Customer Service Policy
Providing Goods and Services to People with Disabilities
To ensure all Family Counselling Centre of Brant programs and services are accessible to everyone in the community in accordance with Customer Service Regulation 429/07 under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005.
These policies and procedures apply to all goods and services that are delivered by Family Counselling Centre of Brant, by any means including in person, by telephone, electronically, by mail, visually, orally or by written means.
This policy applies to all Family Counselling Centre of Brant staff, contract workers, volunteers and third parties who deal with the public, on behalf of the Family Counselling Centre of Brant.
Our Mission Statement
To promote the well being and social inclusion of individuals and families through counselling, support, education and advocacy.
- Empowered Individuals
- Stronger Families
- A More Vibrant Community
- We believe in courtesy, respect and dignity
- We focus on people’s strengths and capabilities
- We strive to meet the unique needs of the people we serve
- We strive to overcome the barriers, injustices and inequities faced by the people we serve
- We recognize and embrace the diverse and evolving needs of the community
- We believe in partnership with our community
The following definitions will be found throughout this policy:
Alternate Format – Any other ways of publishing information beyond traditional printing (i.e. large print, electronically).
Assistive Devices – An auxiliary aid such as communication aids, cognition aids, personal mobility aids (i.e. canes, crutches, wheelchairs, hearing aids etc.).
Customers/Clients – Any person who receives goods and services provided by Family Counselling Centre of Brant.
Disabilities – The same as the definition of disability found in the Ontario Human Rights Code:
- 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 a 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
Employees – Every person who deals with members of the public or other third parties on behalf of Family Counselling Centre of Brant, whether the person does so as an employee, agent, volunteer or otherwise.
Persons with Disabilities – Individuals who have a disability as defined under the Ontario Human Rights Code (see above).
Service Animals – A “guide dog” as defined in section 1 of the Blind Persons Rights’ Act; or any animal individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of a person with a disability.
Support Persons – Any person, whether a paid professional, volunteer, family member or friend, who accompanies a person with a disability in order to help with communications, personal care or medical needs or with access to goods or services.
Provision of Goods and Services
Family Counselling Centre of Brant is committed to excellence in serving all clients including persons with disabilities and will carry out its functions and responsibilities to ensure that policies, practices and procedures are consistent with the following principles:
- Family Counselling Centre of Brant’s goods and services are provided in a manner that respects the dignity and independence of persons with disabilities;
- The provision of Family Counselling Centre of Brant’s goods and services to persons with disabilities is integrated with those provided to persons who do not have disabilities unless an alternative measure is necessary to enable a person with a disability to obtain, use or benefit from Family Counselling Centre of Brant’s goods or services;
- Persons with disabilities are given an opportunity equal to that of persons without disabilities to obtain use or benefit from Family Counselling Centre of Brant’s goods and services.
- Family Counselling Centre of Brant will take into account individual needs when providing goods and services.
For the purpose of this policy, 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 the reasons relating to the disability; or
- If the person provides a letter form a physician or nurse confirming that the person requires the animals for reasons relating to the disability.
Service Animals must be
- In the direct care of the handler at all times.
- Handlers of the service animal will ensure the safety and wellbeing of other patrons and customers of Family Counselling Centre of Brant as well as all staff and third parties.
- In the event that the presence of the service animal presents a problem for staff and/or other patrons of Family Counselling Centre of Brant, the handler will work with staff to explore alternatives to accommodate the needs of all parties involved, to the greatest extent possible.
- If a health and safety concern presents itself in the form of a severe allergy to the animal, Family Counselling Centre of Brant will make all reasonable efforts to meet the needs of all individuals by keeping the service animal and person with the allergies in separate parts of the building or by meeting offsite.
- If a client with a disability who is accompanied a service animal is attending any sessions taking place within the kitchen area of Family Counselling Centre of Brant, the client’s permission will be requested to leave the service animal in a safe and secure location and a staff member will act as a guide to the individual to attend the session without their service animal. (Health Protection and Promotion Act and the Food Safety and Quality Act, 2001)
Family Counselling Centre of Brant is committed to welcoming people with disabilities who are accompanied by a service animal on the parts of their premises that are open to the public and other third parties, unless otherwise excluded by law. They will also ensure that all staff, volunteers and others dealing with the public are properly trained in how to interact with people with disabilities who are accompanied by a service animal.
Family Counselling Centre of Brant is committed to welcoming people with disabilities who are accompanied by a support person. Any person with a disability who is accompanied by a support person will be allowed to enter Family Counselling Centre of Brant’s premises with his or her support person. At no time will 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 the premises. Any activities that take place on FCCB premises are free for all support persons. However, our clients do periodically go offsite for activities which are run by other corporations and there may be fees charged for support persons at these activities.”
Due to the confidential nature of many of the conversations between staff and clients at Family Counselling Centre of Brant, consent from the client with a disability as well as signing of a confidentiality agreement by the support person, will have to take place before any confidential conversations occur. Clients also have the choice to have their support person remain in the room with them throughout their sessions or not.
If the health and safety of staff or clients of Family Counselling Centre of Brant are at risk due to the actions of another client who has a disability, a support person may be requested to assist with that client. The assessment of the risk will be based on the individual’s actual characteristics, not merely on generalizations, misperceptions, ignorance or fears about a disability.
The ultimate goal of Family Counselling Centre of Brant is to meet the needs of clients, while paying attention to the unique requirements of clients with disabilities. Comments on services regarding how well those expectations are being met are welcomed and appreciated.
Feedback may be given in the following formats:
- Verbally; in person or on the phone
- Electronically via email or via website
- In writing via feedback form located at front desk or written mail.
Feedback in person, by telephone, via written mail or through email should be directed to:
Manager of Administration Services
Family Counselling Centre of Brant
54 Brant Avenue
Phone: 519 753 4173 Ext. 331
Feedback will be used to improve customer service. In addition, the author of the feedback will be provided with a response in the format in which the feedback was received within 7 days (if contact information is provided). The feedback may outline actions deemed appropriate, if any.
Family Counselling Centre of Brant develops and updates policies, procedures and practices in such a manner as to respect and promote the dignity and independence of people with disabilities, as well as integration and equality of opportunity. Therefore, no changes will be made to this policy before considering the impact on people with disabilities. Any policy of Family Counselling Centre of Brant that does not respect and promote the dignity and independence of people with disabilities will be modified or removed.
Family Counselling Centre of Brant will notify customers, by posting a notice in a conspicuous place, that all documents relating to the Customer Service Regulation 429/07 under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 are available upon request. Family Counselling Centre of Brant will provide policy and procedure documents in an alternate format upon request, within 7 days. Alternate formats will include availability on Family Counselling Centre of Brant’s web-site, large print versions of the document and a text only electronic file (word document).
As is required under the Customer Service Regulation, Family Counselling Centre of Brant will complete the Compliancy Reporting annually through the Accessibility Compliance Reporting System (ACR) using the Service Ontario One-Key System.
Questions About This Policy
This policy exists to achieve service excellence to clients with disabilities. Questions about this policy can be directed to:
Coordinator of Administration Services
Family Counselling Centre of Brant
54 Brant Avenue
Phone: 519 753 4173 Ext. 331