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Accessibility Standards for Customer Service


The goal of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (the “Act”) is to create a more accessible Ontario, by identifying, and to the extent possible, preventing, and eliminating barriers experienced by persons with a disability.

A standard for customer service (“the Standard”) has been established under the Act to ensure goods and services are, where at all possible, equally accessible to every member of the public. We at Maryvale are committed to providing a barrier-free environment for our customers. The objective of this policy (the “Policy”) is to ensure we meet the requirements of the Standard and promote its underlying core principles, described below.


The Policy applies to all persons who, on behalf of Maryvale, deal with members of the public or other third parties. This includes our employees, volunteers, agents and contractors.


3.1 Accessibility Report – The report required to be filed pursuant to section 14 of the Act.

3.2 Assistive Device – Any device used to assist a person in performing a particular task or tasks or to aid that person in activities of daily living.

3.3 Disability – Has the same definition as is provided under the Act and Human Rights Code, R.S.O. 1990, c. H.19.

3.4 Service Animal – 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.

3.5 Support Person – A person who accompanies a person with a disability to assist with communication, mobility, personal care or medical needs or with access to goods or services.

3.6 “We”, “Our” and “Staff” means Maryvale and its employees, volunteers, agents and contractors.


We endeavor to ensure that the Policy and related practices and procedures are consistent with the following four (4) core principles:

4.1 Dignity – Persons with a disability must be treated as valued customers as deserving of service as any other customer.

4.2 Equality of Opportunity – Persons with a disability should be given an opportunity equal to that given to others to obtain, use and benefit from our goods and services.

4.3 Integration – Wherever possible, persons with a disability should benefit from our goods and services in the same place and in the same or similar manner as any other customer. In circumstances where integration does not serve the needs of the person with a disability, goods and services will, to the extent possible, be provided in another way that takes into account the person’s individual needs.

4.4 Independence – Goods and services must be provided in a way that respects the independence of persons with a disability. To this end, we will always be willing to assist a person with a disability but will not do so without the express permission of the person.


Maryvale has created an Accessibility Committee responsible for:

i. Developing and implementing policies, practices and procedures to ensure the accessible provision of goods and services to persons with a disability. The accessibility plan is updated and reviewed at a minimum every 5 years.

ii. Developing and implementing an accessibility training program as required under the Act. Our Health and Safety committee addresses on a yearly basis any items of concern and accessibility assessments. They will also recommend the necessary training required for the organization.

iii. Developing a feedback procedure as required under the Act.

iv. Filing Accessibility Reports as required under section 14 of the Act.

v. Areas requiring maintenance will be identified and access to the area restricted. During this restricted time an area will be developed to accommodate any pers with a disability.


I. Communication

A. Accessible Mediums of Communication

Maryvale strives to communicate with members of the public in a manner that is accessible. Mediums of accessible communication we currently employ include:



c)Written form


e)Interpreter for the hearing impaired

f)Interpreter for language differences

B. Communicating with Persons with a Disability

Maryvale strives to communicate with persons with a disability in a manner that takes into account the disability. Approaches for communication are set out in our accessibility training program.

II. Assistive Devices

Persons 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 goods and 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/she can be accommodated and what alternative methods of service would be more accessible to him/her. We will make best efforts to provide an alternative means of assistance to the person with a disability.

Staff will receive training on various Assistive Devices that may be used by persons with a disability while accessing our goods and services.

III. Accessibility at Our Premises

We offer the following services to enable persons with a disability to obtain, use or benefit from our goods and services:

  • The assistance of a staff person to help complete forms
  • Accompaniment of staff to aid in making facility entirely accessible
  • Ramps will be provided wherever physically possible
  • Interpreters (given a reasonable amount of time to obtain) will be provided
  • Waiting areas with seating both private and public for use by client and/or support worker
  • Literature will be available in large print
  • Support workers and support aids are permitted

Staff will receive training on how to use facilities or services made available on our premises to assist persons with a disability to obtain, use or benefit from our goods and services.

IV. Service Animals

Persons with a disability may enter premises owned and/or operated by Maryvale accompanied by a Service Animal, and keep the Service Animal with them, if the public has access to such premises and the Service Animal is not otherwise excluded by law.

If a service animal must be excluded, we explain to our customer why this is the case and explore alternative ways to meet the customer’s needs.

