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Customer Service Policy for the Provision of Goods and Services to People with Disabilities

Purpose

In order to assist individuals with physical or developmental disabilities, RioCan has developed policies, practices and procedures to ensure they can access the goods or services we offer.

We are committed to ensuring that the requirements set out in Government legislation and the applicable Standards are rigorously observed.

We recognize the importance of making goods and services accessible to people with disabilities and are committed to providing excellent customer service and a respectful, welcoming and inclusive environment to all individuals who use our goods and services.

Definitions

“Our” and “We” means “RioCan”

Mission Statement

RioCan is committed to eliminating obstacles faced by customers who have disabilities. We will make reasonable efforts to ensure that the Policy and related practices and procedures are consistent with the following principles as prescribed in the Customer Service Standard:

  • RioCan will provide goods and services in a manner that respects the dignity and independence of people with disabilities;
  • RioCan will provide integrated services to people with disabilities wherever possible and we will provide alternative measures to provide goods and services to people with disabilities where integrations is not possible; and
  • RioCan will provide equal opportunity to people with disabilities to obtain, use or benefit from our goods or services.

Application

This policy applies to all RioCan employees and any third party that provides goods and services on behalf of RioCan and who may interact with the public or third parties located in the Province of Ontario.

Providing Goods and Services to People with Disabilities Communication

When communicating with a person with a disability, we will take into account the particular individual’s needs and circumstances. Our staff, who communicate with customers or third parties have been trained on how to interact with people with various types of disabilities in order to ensure we provide responsive and effective communication.

Assistive Devices

RioCan will permit the use of personal assistive devices by people with disabilities to obtain, use or benefit from our goods and services.

Our staff is trained on the use of various types of assistive devices made available by RioCan at our sites for people with disabilities accessing our goods and services, so as to better provide services to these individuals.

Telephone Services

In order to provide effective service to people with disabilities, our staff is trained to speak to customers slowly in clear and plain language over the telephone. If the disability provides a barrier to telephone communications, we will be available to communicate through e-mail.

Billing

In order to best serve people with disabilities, we provide our invoices in the following formats upon request, hard copy, and large print or by e-mail. Questions regarding invoices will be answered in person, by telephone or by e-mail.

Use of Service Animals and Support Persons

A person with a disability who uses the assistance of a service animal is permitted to access all areas of our premises open to the public or third parties with the service animal unless prohibited by law. In such a case, we will strive to ensure alternative means for people with disabilities who require the assistance of a service animal to access our goods and services. If it is not readily apparent that the animal is used by the person for reasons related to his or her disability, we may ask the person to provide a letter from a physician or nurse that confirms that the animal is required for reasons related to their disability.

Notice of Temporary Disruption

If there is a temporary disruption in the facilities or services usually used by people with disabilities we will provide customers with notice as soon as possible. In the notice of disruption, we will include the following information:

  • The reason for the disruption;
  • The anticipated duration of disruption, and
  • A description of any alternative facilities or services, if available. The notice will be posted on all public entrances to the premises.

Training for Staff

RioCan will provide training to all of its employees, volunteers and other individuals who have contact with the public or third parties on our behalf and all individuals who are involved in the development of our policies, practices and procedures. Training will be provided to each individual as soon as practicable after he or she is assigned the duties which require the need for training.

Training will be received on an on-going basis whenever we make changes to our policies, practices or procedures to ensure that the Policy is properly implemented and followed at all times.

Our training programs consist of the following:

  • An overview of the purpose of the Act and the requirements under the Customer Service Standard;
  • Training on how to interact and communicate with persons with various types of disabilities;
  • Training on how to interact with persons with disabilities who use an assistive device or require the assistance of a guide dog of other service animal or the assistance of a support person;
  • Training on how to use equipment or devices available on RioCan’s premises or otherwise provided by RioCan that may help with the provision of goods or services to a person with a disability;
  • Training on what to do if a person with a particular type of disability is having difficulty accessing RioCan’s goods or services; and
  • Training on our current policies, practices and procedures relating to the Customer Service Standard.
  • RioCan will keep records of the training provided, including the dates on which the training was received and the number of participants.

Feedback Process

In order to properly assess the needs of people with disabilities, RioCan has created a feedback process. We welcome comments from individuals on how effectively we are accommodating people with disabilities in the provision of our goods and services.

Receiving Feedback

Feedback may be provided in person, in writing, by e-mail, on disc or by phone.

