Providing Goods, Services and Facilities to People with Disabilities
Issued: December 2009
Updated: May 2021
1. AGCO’s Mission Statement
The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) is committed to conducting business in a manner that will:
- Develop, implement and enforce fair policies and procedures.
- Establish a framework of critical regulatory controls in the public interest that are sensitive to the economic viability of the alcohol and gaming industries.
- Be client focused on the way we design, deliver and respond to and manage client and stakeholder needs.
- Educate clients and stakeholders and develop partnerships.
- Create a supportive work environment that respects and values AGCO staff contributions and provides them with opportunities for growth and professional achievement.
2. AGCO’s Commitment to Accessibility
In fulfilling its mission, the AGCO strives at all times to provide accessible customer service to people with disabilities.
The AGCO is committed to providing its goods, services and facilities to people with disabilities in a way that respects their dignity and independence. It is also committed to giving people with disabilities the same opportunity to access its goods, services and facilities and allowing them to benefit from the same services, in the same place and in a similar way as other customers.
Further information on the AGCO’s commitment to accessibility, and its policies and strategy to prevent and remove barriers, improve opportunities for people with disabilities, and address the current and future requirements of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (AODA), is available on the AGCO’s website (www.agco.ca).
The AODA was created with the goal of developing standards that would improve accessibility for people with disabilities across the province. The AODA allows the Provincial Government to develop specific standards of accessibility and enforce them. The standards are made by regulation pursuant to the AODA.
Ontario Regulation 191/11 – Integrated Accessibility Standards requires certain designated public sector organizations, including the AGCO, to comply with a number of accessibility standards.
- This policy is intended to meet the requirements of the Customer Service Standards outlined in Ontario Regulation 191/11. It applies to the provision of goods, services or facilities to the public by the AGCO.
- This policy aims to ensure that persons with disabilities are given equal opportunity to obtain, use and benefit from AGCO’s goods, services or facilities. Reasonable efforts will be made with respect to the following:
- Goods, services or facilities are provided in a manner that respects the dignity and independence of persons with disabilities.
- The goods, services or facilities provided to persons with disabilities are integrated with the provision of goods, services or facilities to others unless an alternate measure is necessary to allow a person with a disability to benefit from the goods, services or facilities. The alternate measure may be temporary or permanent.
- Communications with a person with a disability are conducted in a manner that takes the person’s disability into account.
- People with disabilities may use assistive devices, service animals and support persons as is necessary to access the AGCO’s goods, services or facilities. If a service animal is excluded by law from a premises or area of a premises, other measures will be made available for the person with a disability to access the goods or services.
Assistive Device is a technical aid, communication device, or medical aid modified or customized, that is used to increase, maintain, or improve the functional abilities of people with disabilities.
Barrier, as defined by the AODA, means anything that prevents a person with a disability from fully participating in all aspects of society because of his or her disability, including a physical barrier, an architectural barrier, an information or communications barrier, an attitudinal barrier, a technological barrier, a policy or a practice.
Disability – As defined by the AODA and the Ontario Human Rights Code, is:
- 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 coordination, 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 a 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.
Service Animal – As defined in Ontario Regulation 191/11, an animal is a service animal for a person with a disability if it can be readily identified as one that is being used by the person for reasons relating to his or her disability, as a result of visual indicators such as the vest or harness worn by the animal or if the person provides documentation from one of the regulated health professionals listed in the Regulation confirming that the person requires the animal for reasons relating to the disability (for more information, see O. Reg. 191/11).
Support Person – As defined in Ontario Regulation 191/11, a support person means, in relation to a person with a disability, another person who accompanies him or her in order to help with communication, mobility, personal care or medical needs or with access to goods, services or facilities.
- This policy governs the provision of goods, services or facilities by the AGCO to persons with disabilities, which includes the provision of goods, services or facilities by AGCO employees, agents, volunteers, or otherwise, who provide goods, services or facilities on behalf of the AGCO.
- The part of the policy that deals with the use of service animals and support persons applies only to goods, services or facilities provided by the AGCO at premises owned or operated by the AGCO.
- This policy may be supplemented by practices and procedures, as required by Ontario Regulation 191/11.
7. Providing Goods, Services and Facilities to People with Disabilities
- People with disabilities will be considered in the design and delivery of services to avoid the creation of barriers where possible. Where avoiding the creation of barriers is not possible, it will consider how accommodations may be offered.
- Requests for accommodation will be considered on a case-by-case basis and accommodation will be provided where possible.
- AGCO employees and its agents and contractors will communicate with people who have disabilities in a manner that takes into account their disability.
- Customers, including those with disabilities, are able to communicate with the AGCO by telephone, including telephone relay services, in person by appointment, in writing through regular mail, email, web chat or by submitting an inquiry through the iAGCO Online Portal.