If it is not readily apparent that the animal is a Service Animal, Maryvale may ask the person with a disability for a letter from a physician or nurse confirming that the person requires the animal for reasons relating to his/her disability. Emotional support animals may not be included.

Staff will receive training on how to interact with persons with a disability accompanied by a Service Animal.

V. Support Persons

A person with a disability may enter premises owned and/or operated by Maryvale with a Support Person and have access to the Support Person while on the premises.

Maryvale may require a person 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.

Staff will receive training on how to interact with persons with a disability who are accompanied by a Support Person.

VI. Notice of Temporary Disruptions

Maryvale will notify customers if there is a planned or unexpected disruption of a facility or service persons with a disability use to access our goods and services. The notice will be posted at the entrance of the applicable premises and on the home page of the Maryvale website.

The notice will include the following information:

i. That a facility or service is unavailable.

ii. The anticipated duration of the disruption.

iii.The reason for the disruption.

iv. Alternative facilities or services, if available.


Maryvale will provide training, and ongoing training as required under the Act, to all persons to whom this Policy applies as well as to those persons charged with developing this Policy and related procedures and practices.

A. Content of Training

Training will include:

i. A review of the purpose of the Act and requirements of the Standard.

ii. A review of the Policy.

iii. How to interact and communicate with persons with various types of disabilities.

iv. How to interact with persons with a disability who use an Assistive Device or require the assistance of a Service Animal or Support Person.

v. How to use equipment or devices made available on our premises to assist persons with a disability to obtain, use or benefit from our goods and services.

vi. What to do if a person with a disability is having difficulty accessing our premises and/or services.

B. Timing of Training

Training will be provided to all persons to whom this Policy applies as soon as practicable after he or she is assigned the applicable duties.

C. Documenting Training

Records of the training provided, including the training protocol, the dates on which the training is provided and the number of individuals to whom the training is provided shall be maintained in accordance the requirements of the Act.


A. Receiving Feedback

Maryvale welcomes and appreciates feedback regarding this Policy and its implementation. Feedback can be provided in the following ways:

i. In person at Maryvale.

ii. By telephone at 519-258-0484.

iii. In writing to Maryvale, 3640 Wells Street, Windsor, Ontario N9C 1T9.

iv. Electronically to or on disk.

v. – Contact page – email link

B. Responding to Feedback

Maryvale has a feedback protocol to enable it to receive and respond to comments, including complaints. Maryvale feedback protocol is available upon request.


This Policy, and related practices and protocols, shall be made available to any member of the public upon request.


Maryvale will provide documents, or the information contained in documents, required to be provided under the Standard, to a person with a disability in a format that takes the person’s disability into account.

The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (AODA) is a law in Ontario that allow the government to develop specific standards of accessibility and to enforce them.

Who are people with disabilities?

  • Any individual with any degree of physical disability, infirmity, malformation or disfigurement that is caused by bodily injury or birth defect
  • Any illness including diabetes mellitus, epilepsy, a brain injury, any degree of paralysis, amputation, lack of physical coordination, 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
  • Mental impairment /disorder or a developmental disability/learning disability
  • An injury or disability for which benefits were claimed or received under the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act

There are two kinds of Barriers – Visible and Invisible

A barrier is anything that keeps someone with a disability from fully participating in all aspects of society because of their disability.

Attitude – is a major barrier that’s within our power to change – how do we communicate with someone with a disability – our formation of assumptions about individuals

Architectural or Structural Barriers

Information and Communication Barriers – Deaf cannot communicate via a standard phone

Technology – prevent people from accessing information

Systemic – policies, practices and procedures restrict people with disabilities

What is the customer service standard?

Ontario’s accessible customer service standard is now the law. It came into force on January 1, 2008. People, businesses and other organizations that provide goods or services to the public or to other businesses or organizations in Ontario have legal obligations under the standard. The standard is aimed at making their customer service operations accessible to people with disabilities.

General tips on providing service to customers with disabilities:

  • If you’re not sure what to do, ask your customer, ”May I help you?” They will know if they need help and how you can provide it.
  • Speak directly to the person with a disability, not to his or her support person or companion.
  • Avoid stereotypes and make no assumptions about what type of disability or disabilities the person has.
  • Take the time to get to know your customer’s needs and focus on meeting those needs.
  • Be patient.
  • Make an effort to learn about appropriate language when referring to people with disabilities.
  • If you cannot understand them politely ask them to repeat themselves.
  • Don’t touch or speak to service animals.
  • Don’t touch assistive devices, including wheelchairs, without permission.