Responding to Complaints

RioCan will address complaints that arise through the feedback process in a timely manner.

Notice of Availability of Documents

The policy and any corresponding practices and procedures will be made available to any person on request. We post notice of the availability of these documents on all our properties to which the Policy applies and on our website.

Format of Documents

Upon request we will provide a copy of the Policy in a format that takes into account the disability of the person submitting the request.

Modifications to the Policy and Related Documents

Any modifications made to the Policy and any related policies will be for the purpose of improving our ability to provide services to people with disabilities. Any change made to the Policy or related policies will carefully take into account the impact on people with disabilities. Any provision of the Policy or related policies that does not enhance our ability to provide goods and services to people with disabilities will be modified accordingly.

Questions About the Policy

We welcome questions regarding our commitment to providing accessible goods and services to people with disabilities. If you have any questions regarding our policies please contact our Health & Safety Department, who will be happy to answer any questions that you may have.

All inquiries, customer feedback and complaints may be submitted in one of the following ways:

In Person (Verbally):

RioCan Yonge Eglinton Centre Customer Service
2300 Yonge Street
Toronto, Ontario
M4P 1E4
Monday – Friday
9:00am – 5:00pm

By Telephone:

Health & Safety Department
416-847-8682

In Writing:

RioCan Yonge Eglinton Centre
Attn. Health & Safety Department
2300 Yonge Street, Suite 500 P.O. Box 2386
Toronto, Ontario
M4P 1E4

Electronic Mail:

RioCan Integrated Accessibility Policy

Mission Statement

We believe that treating people with disabilities in a way that allows them to maintain their dignity and independence is an integral part of the customer experience RioCan offers to our employees, tenants, patrons and contractors. RioCan is committed to ensuring equal access and participation for people with disabilities. RioCan delivers on this commitment by removing and preventing barriers to accessibility, ensuring that our customer service staff are trained to positively interact with our patrons and meeting our accessibility requirements under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, the Building Code and Ontario’s accessibility laws.

Edward Sonshine, O.Ont., Q.C.

Chief Executive Officer

Definitions

“Our” and “We” means “RioCan”

Application

This policy applies to all RioCan employees and any third party that provides goods and services on behalf of RioCan and who may interact with the public or third parties located in the Province of Ontario.

Training

RioCan will provide training to all of its employees, volunteers and other individuals who have contact with the public or third parties on our behalf and all individuals who are involved in the development of our policies, practices and procedures. Training is provided to each individual as soon as practicable after he or she is assigned the duties which require the need for instruction in Ontario’s accessibility laws and aspects of the Ontario Human Rights Code that relate to persons with disabilities.

Training is received on an on-going basis whenever we make changes to our policies, practices or procedures to ensure that our accessibility policies are properly implemented and followed at all times.
Our training programs consist of the following:

  • An overview of the purpose of the Act and the requirements under the Customer Service Standard and our Integrated Accessibility Policy
  • Training on how to interact and communicate with persons with various types of disabilities
  • Training on how to interact with persons with disabilities who use an assistive device or require the assistance of a guide dog of other service animal or the assistance of a support person
  • Training on how to use equipment or devices available on RioCan’s premises or otherwise provided by RioCan that may help with the provision of goods or services to a person with a disability;
  • Training on what to do if a person with a particular type of disability is having difficulty accessing RioCan’s goods or services; and
  • Training on our current policies, practices and procedures relating to the Customer Service Standard.
  • RioCan will keep records of the training provided, including the dates on which the training was received and the number of participants.

RioCan will keep records of the training provided, including the dates on which the training was received and the number of participants.

Self-service kiosks

All self-service kiosks at RioCan Properties incorporate accessibility features that consider accessibility for people with disabilities. When we design, procure or acquire self-service kiosks from way finding in our malls or paying for parking; ease of use, technical and structural features are always evaluated to ensure we provide a great customer experience for all our patrons.

Information and Communications

RioCan will communicate with people with disabilities in ways that take into account their disability. When asked, we will provide information about our organization and its services and policies including public safety information, in accessible formats or with communication supports. These formats could include but are not limited to:

  • Reading written information to a person directly.
  • Large print.
  • Text transcripts of audio or visual information.
  • Handwritten notes instead of spoken word.
  • Information written in plain language.

We will also ensure that all RioCan websites meet internationally recognized Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 Level AA website requirements in accordance with Ontario’s accessibility laws by 2021.

