Scientists in School Accessible Customer Service

Policy Statement

Scientists in School (SiS) is committed to providing access to goods and services in a manner that respects the dignity and independence of persons with disabilities, integrated to the extent possible with services provided to others, and offered in a way that gives persons with disabilities an opportunity to benefit from these services that is equal to service that is given to others.

This policy has been prepared pursuant to the requirements and information provided in the Ontario Regulation 249/07 made under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005.

Background

The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (AODA) was passed by the Ontario legislature with the goal of creating standards to improve accessibility across the province. One of the standards under AODA is the Accessible Customer Standard that details specific requirements for all service providers.

Scientists in School provides workshops, demonstrations and exhibits at schools and community venues but not at our own premises.

Scope

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

Definitions

  • Accessibility Report - The report required to be filed pursuant to section 14 of the Act.
  • 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.
  • Disability - Has the same definition as is provided under the Act and Human Rights Code, R.S.O. 1990, c.H.19.
  • Service Animal - An animal that is being used because of a person's disability that is either readily apparent or is supported by a letter from a medical practitioner.
  • 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.
  • "We", "Our" and "Staff" means Scientists in School and its employees, volunteers and independent contractors.

Core Principles of the Policy

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

  1. Dignity - Persons with a disability must be treated as valued customers as deserving of service as any other customer.
  2. Equality of Opportunity - Persons with a disability should be given an opportunity equal to that given to others to obtain, use and benefits from our goods and services.
  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 service 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' individual needs.
  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.

Procedures

1. Communication

Scientists in School strives to communicate with a person with a disability in a manner that takes into account the disability. Consideration will be given to the way in which individuals express, receive and process information without making assumptions about a particular disability.

2. Assisted Devices

Persons with a disability are permitted, where possible, to use their own Assistive Device when on our premise or when attending a workshop or other demonstration/exhibit 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 premise or at a workshop or exhibit 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.

3. Service Animals

Persons with a disability may enter premises owned and/or operated by Scientists in School 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.

4. Support Persons

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

5. Notice of Temporary Disruption

Scientists in School will notify customers if there is a planned or unexpected disruption of a facility that we own or operate. The notice will be posted at the entrance of the applicable premises, on Scientists in School's web portal and will be recorded on phone message machines.

The notice will include the following information:

  1. That a facility or service is unavailable.
  2. The anticipated duration of the disruption.
  3. The reason for the disruption.
  4. Alternative facilities or services, if available.

6. Training and Records

Scientists in School will provide training, and ongoing training as required under the Act, to all employees, independent contractors and volunteers who interact with the public on behalf of Scientists in School.

A. Content of Training

Training will include:

  1. A review of the purpose of the Act and requirements of the Standard.
  2. A review of the Policy.
  3. How to interact and communicate with persons with various types of disabilities.
  4. How to interact with persons with a disability who use an Assistive Device or require the assistance of a Service Animal or Support Person.
  5. 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.
  6. 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 with the requirements of the Act.

7. Feedback Procedure

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

  1. In person at our Pickering office: 975 Dillingham Road, Unit 2, Pickering, Ontario L1W 1Z7
  2. By telephone at 905-837-9626.
  3. In writing to: 975 Dillingham Road, Unit 2, Pickering, Ontario L1W 1Z7
  4. Electronically to inquiries@scientistsinschool.ca

Feedback will be responded to on a timely basis.

8. Notice of Availability of Documents

All documents required by the Accessibility Standards for Customer Service, including the policies and related practices and protocols, shall be made available to any member of the public upon request. Notification of same shall be posted on Scientists in School's website and at each of Scientists in School's premises.

boy with crystal

Image courtesy of the
Uxbridge Times Journal

Photo Credits

We make every effort to properly credit all photographs on the SiS website. If you find any errors or omissions, please let us know.