Accessibility Policy – AODA

Rev 3 May 2017

Standard for Customer Service

Purpose
The purpose of the Karl W. Richter Ltd., Customer Service Standard Policy is to be proactive about the inclusion of people with disabilities in our goods & service offerings and to align ourselves with the Legislative Requirements, such as the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, and the Human Rights Code, which address the historical disadvantage suffered by persons with disabilities due to discrimination.

Karl W. Richter aligns itself with the core concepts of these legislations and is committed to:

  • Developing, implementing and enforcing accessibility standards in order to achieve accessibility for people with disabilities with respect to goods, services, facilities, accommodation, employment, buildings, structures, and premises; and
  • Providing involvement of persons with disabilities, of provincial governments and of representatives of industries and of various sectors of the economy in the development of accessibility standards.

Our Commitment

  • Karl W. Richter Ltd. strives to provide our goods & services in manner that is accessible to all of our clients, and respects the dignity, independence, integration and equal opportunity of people with disabilities. We are committed to offering equal opportunity to access our services and to providing the benefit of the same services, in the same place and in a similar way to all clients.
  • Karl W. Richter Ltd. is committed to meeting the communication needs of people with disabilities and when requested we will provide information and communicate material in accessible formats.

Employment

  • Karl W. Richter will accommodate disabilities during our interview and hiring processes when needed and if required will provide customized workplace emergency information. The needs of employees with disabilities will be considered during any changes in role or location assignments.
  • Any policies that do not support the respect, dignity and independence of people with disabilities will be amended.

Accessible Customer Service Plan

Providing Goods and Services to People with Disabilities
Karl W. Richter Ltd. is committed to excellence in serving all customers including people with disabilities and will carry out our functions and responsibilities in the following areas:

Communication
We will communicate with people with disabilities in ways that take into account their disability. We are flexible in our approaches.

All staff must consider how many people with various disabilities communicate and tailor their approaches to dealing with customers appropriately. The simplest and most effective technique is to ask customers how we can best communicate with them. If a particular method is unavailable, work expeditiously with the customer to find an acceptable alternative.

We must always ask ourselves how we can make our communications more accessible. Every situation is different and depends on the individual’s unique needs.

  • Make the original communication more accessible by using techniques like plain language writing during the planning process; or
  • Change the usual method of communication to meet the client’s needs;

One example is where we provide information in a paper format. If a customer with low vision asks for information in Braille but it is not available in Braille, we explain that is can be made available in an accessible format on the website or in an email. This may work for the client because she or he has a screen reader at home that reads what we have displayed on our website or via email. For another client, who has vision difficulties or learning disability, it may be sufficient to read the difficult parts out loud.

Telephone Services
We are committed to providing fully accessible telephone service to our clients. Staff is expected to communicate with clients over the telephone in a clear and plain language and to speak clearly and slowly, wherever necessary.

We will offer to communicate with clients by any appropriate means of communication if telephone communication is not suitable to their communication needs.

Assistive Devices

An assistive device is any piece of equipment a person with a disability uses to help them with their daily living. Some examples include: a wheelchair, screen reader, listening device or cane. We are committed to serving people with disabilities who use assistive devices to obtain, use or benefit from our services.

Karl W. Richter Ltd. personnel shall wherever possible accommodate clients who use assistive devices in connection with their disability. Karl W. Richter Ltd. personnel must ensure that they are familiar with various assistive devices that may be used by customers with disabilities while accessing our goods & services.

To ensure familiarity, staff needs to consider how they will address the use of a customer’s assistive device. The best practice is to ask the customer on the appropriate and inappropriate ways of interacting with them and their assistive devices. An example is a customer who can walk short distances and uses a scooter. It is often difficult to find space in the office to park the scooter, so they will find it helpful when staff suggests parking options and make space. Another example is for scooter /wheel chair access we have a vehicle ramp towards the back of the building that an employee can meet and escort a person into the building safely.

Billing
We are committed to providing accessible invoices to all our clients. For this reason, invoices shall be provided in alternate formats (including but not limited to hard copy, large print or email) upon request.

We will answer any questions customers may have about the content of the invoice in person, by telephone or by email.

Service Animals
We are committed to welcoming people with disabilities who are accompanied by a Service Animal (not necessarily only dogs) on the parts of our premises that are open to the public and other third parties. Before meeting with a customer who uses a Service Animal, we should:

  • Identify the few areas of our office not open to Service Animals (for example the kitchens) and
  • Ask the customer about appropriate ways to interact with them and their Service Animals (For example never touch or distract a guide dog without permission).

Support Persons
We are committed to welcoming people with disabilities who are accompanied by a support person. Support people do not have to be a paid support worker but could be any family member or friend that helps a customer perform daily tasks. Any person with a disability who is accompanied by a support person shall be allowed to enter Karl W. Richter’s premises with his or her support person. At no time shall a person with a disability who is accompanied by a support person be prevented from having access to his or her support person while on your premises.

Notice of Temporary Disruption
Karl W. Richter Ltd.shall provide customers with notice in the event of a planned or unexpected disruption in the facilities or services usually used by people with disabilities. This notice must include information about the reason for the disruption, its anticipated duration, and a description of alternative facilities or services, if available.

The notice will be place at all receptions on our premises.

Privacy
All Information about a disability is personal and private and must be treated confidentially.

Notice of Availability
Karl W. Richter Ltd., will notify the public that our policies are available upon request, and also will be available on our website (Under the word) Accessibility as of Dec 31-2014 and copies will be available in our main reception and at by the counter at the front door.

Difficulty Accessing Services
If a person with a disability is having difficulty assessing our services, ask the person how she/he can be accommodated and what alternative methods of service provision would be more accessible.

Training

Karl W. Richter Ltd. will provide training to all employees and others who deal with the public as well as those who are involved in the development of corporate policies, practices, and procedures. Karl W. Richter Ltd. will also ensure the staff of any third parties acting on Karl W. Richter Ltd.’s behalf will have received training on serving our customers with disabilities.

For new hires this training will be provided during their orientation process.

AODA Training will cover the following:

  • The purposes of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 and the requirements of the customer service standard.
  • How to interact and communicate with people with various types of disabilities.
  • How to interact with people with disabilities who use assistive devices or require the assistance of a service animal or support person.
  • Karl W. Richter Ltd., policies, practices, and procedures relating to the customer service standard.
  • Those involved in policy development will receive additional training about providing goods and services to the public or third parties.
  • Ongoing training will be provided with respect to any changes to Karl W. Richter Ltd.’s policies, practices, and procedures.

Feedback Process

While the ultimate goal of Karl W. Richter Ltd. is to meet and surpass customer expectations while serving customers with disabilities. Comments on our goods and services regarding how well these expectations are being met are welcomed and appreciated.

Feedback regarding the way Karl W. Richter Ltd. provides services to people with disabilities may be made by any reasonable medium such as e-mail, verbally, telephone, fax… All feedback shall be directed to Karl W. Richter Ltd., Attention: Human Resources Manager. Karl W. Richter Ltd.shall respond within 15 days.

Communication

This policy shall be communicated to all new employees during orientation and/or when changes occur.

Questions about This Policy

If anyone has a question about our policy, or if the purpose of policy is not clear or understood, please contact Tom Middleton by e-mail at tmiddleton@kwrtools.com or by telephone at 416-332-6850.