Customer service (Policy)
Effective April 2017
Public Health Sudbury & Districts provides programs and services and plans activities and events which promote and protect the health of citizens living in the districts of Sudbury and Manitoulin.
Public Health Sudbury & Districts is committed to excellence in serving all members of the public and in working effectively with partners and community groups, including people with disabilities.
Public Health Sudbury & Districts is committed to meet the accessibility needs of persons with disabilities in a timely manner.
Public Health Sudbury & Districts’ staff responsibilities include:
- Preparing and amending policies, procedures, and practices where necessary upon release of the additional standards or changes in legislation
- Providing copies of these policies to clients upon request
- Providing alternative formats of policies upon request
- Implementing the appropriate training in relation to the customer service standard
- Providing notice for disruptions in service
- Collecting client feedback
As such, Public Health Sudbury & Districts will make every reasonable effort to ensure that:
- Programs and services will be provided in a manner that respects the dignity and independence of people with disabilities
- People with varying abilities will be given an equitable opportunity to access and benefit from Health Unit programs and services and to participate in activities and events
- Programs and services provided to people with disabilities and others will be integrated unless an alternate method is necessary to enable a person with a disability to obtain, use, or benefit from the programs and services
As outlined and defined in the Legislated Requirements and Statement of Commitment policy V-I-10 while planning programs, services, activities, events, and in developing related policies, procedures and practices, all SDHU staff will abide by the following accessibility principles:
- Equality of Opportunity
Mandatory customer service training
Managers are responsible for ensuring that any staff who reports to them completes appropriate training as soon as practicable. Additional training may be provided for individuals who work in certain programs or team areas as needed including instruction on how to use equipment and assistive devices available. Individuals will be made aware of any amendments made to policies due to changes in legislation or where new process or program is developed.
Training for Customer Service Standards must include:
- The purposes of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005, and the requirements of the customer service standards
- Training on Public Health Sudbury & Districts’ policies, practices, and procedures and a review of the requirements of the customer service standards
- How to interact and communicate with people with various types of disabilities
- How to interact with people with varying abilities who use an assistive device or require the assistance of a service animal or a support person
- How to use the equipment or assistive devices (wheelchair, exterior ramp, elevator) currently available on Public Health Sudbury & Districts’ premises or other ways that may help with the provision of goods or services to people with disabilities
- What to do if a person with a disability is having difficulty accessing Public Health Sudbury & Districts’ programs, services, events, and activities
Refer to policy V-I-10 regarding Legislated Requirements and Statement of Commitment for more information on training and instruction.
Communication with clients (written and electronic)
Public Health Sudbury & Districts staff members will communicate with individuals in a manner that takes into account the person’s individual needs.
Plain language will be used when developing documents, advertisements, and promotional material targeting the general public.
The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), established by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), set out the technical standards required to comply with the AODA. Compliance is based upon specific implementation timelines and levels of conformance. As such, Public Health Sudbury & Districts’ website (www.phsd.ca) and any other websites that Public Health Sudbury & Districts is responsible for are required to comply with the AODA and the WCAG (2.0) Level A.
Public Health Sudbury & Districts site structure was designed to comply with these requirements, and we endeavor to ensure that web content on the site meets the AODA guidelines: Public Health Sudbury & Districts will also respond to requests for accommodation or suggestions to improve the site.
Public Health Sudbury & Districts is committed to using inclusive design standards for all print and digital information for both internal and external audiences.
Any materials produced on the topic of accessibility, for distribution to both internal and external audiences, will be sent out to be printed through the Secretary, Corporate Services. These materials will be made available through Intake/Reception. For replenishment, Intake/Reception staff will contact the Secretary, Corporate Services for re-printing.
People with disabilities may request service information, forms, or other documents be provided in an alternate format. Where Public Health Sudbury & Districts is unable to provide the requested format, an explanation will be provided to the individual and Public Health Sudbury & Districts will work with the individual to find a suitable alternative.
Alternate formats to consider may include:
- Large print for people with low vision (including adjustable sized print for electronic materials)
- Braille used by some people who are blind or deaf-blind
- Audio formats such as digital recordings on CD’s
- Videos that may be helpful to people with certain learning disabilities
- Verbally read materials by a staff member to a person with a disability
- Easy-read, simplified summaries of materials for people with developmental or intellectual disabilities
Public Health Sudbury & Districts is committed to providing fully accessible telephone services to our clients. Staff who are required to communicate with customers over the telephone will be trained to communicate clearly and slowly with customers in plain language.
Where telephone communication is not suitable to an individual’s communication needs, Public Health Sudbury & Districts staff will offer to communicate with customers in writing, by email or Bell relay services.
Conferences and presentations
Upon request and where possible, Public Health Sudbury & Districts will consider real-time captioning services, sign language interpreters or deaf-blind intervenors so that people can participate effectively in conference seminars. These services will be identified on promotional material related to the conference or event.
