Accessible Customer Service

Accessible Customer Service Policy and Procedure

1.0 PURPOSE

The purpose of Bay Area Health Trust’s (“BAHT’s”) Accessibility Policy is to remove barriers for people with disabilities through increased awareness, understanding and identification of our implementation and evaluation.

2.0 OUR COMMITMENT

BAHT strives to provide our services in a manner that is accessible to all of our clients, and respects the dignity, independence, and integration of people with disabilities. We are committed to offering equal opportunity to access our services and to providing the benefit of the same services, in the same place and in a similar way to all clients.

3.0 PROVIDING ACCESSIBLE GOODS AND SERVICES

BAHT is committed to excellence in serving all clients including people with disabilities and we will carry out our functions and responsibilities in the following areas:

Communication

We will communicate with people with disabilities in ways that takes into account their disability. We are flexible in our approaches.

All staff must consider how people with various disabilities communicate and tailor their approaches to dealing with clients appropriately. The simplest and most effective technique is to ask clients how we can best communicate with them. If a particular method is unavailable, work expeditiously with the client to find an acceptable alternative.

We are committed to providing fully accessible telephone service to our clients. Staff are expected to communicate with clients over the telephone in clear and plain language and to speak clearly and slowly, wherever necessary.

We will offer to communicate with clients by any other appropriate means of communication if telephone communication is not suitable to their communication needs.

Assistive Devices

An assistive device is any piece of equipment a person with a disability uses to help them with their daily living. Some examples include: a wheelchair, screen reader, listening device or cane. We are committed to serving people with disabilities who use assistive devices to obtain, use or benefit from our services.

BAHT personnel shall wherever possible accommodate clients who use assistive devices in connection with their disability. Exceptions may occur in situations where BAHT has determined that the assistive device may pose a risk to the health and safety of a person with a disability or others on the premises. In such situations and others, BAHT may offer a person with a disability other reasonable measures to assist in obtaining, using and benefitting from BAHT’s services, where other measures are available.

Billing

We are committed to providing accessible invoices to all of our clients. For this reason, invoices shall be provided in alternate formats (including but not limited to hard copy, large print or e-mail) upon request.

We will answer any questions clients may have about the content of the invoice in person, by telephone or email.

Use of Service Animals and Support Persons

We are committed to welcoming people with disabilities who are accompanied by a service animal (not necessarily only dogs) on the parts of our premises that are open to the public and other third parties. Before meeting with a client who uses a service animal, we should:

  • identify the few areas of our premises not open to service animals (e.g. cleanrooms); and
  • ask the client about the appropriate ways to interact with them and their service animal (e.g. never touch or distract a guide dog without permission).

We are committed to welcoming people with disabilities who are accompanied by a support person. Support people do not have to be a paid support worker but could be any family member or friend that helps a client perform daily tasks. Any person with a disability who is accompanied by a support person shall be allowed to enter BAHT’s premises with his or her support person. At no time shall 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.

Notice of Temporary Disruption

BAHT shall provide clients with notice in the event of a planned or unexpected disruption in the facilities or services usually used by people with disabilities. This notice must include information about the reason for the disruption, its anticipated duration, and a description of alternative facilities or services, if available.

4.0 PRIVACY

All information about a disability is personal and private and must be treated confidentially.

5.0 TRAINING

Bay Area Health Trust will provide training to employees and independent contractors who deal with our clients on our behalf. Training will also apply to anyone participating in the development or approval of policies, practices and procedures governing the provision of services to our clients.

6.0 FEEDBACK PROCESS

The goal of BAHT is to meet and surpass client expectations while serving clients with disabilities. Comments on our services regarding how well these expectations are being met are welcome and appreciated.

Feedback regarding the way BAHT provides services to people with disabilities may be made by any reasonable medium. All feedback shall be directed to Angela Bonin bonin@baht.ca. BAHT shall respond within 15 days.

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