Accessible Customer Service
The College of Veterinarians of Ontario is committed to assuring that all persons interacting with the College are able to obtain, use and benefit fairly and equitably from its programs and resources. It is recognized that persons with disabilities may require accommodation in order to obtain this objective. The organization will provide and strive to exceed the required accommodation experience when evident or requested.
The College of Veterinarians of Ontario is committed to being responsive to the needs of all persons. We strive to provide quality services that are accessible to all. The purpose of this policy is to establish guidelines on providing goods and services to people with disabilities that will facilitate accessibility. This policy establishes accessibility standards for customer service in accordance with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 and in keeping with Accessibility Standards for Customer Service, Ontario Regulation 429/07.
The College of Veterinarians of Ontario will make reasonable efforts to ensure policies, practices and procedures and the delivery of goods and services provided to persons with disabilities are in keeping with the principles of dignity, equity/equality of outcome, independence and integration and we will communicate with people with disabilities in ways that take into account their disability and communication needs.
Devices used to assist persons with disabilities in carrying out activities or in accessing the services of persons. Assistive devices include, but are not limited to wheelchairs, reading machines, recording machines, hearing devices, devices for grasping, and a white cane.
As defined by the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005, barrier means 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, an information or communications barrier, an attitudinal barrier, a technological barrier, a policy, procedure or a practice.
Disability, as defined by the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 and the Ontario Human Rights Code, is:
- 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, or physical reliance on a guide dog or other animal or on a wheelchair or other remedial appliance or device, a condition of mental impairment or a developmental disability,
a learning disability, or a dysfunction in one or more of the processes involved in understanding or using symbols or spoken language,
a mental disorder, or
an injury or disability for which benefits were claimed or received under the insurance plan established under the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act, 1997.
For the purpose of this policy, a “service animal” is defined as either:
A "guide dog," as defined in Section 1 of the ‘Blind Persons Rights' Act; or
A "service animal" for a person with a disability. For the purpose of this policy, 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 the 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.
For the purpose of this policy, a support person is defined as another person who accompanies a person with a disability in order to help him or her with communication, mobility, personal care or medical needs or with access to goods or services.
3.1 Assistive Devices
a) People with disabilities may choose to use their own personal assistive devices, while accessing goods and services. The College of Veterinarians of Ontario acknowledges the importance of these devices and will allow people with disabilities to use their own personal assistive devices to obtain, use or benefit from the services offered by the College of Veterinarians of Ontario unless there is a defined risk associated with that use.
b) Should a person with a disability be unable to access the College of Veterinarians of Ontario services through the use of their own personal assistive device, the College of Veterinarians of Ontario will assess service delivery and potential service options to meet the needs of the individual.
c) The College of Veterinarians of Ontario staff, and agents will be familiar with the assistive devices and other accessibility supports at the College of Veterinarians of Ontario that will increase the accessibility of our services to people with disabilities.
3.2 Service Animals
a) The College of Veterinarians of Ontario acknowledges the vital relationship and dependency which exists between a person with disabilities and their service animal. The College of Veterinarians of Ontario is committed to welcoming people with disabilities who are accompanied by a service animal.
b) The person when accompanied by a service animal will be allowed to enter the premises with the animal and keep the animal with him or her at all times, unless the animal is excluded by law from the premises.
c) The person is responsible for the care, supervision and control of their service animal while on the premises.
3.3 Support Persons
a) The College of Veterinarians of Ontario is committed to welcoming people with disabilities who are accompanied by a support person. People with disabilities have the right to have access to their support person while accessing goods and services of the College of Veterinarians of Ontario.
b) If confidential information is going to be discussed, the person with the disability should be asked if they prefer their support person to remain present. If the support person is present when confidential information is to be disclosed, signed consent must be received from the person with the disability. A signed confidentiality agreement should also be obtained from the support person.
c) The College of Veterinarians of Ontario may request that a person with a disability be accompanied by a support person, in the event that it is considered necessary to protect the health or safety of the person with a disability or the health and safety of others on the premises. This will only occur after consultation with the person with a disability and when it is the only means to allow the person with a disability to access the College of Veterinarians of Ontario goods or services. The following criteria shall be used in consulting with the person:
i) When there is a clear and significant risk to the health and safety of the person with a disability or others;
ii) When the risk cannot be eliminated or reduced by other means;
iii) When the assessment of the risk is based on consideration of the nature and severity of the potential harm, the duration of the risk, the likelihood that the potential harm will occur and how imminent the potential risk is;
iv) When the assessment of risk is based on the person’s actual characteristics, not on perceived risk that is based on generalizations, misconceptions or fears about a disability.
3.4 Regulatory Matter Requests
In circumstances where an individual accommodation request is related to a regulatory process matter, the request
a. must be in writing or in another acceptable medium.
b. must specify the nature of the accommodation requested accompanied by supporting documentation to verify the request. Such requirement may be waived by senior staff in exceptional circumstances, and
c. must provide sufficient notice of need as to permit review and decision making. This notice period will be a minimum of two weeks. Where notice is not possible, requests for accommodation will be met as possible and as reasonable given the circumstance.
