INTRODUCTION & STATEMENT OF COMMITMENT
In 2005, the government of Ontario passed the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (the “AODA”). It is the goal of the Ontario government to make Ontario accessible by 2021. The Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulations (“IASR”) under the AODA require that effective January 1, 2014, Davids Footwear Limited (“the Company”) establish, implement, maintain and document an accessibility policy and a multi-year accessibility plan which outlines our strategy to prevent and remove barriers for persons with disabilities and to meet the requirements under the IASR.
Under the AODA, the following accessibility standards set certain requirements that are applicable to the Company:
- Customer Service;
- Information and Communications;
- Employment; and
- Proposed Accessibility Standards for the Built Environment.
This multi-year plan outlines the Company’s strategy to prevent and remove barriers to address the current and future requirements of the AODA, and in order to fulfill on Davids commitment to ensure that our environment is barrier-free to all persons, employees and clients alike, as we believe in equal opportunity. In line with this commitment and in the spirit of the requirements set out in the IASR, Davids will:
- Establish, review and update this plan;
- Post this plan on its website (www.davidsfootwear.com);
- Provide this plan in an accessible format, upon request; and
- Review and update this plan at least once every five years.
OVERVIEW OF ACCESSIBILITY STANDARDS
Customer Service Standard
We are committed to excellence in serving all customers, including persons with disabilities and will carry out our functions in a manner that delivers the Davids experience consistent with our customer service practices to all individuals.
Steps taken: Davids has been in compliance with the Accessible Customer Service Regulation under the AODA, and will continue to comply with that regulation as detailed in our Clients with Disabilities Customer Service Policy Statement
Employment Standard – Workplace Emergency Response Information
Where the Company is aware that an employee has a disability and that there is a need for accommodation, individualized workplace emergency response information will be provided to the employee as soon as practicable if such information is necessary given the nature of the employee’s disability.
Steps taken: Individualized workplace emergency response information procedures have been developed for employees with disabilities who have come forward, as required and communicated to the employees’ respective Managers and Health & Safety committee members, on an ‘as needed’ basis.
In accordance with the IASR, the Company will determine and ensure that appropriate training on the requirements of the IASR and on the Ontario Human Rights Code as it pertains to persons with disabilities, is provided to all employees, volunteers, third-party contractors who provide goods, services and facilities on the Company’s behalf, and persons participating in the development and approval of the Company’s policies as soon as practicable, and furthermore:
- Keep and maintain a record of the training provided, including the dates that the training was provided and the number of individuals to whom it was provided;
- Ensure that training is provided on any changes to the prescribed policies on an ongoing basis
Steps taken: All new and existing employees are trained on Violence & Harassment policies and programs; this includes our ‘You Can Prevent’ harassment booklet which outlines the Human Rights Code’ standards, including discrimination as it pertains to persons with disabilities. In addition, existing and new employees are provided with detailed training specific to their job function on the respective IASR standards.
Information & Communication Standard
1. Feedback & Communication Supports
In accordance with the IASR, Davids will ensure that existing and new processes for receiving and responding to feedback are accessible to persons with disabilities by providing or arranging for the provision of accessible formats and communication supports, upon request and in a timely manner.
Generally, where accessible formats and communication supports by persons with disabilities are required:
- The Company will consult with the person making the request to determine the suitability of the accessible format or communication support;
- Provide or arrange for the provision of accessible formats and communication supports in a timely manner that takes into account the person’s accessibility needs due to disability, and at a cost no more than the regular cost charged to other persons;
- Notify the public about the availability of accessible formats and communication supports
Steps taken: See Clients with Disabilities Customer Service Policy Statement for feedback process.
2. Accessible Websites and Web Content
Davids Footwear Limited will ensure that all New Internet Websites controlled by the Company and its websites that undergo a significant refresh (50% of content) conform with WCAG 2.0. Level A. Furthermore, Davids Footwear Limited will make all websites and online content controlled by it conform with WCAG 2.0 Level AA by January 2021. When designing or updating our Internet Website, the Company will ensure that it is developed in accordance with the regulations, except where not practicable.
Timeframe: Ongoing, and comply by January 1st, 2021
Davids Footwear Limited is committed to fair and accessible employment practices that attract and retain employees with disabilities. This includes providing accessibility across all stages of the employment cycle. In accordance with the IASR, Davids Footwear Limited will do the following:
Job Postings: The Company will notify employees and the public of the availability of accommodation for applicants with disabilities in the recruitment process, specifying that accommodation is available for applicants with disabilities, on the Company’s website and on job postings.
Assessment and Selection: The Company will notify job applicants, when they are individually selected to participate in an assessment or selection process that accommodations are available upon request in relation to the materials or processes to be used in the assessment/selection process. This will include:
- Inclusion of availability of accommodation notice as part of the script in the scheduling of an interview and/or assessment;
- If a selected applicant requests an accommodation, consult with the applicant and arrange for provision of suitable accommodations in a manner that takes into account the applicant’s accessibility needs due to disability.
Notice to Successful Applicants: When making offers of employment, the Company will notify the successful applicant of its policies for accommodating employees with disabilities. This will include:
- Inclusion of notification of the Company’s policies on accommodating employees with disabilities in offer of employment letters.
2. Informing Employees of Supports
In accordance with the IASR, the Company will inform all employees of policies that support employees with disabilities, including, but not limited to, policies on the provision of job accommodations that take into account an employee’s accessibility needs due to a disability.
Davids Footwear Limited will ensure that the return to work process as set out in its existing policies outlines the steps the Company will take to facilitate the employee’s return to work after a disability-related absence, outlines the development of a written individualized return to work plan for such employees, and requires the use of individual accommodation.
