1.1 Dare Foods Limited Accessible Customer Service Policy (the “Policy”) establishes a framework for compliance with the Company’s commitment to accessibility under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (the “AODA”) and the Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation (the “IASR”).
1.2 The Company is committed to building an inclusive society that values the contributions of people with disabilities. The Company is committed to providing an accessible environment in which people with disabilities can access the Company’s goods, services, and facilities, including all buildings, spaces, information, and communications, in a way that meets their individual needs. The Company is committed to the identification, removal and prevention of accessibility barriers, including attitudinal, systemic, informational, communicational and technological, and physical barriers.
1.3 The Company understands that obligations under the AODA and its accessibility standards do not substitute or limit its obligations under the Ontario Human Rights Code (the “OHRC”) or obligations to people with disabilities under any other law, and as such, the Company is committed to complying with both the AODA and the OHRC.
2.0 OVERARCHING PRINCIPLES
The Company’s goods, services and facilities are to be available to people with disabilities in a manner that is free from discrimination, and the Company:
a) strives at all times to respect the individual’s dignity and independence;
b) is integrated with the provision of service to others, except when alternative measures are necessary to meet the needs of people with disabilities; and
c) takes individual needs into account where a uniform response is inappropriate, to ensure that there are no barriers to access or participation, and that individuals with disabilities are treated equitably.
a) “Assistive device” means a technical aid, communication device or other instrument that is used to maintain or improve the functional abilities of people with disabilities.
b) “Personal assistive devices” means devices that customers typically 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.
c) “Disability” has the meaning as defined in section 2 of the AODA, and refers to:
i) 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;
ii) a condition of mental impairment or a developmental disability;
iii) a learning disability, or dysfunction in one or more of the processes involved in understanding or using symbols or spoken language;
iv) a mental disorder; or
v) an injury or disability for which benefits were claimed or received under the insurance plan established under the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act, 1997.
d) “Guide dog” means 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.
e) “Service animal” means a service animal:
i) that it is readily apparent that the animal is used by the person for reasons relating to his or her disability; or
ii) assisting with a disability if the person provides a letter from a physician or nurse confirming that the person requires the animal for reasons relating to the disability.
f) “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.
g) “A regulated health professional” is defined as a member of one of the following colleges:
(i) College of Audiologists and Speech-Language Pathologists of Ontario
(ii) College of Chiropractors of Ontario
(iii) College of Nurses of Ontario
(iv) College of Occupational Therapists of Ontario
(v) College of Optometrists of Ontario
(vi) College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario
(vii) College of Physiotherapists of Ontario
(viii) College of Psychologists of Ontario
(ix) College of Registered Psychotherapists and Registered Mental Health Therapists of Ontario
4.1 The Company undertakes to train, inform, and make aware its employees, volunteers, and members of the following topics related to accessibility and disability:
a) A review of the purposes of the AODA;
b) A review of the requirements of the IASR;
c) Instructions on how to respectfully interact and communicate with people with various types of disabilities;
d) Instructions on how to respectfully and knowledgably interact with people with disabilities who:
(i) use assistive devices;
(ii) require the assistance of a guide dog, service dog or other service animal; or
(iii) require the use of a support person.
e) Instructions on how to use equipment or devices that are available at our premises or that we provide that may help people with disabilities; and
f) Instructions on what to do if a person with a disability is having difficulty accessing your services.
5.0 ASSISTIVE DEVICES
5.1 People with disabilities may use their assistive devices and/or personal assistive devices when accessing our goods, services or facilities.
5.2 In cases where the assistive device and/or personal assistance device presents a significant and unavoidable health or safety concern, or may not be permitted for other reasons, other reasonable measures will be used to ensure the person with the disability can access the Company’s goods, services, or facilities, as applicable.
6.1 The Company will communicate with people with disabilities in ways that take into account their disability.
6.2 If a method of communication is not readily apparent or available, we will work with the person with the disability to determine what method of communication works for them, and seek to reasonably provide that method of communication.
7.0 SERVICE ANIMALS
7.1 The Company welcomes people with disabilities and their service animals. Service animals are allowed on the parts of our premises that are open to the public.
7.2 When we cannot easily identify that an animal is a service animal, our staff may ask a person to provide documentation (template, letter or form) from a regulated health professional that confirms the person needs the service animal for reasons relating to their disability.
7.3 In the alternative, the Company acknowledges that in some circumstances a service animal can be easily identified through visual indicators, such as when it wears a harness or a vest, or when it helps the person perform certain tasks, and will reasonably permit such service animals onto the property absent official documentation.
7.4 If service animals are prohibited by another law, or deemed to interfere with the safety of our employees or our public guests and patrons, we will explain why the animal is excluded from the facilities, and discuss with the customer another way of providing goods, services, or facilities, to ultimately ensure people with disabilities can access our goods, services or facilities.
7.5 The customer 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 time.
8.0 SUPPORT PERSONS
8.1 A person with a disability who is accompanied by a support person will be allowed to have that person accompany them on our premises.
8.2 In certain cases, the Company might require a person with a disability to be accompanied by a support person for the health or safety of the person with the disability and/or others on the premises.
9.0 DISRUPTION OF SERVICES
9.1 Service disruptions may occur due to reasons that may or may not be within the control or knowledge of the Company. In the event of any temporary disruptions to facilities or services that customer’s with disabilities rely on to access or use the Company’s goods or services, reasonable efforts will be made to provide advance notice of the disruption. In some circumstances, such as in the situation of unplanned temporary disruptions, advance notice may not be possible.
9.2 Disruption in service may include:
a) restrooms that are normally accessible being unavailable or not working properly;
b) automatic door openers or any other assisted device not functioning properly; and
c) any other disruption that may impact the Company’s day to day operations and the accessibility of its property.
9.3 In the event that a notification needs to be posted, or can reasonably be posted in advance, the following information will be included unless it is not readily available or known:
a) the name and location of the goods or services that are disrupted or unavailable;
b) the reason for the disruption;
c) the anticipated duration of the disruption; and
d) if applicable, a description of alternative services or options.
9.4 When disruptions occur the Company will provide notice by:
a) posting notices in conspicuous places including at the location of disruption, at the main entrance, and at the nearest accessible entrance to the service disruption;
b) verbally notifying customers when they are making a reservation or planning to visit the property; or
c) by any other method that may be reasonable under the circumstances.
10.1 The Company welcomes feedback on how we provide accessible customer service. Customer feedback will help us identify barriers and respond to concerns.
10.2 Customers can provide feedback in the following ways:
a) by sending us a private message through the “contact us” function on the Company’s website at https://www.darefoods.com/contact-us; or
b) by phoning the Company at 1-800-668-3273.
11.0 AVAILABILITY OF DOCUMENTS
11.1 The Company will notify the public that documents related to accessible customer service are available upon request by posting a notice in conspicuous locations on the Company’s property or upon request by an individual.
11.2 The Company will provide this document in an accessible format or with communication support on request. The Company will consult with the person making the request to determine the suitability of the format or communication support. The Company will provide the accessible format in a timely manner and, at no additional cost
11.3 The Company will make sure its feedback process is accessible to people with disabilities by providing or arranging for accessible formats and communication supports, on request.
11.4 The Company will respond to all requests for documentation within a reasonable time period.