All requests will be considered by staff and in some circumstances may require legal opinion.
All decisions related to specific requests relevant to regulatory decision making will be in writing or in a medium that best accommodates the recipient’s disability.
An appeal request of a decision related to accommodation will be considered by the Registrar.
3.5 Notice of Service Disruptions
a) If there is a temporary disruption in the availability of services and facilities used by the person with disabilities (e.g., temporary loss of elevator service, automatic door openers are not working, water or electrical service, etc.), the College of Veterinarians will notify the public of the reason for the disruption, the date(s) of disruption, its anticipated duration and a description of alternative facilities or services, if any, that are available.
b) This notice may be provided by a variety of methods, depending on the circumstances, and may include postings in conspicuous places at the affected premises (for example, common areas), by email, and/or the College of Veterinarians of Ontario website www.cvo.org, as well as by other means that will ensure that the notice reaches those persons potentially affected by the temporary disruption.
c) If the disruption is anticipated, a reasonable amount of advance notice of the disruption will be provided. If the disruption is unexpected, notice will be provided as soon as possible.
a) The College of Veterinarians of Ontario is committed to providing high quality customer service and wants to continue to enhance and improve the accessibility of our customer service to anyone who uses our facilities, and other members of the public with disabilities.
b) A process to receive feedback on the provision of goods and services to persons with disabilities accessing services at the College of Veterinarians of Ontario has been established. This process enables people to provide feedback either in person, by telephone, in writing, by email, or online.
c) A Feedback Form can be requested by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, or a copy of the form can be picked up in our building office.
d) Responses to feedback received are not mandatory. If a person who submits feedback requests a response and provides contact information, the College of Veterinarians of Ontario will follow-up with the individual in the format in which the feedback was received, within 10 working days. All feedback will be kept in the strictest confidence and will be used to improve customer service.
a) All individuals who interact and deal with members of the public or other third parties on behalf of the College of Veterinarians of Ontario , whether the person does so as an employee, agent, volunteer or otherwise shall be required to receive training on providing customer service to people with disabilities.
b) The College of Veterinarians of Ontario employee/volunteer training will include a review of the purposes of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005, S.O. 2005, c11 and the Accessibility Standards for Customer Service, Ontario Regulation 429/07, the requirements of this policy, and instruction about the following matters:
i) How to interact and communicate with people with various types of disability;
ii) How to interact with people with disabilities who use an assistive device or require the assistance of a guide dog or other service animal or the assistance of a support person;
iii) How to use equipment or devices available on the College of Veterinarians of Ontario premises;
iv) What to do if a person with a particular type of disability is having difficulty accessing the College of Veterinarians of Ontario goods or services; and
v) The College of Veterinarians of Ontario policies, procedures and practices pertaining to the provision of goods and services to persons with disabilities.
c) Customer service training can take various forms including as part of an orientation or as a separate training program. The training can be provided through handouts at an orientation session, in a classroom setting, by video or through other formats.
d) The College of Veterinarians of Ontario will provide training to each person as soon as practicable after he or she is assigned the applicable duties. Training will also be provided on an ongoing basis in connection with changes to applicable legislation, and/or organizational policies, procedures and practices governing the provision of goods or services to people with disabilities.
e) As required by Accessibility Standards for Customer Service, Ontario Regulation 429/07, the College of Veterinarians of Ontario will log and maintain records which will record the details of the training provided, as well as the name of the person, location, and date the training was completed.
3.8 Documentation and Format of Documents
a) All documents required by the Accessibility Standards for Customer Service, including the College of Veterinarians of Ontario Accessible Customer Service policies, procedures and practices, notices of temporary disruptions, training records, and written feedback process, as well as other documents deemed to be a key in the delivery of goods and service will be provided to individuals, upon request, in an appropriate format.
b) When providing a document to a person with a disability, the College of Veterinarians of Ontario will provide the document, or the information contained in the document, in a format that takes the person’s disability into account. The College of Veterinarians of Ontario and the person with a disability requesting the document shall agree upon the format to be used for the document or information. These alternate formats could include but are not limited to via email, large font, hard copy, verbally reviewed in person or over the telephone.
c) The timeframe attached to the process to convert the College of Veterinarians of Ontario document to an alternate format may vary depending on the media, the size, complexity, quality of the source documents and number of documents to be converted.
3.9 On-going Removal of Barriers and Commitment to Access
The College of Veterinarians of Ontario will continue to work on an ongoing basis with staff, and others to meet the requirements of the Customer Service standard of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) and to demonstrate commitment to access.
Questions or Feedback
The College welcomes your feedback in regards to our AODA policies and procedures.
Please direct any questions or feedback in person or by mail to:
Office of the Registrar
College of Veterinarians of Ontario
2106 Gordon Street
Guelph, ON N1L 1G6
1-800-424-2856 / 519-824-5600