The Company will take into account the accessibility needs of employees with disabilities, as well as individual accommodation plans as such:
- When using its performance management process in respect of employees with disabilities;
- When providing career development and advancement to its employees with disabilities;
- When redeploying employees with disabilities.
In all areas of performance management, development and redeployment, accessibility needs of employees are taken into account.
Standards for the Built Environment
Davids Footwear Limited will meet the Accessibility Standards for the Design of Public Spaces when building or making major modifications to public spaces which it owns and/or controls. Public spaces include areas such as outdoor paths of travel, like sidewalks, ramps, stairs, curb ramps, rest areas, accessible off street parking, and service-related elements like service counters, fixed queuing lines and waiting areas.
Annual Accessibility Status Reports
Davids Footwear Limited will prepare and file accessibility status reports as required by the legislation.
Clients with Disabilities
Customer Service Policy Statement
Davids Footwear Limited strives at all times to provide its merchandise and services in a way that respects the dignity and independence of people with disabilities. We are also committed to giving people with disabilities the same opportunity to access our merchandise and services and allowing them to benefit from the same services, in the same place and in a similar way as other customers.
1. Providing merchandise and services to people with disabilities
Davids Footwear Limited is committed to excellence in serving all customers including people with disabilities and we will carry out our functions and responsibilities in the following areas:
We will communicate with people with disabilities in ways that take into account their disability.
We will train Associates who communicate with customers on how to interact and communicate with people with various types of disabilities.
1.2 Telephone services
We are committed to providing fully accessible telephone service to our customers. We will train Associates to communicate with customers over the telephone in clear and plain language and to speak clearly and slowly.
We will offer to communicate with customers by phone text, email, mail and TTY Relay Service if telephone communication is not suitable to their communication needs.
1.3 Assistive devices
We are committed to serving people with disabilities who use assistive devices to obtain, use or benefit from our merchandise and services. We will ensure that our Associates are trained and familiar with various assistive devices that may be used by customers with disabilities while accessing our merchandise or services.
We will also ensure that Associates know how to use the following assistive devices available on our premises for customers: TTY Relay Service, location of elevators/escalators.
1.4 Other services
Our merchandise may also be ordered through our website at www.davidsfootwear.com. We ship packages within Canada via FedEx. Shipping charges will vary based on turnaround time.
We are committed to providing accessible receipts to all of our customers. For this reason, receipts will be provided in the following formats upon request: hard copy and email.
We will answer any questions customers may have about the content of the receipt in person, by telephone or e-mail.
2. Use of service animals and support persons
We are committed to welcoming people with disabilities who are accompanied by a service animal on the parts of our premises that are open to the public and other third parties. We will also ensure that all Associates and others dealing with the public are properly trained in how to interact with people with disabilities who are accompanied by a service animal.
We are committed to welcoming 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 all Davids Footwear Limited 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.
3. Notice of temporary disruption
Davids Footwear Limited will provide customers with notice in the event of a planned or unexpected disruption in our stores 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 services, if available.
The notice will be placed at all public entrances and service desks on our premises.
4. Training for Associates
Davids Footwear Limited will provide training to all Associates and others who deal with the public or other third parties on their behalf, and all those who are involved in the development and approvals of customer service policies, practices and procedures.
This training will be provided within 3 months after Associates commence their duties.
Training will include the following:
- The purposes of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 and the requirements of the customer service standard
- 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 the TTY Relay Service
- What to do if a person with a disability is having difficulty in accessing Davids merchandise and services
- Davids policies, practices and procedures relating to the customer service standard.
Applicable Associates will be trained on policies, practices and procedures that affect the way merchandise and services are provided to people with disabilities. Associates will also be trained on an ongoing basis when changes are made to these policies, practices and procedures.
5. Feedback process
We actively encourage the participation of all customers in our feedback process. The ultimate goal of Davids Footwear Limited is to meet and surpass customer expectations while serving customers with disabilities. Comments on our services regarding how well those expectations are being met are welcome and appreciated.
Feedback regarding the way Davids Footwear Limited provides merchandise and services to people with disabilities can be made by:
- E-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
- Through our Company website feedback form feature
- Verbally to any Management Associate in the store
- Feedback cards available at all service desks
All feedback will be directed to Richard Markowitz, President & COO of Davids Footwear Limited Customers can expect to hear back within 48 hours via telephone call from the executive office. Alternatively, customers will be contacted through their preferred communication method (email or mail) as indicated with their feedback.
6. Modifications to this or other policies
We are committed to developing customer service policies that respect and promote the dignity and independence of people with disabilities. Therefore, no changes will be made to this policy before considering the impact on people with disabilities.
Any policy of Davids Footwear Limited that does not respect and promote the dignity and independence of people with disabilities will be modified or removed.
7. Questions about this policy
This policy exists to achieve service excellence to customers with disabilities. If anyone has a question about the policy, or if the purpose of a policy is not understood, an explanation should be provided by, or referred to Richard Markowitz, President & COO of Davids Footwear Limited at email@example.com
We are pleased to offer a summary of our customer service and accessibility policies. To receive your copy in a format that is most useful to you, please contact our Hotline toll free at 1-888-852-3999 or via mail to 1200 Bay Street, Suite 600, Toronto, ON, M5R 2A5.
8. Multi Year Accessibility Plan
In line with the Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulations (“IASR”) under the AODA, Davids has established, implemented, and maintains and documents an Accessibility Policy and a Multi-Year Accessibility Plan which outlines our strategy to prevent and remove barriers for persons with disabilities and to meet the requirements under the IASR.