Employment

RioCan is an Equal Opportunity employer therefore; we want to ensure that every qualified applicant has an opportunity to apply for positions with the company. In order to facilitate that mission; all job postings shall include a statement that lets prospective applicants know that, if they ask for them, accommodations are available to support them in applying for the job and during the interviewing and assessment process. RioCan will notify staff that supports are available for those with disabilities and has in place a process to develop individual accommodation plans for employees. RioCan will provide updated information to its employees whenever there is a change to existing policies on the provision of job accommodations that take into account an employee’s accessibility needs due to disability. Where needed, we will also provide customized emergency information to help an employee with a disability during an emergency. RioCan takes into account the accessibility needs of employees with disabilities, as well as individual accommodation plans and when using the performance management process with respect to employees with disabilities.

Design of Public Spaces

RioCan meets accessibility laws when building or making major changes to public spaces. Public spaces include:

  • Outdoor public eating areas
  • Outdoor play spaces
  • Outdoor paths of travel, like sidewalks, ramps, stairs, curb ramps, rest areas and accessible pedestrian signals
  • Accessible off-street parking
  • Service-related elements like service counters, fixed queuing lines and waiting areas

The specifications for any of these changes are documented in our policy – HS-18 Accessibility Standards for New Builds and Major Renovations (Ontario)

RioCan has put procedures in place to prevent service disruptions to our accessible parts of our public spaces. Information regarding temporary disruptions and alternative services can be found on the mall’s website or by contacting Customer Service for that mall. Upon arriving, there will also be signage and customer service representatives that will be happy to direct you where you need to go while respecting your needs.

Changes to existing policies

RioCan has modified or removed any existing policy that does not respect and promote the dignity and independence of people with disabilities. Any modifications made to our accessibility policies and any related policies will be for improving our ability to provide services to people with disabilities. Any change made to our accessibility policies or related policies will carefully take into account the impact on people with disabilities. Any provision of our accessibility policies or related policies that does not enhance our ability to provide goods and services to people with disabilities will be modified accordingly.

RioCan Multi-Year Accessibility Plan 2012-2023

2012 Requirements: Provide Accessible Customer Service.

  1. Train staff to serve customers of all abilities, welcome service animals and support persons and put an accessibility policy in place so employees and customers can know what to expect. Status: Complete
  2. When asked, make your emergency information — things like evacuation plans or brochures — accessible to the public. Paper and digital copies are already at properties and corporate offices. Status: Complete
  3. If needed, provide employees with disabilities with customized emergency information. Status: Complete
  4. File an accessibility report. Status: Complete

2014 Requirements

  1. Create a multi-year plan to remove accessibility barriers and ensure legislative compliance in RioCan. Status: Complete
  2. Establish policies to help you achieve RioCan’s accessibility goals, and tell employees and customers about them. Status: Complete
  3. Consider accessibility when purchasing or designing kiosks. Lyle Goodis has ensured that all kiosks and way-finding materials purchased going forward will be friendly to people with disabilities. Status: Complete
  4. Make your new websites more accessible. Changes made to current website. Status: Complete
  5. File an accessibility report. Status: Complete

2015 Requirements

  1. Train your staff on Ontario’s accessibility laws. Training is part of 2015 refresher course. Status: Complete
  2. Make your feedback processes, like surveys or comment cards, accessible when asked. Feedback process in multiple formats on the riocan.com website. Status: Complete

2016 Requirements

  1. Make all your publicly available information accessible when asked. Status: Complete
  2. Make your employment practices more accessible — this includes how you hire, retain and provide career development opportunities. HR hiring policy has been amended and all Job Posting include a summary of our hiring practices. Return to Work Policies also amended. Status: Complete

2017 Requirements:

Make new or redeveloped:

  • recreational trails and beach access routes accessible
  • off-street parking lots accessible
  • service counters, fixed queuing guides and waiting areas with fixed seating accessible
  • off-street parking lots accessible

Status: Complete

Maintain accessible elements of public spaces. Status: Complete

File an accessibility report. Status: Complete

Re-training of all Customer Service Staff Status: Complete

2020 Requirements

File an accessibility report. Status: NOT Complete

2023 Requirements

Make all RioCan websites meet internationally recognized Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 Level AA website requirements in accordance with Ontario’s accessibility laws Status: NOT Complete

File an accessibility report. Status: NOT Complete

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