IPC Customer Service Standards Policy
The Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario (IPC) is committed to creating an accessible organization by removing barriers for people with disabilities.
The goals of this IPC Customer Service Standards Policy are to:
- Establish procedures to ensure that persons with disabilities are able to access the services provided by the IPC.
- Meet our obligations under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (AODA), its associated Integrated Accessibility Standards, and specifically the Customer Service Standard.
The IPC endeavours to ensure that the provision of its services is consistent with the principles outlined in the Customer Service Standard, specifically:
- The IPC will provide services in a manner that respects the dignity and independence of persons with disabilities.
- The IPC will provide services to persons with disabilities that are integrated with the services provided to others to ensure that a person with a disability can obtain, use and benefit from our services.
- The IPC will provide persons with disabilities the same opportunity to obtain, use and benefit from our services as persons without disabilities.
- When communicating with a person with a disability, the IPC will do so in a manner that takes into account the person’s disability.
The IPC understands that information about a disability is personal and private and must be treated confidentially. If a person using our services discloses that they have a disability, we will only ask for additional information about the disability if it is necessary for us to understand how to provide better service to that person. If a person with a disability indicates the best way for us to provide service to them, the IPC will follow their advice to the best of our ability.
The IPC recognizes that some individuals with disabilities use assistive devices in order to access services. Assistive devices are usually devices that people bring with them. The IPC will permit these individuals to use their assistive devices to obtain, use or benefit from our services.
Persons with disabilities who are accompanied by a guide dog or other service animal will be permitted to enter the IPC’s premises and to keep the animal with them. Service animals must be able to be readily identified as being used by the person for reasons relating to the person’s disability, through the use of visual indicators such as a vest or harness. If the service animal cannot be readily identified in this way, the IPC may request that an individual provide documentation from a regulated health professional designated in the Integrated Accessibility Standards confirming that the person requires the animal for reasons relating to the disability.
If a person with a disability is accompanied by a support person, the IPC will ensure that both persons are permitted to enter the premises together. The IPC will provide services to and interact directly with the individual with the disability and not the support person unless the individual with the disability directs otherwise. The IPC will request that the individual provide a consent for their support person to be present for any interactions or discussions with IPC staff. The IPC will not prevent the individual with a disability from having access to the support person.
Communication and Format of Documents
The IPC will communicate with persons with disabilities in ways that take their disability into account. This means that staff will communicate in a manner that enables persons with disabilities to communicate effectively for the purpose of accessing our services. Examples of ways that the IPC can support persons with disabilities in communicating with us include:
- Writing with pen and paper;
- Typing messages back and forth (If required, the IPC will make a laptop computer available to communicate with a person who is using our services);
- Adjusting speaking style to speak more slowly or clearly or in plainer language;
- Electronic communication systems; and
The IPC may ask the person what is the best method to use when communicating with them and will communicate in this way to the best of our ability.
The IPC gives persons with disabilities the option of accessing us through email, phone, TTY machine, letter or another communication method that meets the needs of their disability. The IPC will answer the TTY machine when it rings and provide efficient service.
Upon request, the IPC will provide accessible formats and communication supports for persons with disabilities in a timely manner that takes into account the person’s accessibility needs due to disability. This includes providing this policy in accessible formats or with communication supports.
If a member of the public needs to have a document in Braille, we will give them the option of having someone read them the document immediately, or forward them a Braille version of the document as soon as possible.
Notice of Temporary Disruptions
The IPC will post on our website, on our door, and on our voice mail, a notice if we are experiencing or expecting to experience a disruption in services. The notice will include the reason for the disruption, its anticipated duration and a description of alternative services or facilities, if any, that are available.
The IPC will ensure that all employees receive training regarding the provision of our services to persons with disabilities. This training will include:
- A review of the purposes of AODA and the requirements of the Customer Service Standard.
- How to interact and communicate with persons with various types of disabilities.
- How to interact with persons with disabilities who use an assistive device or require the assistance of a guide dog or other service animal or a support person.
- How to use equipment or devices available on the IPC’s premises or otherwise provided by the IPC that may help with the provision of goods or services to a person with a disability, such as TTY telephones, elevators, or other technology.
- What to do if a person with a disability is having difficulty accessing the IPC’s goods or services.
This will include each employee signing a confirmation that they have read and understood the policy, practices, and procedures document. This training will be provided as soon as practicable after the person starts employment or their contractual relationship with the IPC.
The IPC will establish a process for receiving and responding to feedback about its provision of services to persons with disabilities.
There will be comment cards available at the IPC’s reception desk or individuals may direct feedback to:
Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario
2 Bloor Street East
By Phone: 1 800 387 0073
By Fax: 416 325 9195
By TTY: 416 325 7539
By Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The IPC will ensure the feedback process is accessible to persons with disabilities by providing accessible formats and communication supports, upon request. All feedback about the IPC’s provision of services to persons with disabilities will be collected and forwarded to the Director of Corporate Services to investigate and respond.
The IPC will follow the OPS Common Service Standard that customers can expect an acknowledgment of verbal/telephone feedback or feedback left on a comment card, within two business days, and within fifteen business days of receiving a mailed/e-mailed complaint. The acknowledgment must indicate when the matter will be addressed and when the customer will be notified.