AODA Compliance

Accessible Customer Service Policy
Providing Goods and Services to People with Disabilities

MaRS Innovation (“MI”) is committed to the provision of goods and services to people with disabilities in a manner consistent with the principles of dignity, independence, integration, and equal opportunity. Furthermore, such goods and services will be provided in accordance with the spirit and intent of all applicable legislation including the AODA, the Human Rights Code (Ontario), the Occupational Health and Safety Act (Ontario), and the Building Code Act (Ontario).

Definitions
Disability: For the purpose of this policy, the term “disability” includes:

  1. any degree of physical disability, infirmity, malformation or disfigurement that is caused by bodily injury, birth defect or illness and, without limiting the generality of the foregoing, includes diabetes mellitus, epilepsy, a brain injury, any degree of paralysis, amputation, lack of physical co-ordination, blindness or visual impediment, deafness or hearing impediment, muteness or speech impediment, or physical reliance on a guide dog or other animal or on a wheelchair or other remedial appliance or device,
  2. a condition of mental impairment or a developmental disability;
  3. a learning disability, or a dysfunction in one or more of the processes involved in understanding or using symbols or spoken language;
  4. a mental disorder; or
  5. an injury or disability for which benefits were claimed or received under the insurance plan established under the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act (Ontario).

Employee: For the purposes of this policy, the term “employee” refers to any person regarding whom the Company pays wages or a salary, has control over their assigned work and has a right to control the details of their work. This includes, but is not limited to:

  1. full-time employees
  2. part-time employees
  3. seasonal employees
  4. contract employees

Service Animal: For the purposes of this policy, an animal is a service animal for a person with a disability:

  1. if it is readily apparent that the animal is used by the person for reasons relating to his or her disability; or
  2. if the person provides a letter from a physician or nurse confirming that the person requires the animal for reasons relating to the disability.

“Service animal” also includes a guide dog as defined under the Blind Persons’ Rights Act, Section 1.

Support Person: For the purposes of this policy, a “support person” is a person who accompanies a person with a disability in order to help with communication, mobility, personal care or medical needs or with access to goods or services. The support person could be a paid personal support worker, a volunteer, a friend or a family member. He or she does not necessarily need to have special training or qualifications.

Assistive Devices
MI will ensure that our staff are trained and familiar with any equipment or devices that are available at our workplace and may be used by persons with disabilities while accessing our goods or services.

Communication
MI will communicate with people with disabilities in ways that take into account their disability.

Service Animals
MI welcomes people with disabilities and their service animals. Service animals are allowed on the parts of our premises that are open to the public.

Support Persons
A person with a disability who is accompanied by a support person will be allowed to have that person accompany them on our premises.

Notice of Temporary Disruption
In the event of a planned or unexpected disruption to services or facilities for customers with disabilities, MI will notify customers promptly. This clearly posted notice will include information about the reason for the disruption, its anticipated length of time, and a description of alternative facilities or services, if available. The notice will be placed at the entrance door to the MI corporate office, located at 661 University Avenue, Suite 465, West Tower, Toronto, Ontario.

Training for Staff
MI will provide training to all employees, volunteers and others who deal with the public or other third parties on their behalf. This training will be provided to new staff immediately upon being hired.

Training will include:

  • An overview of the Accessibility forOntarians with Disabilities Act, 2005, and the requirements of the customer service standard. Staff will be directed to the Ministry of Community and Social Services website “AODA E-Learning Course” for complete and up-to-date information.
  • MI’s Accessible Customer Service Policy, which is posted on MI’s website and also circulated to all staff.
  • Through the e-training workshop, the following subjects will be covered:
    • 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 disability is having difficulty in accessing MI’s goods and services.

Staff will also be trained when changes are made to this Policy or to the Act.

Feedback Process
Customers who wish to provide feedback on the way MI provides goods and services to people with disabilities can reach the organization via email at info@marsinnovation.com, either directly, or via MI’s website at www.marsinnovation.com. All feedback will be directed to the Manager, Corporate Affairs. Customers can expect to hear back in three (3) days or less. Complaints will be addressed according to MI’s regular complaint management procedures.

Modifications to This or Other Policies
Any MI policy that does not respect and promote the dignity and independence of people with disabilities will be modified or removed.

Revision Date: December 2017