Vision Loss or Impairment

Types of assistance:

  • Braille
  • Large print
  • Magnification devices
  • White cane
  • Guide dog
  • Support person such as a sighted guide


  • Offer your elbow to guide the person
  • Don’t assume they can’t see you at all and never touch them without asking permission
  • Identify landmarks or other details to orient your customer
  • Don’t touch or speak to service animals – they are working
  • If you need to leave your customer let him or her know you are leaving and when you will be back
  • Be clear and concise when giving directions e.g. Two steps behind you, a metre to your left
  • Offer to read printed information

Deaf, Oral Deaf, Deafened or Hard of Hearing

Types of assistance:

  • Hearing aid
  • Paper and pen
  • Personal amplification device
  • Phone amplifier
  • Relay Service
  • Teletypewriter (TTY)
  • Hearing ear dog
  • Support person such as a sign language interpreter

A person who is deaf blind can neither see nor hear to some degree. This results in difficulties in accessing information and managing daily activities. Many people who are deaf blind will be accompanied by an intervener, a professional who helps with communicating.


  • Attract the customer’s attention before speaking. A gentle touch on the shoulder or a gentle wave of your hand.
  • Ask how you can help. Don’t shout.
  • Move to a well-lit area where your customer can see your face.
  • Don’t put your hands in front of your face when speaking.
  • Ask if another method of communicating would be easier, for example, using a pen and paper.
  • Be patient if you are using a pen and paper to communicate.
  • Look at and speak directly to your customer. Address your customer, not the interpreter or support person.
  • If the person uses a hearing aid, reduce background noise or move to a quieter area.
  • Don’t assume that the customer knows sign language or reads lips.

How to interact and communicate with customers who have physical disabilities

Types of assistance:

  • Elevator
  • Mobility device (wheelchair, scooter, walker, cane, crutches)
  • Support Person

Mental Health Disabilities

Types of assistance:

  • Service animal
  • Support person


  • Treat a person with a mental health disability with the same respect and consideration you have for everyone else.
  • Be patient.
  • Be confident and reassuring. Listen carefully and work with your customer to try to meet their needs.
  • If someone appears to be in crisis, ask him or her to tell you the best way to help

Customers who have intellectual or developmental disabilities

Types of assistance:

  • Communication board
  • Speech generating device
  • Service animal
  • Support person

Customers who have learning disabilities

Types of assistance:

  • Alternative technology for writing
  • Calculator
  • Scanning or reading technology
  • Tape recorders, mini pocket recorders>


  • Ask how you can help
  • Speak naturally, clearly and directly to your customer
  • Allow extra time if necessary – people may take a little longer to understand and respond
  • Remember to communicate in a way that takes into account the customer’s disability.
  • Be patient and be willing to explain something again, if needed.

Customers who have speech or language impairments

Types of assistance:

  • Communication board
  • Paper and pen
  • Speech generating device
  • Support person


  • Don’t assume that because a person has one disability, they also have another. EG. Difficulty speaking, doesn’t mean they have an intellectual or developmental disability.
  • Ask your customer to repeat the information if you don’t understand.
  • Ask questions that can be answered “yes” or “no” if possible.
  • Don’t interrupt or finish your customer’s sentences. Allow enough time as they may speak more slowly. Wait for them to finish.

Communicating using a TTY and Bell Relay Service

  • A teletypewriter (TTY) is a device that allows users to send typed messages across phone lines. Many people who are Deaf, oral deaf, deafened, hard of hearing or deaf blind use TTYs to call other individuals.
  • This device generally has a keyboard and display that lets the user send and receive typed messages over telephone lines. People who are deaf blind may use an additional large print or Braille display to read the typed messages.
  • A stand-alone TTY must communicate with another TTY. TTY users can directly call other TTY numbers or they can call a Relay Service. The Bell Relay Service number is 1-800-855-0511. The Relay Service operator will receive the messages on a TTY and relay the messages, by standard phone, to a person who does not have a TTY. A standard phone user can also place a call through the Relay Service operator to a TTY user.
  • Ask your customer if they are comfortable and okay with their information being translated through a third party. Let them know that some information may be sensitive in nature.