Background

In order to break down barriers for people with disabilities and to improve access to goods, services, facilities, accommodation, employment and buildings, the Ontario Legislature passed the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (AODA). The Act became law in 2005, with the phasing of the various standards taking place over twenty years (2025). The first of the five regulations or standards is the Accessibility Standards for Customer Service, O. Reg. 429/07 which sets out accessibility standards for customer service for organizations that provide services to members of the public and / or other third parties.

Accessible Customer Service Policy Statement: Providing Services to All Customers

Rutherford Contracting Ltd. is committed to excellence in customer service; staff members will endeavour to consistently treat others, regardless of their abilities, with courtesy and respect, and in so doing, will assist in facilitating independence and integration through the removal of physical, mental and/or attitudinal barriers. We will make reasonable efforts to create equal opportunities for access to the services we provide by understanding that equality sometimes means treating people differently, in order, to ensure they have access to services equal to someone who may possess different abilities.

Assistive Devices

We will familiarize our staff members with the various assistive devices that may be used by people with disabilities while accessing our services. We will permit a person with a disability to use their own personal devices as may be required to access or benefit from our services.

Communication

Our staff will make reasonable efforts to communicate with people with disabilities in ways that take into account their disability. Because of the varied forms of disability, this may be accomplished in numerous ways depending on the nature of the disability. This may be done by providing information in written format; by providing correspondence in larger font, by speaking clearly, loudly or slowly, by using plain language or simple terms or by changing the location of a meeting to accommodate physical barriers.

Service Animals or Support Persons

We welcome people with disabilities who are accompanied by service animals or support persons and permit entry to parts of our premises or those under our control that are open to the public, unless access to areas could pose a safety hazard to the persons or animal. In this instance we would make reasonable efforts to enable access by other means.

Notice of Temporary Disruption

In the event of a planned or unexpected disruption to services or facilities, Rutherford Contracting Ltd will endeavour to notify customers as early as reasonably possible. This notice will include information about the reason for the disruption, the anticipated duration of the disruption and a description of the alternate facilities or services available. When a disruption has occurred or may occur, a notice will be posted either on the project safety board or at the main entrance to the affected construction site, in the reception area of our main office as well as by other means which may be appropriate.

Training of Staff

Rutherford Contracting Ltd. will provide training to employees and others who deal with the public or other third parties on their behalf. Individuals in the following positions will be trained: senior managers, managers, project coordinators, estimators, receptionists and field staff. The training will be provided to staff within one month of hiring or promotion.
Training will include:

  • An overview of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 and the requirements of the customer service standard.
    Rutherford Contracting’s policy related to the 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.
  • What to do if a person with a disability is having difficulty accessing the company’s goods and services.

Staff will also be trained when changes are made to the plan or practices.

Subcontractor’s employees who deal with the public on behalf of our firm must also be trained according to the bullet points listed above).

Upon request, each subcontractor shall provide Rutherford Contracting with proof of applicable training (names and dates) or if this information is not available the firm must confirm that those individuals who may be dealing with the public in relation to the goods and services provided by Rutherford have completed the on-line training module which can be located by copying the following link to a computer browser:

http://www.mcss.gov.on.ca/en/serve-ability/index.aspx

Feedback Process

Customers who wish to provide feedback on the manner Rutherford Contracting provides goods and services to people with disabilities can email, phone or mail suggestions / comments.
All feedback shall be directed to the Health & Safety Manager and/or the Human Resources Manager.

The complaint will be evaluated as soon as possible after receipt; customers can expect a response within five (5) business days. Rutherford will address the nature of the complaint, and take measures to respond by taking necessary and appropriate remedial measures which may include further communications, changes to the policy or program and/or staff training on ways to improve customer service to better promote accessibility.

Modifications to this or other policies

The intent of this policy is to comply with the requirements of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act 2005, specifically Accessibility Standards for Customer Service, O. Reg. 429/07. Any policy or procedure that does not respect and promote the dignity and independence of people with disabilities will be modified or removed. This policy shall be reviewed annually and revised or updated where necessary.

Multi-Year Accessibility Plan

2014
• Organization is committed to providing fair and accessible employment practices
• Creation of Equal Opportunity/Non-Discrimination statement
• Train current staff on the requirements of customer service requirements, and add Accessible Customer Service training for all new employees through new hire orientation
• Create and maintain training records
• Integration of Return-to-Work policy with Accessible Customer Service

2015
• An audit of the Accessible Customer Service Policy will be conducted to ensure that feedback processes are accessible to people with disabilities
• All current employees will have been trained in Accessible Customer Service

2016
• All information related to the Accessible Customer Service Policy (including Multi-Year plan and Policy Statement) will be posted to the company website
• Accessible Customer Service Policy is updated to include major modifications of company owned public spaces

2021
• Website and related content conforms with WCAG 2.0, Level AA