Staff will provide assistance to better serve clients who may have a disability. For example, staff will provide a client with a pen and paper if they would like to write down the reason for their visit to the Public Health Sudbury & Districts.
If invoicing is required, Public Health Sudbury & Districts is committed to providing accessible invoices. For this reason, invoices may be provided in the following formats upon request:
- Hard copy in regular or large print (when possible)
Public Health Sudbury & Districts staff will answer any questions clients may have about the content of the invoice or records in person, by telephone or email.
Personal assistive devices
Public Health Sudbury & Districts is committed to serving people with disabilities who use assistive devices to obtain, use or benefit from our programs, services, events, and activities.
Public Health Sudbury & Districts will work with clients who identify that an assistive device would benefit them when participating in programs, services, events and activities provided by the agency. Where a client requests a device, staff will work with their manager or another designated person to facilitate this request.
Where Public Health Sudbury & Districts has or arranges to provide an assistive device on our premises to better assist clients, the applicable staff will be trained and familiarized with the use of these devices.
Guide dogs and other service animals are permitted to accompany people with disabilities on Public Health Sudbury & Districts property and in areas of its buildings that are accessible to the public and other third parties. It is important to remember that Service Animals are working animals. Public Health Sudbury & Districts staff will not distract or disrupt any service animal by touching, petting or talking to the animal.
When planning events and activities, Public Health Sudbury & Districts staff will make every reasonable effort to choose sites and locations where service animals are not excluded by law.
People with disabilities may be accompanied by a support person while participating in our programs, services, events, or activities. At no time will people with disabilities who are accompanied by a support person be prevented from having access to his or her support person while on our properties or while attending our events or activities.
Where privacy is a concern, agency staff will ask the person with disabilities whether he or she would like his or her support person present.
Where a client with disabilities requires assistance with lifting or toileting activities, a support person is required to accompany the client.
Support persons will not be charged admission fees for agency events.
Disruption of services
Public Health Sudbury & Districts will provide notice to the public when there is a planned or unexpected disruption of access to its facilities or services that may be used by the public. These facilities, services, or systems include:
- Accessible washrooms and clinic rooms
- Mechanical doors
This notice will include the nature of the disruption, the reason for it, its expected duration, and a description of alternative facilities or services, if available.
Public Health Sudbury & Districts’ properties, the notice will be placed in writing at the reception desk, and near the disrupted facility or service location. The notice will be placed at a height that will allow a person using a wheelchair to read it.
Notices of planned and unexpected disruptions will also be posted on Public Health Sudbury & Districts’ website or announced publically as soon as the disruption and pertinent details are available.
Disruption of service notices must be developed through the Director, Corporate Services or designate.
Public Health Sudbury & Districts is committed to meeting and surpassing the service expectations of all its clients, including people with disabilities. Feedback and comments are welcome and appreciated in regards to how well expectations are being met. All feedback will be directed to the Director of Corporate Services or designate.
Information about the feedback process will be readily available to the public on the agency’s website, as well as through signage and a public brochure located in the lobby or reception area of each office location.
Clients can provide feedback about the way Public Health Sudbury & Districts provides goods and services to people with disabilities in the following ways:
- Obtaining a Client Feedback Form and envelope from reception staff at any office location
- Calling Public Health Sudbury & Districts and asking to speak with Divisional Administrative Assistant in Corporate Services. The Divisional Administrative Assistant or designate will complete the Client Feedback Form on the client’s behalf.
- Writing and mailing a letter addressed to the Director of Corporate Services
- Downloading the Client Feedback Form (PDF, 36.5KB) from the agency’s website and mailing it to Corporate Services, Public Health Sudbury & Districts, 1300 Paris Street, Sudbury, ON P3E 3A3
- Filling out and submitting the online Client Feedback Form from Public Health Sudbury & Districts’ website
- Sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
All feedback will be submitted from the public to the Divisional Administrative Assistant in Corporate Services and provided to the Director of Corporate Services who will determine the appropriate course of action based on the feedback or complaint.
Where requested or appropriate, clients can expect a response within 30 days of the date the feedback was submitted. Information about our process and availability of documents will be readily available to the public on Public Health Sudbury & Districts website, in person, by telephone, in writing or email. The Divisional Administrative Assistant will provide a summary annually to the Director, Corporate Services of all feedback.
Clients will be provided with the support they need to complete the feedback form. If assistance is needed just ask a staff member to fill in the form on your behalf.
Notice of availability of documents
This policy will be made publicly available on Public Health Sudbury & Districts’ website.
This policy, as well as other documents pertaining to the provision of goods and services for persons with disabilities, will be available, upon request, in a format that takes into account the person’s disability.
Requests for such documents are to be forwarded to the individual identified or to the Divisional Administrative Assistant, Corporate Services.
Note: For the purpose of this policy the term “staff” refers to employees, volunteers, students, Board of Health members, and in some cases, agency partners who deal with the public or third parties on its behalf.
This item was last modified on July 25, 2018