless the individual gives consent to do so. We will ask if the individual is comfortable with the inclusion of a companion, caregiver or family member at the beginning of the discussion process and proceed with their choice.

The IPC gives persons with disabilities the option of accessing us through e-mail, phone, TTY machine, letter or another communication method that meets their needs.

If a member of the public self-discloses a disability and indicates the best way to be accommodated, the IPC will follow that advice. If required, the IPC employee may ask the person what is the best method to use when communicating with them.

Personal assistance devices are usually devices that people bring with them and the IPC will ensure that all devices are accommodated while accessing our services.

If a member of the public wants to communicate with the IPC in a language other than English, Reception will send an e-mail to all IPC staff requesting assistance with the specified language (including sign language). If we can not find a staff member to assist in the requested language, we will find a translation service.

The IPC will welcome all guide dogs and service animals without a letter from a physician or nurse confirming that the person requires the animal for reasons relating to his or her disability.

The IPC will post on its website, on its door and by voice mail, a notice if we are experiencing or expecting to experience a disruption in service and a notice of an alternative way to access its services.

The IPC will make available a laptop computer to communicate with a customer, if required.

The IPC will be located only in a building that is fully accessible to individuals with disabilities.

The IPC will ensure that all staff receives training regarding the provision of its services to persons with disabilities. This training will include:

  1. A review of the purposes of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) and the requirements of the customer service standard;

  2. How to interact and communicate with persons with various types of disabilities;

  3. How to interact with persons with disabilities who use an assistive device or require the assistance of a guide dog or other service animal or a support person;

  4. How to use equipment or devices available on the IPC’s premises or otherwise provided by the IPC that may help with the provision of goods or services to a person with a disability, such as TTY telephones, elevators, or other technology; and

  5. What to do if a person with a disability is having difficulty accessing the IPC’s goods or services.

This will include each employee signing a confirmation that they have read and understand the policy, practices and procedures document and they have viewed the online AODO Customer Services Training Module located on the IPC Intranet in the Corporate section highlighted in red. This training will be part of the welcome package given to all new employees. This training will be repeated every three years.

The IPC will invite feedback on how we are doing in providing service to persons with disabilities either in person, by telephone, in writing, or e-mail. There will be comment cards available at reception and the option of e-mailing comments to info@ipc.on.ca will be offered. All comments will be collected by Communications and forwarded to the Director of Corporate Services for response. All complaints will be forwarded to the Director of Corporate Services for investigation and response.

The IPC will follow the OPS Common Service Standard that customers can expect acknowledgement of verbal/telephone feedback or feedback left on a comment card, within two business days, and within 15 business days of receiving a mailed/ e-mailed complaint. The acknowledgement must indicate when the matter will be addressed and when the customer will be notified.

The IPC will post a notice that its customer service standard is available on its website and can be provided in hard copy or in any other format that is requested by a person with a disability.

The IPC will have an Accessibility Overview on our website that will provide step-by-step accessibility modifications for a number of popular browsers and operating systems. And it will include step-by-step instructions on how to change text size, mouse pointer visibility, colours, fonts, magnify screen, and browse out loud. This will be updated regularly as technologies develop.

We will also provide a person with a disability the option to request and receive any of our documents in another format that meets their needs as soon as possible.


Definitions

Dignity means respecting a person with a disability by treating them as a customer who is valued and as deserving of effective and full service as any person without a disability. The IPC will not treat persons with disabilities as an afterthought or force them to accept service of a lesser standard.

Independence means ensuring that persons with disabilities have freedom from the control or influence of others — freedom to make their own choice in how they would like to receive our services.

Integration means providing services that allow persons with disabilities to access our services, in the same time, in the same place and in the same manner as persons without disabilities. Our policies, practices and procedures are designed to be accessible to everyone, including persons with disabilities.

Equal opportunity means having the same chances, options, benefits and results as persons without disabilities.

What is the Accessibility For Ontarians With Disabilities Act, 2005 (AODA)?

The AODA is a law that allows the government to develop specific standards of accessibility and to enforce them.

AODA Section 1 states:

Recognizing the history of discrimination against persons with disabilities in Ontario, the purpose of this Act is to benefit all Ontarians by,

a) developing, implementing and enforcing accessibility standards in order to achieve accessibility for Ontarians with disabilities with respect to goods, services, facilities, accommodation, employment, buildings, structures, and premises on or before January 1, 2025; and

b) providing for the involvement of persons with disabilities, of the government of Ontario and of representatives of industries and various sectors of the economy in the development of the accessibility standards.

The purpose of the accessibility standards is to move public sector organizations in Ontario forward on accessibility.

These standards will set requirements in a number of key areas and will be reviewed at least every five years, with new requirements being added, if necessary. Ontario will move step-by-step towards accessibility that is widespread and commonplace which people with disabilities can count on every day. In this way, Ontario will fully benefit from the contributions, involvement and economic power of people with disabilities.

Further, increasing accessibility will help prepare Ontario for the future. As the population ages, the number of people with disabilities will increase. Residents of Ontario, along with visitors and tourists, will need accessible services in order to travel, shop, use programs and services, find information and access buildings, parks, and other areas.


Who is a Person With a Disability?

The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act 2005 definition of “disability” includes disabilities of different severity, visible as well as non-visible disabilities, and disabilities whose) effects may come and go. The Act defines them in the following five ways:

  1. 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;

  2. A condition of mental impairment or a developmental disability;

  3. A learning disability or dysfunction in one or more of the processes involved in understanding or using symbols or spoken language;

  4. A mental disorder; or

  5. An injury or disability for which benefits were claimed or received under the insurance plan established under the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act, 1997.

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