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Sage Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities (AODA) Policy

Online accessibility assistance

In accordance with the Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (the “AODA”) Sage Software Canada (“the Company”) has developed a policy to ensure that persons with disabilities have an opportunity to access and benefit from its goods and services, in the same place and in a similar way as other clients.

Statement of commitment

The Company is committed to customer service excellence in serving our clients, third parties, and members of the public. This policy addresses and supports the Company’s efforts to ensure its policies, practices, and procedures pertaining to the delivery of goods and services comply with AODA. In particular, the Company will :

  • State in the policies how the Company will facilitate the use of assistive devices ; service animals and support persons ; how we will communicate with persons with disabilities ; how we will communicate disruptions in service for persons with disabilities ; how we train our employees ; and how customers can provide feedback.
  • Make reasonable efforts to ensure our policies, practices, and procedures are consistent with the core principles of independence, dignity, integration, and equality of opportunity as defined by the AODA.
  • Train employees, volunteers, and others who provide goods and services to our customers on the policies as stated above.
  • Post our policies on our website and our intranet.
  • Provide an accessible feedback mechanism for our customers, including provisions for the response to feedback.

Application

This policy applies to all employees, volunteers, and agents of Sage Software Canada working in Ontario who interact with the Company’s current and prospective employees, volunteers, agents, customers, clients, suppliers, and any other users of the Company’s goods and services. It applies during work time and hours, as well as any activities located on or off any of the Company’s premises, which could reasonably be associated with the workplace. (i.e. ; social events). This Policy is available to the public and will be provided in an accessible format upon request.

Definitions

Words and terms not otherwise defined in the Policy shall have the following meanings :

“Disability” as defined in the Human Rights Code (Ontario) includes, without limitation :

  • any degree of physical disability,
  • a condition of mental impairment or developmental disability ;
  • a learning disability or a dysfunction in one or more of the processes involved in understanding or using symbols or spoken language ; or
  • a mental disorder

“Employee” means every person who deals with members of the public on behalf of the Company, whether the person is a full time, part-time or casual employee, agent, contractor, intern, volunteer, or other representative of the Company ;

“Persons with Disabilities” means any person or individual who has a Disability ;

“Service Animals” means any animal individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of a Person with a Disability ; and

“Support Persons” means any person or individual, who is hired or selected by a Person with a Disability to provide services or assistance with communication, mobility, personal care, or medical needs while accessing goods or services.

The Company will provide the following additional support and assistance to persons with disabilities :

AODA customer service standards

Communication—the Company will :

  • communicate with Persons with Disabilities in ways that they take into account their specific Disability ;
  • incorporate other ways of publishing information beyond traditional printing, including digital audio format, videos, easy-to-read simplified summaries of materials ;
  • train employees on how to most effectively interact and communicate with persons having various types of Disabilities ; and
  • post-AODA policy in a conspicuous location on its premises which is accessible to all employees.

Telephone services—the Company :

  • is committed to providing fully accessible telephone services to its clients ;
  • will train employees to communicate with clients over the telephone in clear and plain language and to speak clearly and slowly ;

Assistive devices—the Company :

is committed to serving Persons with Disabilities who use assistive devices to obtain, use or benefit from the Company’s goods and services ; and will ensure its employees are trained and familiar with various assistive devices which may be used by clients with Disabilities who access the Company’s goods and services.

Use of service animals and support persons—the Company is committed to :

  • welcoming Persons with Disabilities, who are accompanied by a Service Animal on those locations and parts of its premises, which are open to the public, provided having a Service Animal on the premises is not excluded by law. The Company will ensure its employees are properly trained in how to interact with Persons with Disabilities who are accompanied by a Service Animal ;
  • ensuring that were a Service Animal is prohibited from entering its location or a portion of its public premises, the Company will have alternative arrangements for allowing Persons with Disabilities, who require a Service Animal access to its goods and services ;
  • welcoming persons with Disabilities, who are accompanied by a Support Person on those locations and parts of its premises, which are open to the public and other third parties. Any Person with a Disability, who is accompanied by a Support Person will be allowed to enter the Company premises with his/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/her support person while on the Company premises ; and
  • obtaining permission from Persons with Disabilities prior to having any confidential discussions with a Support Person being present.

Notice of temporary disruption—the Company will :

  • provide its clients with notice in the event of a planned or unexpected disruption in the facilities or services usually used by Persons with Disabilities ;
  • ensure any notice of disruption will include information regarding the reason for the disruption, the anticipated duration of the disruption, and a description of alternative facilities or services, if available for Persons with Disabilities ; and
  • ensure any notice of disruption is placed at all public entrances and reception counters of its premises.