7.2 Telephone Services
- AGCO staff will be trained to communicate with customers over the telephone in clear and plain language and to speak clearly and slowly.
- The AGCO will endeavor to provide a fully accessible telephone service to AGCO customers. If telephone communication is not suitable to the customer’s communication needs or is not available, the AGCO will offer to communicate with customers by an alternative mode of communication, as listed in this policy under section 7.1 b), that takes into account the person’s disability.
7.3 Written Documentation
- The AGCO will make its documentation accessible to people with disabilities. An accessible format will be provided upon request that takes into account a person’s disability.
- The AGCO will make reasonable efforts to respond to requests for documents in accessible formats in a timely manner.
- The AGCO will provide accessible formats to people with disabilities at no additional fee. For example, if a publication is available for free, no fee will be charged for an accessible format version. If there is a fee associated with a publication, then the same fee will be charged for its accessible format version.
- Persons with disabilities may find information about how to request accessible formats on the AGCO website or by submitting an inquiry through the iAGCO Online Portal.
- The AGCO will make meetings, including arbitrations, which are held either publicly or by invitation accessible to people with disabilities. Accommodations will be provided upon request that take into account a person’s disability.
- If meetings with customers are held in locations or premises not owned or operated by the AGCO, the AGCO will hold these meetings at locations or premises that support the AGCO’s accessible customer service policies, especially in regards to the use of service animals, support persons and assistive devices.
7.5 Assistive Devices
- Persons with disabilities may use assistive devices as required in accessing goods, services or facilities provided by the AGCO, unless otherwise prohibited by law.
7.6 Support Persons
- Persons with disabilities are permitted to be accompanied by their support person in areas/premises that are open to the public, when accessing goods, services or facilities provided by the AGCO.
- The AGCO may deem it necessary to require a support person for a person with a disability in order to protect the health and safety of that person or of others on the premises. This will only occur after the AGCO has:
- Consulted with the person with a disability to understand their needs;
- Considered health and/or safety reasons based on available evidence; and
- Determined there is no other reasonable means to protect the health and/or safety of the person or others on the premises
- Determined there is no other reasonable means to protect the health and/or safety of the person or others on the premises.
- Where protection of privacy and confidentiality are concerns during an interaction with a customer, the AGCO will confirm with the person with a disability if they would like to continue with their support person present. In the event that a support person is present while private or confidential matters are being discussed, the AGCO may require the support person to sign a confidentiality agreement.
- At no time will a person with a disability who is accompanied by a support person be prevented from having access to their support person while on the AGCO’s premises.
- Where it is necessary for a person with a disability to give a legally-binding decision or signature, but they require the aid of a support person to do so, the AGCO may request legal documentation (e.g., power of attorney) giving the support person the authority to act on their behalf.
Any person with a disability who is accompanied by a support person (e.g., sign language interpreters, real-time captioners, or attendants) will be allowed to enter AGCO premises open to the public or to other third parties, with that person. At no time will a person with a disability who is accompanied by a support person be prevented from having access to that person while on AGCO premises.
On rare occasions, the provider of service may determine that a support person is required to protect the health or safety of the customer with a disability or that of others on the premises. In these cases, an explanation must be provided and documented.
In situations where the confidential information of a customer with a disability is to be discussed, the AGCO requires permission from the customer (which will be documented in writing) allowing their support person to be present. The AGCO may also require the support person and customer to indicate in writing their understanding of confidentiality considerations where confidential matters are being discussed.
In the event an admission fee is charged, the AGCO will not charge an admission fee for support persons.
If the AGCO requires a person with a disability to be accompanied by a support person while on the premises, the AGCO will waive the payment of the amount, if any, payable in respect of the support person’s admission to the premises or in connection with the support person’s presence on the premises.
7.7 Service Animals
- Persons with disabilities are permitted to be accompanied by their service animal and keep that animal with them in areas that are open to the public, when accessing goods, services or facilities provided by the AGCO, unless the animal is otherwise excluded by law from the premises.
- In the event that a service animal is excluded from the premises by law, the AGCO will ensure that other measures are available to enable the person with a disability to obtain, use or benefit from the AGCO’s goods, services or facilities.
- Service animals must be supervised by their owners and kept in control when used to access the AGCO’s goods, services or facilities.
8. Service Disruptions
- In the event of a planned service disruption to facilities and services that are relied upon by people with disabilities to access AGCO goods, services or facilities, including accessible elements of AGCO public spaces that are not in working order, notice of the disruption shall be provided in advance and will include the reason for the disruption, its anticipated duration and a description of alternative facilities or services, if any, that are available..
- In the event of an unexpected disruption, notice will be provided as soon as is reasonable under the circumstances.
- Notice will include information about the reason for the disruption, its anticipated duration (if known) and if applicable, a description of alternative facilities and services that may be available.
