Territorial Policy on Accessibility and Customer Service
All workers with The Salvation Army— be they officers, employees, volunteers—are expected to uphold this policy and work together to provide accessibility and customer services in all programs and services offered by The Salvation Army. This territorial policy is based on the mission statement and core values of The Salvation Army.
In fulfilling its mission, The Salvation Army strives at all times to provide its goods and services in a way that respects the dignity and independence of people with disabilities. The Salvation Army is also committed to giving people with disabilities the same opportunity to access employment, goods and services, and allowing them to benefit from the same services, in the same place and in a similar way as other customers. This policy outlines how all ministry units will work together to provide accessibility to officers, employees, volunteers and clients with disabilities.
The Salvation Army Canada and Bermuda Territory is committed to treating all people in a way that allows them to maintain their dignity and independence. We believe in integration and equal opportunity. We are committed to meeting the needs of people with disabilities in a timely manner, and will do so by preventing and removing barriers to accessibility and meeting accessibility requirements.
In accordance with applicable legislation and regulations, the territorial policy on accessibility and customer service will be reviewed annually, revised appropriately and posted at all Salvation Army workplaces.
Each workplace will develop, implement and post a specific accessible customer service policy program at their location which meets applicable legislative requirements, as well as the requirements of this policy. This program will be based on the elements outlined in section 4 of this policy.
Refer to the applicable provincial legislation regarding relevant definitions which may differ slightly in each jurisdiction.
Disability is defined as:
- Any degree of physical disability, infirmity, malformation or disfigurement that is caused by bodily injury, birth defects 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 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 a dysfunction in one or more of the processes involved in understanding or using symbols or spoken language.
- A mental disorder.
- An injury or disability for which benefits were claimed or received under the insurance plan established under workers’ compensation acts.
Worker is defined as:
- A person who performs work or supplies services to The Salvation Army. This includes officers, employees, contract staff and volunteers.
Workplace is defined as:
- Any place where a worker performs work or is likely to be engaged in any work. This may include, for instance, a motor vehicle, a mobile emergency response unit or an off-site location such as a hospital or prison. The definition of workplace may be interpreted differently under statutes such as Human Rights and Workers’ Compensation Acts
Supervisor is defined as:
- A person who has charge of a workplace or authority over a worker.
4. ACCESSIBLE CUSTOMER SERVICE POLICY PROGRAM—PROVIDING ACCESSIBLE CUSTOMER SERVICE TO PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES
Workers will communicate with people with disabilities in ways that take into account their disability.
Salvation Army supervisors will train workers who communicate with clients on how to interact and communicate with people with various types of disabilities.
4.2 Telephone services
The Salvation Army is committed to providing fully accessible telephone service to our clients. Workers will communicate with clients over the telephone in an understandable manner, taking into account the client’s disability.
The Salvation Army will use reasonable efforts to ensure that Salvation Army ministry units will offer to communicate with customers by other means of communication that may be appropriate for a client, for example, email, in person and relay services.
4.3 Assistive devices
The Salvation Army is committed to serving people with disabilities who use assistive devices to obtain, use or benefit from our services. The Salvation Army will train workers, when relevant, to be familiar with various assistive devices that may be used by clients with disabilities while accessing our services.
The Salvation Army is committed to providing accessible invoices to all of our clients and customers. For this reason, invoices will be provided in the alternative formats upon request, for example hard copy, large print and email.
The Salvation Army will answer any questions clients and customers may have about the content of the invoice in person, by telephone or in writing.
4.5 Use of service animals and support persons
The Salvation Army welcomes people with disabilities who are accompanied by a service animal. Workers dealing with the public will be properly trained on how to interact with people with disabilities who are accompanied by a service animal.
The Salvation Army welcomes people with disabilities who are accompanied by a support person. Any person with a disability who is accompanied by a support person will be allowed to enter Salvation Army’s premises with his or her support person. At no time will a person with a disability who is accompanied by a support person be prevented from having access to his or her support person while on our premises.
4.6 Notice of temporary disruption
The Salvation Army will provide customers with notice in the event of a planned or unexpected disruption in the facilities or services usually used by people 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.
The notice will be placed at all public entrances and service counters on Salvation Army premises.
4.7 Training for workers
Salvation Army supervisors will provide training to all workers who interact with the public and/or are involved in the development and approval of customer service policies, practices and procedures.
This training will be provided upon orientation and refresher courses will be made available as appropriate.
Training will include the following:
- 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.
- How to use equipment or devices, e.g. TTY, wheelchair lifts, etc., available on Salvation Army’s premises, or other mechanisms that may help with the provision of services to people with disabilities.
- What to do if a person with a disability is having difficulty in accessing Salvation Army’s services and how to report customer service feedback.
- Specific Salvation Army individual ministry unit’s policies, practices and procedures relating to the accessible customer service standard for that specific facility and equipment.
In Ontario, all workers must be trained on the Human Rights Code as it relates to people with disabilities.
The Salvation Army will provide ongoing training when revisions are made to its accessibility policies.
4.8 Accessible customer service feedback process
The ultimate goal of The Salvation Army is to meet and surpass client expectations while serving persons with disabilities. Comments on our services are welcome and appreciated.
Feedback regarding the way The Salvation Army provides services to people with disabilities can be made by email, in writing or verbally. For further details, refer to The Salvation Army at www.SalvationArmy.ca.
5 ACCESSIBILITY FOR WORKERS
Workers with disabilities will be supported in the following ways:
- During the recruitment process, The Salvation Army will provide accommodation, upon request.
- Generalized workplace information that is normally made available to all workers may be provided in alternative accessible formats, upon request, and in consultation with the worker.
- Emergency-related information will be made available to workers with known disabilities. To ensure the safety of all workers, The Salvation Army will, if aware that a disabled worker may need accommodation, work with that person to develop an individualized emergency plan.
- The Salvation Army will, in consultation with a worker with a disability, develop an accommodation plan to assist the worker in completing his/her role in the workplace.
- The Salvation Army will develop a return-to-work plan for a worker who is returning to the workplace after a disability-related absence.
- Performance management, performance appraisals and other individual career development tools will be provided to workers in alternate accessible formats, upon request.
6 PUBLIC SPACES
In Ontario, new work or major redevelopment of public spaces must be accessible. Public spaces include recreational trails, beach access routes, parking lots, service counters, fixed waiting lines, outdoor public eating areas, outdoor play spaces, paths of travel and waiting areas with fixed seating. Further information is available on line through the Ontario Government website. The Property Department is available for consultation.
In other jurisdictions, accessibility should still be considered when carrying out new work and major renovations in public spaces.
Accessible Websites and Web Content
The Salvation Army Archives (Heritage Centre) shall make their internet website and web content conform to the World Wide Web Consortium Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 Level A and increasing to Level AA, except where this is impracticable.