Lomco Limited is committed to providing accessible customer services in a manner that respects the dignity and independence of persons with disabilities. Lomco Limited will establish procedures to ensure how our organization will provide services to customers with disabilities. Any policy of Lomco Limited that does not respect and promote the dignity and independence of people with disabilities will be modified or removed.
The purpose of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act 2005, and the requirements of the customer service standard, is to establish how our organization will interact and communicate with people with various types of disabilities. Lomco Limited’s procedures and training will help staff better serve the needs of customers with disabilities.
PROVIDING GOODS & SERVICES TO PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES
Lomco Limited employees will communicate to people with disabilities in ways that take into account their disabilities. Lomco Limited will train staff who communicate with customers on how to interact and communicate with people with various types of disabilities.
Lomco Limited is committed to providing full accessible telephone service to our customers. We will train staff on clear telephone communications. We will offer communication via email if telephone communication is not suitable to the customer’s communication needs.
Lomco Limited is committed to serving people with disabilities who use assistive devices. We will ensure that any of our staff that interacts with customers are trained and familiar with various assistive devices that may be used by persons with disabilities while accessing our services.
Lomco Limited is committed to providing accessible invoices and other written forms of communication to all our customers. Our standard invoice is hard copy with 10 point font. Upon request we will be pleased to provide hard copy invoices in larger font or verbal communication of invoices.
SUPPORT PERSONS & SERVICE ANIMALS
Lomco Limited is committed to welcoming people with disabilities who are accompanied by a support person. Persons with disabilities are permitted to be accompanied by their service animal, keeping the service animal with them, while accessing Lomco Limited. It is the responsibility of the person with the service animal to ensure that the service animal is under control
Customers who wish to provide feedback on the way Lomco Limited provides goods and services to people with disabilities can do so by email firstname.lastname@example.org. All feedback, including complaints, will be directed to the Safety Committee. Customers can expect to receive a response within a week.
The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act was passed in 2005. The goal of this Act is to make Ontario accessible for people with disabilities by 2025. Key areas in which standards are being developed are; customer service, employment, transportation, information and communications and the built environment.
HOW TO INTERACT AND COMMUNICATE WITH PEOPLE WITH VARIOUS TYPES OF DISABILITIES
Being able to interact and communicate with people with disabilities is a big part of providing accessible customer service. Sometimes the best approach is to ask a person with a disability how you can best communicate with them. Here are some suggested tips to interact and communicate with people who have various disabilities:
PEOPLE WHO ARE DEAFBLIND
A person who is deafblind may have some degree of both hearing and vision loss. Many people who are deafblind will be accompanied by a professional support person who helps with communication.
- Speak directly to your customer, not to the support person.
- A customer who is deaf blind is likely to explain to you how to communicate with them, perhaps with an assistance card or a note.
PEOPLE WITH HEARING LOSS
People who have hearing loss may be Deaf, oral deaf, deafened or hard of hearing. These are terms used to describe different levels of hearing and/or the way a person’s hearing was diminished or lost.
- Attract the customer’s attention before speaking. Try a gentle touch on the shoulder or wave of your hand.
- Make sure you are in a well-lit area where your customer can see your face and read your lips.
- If your customer uses a hearing aid, reduce background noise or move to a quieter area. If necessary, ask if another method of communicating would be easier (for example, using a pen & paper).
PEOPLE WITH PHYSICAL DISABILITIES
There are many types and degrees of physical disabilities. Only some people with physical disabilities use a wheelchair. Someone with a spinal cord injury may use crutches while someone with severe arthritis or a heart condition may have difficulty walking longer distances.
- If you need to have a lengthy conversation with someone who uses a wheelchair or scooter, consider sitting so you can make eye contact at the same level.
- Don’t touch items or equipment, such as canes or wheelchairs, without permission.
- If you have permission to move a person’s wheelchair, don’t leave them in an awkward, dangerous or undignified position, such as facing a wall or in the path of opening doors.
PEOPLE WITH VISION LOSS
Vision loss can restrict someone’s ability to read, locate landmarks or see hazards. Some customers may use a guide dog or a white cane, while others may not.
- Don’t assume the individual can’t see you. Many people who have low vision still have some sight.
- Identify yourself when you approach your customer and speak directly to them.
