Accessibility Policy

Accessible Customer Service Plan

The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (AODA)

Recognizing the history of discrimination against persons with disabilities in Ontario, the purpose of this Act is to benefit all Ontarians by:

  • developing, implementing and enforcing accessibility standards in order to achieve accessibility for Ontarians with disabilities with respect to goods, services, facilities, accommodation, employment, buildings, structures and premises on or before January 1, 2025; and
  • providing for the involvement of persons with disabilities, of the Government of Ontario and of representatives of industries and of various sectors of the economy in the development of accessibility standards.

In this Act, “disability” means:

  • 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;
  • 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.

To effectively provide ‘accessible customer service’, it must be understood that a person with a disability may require accommodation to ensure that our services are provided without barriers, and that such an accommodation must be provided while respecting the dignity and independence of those requiring it.

Providing Goods and Services to People with Disabilities

Houle Chevrier Engineering Ltd. is committed to providing a barrier free environment and accessible services to all of our clients and employees, including those with disabilities.

HCEL will use reasonable efforts to ensure that the policies, practices and procedures are consistent with the principles of dignity, independence, integration and equal opportunity.

Dignity – service is provided in a way that allows the person with a disability to maintain self-respect and the respect of other people.

Independence – when a person with a disability is allowed to do things on their own without unnecessary help or interference from others.

Integration – service is provided in a way that allows the person with a disability to benefit from the same services, in the same place, and in the same or similar way as other clients, unless an alternate measure is necessary to enable a person with a disability to access goods or services.

Equal Opportunity – service is provided to a person with a disability in such a way that they have an opportunity to access our goods and services equal to that given to others.

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.  It helps the person to maintain their independence at home, at work and in the community.

We will ensure that our staff is trained and familiar with various assistive devices that may be used by clients with disabilities while accessing our goods or services.

It is our policy to allow people with disabilities to use their personal assistive devices to access our services.

Communication

We will communicate with people with disabilities in ways that takes into account their disability.  i.e. have the person with a disability write down their request.  Our goal is to communicate in an effective manner.

Service Animals

A service animal may be a guide dog or any other animal that assists a person with a disability. Some service animals are clearly identified by their vest or harness.

We welcome people with disabilities and their service animals. Service animals are allowed on our premises at 180 Wescar Lane in Carp, Ontario, unless the service animal is otherwise excluded from the premises by law. (i.e. health & safety of people with severe allergies to animals).

Support Persons

Support Person means, in relation to a person with a disability, another person who accompanies him/her in order to help with communication, mobility, personal care or medical needs or with access to goods and services.

A person with a disability who is accompanied by a support person will be allowed to have that person accompany them on our premises.

Notice of Temporary Disruption

In the event of a planned or unexpected disruption to services or our facilities for clients with disabilities, HCEL will notify clients promptly. This posted notice will include information about the reason for the disruption, its anticipated length of time, and a description of alternative facilities or services, if available.

The notice will be placed at the front entrance of 180 Wescar Lane, Carp, Ontario.

Training for Staff

HCEL will provide training to employees, volunteers and others who deal with the public or other third parties on their behalf.  Individuals in the following positions will be trained:

  • All engineers, scientists, reception, administration, accounting, laboratory technicians, dispatchers, and technicians/technologists.

This training will be provided to staff within one week after hire.

Training will include:

  • An overview of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 and the requirements of the customer service standard.
  • Review of HCEL’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.
  • How to use the assistive devices on-site or otherwise that may help with providing goods or services to people with disabilities.
  • What to do if a person with a disability is having difficulty in accessing HCEL’s goods and services.

Staff will also be trained when changes are made to your accessible customer service plan.

Feedback Process

Clients who wish to provide feedback on the way HCEL provides goods and services to people with disabilities can submit feedback using one of the following methods:

Clients can expect to hear back within 3 days.

Complaints will be addressed according to our organization’s regular complaint management procedures.

Modifications to this or Other Policies

Any Policy of HCEL that does not respect and promote the dignity and independence of people with disabilities will be modified or removed.