Accessible Customer Service Plan
This Policy has been established pursuant to the Accessibility Act (the “Act”).
1. Our Commitment
The Practice is committed to ensuring equal access and participation for people with disabilities. We are committed to treating people with disabilities in a way that allows them to maintain their dignity and independence.
We believe in integration, and we are committed to meeting the needs of people with disabilities in a timely manner. We will do so by removing and preventing barriers to accessibility and by meeting our accessibility requirements under Nova Scotia’s accessibility laws.
2. Customer Service
The Practice is committed to excellence in serving all patients, including patients with disabilities.
The Practice strives to communicate with patients with a disability in a manner that takes into account both the disability and the person’s preferred method of communication. The Practice communicates with patients in person, writing, via telephone or email. The Practice recognizes that not all patients wish to communicate in the same manner. How to interact and communicate with patients with disabilities is set out in our accessibility training program for team members.
4. Assistive Devices
Patients with a disability are permitted, where possible, to use their own assistive device when on our premises for the purposes of obtaining, using or benefiting from our services. Our team members receive training on various assistive devices that may be used by patients with a disability while accessing our services.
If there is a physical, technological or other type of barrier that prevents the use of an assistive device on our premises, we will first endeavour to remove that barrier. If we are not able to remove the barrier, we will ask the person how he or she can be accommodated and what alternative methods of service would be more accessible to him or her. We will make best efforts to provide an alternative means of assistance to the patient with a disability.
5. Support Persons
Patients with a disability may be accompanied by a support person and have access to the support person on our premises.
We may require a patient with a disability to be accompanied by a support person where it is necessary to protect the health or safety of the person with a disability or the health or safety of others on the premises.
Our team members will receive training on how to interact with patients with a disability who are accompanied by a support person.
6. Service Animals
Patients with a disability may be accompanied by a service animal and keep the service animal with them on our premises, if the public or other third parties have access to such premises and the service animal is not otherwise excluded by law. If a service animal must be excluded, we will explain to the individual why this is the case and explore alternative ways to meet the person’s needs.
It is the responsibility of the patient using the service animal to ensure that the service animal is kept in control at all times.
Our team members will receive training on how to interact with patients with a disability who are accompanied by a service animal.
7. Notice of Temporary Disruption
The Practice will provide notice if there is a planned or unexpected disruption of a facility or service that patients with a disability use to access our services. The notice will be posted in the office reception. The notice will include the following information:
- A description of the facility or service that is unavailable;
- The anticipated duration of the disruption;
- The reason for the disruption; and
- Alternative facilities or services, if available.
In the event of an unexpected disruption, notice will be provided as soon as possible.
The Practice will provide training and ongoing graining as required under the Act to all team members. The content of the training shall include:
- A review of the purposes of the Act and requirements of the standard for customer service under the Act;
- How to interact and communicate with patients with various types of disabilities;
- How to interact with patients with a disability who use an assistive device or require the assistance of a service animal or support person;
- How to use equipment or devices made available on our premises to assist patients with a disability to obtain, use or benefit from our goods and services;
- What to do if a person with a disability is having difficulty accessing our premises and/or services;
- The content and requirements of our policies, practices and procedures relating to the standard for customer service under the Act;
- What to do if a person with a particular type of disability has trouble accessing our services.
Training has been provided to all team members. New team members will be provided with training within a reasonable time upon hire.
The Practice values your feedback. Comments regarding our services are welcome and appreciated using any of the following methods:
By email, to firstname.lastname@example.org
In person, by visiting our office and speaking with the practice lead or hand-delivering feedback in writing to the reception area.
Via telephone, to:
(877) 270-3077 ext. 332
In writing, to:
Smiles First Corporation
91 Granton Drive
Richmond Hill, ON L4B 2N5
We are prepared to provide accessible formats and communication supports for patients with disabilities who wish to provide feedback to us upon request. Please contact us using any of the contact methods listed above to request accessible formats and communication supports.
A representative of the practice will respond to all feedback received as soon as practicable. A reply will be provided in the format requested by the patient, by email, telephone, or in writing.
Where appropriate, feedback will be taken into consideration as part of the ongoing review of the Accessible Customer Service standard policies and procedures.
10. Availability of Documents
The Practice’s Accessible Customer Service Standard Policy and procedures will be made available to the public and individuals upon request.
Notification of the availability of documents shall be posted on our practice website. We will provide documents, or the information contained in documents, required to be provided under the Act to patients with a disability in a format that takes into account the person’s disability, upon request.