Training for employees—the Company will :

  • provide training to all employees, volunteers, and all those who are involved in the development and approval of customer service policies, practices, and procedures ;
  • ensure the training of employees includes the following :
    • the purpose of the AODA and the requirements of the customer service standards ;
    • how to interact and communicate with persons with various types of Disabilities ;
    • how to interact with Persons with Disabilities who use an Assistive Device or require the assistance of a Service Animal or a Support Person ;
    • how to offer assistance if a Person with Disability is having difficulty accessing the Company’s goods and services ; and
  • review the Company’s policies, practices, and procedures relating to the customer service standards. Ensure all employees are trained on policies, practices, and procedures that affect the way goods and services are provided to Persons with Disabilities ; and
  • provide ongoing training to employees when any changes are made to the Company’s policies, practices, and procedures.

Feedback process :

  • The Company’s ultimate goal is to meet or surpass client expectations while serving clients who have Disabilities. The Company welcomes and appreciates any comments relating to how well client expectations are being met.
  • Clients can provide feedback regarding the way the Company provides goods and services to Persons with Disabilities in person, by phone, or by sending an email to [email protected]. All feedback will be directed to our HR department and clients can expect a response to their concerns within seven (7) business days.

AODA employment standards

The Company will comply with the requirements of the Employment Standards in the Regulation. The Employment Standards apply in respect of employees, and not volunteers or other non-paid individuals.

Recruitment

The Company will notify employees and the public about the availability of accommodations for applicants and employees with disabilities as follows :

i. In its recruitment processes ;

ii. During the recruitment process, when job applicants are individually selected to participate in an assessment or selection process ; and

iii. When making offers of employment to a successful applicant. The successful applicant will also be notified of the Company’s policies for accommodating employees with disabilities.

If a selected applicant requests accommodation, the Company will consult with the applicant and provide or arrange for the provision of a suitable accommodation in a manner that takes into account the applicant’s accessibility needs due to disability.

Employee notification

The Company shall inform its employees of its policies used to 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. Such information will be provided as follows :

i. To new employees as soon as practicable after they begin their employment ;

ii. To existing 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 a disability.

Accessible formats and communication supports

Upon request by an employee with a disability, the Company will consult with the employee to provide or arrange for the provision of accessible formats and communication supports for :

i. information that is needed in order to perform the employee’s job ; and

ii. Information that is generally available to employees in the workplace.

The Company will consult with the employee making the request in determining the suitability of an accessible format or communication support.

Individual Accommodation Plans (IAP)

The Company will develop and implement written individual accommodation plans for employees with disabilities. The Company will follow the process set out by the AODA for the development of individual accommodation plans. Individual accommodation plans will (a) if requested, include any information regarding accessible formats and communications support provided, (b) if required, include individualized workplace emergency response information ; and (c) identify any other accommodation that is to be provided.

Return to Work

The Company will develop and have in place a written return to work process for its employees who have been absent from work due to a disability and require disability-related accommodations in order to return to work. The return to work process will (a) outline the steps the employer will take to facilitate the return to work of employees who were absent because their disability required them to be away from work ; and (b) use documented individual accommodation plans, as part of the process.

Performance management, career development and advancement, and redeployment

Performance management processes related to assessing and improving employee performance, productivity, and effectiveness will take into account the accessibility needs of employees with disabilities, as well as individual accommodation plans.

The Company will take into account the accessibility needs of its employees with disabilities as well as any individual accommodation plans when providing career development and advancement to its employees. Career development and advancement includes providing additional responsibilities within an employee’s current position, the movement of an employee from one job to another which may provide greater responsibility and/or compensation, and/or which places the employee at a higher level in the Company, or any combination of these.

If the Company needs to reassign employees to other departments or jobs within the Company as a result of job elimination, the Company will take into account the accessibility needs of employees with disabilities as well as individual accommodation plans.

Workplace emergency response information

The Company will provide individualized workplace emergency response information to employees who have a disability if the disability is such that the individualized information is necessary and the Company is aware of the need for accommodation due to the employee’s disability. If the employee who receives individualized workplace emergency response information requires assistance, and with the employee’s consent, the Company shall provide the workplace emergency information to a person designated by the Company to provide assistance to the employee.

This will be done as soon as practicable after the Company becomes aware of the need for accommodation due to the employee’s disability.

The Company will review the individualized workplace emergency response information when the employee moves to a different location in the Company, when overall accommodations needs or plans are reviewed and when the Company reviews its general emergency response policies.

Design of public spaces

To the extent it is required to do so by the Regulation, the Company will meet the Accessibility Standards for the Design of Public Spaces when building or redeveloping public spaces. Public spaces include, but are not limited to, outdoor public eating areas, outdoor paths of travel, accessible off-street parking, and service-related elements such as counters and waiting areas.

Modifications to policy

  • The Company is committed to developing customer service policies that respect and promote the dignity and independence of Persons with Disabilities. No changes will be made to this policy before and without considering the impact it may have on Persons with Disabilities.
  • Any Company policy, which does not respect and promote the dignity and independence of Persons with Disabilities will be modified or replaced.

The Company will review this policy annually or more frequently as required.