AODA CUSTOMER SERVICE POLICY STATEMENT

Our Commitment

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

Instructions

Each element detailed below is a requirement of the AODA Accessibility Standards for Customer Service, Ontario Regulation 429/07, and must be achieved to meet compliance regulations. For each action required, ensure that the requirement has been met. Where we have not yet completed the requirement, identify the individual(s) responsible for completing the action, and include any pertinent notes that may apply, including time-lines for completion, and progress.

 

Providing Goods and Services to People with Disabilities

Roots is committed to excellence in serving all customers 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 take into account their disability. We will train staff who communicate with customers on how to interact and communicate with people with various types of disabilities.

We train our staff on how to interact and communicate with people with various types of disabilities.

 

Telephone Services

We are committed to providing fully accessible telephone service to our customers. We will train staff to communicate with customers over the telephone in clear and plain language and to speak clearly and slowly.

We will offer to communicate with customers by email, TTY, if telephone communication is not suitable to their communication needs or is not available.

 

Assistive Devices

We are committed to serving people with disabilities, who use assistive devices to obtain, use or benefit from our goods and services. We will ensure that our staff is trained and familiar with various assistive devices that may be used by customers with disabilities while accessing our goods or services.

We will also ensure that staff members know how to use the following assistive devices available on our premises for customers: accessibility change rooms, elevators.

 

Use of 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. We will also ensure 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 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 Roots 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.

 

Notice of Temporary Disruption

Roots will provide customers with notice 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, its anticipated duration, and a description of alternative facilities or services, if available.

 

Training for Staff

Roots will provide training to all employees, volunteers and others who deal with the public or other third parties on their behalf, and all those who are involved in the development and approvals of customer service policies, practices and procedures.
Individuals in the following positions are trained:

  • Sales Associates
  • Store Management
  • District Manager/Regional Directors
  • Customer Service Representatives
  • Home Office, Distribution Centre and Leather Factory associates

Training will include the following:

  • The purposes of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 and the requirements of the customer service standard, Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation and the Ontario Human Rights Code.
  • 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 accessible change rooms, elevators available on provider’s 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 Roots goods and services.
  • Roots policies, practices and procedures relating to the customer service standard.

Applicable staff will be trained on policies, practices and procedures that affect the way goods and services are provided to people with disabilities. Staff will also be trained on an ongoing basis when changes are made to these policies, practices and procedures.

 

Feedback Process

The ultimate goal of Roots is to meet and surpass customer expectations while serving customers with disabilities. Comments on our services regarding how well these expectations are being met are welcome and appreciated.

Feedback regarding the way Roots provides goods and services to people with disabilities can be made by mail, online at www.roots.com/feedback, or verbally at the store.
All feedback will be directed to customer_service@roots.comCustomers can expect to hear back in 7 days.

Complaints will be addressed according to complaint categories already established in our company’s complaint management procedure.

 

Modifications to This or Other Policies

We are committed to developing customer service policies that 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 people with disabilities. Any policy of Roots that does not respect and promote the dignity and independence of people with disabilities will be modified or removed.

 

Questions About This Policy

This policy exists to achieve service excellence to customers with disabilities. If anyone has a question about the policy, or if the purpose of a policy is not understood, an explanation should be provided by, or referred to, Manager of Training of Roots.

 

Multi-Year Accessibility Plan

Intent

Roots Canada has implemented this Multi-Year plan to ensure that we are prepared to meet all compliance standards for customer service accessibility under the AODA regulations. As an organization, Roots will meet or exceed all applicable legislation regarding the provision of customer service for people with a disability.
Roots Canada is committed to eliminating barriers and improving accessibility for persons with disabilities and to providing goods and services in a way that respects the dignity and independence of people with disabilities. In 2012 we implemented an Accessible Customer Service Policy to ensure that people with disabilities are given the same opportunity to access and benefit from our goods and services, in the same place and in a similar way as other customers.

The Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation (“IASR”) under AODA, which incorporates the remaining 4 accessibility standards, requires us to establish, implement, maintain and document a multi-year accessibility plan which outlines our strategy to prevent and remove barriers for persons with disabilities through the requirements under the IASR. The following accessibility standards are applicable to Roots Canada under the IASR:

1. General Requirements
2. Information and Communications
3. Employment
4. Design of Public Spaces

In accordance with the IASR, Roots Canada will:
• Establish, review and update this Accessibility Plan
• Post this Accessibility Plan on Roots Canada public website at www.roots.com
• Provide this Accessibility Plan in an accessible format, upon request
• Review and update this Accessibility Plan at least once every 5 years

Part I – General
This section of the Regulation requires us to:
• Develop & maintain an accessibility policy and a multi-year accessibility plan
• Self-service kiosks – consider accessibility features that best meet the needs of customers
• Ensure staff and volunteers are trained on the Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation and the Ontario Human Rights Code

