Accessibility Policy

Accessibility Service Standards

 

Orchard Design Studio is committed to excellence in serving all clients including people with disabilities.  We strive at all times to provide our services in a way that respects the dignity and independence of people with disabilities.  This policy sets out the practices and procedures that the firm follows in meeting its accessibility commitments to its clients and complying with the requirements of provincial legislation.

 

In fulfilling our policy, we will carry out our functions and responsibilities in the following areas:

 

 

1. Assistive devices

 

Our firm will ensure that our staff members are trained and familiar with various assistive devices that may be used by clients with disabilities while accessing our services.  These devices include but are not limited to wheelchairs, walkers and oxygen tanks.

 

The firm has:

 

• Designed our reception desks to allow for people in wheelchairs to reach the top or to see the receptionist.  We have made arrangements for people in wheelchairs to have a surface to review and sign documents.
 

• Trained our receptionists to recognize clients with disabilities and address them out from behind the desk to properly greet and converse with people in wheelchairs or little people.
 

• Designed our entrances and access areas to allow a wheelchair to fit through our doorways.  We will offer to meet the client at a mutually convenient location or at their home.

 

 

2. Communication

 

Our firm will communicate with people with disabilities in ways that take into account their disability.

 

We will train staff who communicate with clients on how to interact and communicate with people with various types of disabilities by performing the following:

 

• We will ask our clients how we can best communicate with them and offer alternatives if necessary, i.e. reading information aloud, providing documentation in a larger font, having a pen and paper available to communicate through note writing, avoiding technical language when communicating.

 

• We will train staff to communicate with clients over the telephone in clear and plain language and to speak clearly and slowly.  They will be aware of how to respond to requests about obtaining our firm’s Accessibility documents.

 

• We will offer to communicate with clients by email or relay services if telephone communication is not suitable to their communication needs or is not available.

 

• We are committed to providing accessible invoices to all of our clients.  For this reason, invoices can be provided in the following formats upon request:

 

• Hard copy

• Large print

• Email

 

 

3. Service animals

 

We welcome people with disabilities who are accompanied by a service animal on the parts of our premises that are open to the public and other third parties.  We will also ensure that all staff are properly trained in how to interact with people with disabilities who are accompanied by a service animal.

 

 

4. Support persons

 

We are 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 have that person accompany them on our premises.

 

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 our premises.  For discussion of confidential information, if the client wishes the support person leave the room, we will provide seating in reception for the support person to wait comfortably.

 

 

5. Notice of temporary disruption

 

In the event of a planned or unexpected disruption to services or facilities for clients with disabilities, we will notify clients promptly.  This clearly posted notice will include information about the reason for the disruption, and its anticipated length of time.

 

This notice will be placed on the main door of the reception of each office.

 

 

6. Training for staff

 

We will provide training to all of our employees, regardless of their position.  Training will be provided to any new staff within their three month probationary period.

 

Training will include the following:

 

• Staff will receive a training guide including an overview of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 and the requirements of the customer service standard.

 

• Orchard Design Studio policies, practices and procedures relating to the customer service standard.

 

• Staff will also be advised when changes are made to our plan.

 

• Attendance of training will be recorded and retained.

 

Staff will be trained on policies, practices and procedures that affect the way services are provided to people with disabilities.  Staff will also be trained on an ongoing basis when changes are made to these policies, practices and procedures.

 

 

7. Feedback

 

The ultimate goal of Orchard Design Studio is to meet and surpass customer expectations while serving clients with disabilities.  Comments on our services regarding how well those expectations are being met are welcome and appreciated.

 

Feedback regarding the way we provide services to clients with disabilities can be made by email at admin@orcharddesign.ca, verbally, by phone, in person, or by letter mail.  We will advise clients they have the opportunity to provide feedback if they wish to.

 

All feedback will be directed to the Office Manager.  They can expect a response within 2 business days.

 

Our Accessibility Plan can be provided upon request or can be found on our website at www.orcharddesign.ca

 

 

8. Questions

 

We are committed to developing customer service policies that respect and promote the dignity and independence of people with disabilities.  Therefore, no changes will be made to this policy before considering the impact on people with disabilities.

 

This policy exists to achieve service excellence to clients with disabilities.  If anyone has a question about the policy, or if the purpose of a policy is not understood, an explanation should be provided by, or referred to the Office Manager of Orchard Design Studio.