Accessibility Policy

Policy Statement

This policy describes how PharmaCommunications will ensure it takes all reasonable measures to provide accessible service to participants with disabilities. PharmaCommunications is committed to preventing, identifying and removing barriers that impede the ability of people with disabilities to access services.

People with disabilities will be given an equal opportunity to obtain, use and benefit from PharmaCommunications’ products and services in a way that is respectful of the dignity and independence of people with disabilities and in a manner which takes into account the person’s disability.

Purpose

The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (“the AODA”) is a Provincial Act with the purpose of developing, implementing and mandating accessibility standards in order to achieve accessibility for persons with disabilities, with respect to goods, services, facilities, accommodation, employment, buildings, structures and premises. Under the AODA, Ontario Regulation 429/07, entitled “Accessibility Standards for Customer Service” (“the Regulation”), came into effect on January 1, 2008. The Regulation establishes accessibility standards specific to customer service for private sector organizations that provide goods and services to members of the public or other third parties.

The objective of this policy is to identify what the equal treatment provisions of the Ontario Human Rights Code, through the AODA and the Regulation, require with respect to service delivery to persons with disabilities and addresses the following:

  • The Provision of Goods and Services to Persons with Disabilities;
  • The Use of Assistive Devices;
  • The Use of Guide Dogs and Service Animals;
  • The Use of Support Persons;
  • Notice of Service Disruptions;
  • Customer Feedback;
  • Training;
  • Notice of Availability and Format of Required Documents.

Accountabilities

The PharmaCommunications’ Executive Committee is accountable to and responsible for:

  • The governance of the policy.
  • Compliance with legislative requirements, including fiscal responsibility, human costs and human rights issues.
  • Supporting and promoting the policy in their area of direct reporting and throughout the organization.
  • Driving the culture to a high level of understanding regarding disability and accommodation.

The PharmaCommunications Directors and Managers are accountable to and responsible for:

  • Fostering open and constructive communication.
  • Demonstrating sensitivity to and respect confidentiality of information.
  • Raising awareness to facilitate understanding of the policy.
  • Participating and co-operating to facilitate workplace accommodation.

The PharmaCommunications Employees are accountable to and responsible for:

  • Participating and cooperating with all parties to facilitate workplace accommodation.

The PharmaCommunications Human Resources is accountable to and responsible for:

  • Participating and cooperating with all parties.
  • Acting as a resource for all parties and participants.
  • Supporting and educating managers in their obligations under the policy.

Procedure

PharmaCommunications is committed to ensuring all participants have equal access to the services we provide. We will do this by:

  • Establishing policies, procedures and practices that describe how we serve people with disabilities.
  • Using reasonable effort to ensure our participant policies are consistent with the principles of dignity, independence, integration of services, and equal of opportunity.
  • Dealing with the use of assistive devices for people with disabilities in our policies.
  • Welcoming people accompanied by guide dogs, service animals or support people and providing information about access.
  • Providing clear, complete, timely and prominent notice of temporary disruption of any of our facilities used by people with disabilities to help them access our services.
  • Providing timely and ongoing training to our staff, students and volunteers who deal with participants, to ensure their understanding of and ability to implement our policies regarding service to people with disabilities.
  • Implementing and communicating our processes for receiving and responding to feedback and handling complaints about how we provide services to people with disabilities.
  • Complying with documentation standard, including availability and format of documents.

Customer Service Policy, Practice and Procedure

The Provision of Goods and Services to Persons with Disabilities

PharmaCommunications will make every reasonable effort to ensure that its policies, practices and procedures are consistent with the principles of dignity, independence, integration and equal opportunity by:

  • ensuring that all customers receive the same value and quality;
  • allowing customers with disabilities to do things in their own ways, at their own pace when accessing goods and services as long as this does not present a safety risk;
  • using alternative methods when possible to ensure that customers with disabilities have access to the same services, in the same place and in a similar manner;
  • taking into account individual needs when providing goods and services; and
  • communicating in a manner that takes into account the customer’s disability.

PharmaCommunications employees and representatives will be encouraged to be pro-active in seeking solutions and removing barriers, as well as alerting all customers to the range of accommodations that are available.

The term “persons with disabilities” will be the norm, and if a specific condition must be referenced, the condition will be referenced last (e.g., person with low vision). The following are some general tips that may help make communication and interaction with or about people with all types of disabilities more successful:

  • Remember to put people first. It is proper to say person with a disability, rather than disabled person or the disabled.
  • It is best to wait until an individual describes his or her situation to you, rather than to make your own assumptions. Many types of disabilities have similar characteristics and assumptions may be wrong.

When PharmaCommunications bills for services, it should demonstrate a commitment to providing accessible invoices to all customers. This means that invoices should be provided in alternate formats upon request (e.g., hard copy, large print, email) and that staffs are prepared to answer questions customers may have about the content of the invoice.

Notice of Disruptions in Service

Service disruptions may occur due to reasons that may or may not be within PharmaCommunications’ control or knowledge. In the event of any temporary disruptions to facilities or services that are relied upon by customers with disabilities, PharmaCommunications will provide advance notice of the disruption where possible.

Notification Information:

In the event of a temporary disruption, notification of the disruption will include the following information:

  • Goods or services that are disrupted or unavailable;
  • Reason for the disruption;
  • Anticipated duration; and
  • A description of alternative services or options.

Posting of Notifications:

When temporary disruptions occur, PharmaCommunications will provide notice by:

  • Posting notices in conspicuous places on the premises and/or on the PharmaCommunications website;
  • Contacting customers with appointments scheduled during the disruption;
  • Verbally notifying customers when they are making a reservation or appointment; or
  • Any other methods that may be reasonable under the circumstances.

Workplace Emergency Response Information

In addition to providing customers with disabilities with full accessibility to goods and services at all times in a way that respects their dignity and independence, PharmaCommunications is committed to providing employees with disabilities with the same opportunities as other employees. With this in mind, PharmaCommunications will provide individualized workplace emergency response information to all employees with a visible or non-visible disability, if the individual so requires. This information can also be provided to the employee who is designated to assist the employee with disabilities.

Feedback Process

PharmaCommunications shall provide customers with the opportunity to provide feedback on the goods and services provided to customers with disabilities.

Customers who wish to provide feedback may do so by emailing accessibility@pharmacommunications.com. Customers may additionally provide their feedback to any PharmaCommunications employee, or by contacting our Accessibility Officer at (905) 477-3100.

Updated September 2015