Accessibility

Operating Principle

Leis Pet Distributing Inc. is committed to service excellence while dealing with any of its customers. This includes people with disabilities, and it is our duty to comply with all applicable national and local laws pertaining to the non-discrimination and providing equal opportunity. This policy is in accordance with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (AODA).

 

Definitions

Accessible formats: Include but are not limited to large print, recorded audio and electronic formats, braille, and other formats usable by persons with disabilities.

Assistive device: A technical aid, communication device, or other instrument that is used to maintain or improve the functional abilities of people with disabilities.

Communication supports: Captioning, alternative and augmentative communication supports, plain language, sign language, and other supports that facilitate effective communications.

Disability: The temporary, prolonged, or permanent reduction or absence of the ability to perform certain commonplace activities or roles sometimes referred to as activities of daily living.

Service animal: An animal that can be recognized by visual indicators such as a vest or harness that is being used by an individual with a disability for reasons relating to the person’s disability.

 Definition of Service Animal (AODA 2005):

An animal is a service animal for a person with a disability,

    (a) If it is readily apparent that the animal is used by the person for reasons relating to his or her disability; or

    (b) If the person provides a letter from a physician or nurse confirming that the person requires the animal for reasons relating to the disability.

A service animal is not a pet.

 

Support person AODA (2005):

“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 or medical needs or with access to goods or services.

If there is a charge by Leis Pet Distributing Inc. to attend an event, such fees will not be charged for Support Persons.

 

Scope

This policy applies to the delivery of goods and services in the Province of Ontario by Leis Pet Distributing Inc. All employees adhere to this policy who work in Ontario. If an employee does not reside in Ontario but provides services to someone in Ontario, this policy still applies. Additionally, anyone who interacts with the public and/or third parties on behalf of Leis Pet Distributing in Ontario.

 

Communication

Leis Pet Distributing Inc. will provide or arrange for accessible formats and communication supports for customers that consider their disability. The company will train employees and consult with the employee to determine the specific support requirements to customers.

Emergency Response

Leis Pet Distributing Inc. will create individualized workplace emergency response plans for customers with disabilities and ensure their safety is a priority when visiting a physical location. The emergency response plan will consider the unique challenges created by the individual’s disability and the physical nature of the workplace and will be created in consultation with the customers and employees.

Customized emergency response plans will be reviewed when:

  1. The employee moves to a different physical location in the organization
  2. The employee’s overall accommodation needs, or plans are reviewed; or
  3. The company reviews general emergency response policies.

Leis Pet Distributing Inc. understands the importance of accessible digital and non-digital forms of communication and will do its best to provide accessible types of communication and information to all individuals with disabilities. Such accessible formats and communication supports will be provided upon request, in a timely manner and at no additional cost.

Service Disruptions

Service disruptions may occur for reasons that may or may not be within the control or knowledge of Leis Pet Distributing Inc. In the event of any temporary disruptions to facilities or services that customers with disabilities rely on to access or use goods or services, reasonable efforts will be made to provide advance notice.

When disruptions occur, the company will:

  1. Post notices in the nearest accessible entrance to the service disruption.
  2. Update the company website with information about the disruption.
  3. Contact customers with reservations or appointments; or
  4. By any other method that may be reasonable under the circumstances.

The company will make every reasonable effort to indicate when services will resume and suggest alternatives that can be utilized during the disruption. In some circumstances, such as in the situation of unplanned temporary disruptions or emergencies, advance notice may not be possible.

Emergency Notifications

Leis Pet Distributing Inc. will provide emergency and public safety information, plans and procedures, maps and warning signs at evacuation points, and any other emergency alert information, in accessible formats or with appropriate communication supports, upon request.

The company will:

  1. Work any individuals requesting information and to see how to best meet their needs;
  2. Ensure emergency information can be seen, read, and heard by anyone, including people with disabilities; and
  3. If a person with a disability requires assistance from a support person in case of an emergency, make sure an employee is available to act as such.

