AODA Customer Service Policy

Accessible Customer Service Policy

Reviewed by Risk & HR Committee: November 4, 2014
Board Approved: November 26, 2014

Policy Statement

As a provider of financial services, Mainstreet Credit Union is committed to providing accessible member/customer service to people with disabilities in every aspect of our business. We strive to provide the same opportunity to access our goods and services and allow the same benefit from the same services, in the same place and in a similar way as other members.

It is the policy of Mainstreet Credit Union that all branches, offices and self-serve options, for example but not limited to our website, ATMs, online banking and telephone banking, provide quality financial services and information to all members/customers, and in a manner that respects the dignity and independence of persons with disabilities.

Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to meet the requirements of Accessibility Standards for Customer Service outlined in Ontario Regulation 429/07 under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005, by establishing member/customer service standards of access for people with disabilities.

This policy is available upon request to any person, whether or not they are a member of Mainstreet Credit Union, and can be provided in various formats.

Mainstreet Credit Union endeavours to make every reasonable effort to ensure experiences with Mainstreet Credit Union are positive.

Customer Service Standard

Accessible customer service is not about ramps or automatic door openers. It's about understanding that people with disabilities may have different needs. It can be as easy as asking "How can I help?" and making small changes to how you serve members with disabilities.

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 members 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, refers to:

  • 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 - is 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.

General Principles

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

  1. The Provision of Goods and Services to Persons with Disabilities;
  2. The Use of Assistive Devices
  3. The Use of Guide Dogs, Service Animals and Service Dogs
  4. The Use of Support Persons
  5. Notice of Service Disruptions
  6. Training for Staff
  7. Feedback Process
  1. The Provision of Goods and Services to Persons with Disabilities

    Mainstreet Credit Union 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 that all members receive the same value and quality;
    • allowing members with disabilities to do things in their own ways, 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 that members 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 member's disability
  2. Assistive Devices

    Persons with disabilities may use their own assistive devices as required when accessing goods or services provided by Mainstreet Credit Union. We will ensure that our staff is trained and familiar with various assistive devices that may be used by members/customers with disabilities while accessing our services.

    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. For example, 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 member.

  3. Guide Dogs, Service Animals and Service Dogs

    We welcome people with disabilities and their service animals. Service animals are allowed on the parts of our premises that are open to the public, unless otherwise excluded by law[1]. "No pet" policies do not apply to guide dogs, service animals and/or service dogs.

    If a guide dog, service animal or service dog is excluded by law, Mainstreet Credit Union will offer alternative methods to enable the person with a disability to access goods and services, when possible (for example, securing the animal in a safe location and offering the guidance of an employee).

    Recognizing a Guide Dog, Service Dog and/or Service Animal:

    If it is not readily apparent that the animal is being used by the member for reasons relating to his or her disability, Mainstreet Credit Union may request verification from the member.

    Verification may include:

    • a letter from a physician or nurse confirming that the person requires the animal for reasons related to the disability;
    • 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.

    Care and Control of the Animal:

    The member 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, Mainstreet Credit Union will make all reasonable efforts to meet the needs of all individuals.

  4. Support Persons

    A member with disability who is accompanied by a support person will be allowed to have that person accompany them on our premises. The member will not be prevented from having access to the support person.

    There may be times where seating and availability prevent the member and support person from sitting beside each other. In these situations Mainstreet Credit Union will make every reasonable attempt to resolve the issue.

    Consent will be obtained from the person with a disability prior to communicating confidential information in the presence of the support person.

  5. Notice of Disruptions in Service

    Mainstreet Credit Union will make every reasonable effort to provide members/customers with notice in the event of a planned or unexpected disruption to services or facilities usually used by persons with disabilities.

    We will not be able to give advance notice in case of an emergency or unanticipated disruption.

    Notices will be posted in accessible locations (including the website, if possible). Printed notices will be clearly laid out, of sufficient size and easily readable; they will be displayed prominently at entrances, on member notice boards and at service workstations. Members with appointments will be contacted.

    Notifications will include:

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

    The credit union must ensure that all its employees are familiar with the Member Accessibility Standards for Employees and Managers through CUTraining.

    All new Branch employees will be required to complete Member Accessibility Standards training within 120 days of employment.

    Member Service Accessibility Standards for Employees provides the necessary member service requirements mandated for all member serving employees.

    After completing this program employees will understand:

    • the purpose and requirements of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005, (AODA) ;
    • the credit union's policies, procedures and practices for providing accessible products and services to people with a disability;
    • how to interact and communicate with people who have various types of disabilities;
    • how to interact with and accommodate service animals, support persons and assistive devices;
    • how to provide support to a person with a disability who may be having difficulty accessing the credit unions products or services;
    • how to ensure the public is aware of the credit union's feedback and member complaint procedures about accessibility.

      Staff will be trained on an ongoing basis when changes are made to this policy and/or practices and/or procedures related to the provision of service to persons with disabilities.

    Mainstreet Credit Union will keep a record of training that includes the dates training was provided.

  7. Feedback Process

    Members who wish to provide feedback on the way Mainstreet Credit Union provides services to people with disabilities can:

  • Send email to: info@mainstreetcu.ca
  • Send Postal Mail to:

    Mainstreet Credit Union
    SVP Human Resources
    40 Keil Dr. S.
    Chatham, ON N7M 3G8

  • Speak with a manager at any branch who will forward comments to the SVP Human Resources.
  • Complete a comment form in any branch.

Where feedback indicates our service does not meet the requirements of this policy, complaints will be addressed as soon as reasonably possible. Members/customers can expect to hear back within five (5) business days.

Feedback may be shared anonymously; however we will not be able to respond to anonymous comments.

Modifications to this or other policies

Any policy of Mainstreet Credit Union that does not respect and promote the dignity and independence of people with disabilities will be modified or removed.

For additional information visit: www.AccessON.ca


[1] 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 pit bulls) 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.

 

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