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Use of assistive devices

1 POLICY

First Reference Inc. will welcome all customers and the broader public to our facilities by committing our staff and volunteers to providing our goods and services that respect the independence and dignity of people with disabilities. Such access to goods and services incorporate measures that include but are not limited to the use of assistive devices.

Note: Employees have their own separate and specific policy and procedures related to their personal use of assistive devices.

2 PURPOSE

The purpose of this Statement of Policy and Procedure is to ensure that each facility that is open to the public will, as applicable, post information in the front office or reception area or entrance that indicates that we do not have assistive devices available but encourages potential users to seek support from staff and volunteers as they require it.

3 SCOPE

This policy applies to all employees and customers and all facilities of First Reference Inc. in Ontario.

4 RESPONSIBILITY

Managers, supervisors, department heads will ensure that staff are trained to support customers and the broader public who may use assistive devices while accessing our facilities so that we can provide our goods and services.

It is the responsibility of the managers and/or immediate supervisors and/or department heads to ensure that all employees follow the guidelines set out in this policy.

5 DEFINITIONS

"Assistive devices" are any devices used by persons with disabilities to help with daily living and tasks such as auxiliary aids, communication aids, cognition aids, personal mobility aids and medical aids. Assistive devices include a range of products such as wheelchairs, walkers, white canes, crutches, oxygen tanks, hearing aids and other electronic communication devices.

"Employees" means every person who deals with members of the public or other third parties on behalf of First Reference Inc, whether the person does so as an employee, agent, volunteer or otherwise.

"Customers" mean members of the public, suppliers, subscribers, trial users, vendors, other businesses, consultants, providers of other business and professional services, the government or other organizations.

6 REFERENCES and RELATED STATEMENTS of POLICY and PROCEDURE

Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005

Ontario Human Rights Code

Accessibility Standards for Customer Service, Ontario Regulation 429/07

7 PROCEDURES

Training is focused on how to interact with people using assistive devices rather than on the technical use of the assistive devices.

Assistive devices carried by persons with disabilities: First Reference Inc’s websites will indicate that all facilities that provide goods and services respect the independence and dignity of people with disabilities and offer services that include the use of assistive devices.

Each of First Reference Inc’s facilities that is open to the public will post information in the front office/reception area or entrance that the company welcomes the use of assistive devices and encourages users to seek support from staff and volunteers as they require it.

Assistive devices/services made available by First Reference Inc: First Reference Inc’s websites will indicate that we do not provide assistive devices to assist in provision of services and access to goods to people with disabilities. However alternative service methods such as assistance of a staff person to complete a transaction will be provided if requested.

Employees must not touch or move a person’s assistive device without the person’s permission. If you do have their permission, do not move the device out of the user’s reach.

Practice consideration and safety. Do not leave the person in an awkward, dangerous or undignified position such as facing a wall or in the path of opening doors.

Let the person know about accessible features in the immediate environment such as automatic doors, accessible washrooms or change rooms.

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