 

Procedures

Customer Service

Access to Goods and Services: Leis Pet Distributing Inc. will seek to provide barrier-free access to the company’s goods and services for all customers. Where barriers cannot be removed, alternate means for accessing goods or services will be provided to the best of the company’s ability.

Support Persons and Service Animals: If a customer with a disability is accompanied by a support person, Leis Pet Distributing Inc. will ensure that both persons may enter the premises together and that the customer is not prevented from having access to the support person. A customer with a disability accompanied by a service animal will be allowed access to premises that are open to the public unless otherwise excluded by law. The company will attempt to accommodate the customer and support person to sit with one another.

Assistive Devices

Persons with disabilities may obtain, use, or benefit from goods or services utilizing their own assistive devices. If a person with a disability is hindered or prevented from accessing Leis Pet Distributing Inc. goods or services using his or her assistive device, Leis Pet Distributing Inc. will consult with the person and accommodate them by providing alternative means where practical. If Leis Pet Distributing Inc. provides assistive devices that may be used by customers with disabilities, we will provide staff with training regarding those assistive devices.

In situations where confidential information might be discussed, consent will be obtained from the customer before any potentially confidential information is mentioned in front of the support person.

Customer Feedback (Feedback Process)

Customer feedback can lead to improved service, increased clientele, and a reduction in complaints. Leis Pet Distributing Inc. will ensure that feedback can be provided by customers with disabilities through a variety of mechanisms, such as in person, by phone, e-mail, text message, or social media. Feedback forms, along with alternate methods of providing feedback verbally (in person or by telephone) or written (handwritten, delivered, website, or e-mail), will be available upon request.

Customers who provide formal feedback will receive acknowledgement of their feedback, along with any resulting actions based on concerns or complaints that were submitted, within 5 business days.

Building Accessibility

Leis Pet Distributing Inc. will work to ensure that the built environment, including building interior and exterior, are designed to facilitate barrier-free access to goods or services for customers and employees. If areas of the built environment are not accessible for certain individuals with disabilities, the company will work with the individual to provide an alternate means of access.  Leis Pet Distributing Inc. will ensure the front desk and the human resource manager are aware of the required measures of accessibility.


Responsibilities

Generally, the accommodation responsibility is shared between the employee and the employer, however, each party has individual responsibilities, as outlined below:

Employee

  • It is the primary responsibility of each employee to complete this training within the first two weeks of hiring
  • Notify the employer of any misunderstanding and clarity needed about this policy
  • Provide support to any customer and actively keep relevant supervisors and managers involved,
  • Actively participate in the process by exploring all possible solutions to meet the accommodation need

Employer

  • Provide training and resources about this policy
  • Ensuring consistency in the application of this policy for all employees, where possible
  • Assist employees when they meet an instance of accessibility requests, be involved throughout the process
  • Maintain confidentiality of all parties involved
  • Oversee the application of this policy and update content as required

Employee and Employer

  • Will jointly complete and sign an Accommodation Agreement detailing what options were explored, what has been agreed to; the duration of the agreement and when the accommodation will end or be reviewed for continuance, as required.
  • Maintain ongoing communication during the accessibility requirement for customer

Customer and Stakeholders

  • Will communicate needed measures of accessibility required
  • Provide supporting information or documentation, as needed
  • Maintain confidentiality of all parties involved in the request for accommodation or accessibility

 

Evaluation

This policy will be reviewed by Human Resources to ensure legislative compliance, as required. Policies and procedures are updated and developed as part of the day to day workings of the organisation.

 

Training Requirements 

Training for this policy will be provided to all employees applicable to AODA training within the first 2 weeks of hire. Ongoing training will be provided in accordance with the Company’s annual training plan requirements or if legislative requirements have changed. Retraining efforts will be taken depending on the needs of an employee.

Training will include:

  1. An overview of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005, the requirements of the Customer Service Standard and this Policy
  2. How to service, interact and communicate with people with various types of disabilities
  3. How to interact with people with disabilities who use an assistive device or require the assistance of a service animal or a support person
  4. What to do when a person with a disability is having difficulty accessing Leis Pet Distributing Inc.’s goods and services
  5. Applicable staff will also be trained when material changes are made to our Policy.