Winnipeg Supply Service Experts Accessible Customer Service Policy

We are committed to complying with the Accessibility Standard for Customer Service under The Accessibility for Manitobans Act. Our policies, practices and measures reflect the principles of dignity, independence, integration and equal opportunity for people with disabilities.

If a barrier to accessing our goods or services cannot be removed, we seek to provide alternate ways to access the goods or services.

The following policy statements, organizational practices and measures are intended to meet the requirements of the Accessibility Standard for Customer Service.

This policy applies to all employees, contractors, vendors, and management.

Service Experts is committed to an inclusive, barrier-free employment and customer service process. We will accommodate the needs of our employees, customers and vendors. If you require an accommodation, please contact the General Manager and we will work with you to meet your needs.

Meet communication needs.

Policy Statement:

To meet the communication needs of our customers, vendors, and guests.
Practices and Measures:
  • To meet communication needs, when appropriate we offer to communicate in different ways, such as writing things down, reading things out loud, and taking extra time to explain things.
  • We also:
    • keep paper and pens available to write things down
    • offer a chair when longer conversations are needed
    • offer a quieter space
    • sit down to engage with someone using a wheelchair
  • We use signs and documents that are easy to read, including using larger fonts and colour contrast, and ensuring messages are not printed on images.
  • We write signs and documents in plain language. 

Accommodate the use of assistive devices.

Policy Statement:
We accommodate the use of assistive devices when customers, vendors, and guests are accessing our goods, services or facilities.
Practices and Measures:
  • We do not touch or move customer’s, vendor’s, guest’s assistive devices without permission.
  • In cases where the assistive device presents significant and unavoidable health or safety concerns, we attempt to use other measures to ensure the person with disabilities can access our goods, services or facilities

Welcome support persons. 

Policy Statement:
We welcome support persons.
Practices and Measures:
  • We address the customer, vendor, and guest, not the support person, unless requested by the customer, vendor, and guest to do otherwise.
  • We make space for support persons on-site and ensure customer, vendor, and guest have access to their support persons at all times.
  • We do not charge any admission or service fees for support persons.

Allow service animals.

Policy Statement:
We allow service animals on our premises.
Practices and Measures:  
  • We:
    • treat a service animal as a working animal
    • do not distract a service animal from its job by petting, feeding or playing with it, unless given permission by the person with the service animal to do so
    • know how to identify a service animal by its harness or vest and by the assistance the animal is providing
  • If we have concerns, we may ask if the animal has been trained to help a person with a disability-related need.
  • We do not inquire about the disability.
  • We expect the person who is handling the service animal to maintain control of the animal physically or through voice, signal or other means.
  • If the service animal is showing signs of not being controlled (i.e., by barking, whining or wandering), we may provide a warning to the handler to control the animal.
  • If the service animal continues to misbehave, we may ask the handler to leave.
  • If another law prohibits service animals (e.g., back shop, warehouse area, storage area, reclaim tank storage), we explain why the animal cannot enter the space and discuss with the person another way of providing goods or services.      

Maintain accessibility features. 

Policy Statement:
To ensure barrier-free access to our goods, services or facilities, we ensure that our accessibility features are maintained so they can be used as intended.
Practices and Measures:
  • We organize our space so that there is room for people with wheelchairs, electric scooters and walkers.
  • Our seating accommodates people of varying sizes and abilities.
  • We keep hallways, aisles, entrance and reception areas, waiting rooms and meeting rooms clear of clutter.
  • We keep our entrance area clear of ice and snow.
  • We place standing signs out of the way to avoid tripping hazards.
  • We use both audio and visual cues to inform customers it is their turn to be served.
  • We take our goods and services to the customer, service recipient, or vendor when our premises and structures are not accessible.
  • Alternatives to our accessibility features include:
    • providing service at alternate locations, such as customer or vendor’s home or office
  • Our accessibility features affected by this policy are hallways, aisles, entrance and reception areas, waiting rooms and meeting rooms and doorbells. 

Let the public know when and why an accessibility feature is unavailable. 

Policy Statement:
We let the public know when and why an accessibility feature is temporarily unavailable, how long it will be unavailable, and other ways to access our goods and services.
Practices and Measures:
  • If one of our accessibility features becomes temporarily unavailable, we prepare and post a notice and/or announcement about the disruption, the reason for the disruption, how long it will last, and whether there are other ways we can provide access to our goods and services (e.g., by using an alternate entrance).
  • If requested, we work with the customer to find other ways to provide goods and services.
  • We let the public know about disruptions in the following ways:
    • posted at our building entrance and front desk
    • through employees and management (in person, by phone)

Welcome and respond promptly to feedback.

Policy Statements:
We welcome and respond promptly to feedback we receive on the accessibility of our goods and services. We document the actions we take to respond to the feedback we receive, and that information is available on request in a format that meets the individual’s communication needs.
Practices and Measures:
  • We invite feedback in the following ways:
    • Visit our front service desk, or contact us by phone, email, website or social media All feedback is directed to the general manager, who determines what action, if any, should occur.
  • If the feedback requires us to follow-up, the customer, service recipient, or vendor is notified that the request is being reviewed and when they can expect a response.
  • We let the customer, service recipient, or vendor know what action we will take to address their feedback, if any.
  • We respond to feedback in a way that meets the communication needs of the individual. 

Provide the required training to employees, volunteers and management.

Policy Statements:
We provide the required training on accessible customer service to employees and management. We are trained on:
  • How to interact and communicate with people who face barriers to accessing goods and services, use assistive devices, are assisted by a support person and/or are assisted by a service animal.
  • An overview of The Accessibility for Manitobans Act, The Human Rights Code (Manitoba), and the Customer Service Standard.
  • Our organizational policies, practices and measures, including updates or changes. 
Practices and Measures:
  • Newly hired employees and management will receive training outlining the Service Experts’ Accessible Customer Service Policy. This training will be part of the onboarding process prior to their start date and acknowledgment of training will be housed in the applicant tracking system.
  • We provide refresher training as needed for current employees, including updates to policies, practices and measures. As needed, the general manager and office manager records who has taken refresher training and when.
  • Feedback on the accessibility of our goods and services is addressed in regular staff meetings.

Keep a written record of accessibility and training policies

Policy Statements:
We keep a written record of our accessibility and training policies.
Our written documents include a summary of our training material and when training is offered.
We let the public know that our written policies are available on request.
Practices and Measures:
  • Through signage in the reception area at the centre, we let the public know that our accessibility and training policies are available.
  • We provide our policies within a reasonable timeframe, at no cost, and in a format that meets the needs of the individual upon request.
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