- Notice may be given by posting the information in a conspicuous place on premises owned or operated by the AGCO, at customer service counters located at the AGCO Head Office or regional sites, and/or posted on the AGCO’s website or by such other method as is reasonable under the circumstances.
9. Availability of Documents
- As required by Ontario Regulation 191/11, the AGCO has prepared the Accessible Customer Service Plan & Policy Statement which includes the following, and will be provide upon request:
- AGCO’s policies, practices and procedures governing the provision of goods, services or facilities to persons with disabilities;
- AGCO’s policies, practices and procedures governing the use of service animals and support persons;
- The steps the AGCO will take in connection with a temporary disruption of facilities or services usually used by people with disabilities;
- AGCO’s policy on providing training on accessible customer service; and,
- AGCO’s process for receiving and responding to feedback on the provision of goods, services or facilities to people with disabilities.
- The AGCO has also prepared an Accessibility Plan as required by Ontario Regulation 191/11 which will be provided upon request.
- If the AGCO is required by Ontario Regulation 191/11 to provide documents to a person with a disability, the document or the information contained in the document will be provided in a format that takes into account the person’s disability.
- The AGCO will make reasonable efforts to respond to requests for documents in alternate formats in a timely manner.
- As required by Ontario Regulation 191/11, the AGCO will ensure the following individuals receive training on the topics required by the regulation:
- Employees and volunteers;
- Persons who participate in the development of the AGCO’s policies;
- Persons who provide goods, services or facilities on behalf of the AGCO.
- The training includes the following topics:
- a review of the purposes of the AODA and the Customer Service Standards requirements of Ontario Regulation 191/11;
- 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 guide dog or other service animal or the assistance of a support person;
- how to use the equipment or assistive devices available on AGCO’s premises, or otherwise provided by the AGCO, that may help with the provision of goods, services or facilities to a person with a disability;
- what action to take if a person with a disability is having difficulty accessing AGCO’s goods, services or facilities; and,
- AGCO’s customer service policies, practices and procedures governing the provision of goods, services or facilities to people with disabilities.
- As required by Ontario Regulation 191/11, the AGCO will keep records of the training provided.
- The AGCO offers training to new staff as soon as practicable after they commence their duties and, for those hired prior to December 31, 2009, ensured that all existing staff received the required training.
- Training is provided on an on-going basis as deemed necessary or in connection to changes in AGCO policies, practices and procedures.
11. Feedback Process
- The AGCO’s feedback process is documented within the AGCO Complaint and Inquiries Handling Policy that provides consistency in the way all public and stakeholder complaints and inquiries are handled and documented, and are used to support continuous improvement of the AGCO service experience. The policy documents the AGCO’s commitment to ensuring its feedback process is accessible to all persons with disabilities and allows members of the public to comment on the manner in which the AGCO provides goods, services or facilities to people with disabilities. This includes the opportunity to provide comment on the AGCO’s feedback process itself.
- The feedback process will allow for comments in person, by telephone, in writing or by email. Upon request, the AGCO will ensure that its feedback process is accessible to persons with disabilities by providing, or arranging for the provision of, accessible formats and communication supports.
- The feedback process specifies the actions that will be taken by the AGCO, if complaints or suggestions are received. Customers can expect the following:
- Upon receipt of the feedback, regardless of the format, customers will receive a response acknowledging receipt of the feedback and the actions that will be taken to address any issues.
- Feedback received via the telephone, mail, email, web chat, iAGCO or in-person by appointment will be acknowledged in accordance with AGCO Customer Service Standards.
- Where possible, the acknowledgement will indicate when the matter will be addressed and when the customer will be notified.
- The AGCO will follow up with any required action within the time frame noted.
- All feedback responses will be made through the customers selected channel or through the format requested by the customer.
- If the customer wishes to remain anonymous or indicates that receipt of acknowledgement or a response is not required, the AGCO will not acknowledge the feedback.
- Feedback relating to accessibility or the manner in which the AGCO provides its goods, services or facilities to people with disabilities will be collected and logged in iAGCO.
- Information about the AGCO’s feedback process/Complaints and Inquiries Handling Policy may be found on the AGCO website or by submitting an inquiry through the iAGCO Online Portal.
12. Performance Measurement
- The AGCO’s Accessible Customer Service Policy Statement will be reviewed and/or amended at the time that accessibility-related regulations are established or revised by the Government of Ontario, or as required.
13. Questions about this policy
- Questions about the AGCO’s Accessible Customer Service Policy Statement or the purpose of any policy, may be addressed to AGCO Customer Service using the preferred channel of communication.
14. Related Documents
Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2001
Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005
Ontario Regulation 191/11, Integrated Accessibility Standard
Ontario Human Rights Code
AGCO’s Accessibility Plan and Policies
- The AGCO’s Accessible Customer Service Policy Statement shall not apply during any period where an emergency, as defined under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act, 1990, has been declared.