Actions Compliance Date Responsibility Status
Create and implement Customer Service Accessibility policies, practices and procedures in accordance with AODA regulations. October 2012 Human Resources Completed
Public safety information that is prepared Roots Canada and made available to the public will be made available in an accessible format or with appropriate communication supports, as soon as practicable, upon request.
Roots Customer Service Accessibility Policy allows the use of personal assistive devices, and provides information regarding assistive devices offered. October 2012 Human Resources Completed
Roots policies practices and procedures provide customers with respect for their independence, dignity, integration and equality of opportunity. October 2012 Human Resources Completed
All staff members have been trained in and are aware of effective communication techniques for interacting with a person with a disability that takes into account their disability. December 2015 Human Resources and Retail Operations Completed
Ongoing as we hire new staff We will inform all employees of policies that 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. This will include: • Informing current employees and new hires of Roots Canada policies supporting employees with disabilities. • Providing information under this section as soon as practicable after the new employee begins employment. •Keeping employees up to date on changes to existing policies on job accommodations with respect to disability.
All staff members have received appropriate training and education regarding the customer service accessibility act, IASR, Ontario Human Rights Code and the company standards. December 2015 Human Resources and Retail Operations Completed and ongoing
All volunteers, contractors and other persons that will act as representatives of the company have received appropriate training and education regarding the customer service accessibility act, customer service accessibility act, IASR, Ontario Human Rights Code and the company standards. December 2015 Human Resources Completed and Ongoing
• Informing current volunteers, contractors and new ones of Roots Canada policies supporting Customers with disabilities. • Providing information under this section as soon as practicable after the new volunteers, contractors begins their relationship with Roots. •Keeping them up to date on changes to existing policies on job accommodations with respect to disability

Part II – Information and Communications Standards
This section of the Regulation includes requirements related to: • Accessible feedback processes
• Accessible formats and communication supports
• Publicly available emergency procedures, plans, public safety information accessible websites and web content

Actions Compliance Date Responsibility Status
Roots policy allows people with disabilities to be accompanied by their guide dog or service animal, unless the animal is excluded by another law. October 2012 Human Resources Completed
Where service animals are excluded by law, other measures to provide services to a person with a disability have been created and implemented, and staff members have been trained on the policy, practice and procedure(s). October 2012 Human Resources Completed
Where admission fees are charged, notice of the admission fee is provided ahead of time, detailing the fee schedule (if any) for a support person that accompanies a person with a disability. Not Applicable Not Applicable Not Applicable
Advance notice is prepared and provided in the event of any disruption to products / services. Distribution plans for providing the notice must be identified and in place. December 2015 Human Resources Completed
A process for providing feedback on the provision of products / services is in place, and all feedback generated has a system to ensure that customer feedback is responded to, and appropriate action(s) are taken to rectify any complaints. October 2012 Human Resources Completed
Available online
Information regarding the feedback process is made publicly available, and appropriate feedback mechanisms are made available upon request. October 2012 Human Resources Completed
Available online
Information regarding the feedback process is made publicly available, and appropriate feedback mechanisms are made available upon request. October 2012 Human Resources Completed
Available online
Policy and procedures ensure that people with a disability are able to use a support person to assist them. October 2012 Human Resources Completed
Notify customers that the company policy and forms regarding customer service accessibility are available upon request. October 2012 Human Resources and Retail Operations Completed
Do your new internet websites and the content in them conform to the World Wide Web Consortium Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 Level A December 2014 Web Development Team and HR Completed
Available online
Have you established, implemented, maintained and posted a multi-year accessibility plan? If you have emergency information that you make available to the public: When asked, do you provide emergency procedures, plans or public safety information to the public in an accessible format? If your organization has self-serve kiosks: December 2014 Human Resources Completed
Customer service accessibility documentation is available in alternate formats upon request. December 2015 Human Resources Completed We will ensure that all of our publicly available information is made accessible upon request by December 2015. Where a request for an accessible format or for communication supports is received, we will: • Consult with the individual making the request to determine their accessibility needs and what would be a suitable format or support. • Provide the requested information in a timely manner.

Part III – Provide Accommodation to Potential Employees
Provide Accommodation to Potential Employees
• Communicate Recruitment Opportunities
• Detail Available Accommodation

Actions Compliance Date Responsibility Status
Employers will be required to inform all applicants that accommodation will be provided to applicants with disabilities to enable their participation in the recruitment, assessment, selection and hiring stages. October 2015 Recruitment Specialist Completed
Most classes of employers will be required to adopt or develop, document and maintain a procedure to ensure that applicants with disabilities are provided with accommodation to enable their participation in the recruitment, assessment, selection and hiring stages. October 2015 Recruitment Specialist Completed and ongoing
All employers will be required to “demonstrate how their external recruitment process enables candidates with disabilities to receive information about job vacancies”. October 2015 Recruitment Specialist Ongoing
When making written job offers, employers must inform the person receiving the offer about the employer’s individual accommodation procedures.
· Employers will need to adopt or develop, document and maintain a procedure to facilitate the return to work of employees absent due to a disability unrelated to a WSIB injury or illness.
· Employers will need to adopt or develop, document and maintain a procedure to facilitate the return to work of employees absent due to a disability unrelated to a WSIB injury or illness.
October 2015 Recruitment Specialist Completed and ongoing
File an Accessibility Compliance Report Due Dec. 31, 2017
File an Accessibility Compliance Report Due Dec. 31, 2020
Make all websites and web content accessible. Due Jan. 1, 2021
File an Accessibility Compliance Report Due Dec. 31, 2023