Skip to main content

Accessibility Customer Service Policy

Accessibility Customer Service Policy Information

Date Approved: June 30, 2023
Effective Date: June 30, 2023
Date Reviewed: May 2023
Replaces: Accessibility Customer Service Policy 2019


Cambrian College is committed to ensuring that goods, services and facilities are accessible for people with disabilities. This includes providing services and programs that people with disabilities can use and benefit from equally, equitably and in a manner that respects their dignity and independence.


Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA), 2005: the purpose of the AODA is to develop, implement and enforce accessibility standards to remove barriers for Ontarians with disabilities on or before January 1, 2025 in relation to: goods, services, facilities, accommodations, employment and buildings, structures and premises. The AODA came into effect on June 4, 2005.

Accessibility: a general term for the degree of ease that something (e.g., device, service, physical environment and information) can be accessed, used and enjoyed by persons with disabilities. The term implies conscious planning, design and/or effort to make sure something is barrier-free to persons with disabilities. Accessibility also benefits the general population, by making things more usable and practical for everyone, including older people and families with small children.

Accessible: does not have obstacles for people with disabilities – something that can be easily reached or obtained; facility that can be easily entered; information that is easy to access.

Assistive Device: “devices to help people – primarily people with disabilities – to perform a task. Examples are a wheelchair, personal oxygen tank, assistive listening device, electronic device with adaptive technology, or visible emergency alarm.” Ontario Human Rights Commission

Assistive technology (AT) Defined by the ATIA – Assistive Technology Industry Association: is any item, piece of equipment, software program, or product system used to increase, maintain, or improve the capabilities of persons with functional limitations.

College: means Cambrian College.

Disability: “ a) any degree of physical disability, infirmity, malformation or disfigurement that is caused by bodily injury, birth defect of illness and, without limiting the generality of the foregoing,…b) a condition of mental impairment or a developmental disability, c) a learning disability, or dysfunction in one or more of the processes involved in understanding or using symbols or spoken language, d) a mental disorder, or e) an injury or disability for which benefits were claimed or received under the insurance plan established under the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act, 1997,” (Human Rights Code, R.S.O. 1990)

Disability: There are two common ways of looking at what disability is:

  1. One way is to see a disability as a medical condition that a person has. From this perspective, disability covers a broad range and degree of conditions, some visible and some not visible. A disability may have been present from birth, caused by an accident, or developed over time. There are physical, mental, cognitive and learning disabilities, mental disorders, hearing or vision disabilities, epilepsy, drug and alcohol dependencies, environmental sensitivities and other conditions.
  2. A newer way of looking at disability is that it is not something a person has. A person with a medical condition is not necessarily prevented (or disabled) from fully taking part in society. If society is designed to be accessible and include everyone, then people with medical conditions often don’t have a problem taking part. From this point of view, disability is a problem that occurs when a person’s environment is not designed to suit their abilities.

Service Animal: (AODA 2005): “an accompanying service animal for a person with a disability, if it is readily apparent that the animal, through visual indicators, such as when it wears a harness or a vest, or when it helps the person perform certain tasks is used by the person for reasons relating to a disability; or the person provides a letter from a regulated health professional confirming that the person requires the animal for reasons relating to a disability.” A service animal is not a pet.

Support Person: “a support person means, in relation to a person with a disability, another person who accompanies Them in order to help with the communication, mobility, personal care, medical needs or access to goods and services.” Accessibility Standards for Customer Service, O. Reg. 429/07

Volunteer: A person who freely offers themselves to perform a service without pay.

Application/ Scope

This policy applies to everyone in the College community.

Policy Statements

The College is committed to service excellence in serving all customers with dignity and inclusion in the following areas:

  1. Providing goods, services, or facilities to people with disabilities
    1. The College complies with current and ongoing obligations with both the Ontario Human Rights Code and the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (AODA) or obligations to people with disabilities under any other applicable law.
    2. The College is committed to address exceptional circumstances individually and in a timely manner.
  2. Assistive Devices
    1. The College serves people with disabilities who require assistive devices to obtain, use or benefit from goods, services or facilities. The College will make best efforts to ensure that members of its staff are trained and familiar with various assistive devices.
    2. In cases where the assistive device presents a significant and unavoidable health or safety concern or may not be permitted for other reasons, other measures will be used / offered to ensure the person with a disability can access the College’s goods, services or facilities.
  3. Communication
    1. Communication with individuals /people with disabilities is based on the individuals’ disability-related needs.
    2. The College provides training for all staff on how to interact and communicate with people with various types of disabilities.
  4. Service Animals
    1. The College serves Individuals who are accompanied by a Service Animal.
    2. Service Animals are allowed on the parts of the premises that are open to the public. Service Animals are not permitted in areas where food is prepared and would otherwise be excluded by law.
    3. The College ensures that all staff, volunteers and others dealing with the public are properly trained in how to interact with people with disabilities who are accompanied by a guide dog or Service Animal.
    4. If service animals are prohibited by another law, the College will do the following to ensure people with disabilities can access the College’s goods, services or facilities:
      1. explain why the animal is excluded,
      2. discuss with the customer another way of providing goods, services or facilities
  5. Support Persons
    1. The College serves people with disabilities who are accompanied by a support person.
    2. Individuals accompanied by a support person is allowed to have that person accompany them at all times while on College premises.
    3. In certain cases, the College might require a person with a disability to be accompanied by a support person for the health or safety of the person with a disability or others on the premises.
  6. Notice of temporary disruption
    1. In the event of a planned or unexpected disruption to services or facilities for individuals with disabilities, the College will alert/notifies individuals accessing services or goods promptly.
  7. Training
    1. The College provides accessible customer service training as soon as practicable, and when changes are made to the Accessibility Policy, to:
      1. All employees and volunteers;
      2. Any employee involved in developing College policies;
      3. Anyone who provides goods, services or facilities to customers on our behalf.
    2. The training must include the following:
      1. Overview of the purpose of the AODA and an awareness of the policy;
      2. Instruction on how to interact and communicate with people with various types of disabilities;
      3. Instructions on interacting with people living with disabilities who use assistive devices or require the assistance of a service animal or support person;
      4. Instruction on what to do if a person with a disability is having difficulty accessing services.
  8. Notice of availability of documents
    1. The College provides documents in an accessible format or with communication support, on request. The College consults with the person making the request to determine the suitability of the format or communication support. The accessible format is provided in a timely manner and, at no additional cost to the person with disabilities.

Responsibilities and Accountability

Human Resources is responsible for:

  • Ensuring that all employees complete the Customer Service mandatory training upon hire and upon changes to the policy.

Employees, Volunteers and Contractors are responsible for:

  • Completing the Customer Service mandatory training.

Person with a disability is responsible for:

  • Providing documentation as required. For example, to substantiate the requirement for a Service Animal or Support Person.
  • Registering with the Glenn Crombie Centre for Student Support if seeking support from the College.

Related Procedures