Accessibility

June 1, 2019

This policy is intended to meet the requirements of  Integrated Accessibility Standards, Ontario Regulation 191/11 under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005, and applied to the provision of goods and services to the public or other third parties, not to the goods themselves.

All goods and services provided by EFH shall follow the principles of dignity, independence, integration and equal opportunity.

Communication

Communication is an integral part of our customer service commitment. EFH is dedicated to making reasonable efforts to take into account our customers’ specific needs when communicating with them. EFH clearly understands that communication styles vary and that not all persons with the same disability use the same communication modalities. Therefore, EFH has made every effort to ensure that our employees take this into consideration and, when unsure, to always ask our customers how best to communicate with them.

Furthermore, EFH has committed to training our employees on the various communication styles and how best to interact with all of our customers with all types of disabilities. This includes but is not limited to the following:

  • Communicating with customers in person.
  • Communication with customers over the telephone and with those customers who may use Bell Relay Services.
  • Communication through e-mail or other electronic means.

EFH has made the necessary changes to ensure that our customers are aware that they may communicate with us in any modality that is deemed reasonable when accessing our goods or services. EFH is committed to providing goods or services to customers who use assistive devices. Furthermore, we have ensured in the training that our employees receive that they are familiar with the various types of assistive devices that may be used by persons with disabilities when accessing our goods or services.

Definition of Disability

The term Disability as defined by the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005, and the Ontario Human Rights Code, refers to:

  • 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;
  • a condition of mental impairment or a developmental disability;
  • a learning disability, or dysfunction in one or more of the processes involved in understanding or using symbols or spoken language;
  • a mental disorder; or
  • an injury or disability for which benefits were claimed or received under the insurance plan established under the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act, 1997.

Guide Dogs and Support Persons

EFH is committed to ensuring that all customers who are accompanied by service animals, guide dogs or support persons are able to access all parts of our premises that are open to the public and to third parties.

Assistive Devices

When accessing our goods and services, persons can use their own personal assistive devices. In circumstances where access is not possible, EFH will work with the individual to:

  • Assess service options to meet the individual’s needs;
  • Identify alternate services, either temporary or permanent.

Format of Documents

EFH will provide accessible documentation (or access to the information contained within the document) in a format that takes into account the person’s disability. The format to be used will be mutually agreed upon.

Service Disruptions

EFH will provide customers with notice in the event of a planned or unexpected disruption in the facilities or services usually used by persons with disabilities. This notice will include information about the reason for the disruption, its anticipated duration, and a description of alternative facilities or services, if available. Notice may be given by posting the information on location or via the EFH website.

Staff Training

To make certain that we provide goods and services in an accessible manner, EFH provides training to all employees and others who deal with the public or third parties. Training is also provided to persons responsible for the development of our customer service policies, practices and procedures. The training includes the following information:

  • An overview of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 and its purpose.
  • Types of disabilities.
  • Barriers; both visible and invisible.
  • Practical ways to help and interact with people with disabilities.
  • How to interact and communicate with people with disabilities who use assistive devices, are accompanied by support persons, service animals or guide dogs.
  • Cross disability training to ensure everyone has awareness and knowledge of how to assist a customer who is having difficulty accessing our goods or services.

EFH understands that training is a key component of understanding how to provide excellent and accessible customer service. Therefore, EFH requires all new employees, or others who do work on behalf of our organization to complete training within three (3) months of commencement of their employment.

Feedback

As part of our commitment to provide excellent and accessible customer service, EFH welcomes the opportunity to receive and to be able to respond to all of our customers’ feedback. In order to ensure this process is accessible, feedback is available through the following methods:

TELEPHONE
Local: 905-602-2140
Toll-free: 1-833-625-2150

MAIL
Echelon Financial Holdings
200 – 2800 Skymark Avenue
Mississauga, ON  L4W 5A7

EMAIL
info@efh.ca

Feedback will be reviewed to identify actions that can be taken to improve EFH service. Where possible, we will address any complaints within five (5) business days.

This policy and its related procedures will be reviewed as required in the event of legislative changes