Providing Goods and Services to People with Disabilities Service Policy
1. Our Commitment
Meridian is committed to providing its goods 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 goods and services and allowing them to benefit from the same services, in the same place and in a similar way as other Members and non-Members.
2. Providing Goods and Services to People with Disabilities
Meridian is committed to excellence in servicing all Members and non-Members including people with disabilities. 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.
Employees who communicate with Members will be trained on how to interact and communicate with people with various types of disabilities.
2.2. Telephone Services
Fully accessible telephone service will be provided to our Members. Our employees will be trained to communicate with Members over the telephone in a clear and plain language and to speak clearly and slowly.
We will offer to communicate with Members by e-mail, relay services, or any other means necessary if telephone communication is not suitable to their needs or is not available.
2.3. Assistive Devices
We are committed to serving people with disabilities who use assistive devices to obtain, use or benefit from our goods and services. Meridian employees will receive training so they may be familiar with various assistive devices that may be used by Members with disabilities while accessing our goods or services on our premises.
Meridian is committed to providing accessible statements to all of our Members. For this reason, statements will be provided in alternate formats upon request.
We will answer any questions Members may have about the content of the statement in person, by telephone or e-mail.
2.5. 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. All employees, volunteers, 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 Meridian’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.
2.6. Notice of Temporary Disruption
Meridian will provide Members with as much notice as possible 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, the 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 our premises.
2.7. Training for Employees
Meridian will provide training to all employees, volunteers, and others who deal with the public other third parties on their behalf, and all those who are involved in the development and approvals of customer service policies practices and procedures.
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 equipment or devices, e.g. TTY, wheelchair lifts, etc., available on the premises or otherwise that may help with the provision of goods or services to people with disabilities
- What to do if a person with a disability is having difficulty in accessing Meridian’s goods and services
- Meridian’s policies, practices and procedures relating to the customer service standard.
Employees will be trained on policies, practices and procedures that affect the way goods and services are provided to people with disabilities.
3. Our Policy
Effective January 1, 2012 Meridian (along with other businesses in Ontario) is required to comply with the Accessible Customer Service Standard under Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA).
For more information on the standard, visit ontario.ca/AccessON.
3.1. Modifications to this or other policies
We are committed to developing customer service policies that will 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 Members with disabilities.
Any policy of Meridian that does not respect and promote the dignity and independence of people with disabilities will be modified or removed.
3.2. Questions about this policy
This policy exists to deliver service excellence to Members and non-Members with disabilities. If anyone has a question about the policy, or if the purpose of a policy is not understood, an explanation will be provided by the Member Relations Office at Meridian (for contact information, see section 4.1, Complaint Process).
3.3. Availability of Documents
In addition to this online version of Meridian’s policy statement, the Statement and all other documents required by the Customer Service Standard related to Meridian’s policies, practices and procedures on providing services to persons with disabilities can also be obtained by contacting the Member Relations Officer.
This documentation will be made available upon request to Members and non-Members with disabilities in a format that takes into account their disability. The length of time it will take to provide information in alternative formats will depend on the format requested. Every effort will be made, however, to process requests in a timely fashion.
4. Your Feedback Matters
Feedback regarding the way Meridian provides goods and services to people with disabilities can be made by using the process outlined below. All feedback is taken seriously and each communication is directed to the responsible department for review and necessary action. Members can expect to receive acknowledgment of receipt and a commitment to investigate the next business day.
4.1. Complaint Process
If you have a problem, issue or complaint of any sort, we encourage you to contact us following the process outlined below.
Here are the steps for a quick resolution:
In advance, gather all the relevant information, such as:
- Your preferred method of reply: mail, e-mail, or phone (if phone, when is the best time to call)
- Supporting statements or documents, if any
- The names of any specific employees involved
Clarify the situation and sequence of events in your own mind, and then determine what you would like us to do
Contact your branch or you can also e-mail us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Our employees are empowered to handle virtually any problem that you may have encountered.
If branch employees are unable to fully rectify your concern, please don't hesitate to ask to speak to your Branch Manager.
If the employee or Branch Manager was unable to satisfy your concern, you may wish to escalate your concern further by contacting our Member Relations Officer, our internal Ombudsman:
By Mail: Meridian
Attention: Member Relations Officer
75 Corporate Park Drive
St. Catharines, Ontario L2S 3W3
By Phone: 905-988-4042 ext 2057
By Fax: 905-988-1521
By Email: email@example.com
To view our Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities multi-year plan click here.