- Ask your customer if they would like you to read any printed material out loud to them (for example, a menu or schedule of fees).
- When providing directions or instructions, be precise and descriptive.
- Offer your elbow to guide them if needed.
PEOPLE WITH LEARNING DISABILITIES
The term “learning disabilities” refers to a variety of disorders, such as dyslexia, that affect how a person takes in or retains information. This disability may become apparent when a person has difficulty reading material or understanding the information you are providing.
- Be patient people with some learning disabilities may take a little longer to process information, to understand and to respond.
- Try to provide information in a way that takes into account the customer’s disability. For example, some people with learning disabilities find written words difficult to understand, while others may have problems with numbers and math.
PEOPLE WITH SPEECH OR LANGUAGE IMPAIRMENTS
Cerebral palsy, hearing loss or other conditions may make it difficult for a person to pronounce words or may cause slurring. Some people who have severe difficulties may use a communication board or other assistive devices.
- Don’t assume that a person with speech impairment has another disability.
- Whenever possible, ask questions that can be answered with “yes” or “no”.
- Be patient. Don’t interrupt or finish your customer’s sentences.
PEOPLE WITH MENTAL DISABILITIES
Mental health issues can affect a person’s ability to think clearly, concentrate or remember things. Mental health disability is a broad term for many disorders that can range in severity. For example, some customers may experience anxiety due to hallucinations, mood swings, phobias or panic disorder.
- Treat a person with a mental health disability with the same respect and consideration you have for everyone else.
- Be confident, calm and reassuring.
- If a customer appears to be in crisis, ask them to tell you the best way to help.
PEOPLE WITH INTELLECTUAL / DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITIES
Developmental or intellectual disabilities, such as Down syndrome, can limit a person’s ability to learn, communicate, do every day physical activities and live independently. You may not know that someone has this disability unless you are told.
- Don’t make assumptions about what a person can do.
- Use plain language.
- Provide one piece of information at a time.
HOW TO INTERACT WITH PEOPLE WHO USE ASSISTIVE DEVICES
An assistive device is a tool, technology or other mechanism that enables a person with a disability to do everyday tasks and activities, such as moving, communicating or lifting. Personal assistive devices can include things like wheelchairs, hearing aids, white canes or speech amplification devices.
- Don’t touch or handle any assistive device without permission.
- Don’t move assistive devices or equipment, such as canes and walkers, out of your customer’s reach.
- Let your customer know about accessible features in the immediate environment that are appropriate to their needs (e.g., public phones with TTY service, accessible washrooms, etc.)
HOW TO INTERACT WITH PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES, WHO REQUIRE THE ASSISTANCE OF A GUIDE DOG OR OTHER SERVICE ANIMAL
People with vision loss may use a guide dog, but there are other types of service animals as well. Hearing alert animals help people who are deaf, deafened, oral deaf, or hard of hearing. Other service animals are trained to alert an individual to an oncoming seizure.
Persons with disabilities are permitted to be accompanied by their service animal, keeping the service animal with them (Office or Job site). It is the responsibility of the person with the service animal to ensure that the service animal is under control.
- Remember that a service animal is not a pet. It is a working animal.
- Avoid touching or addressing service animals when they are working.
- Avoid making assumptions about the animal. If you’re not sure if the animal is a pet or a service animal, ask your customer.
HOW TO INTERACT WITH PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES WHO REQUIRE THE ASSISTANCE OF A SUPPORT PERSON
Some people with disabilities may be accompanied by a support person. A support person can be a personal support worker, a volunteer, a family member or a friend. A support person might help the customer with a variety of things from communicating, to helping with mobility, personal care or medical needs. According to the standard, a support person must be allowed to accompany an individual with a disability to any part of your premises that is open to the public or to third parties.
- If you’re not sure which person is the customer, take your lead from the person using or requesting
your goods or services, or simply ask.
- Speak directly to your customer, not to their support person.
WHAT TO DO IF A PERSON WITH A DISABILITY IS HAVING DIFFICULTY ACCESSING YOUR GOODS OR SERVICES
If you notice that your customer is having difficulty accessing your goods or services, a good starting point is to simply ask how you can best help. Remember that your customers are your best source for information about their needs. The solution can be simple and they will likely appreciate your attention and consideration.