Accessibility for Customer Service

Accessibility for Customer Service

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Atikokan General Hospital is committed to providing exceptional and accessible service for its clients. We will ensure that our policies and procedures are consistent with the principles of dignity, independence, integration and equality. The provision of services to persons with disabilities will be integrated wherever possible, unless an alternate measure is necessary to enable a person with a disability to access goods or services. People with disabilities will be given an opportunity equal that given to others, to obtain, use or benefit from the services provided by and on behalf of Atikokan General Hospital. Services will be provided to people with disabilities in a way that respects their dignity and independence.


This policy establishes the accessibility standards for customer service for Atikokan General Hospital, in accordance with Ontario Regulation 191/11 made under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act 2005 (AODA) and applies to all employees of the organization’s agents, volunteers, and contracted service staff.


Accessible means customer service is provided in a manner that is capable of being easily understood or appreciated; easy to get at; capable of being reached, or entered; obtainable.

Disability means:

  • Any degree of physical 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. (Ontario Human Rights Code 10 (1), 1990)

Service Animals

Service animals are allowed to accompany people with disabilities on parts of the premises that are open to the public or other third parties, except where excluded by law (For example, regulations under the Health Protection and Promotion Act, 1990 and the Food Safety and Quality Act, 2001 prohibit animals from entering into areas where food is prepared).

All staff, volunteers and others dealing with the public will be properly trained on how to interact with people with disabilities who are accompanied by a service animal.

If it is not readily apparent that an animal is being used because of a person’s disability, they may be required to provide a letter from a physician or nurse confirming that it is required because of their disability.

It is the responsibility of the person with a disability to ensure that their service animal is kept in control at all times. If the health and safety of other customers may be endangered by the presence of a service animal an alternate way for person with a disability to access services will be arranged.

Assistive Devices

People with disabilities are allowed to use their personal assistive devices to obtain, use or benefit from our goods and services. If a person with a disability is unable to access our goods and services with the use of their assistive device an alternative method or location will be used to meet their needs.

It is the responsibility of the person with a disability to ensure that their assistive device is operated in a safe and controlled manner at all times.

Staff will be trained and familiar with various assistive devices that may be used by people with disabilities while accessing our goods and services. We will also ensure that staff members know how to use and obtain any assistive devices on our premise available for persons with disabilities.

Support Person

If a support person accompanies a person with a disability, the organization will ensure that both people are permitted to enter any facility together, and that the person with a disability is not prevented from having access to the support person.

A person with a disability may be required to be accompanied by a support person when in a facility, but only if a support person is necessary to protect the health or safety of the person with a disability or the healthy and safety of others in the facility. In situations where Atikokan General Hospital has obligations under privacy laws, issues of confidentiality or professional obligations, a support person will be requested to agree to the same requirements of privacy as the person with a disability.

In the event of inpatient needs, sleeping arrangements will be provided to the support person in the same vicinity at no extra cost. The support person will be responsible for the cost of his or her own meals. If any additional service fees are required for a support person, notice will be provided in advance.

Notice of Temporary Disruption

Atikokan General Hospital will provide customers with notice in the event of a planned or unexpected disruption in the facilities or services usually used by people with disabilities. This notice will include information about the reason for the disruption, its anticipated duration, and a description of alternative facilities or services, if available. The notice will be placed at main public entrances and service counters on our premise and when feasible on our website or in the local newspaper.


Training will be provided to every person who deals with the public, participate in developing policies and procedures regarding goods and services or other third parties. Training will be ongoing in connection to any changes made to policies and procedures governing the provision of goods or services to persons with disabilities. Training will be provided to each person according to his or her needs and duties during orientation.  A record of the dates in which training is provided and the number of individuals to whom it is provided will be kept.

Training will include the following information:

  • An overview of the purposes of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 and Regulation 429/07 Customer Service Standard
  • How to interact and communicate with people with various types of disability
  • How to interact with people with disabilities who use an assistive device, service animal or a support person
  • How to use the equipment or assistive devices available at Atikokan General Hospital or that we otherwise provide that may help with the provision of goods or services to people with disabilities
  • What to do if a person with a particular type of disability is having difficulty accessing our goods or services
  • Atikokan General Hospital customer service policies, best practices and procedures in providing goods or services to people with disabilities

The training content may vary depending on who is receiving the training, the nature of the services provided and on the individual Departmental requirements.


We will communicate with people with disabilities in a way that takes into account their disability. Staff will be trained on how to communicate in a way that considers how individuals express, receive and process information without making assumptions about a particular disability. If a person with a disability cannot use one form or method of communication, another form or method, or combination may be used.

Notice of Availability of Documents

Atikokan General Hospital will provide the public notice of the availability of the documents, required by the Accessibility Standards for Customer Service, (O. Reg 429/07) upon request. Staff will consult with the requestor to determine the most appropriate format, and will make every effort to provide the information in the preferred format as soon as possible.

Notice of availability will be provided on the web site and through other printed methods placed in easily visible areas.


The ultimate goal of Atikokan General Hospital is to meet and surpass customer expectations while serving customers with disabilities. Comments on our services regarding how well those expectations are being met are welcome and appreciated.  Feedback from customers may be received in person, by telephone, in writing, by email, or by another method determined by both parties.

All feedback will be directed to the Chief Execuitve Officer for review. Complaints will be accepted in writing, by email, telephone or electronic format and will be addressed according to our complaint procedure.

Cross Reference

Training Presentation:
Accessibility: Disruptions in Service: Procedure 12-04-01
Service Disruption: Form 12-04-01-01
Service Animal: Procedure 12-02-01  and 02-85
Alternative Document Format: Form 12-03-01-01
Customer Feedback Form 07-40-01-01
Customer Service Accessibility Plan (customer brochure) 12-01-01-02
Complaints Procedure – Members of the Public 10-40-01
Accessibility Standard: Customer Service (poster) 12-01-01-03
Talk About Disabilities: Choose the Right Word

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