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Accessibility Policy

Effective Date: January 1, 2018

POLICY

St. Clair Insurance Brokers inc. is committed to providing its products and services in ways that respect the dignity and independence of people with disabilities, allowing them to benefit from the same products and services, in the same places and in similar ways to other customers.

PURPOSE

This policy is intended to ensure that all customer service provided by St. Clair Insurance Brokers Inc. follows the ideals of dignity, independence, integration and equal opportunity. Howard Noble Insurance Limited will meet or exceed all applicable legislation (Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (AODA)) regarding the provision of customer service.

SCOPE

This policy applies to all management, brokers and to all employees of St. Clair Insurance Brokers Inc. who have contact with customers in Ontario. This policy applies to premises located in the province of Ontario.

RESPONSIBILITY

Operations Manager will be responsible for reviewing this policy on an annual basis and revising as necessary; for ensuring that all staff members are appropriately trained regarding the customer service accessibility standard; ensuring that notice is provided for any disruption in service and following up on all customer feedback.

St. Clair Insurance Brokers Inc. will be responsible for providing customers and interested parties with a copy of this policy upon request; making the policy available in alternate formats, upon request, ensuring that notice is provided for any disruption of service and collecting and following up on all customer feedback.

St. Clair Insurance Brokers Inc. will be responsible for making this policy available in alternate formats upon request; ensuring that notice is provided for any disruption of service and following up on all customer feedback.

Employees with customer contact will be required to participate in and complete Customer Accessibility Training; provide consistently high levels of customer service to all customers, and ensure that they are served in a manner that allows access to all products and services offered; employ the skills and knowledge presented in the customer service accessibility training program to ensure that customers are served appropriately; inform the management team of any issues regarding accessibility or disruptions in service; adhere to this policy at all times and obtain consent from the customer in the event that confidential information must be shared with a support person.

DEFINITIONS

  • Persons with Disabilities – as defined by the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act 2005 and the Ontario Human Rights Code is someone with:
  • Any degree of physical disability, infirmity, malformation or disfigurement 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 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 device,
  • A condition of mental impairment or a developmental disability,
  • A learning disability, or dysfunction in one or more of the processes involved in understanding or using symbols or spoken language,
  • A mental disorder, or
  • An injury
  • Service Animal – an animal used by a person with a disability for reasons relating to his or her disability. The person may provide a letter from a physician or nurse confirming that the person requires the animal for reasons relating to the disability or it may be readily apparent.
  • Support Person – a person who accompanies a person with a disability in order to help with communication, mobility, personal care or medical needs or with access to goods or services.
  • Assistive Device – a technical aid, communication device, or medical aid that is a tool, technology or other mechanism that is used to increase, maintain or improve the functional abilities of people with disabilities to do everyday tasks and activities such as moving, communicating and lifting.
  • Barrier – anything that prevents a person with a disability from fully participating in all aspects of society because of his or her disability, including a physical barrier, an architectural barrier, information or communications barrier, an attitudinal barrier, a technological barrier, a policy or a practice.

PROCEDURE

A. Communication

St. Clair Insurance Brokers Inc. will communicate with people with disabilities in a way that takes into account their disability. We will train employees who communicate with customers on how to interact and communicate with people with various types of disabilities. When employees are unsure about the best approach they are encouraged to ask the person politely and not assume how they can best communicate with them.

Copies of documents or the information contained within a document provided to a person with a disability shall be provided in a format that takes into account the person’s disability.

B. Use of Assistive Devices

St. Clair Insurance Brokers Inc. is committed to serving people with disabilities who use assistive devices to obtain, use or benefit from our services. We will ensure that our employees are trained and familiar with various assistive devices that may be used by customers with disabilities while accessing our services. People with disabilities may use their own personal assistive devices while obtaining services in our Howard Noble Insurance facilities within Ontario.

Assistive devices include but are not limited to:

  • Wheelchairs, walkers
  • White canes
  • Note taking devices
  • Portable magnifiers
  • Recording machines
  • Assistive listening devices
  • Personal oxygen tanks
  • Devices for grasping

C. Service Animals

Should a customer with a service animal need to visit our office, the animal will be cared for in the office while Howard Noble Insurance Limited works with the customer to provide the best alternative to the service animal. This may include the use of a cane, the use of a support person, an employee guide or other alternatives.

In the event a staff member is allergic to animals, alternative arrangements will also be negotiated.

D. Support Persons

St. Clair Insurance Brokers Inc. is welcoming of 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 the 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 our premises.

Unless there is a genuine safety concern, support persons shall be allowed to accompany the customer at all times. If confidential information needs to be shared, consent will be obtained from the customer prior to any conversation.

E. Notice of Disruptions in Service

St. Clair Insurance Brokers Inc. will provide customers with as much advance notice as possible in the event of a planned or unexpected disruption in service usually used by people with disabilities. This notice will include information about the reason for the disruption, the anticipated duration, and a description of alternative services, if available.

Service disruptions will be posted in any of the following ways: on the company website, through e-mail distribution, printed and posted memos at public entrances.

F. Feedback Process

We shall provide customers with the opportunity to provide feedback on the service provided to them. Our customer service teams will be accountable for receiving and following up on feedback provided.

Customers who wish to provide feedback on the way St. Clair Insurance Brokers Inc. provides goods and services to people with disabilities can verbally discuss their concerns or send an e-mail to iinfo@scibi.ca.

Customers will receive acknowledgement of their feedback within 72 business hours. Any resulting actions based on concerns or complaints that were submitted through our customer service team will be reviewed and actioned accordingly.

G. Training

All St. Clair Insurance Brokers Inc. Limited employees who deal with the public or other third parties on their behalf will be required to attend and complete Customer Service Accessibility Training. The training provided will include best practices for interactions with customers with a disability.

Training will include:

  • An overview of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005, including its purpose and the requirements of the customer service standard.
  • The Company’s accessible customer service plan
  • How to interact and communicate with people with various types of disabilities
  • How to interact with people with disabilities who use an assistive device or require the assistance of a service animal or a support person
  • What to do if a person with a particular type of disability is having difficulty in accessing St. Clair Insurance Brokers inc. for goods and services.

H. Notice of Availability of Documents

Upon request, we will make available a copy of the Accessible Customer Service Plan to persons with disability or you may contact St. Clair Insurance Brokers Inc. if you have any specific questions or require additional information