STATEMENT OF ORGANIZATIONAL COMMITMENT
Fidem Finance Inc. (“Fidem”) is committed to providing its goods and services in a way that respects the dignity and independence of persons with disabilities. This commitment will be integrated wherever possible and will ensure that persons with disabilities will benefit from the same goods and services, in the same place and in a similar way as other customers.
Fidem is committed to ensuring that every employee and customer receives equitable treatment with respect to employment and services, without discrimination, and receives accommodation where required, in accordance with the provisions of the Ontario Human Rights Code and Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act and its Regulations. Fidem will meet the accessibility needs of persons with disabilities in a timely manner.
This policy is intended to meet the requirements of Accessibility Standards for Customer Service, Ontario Regulation 429/07 under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005, and applies to the provision of goods and services to the public or other third parties, not to the goods themselves.
All goods and services provided by Fidem shall follow the principles of dignity, independence, integration and equal opportunity.
This policy applies to all Fidem employees, management, student interns, and volunteers.
- This policy applies to the provision of goods and services at premises owned and operated by Fidem.
- This policy applies to employees, volunteers, agents and/or contractors who deal with the public or other third parties that act on behalf of the business, including when the provision of goods and services occurs off the premises of Fidem such as in: delivery services, call centers, vendors, catering and third party marketing agencies.
- The section of this policy that addresses the use of guide dogs, service animals and service dogs only applies to the provision of goods and services that take place at premises owned and operated by Fidem.
- This policy shall also apply to all persons who participate in the development of the company’s policies, practices and procedures governing the provision of goods and services to members of the public or third parties.
In accordance with the Accessibility Standards for Customer Service, Ontario Regulation 429/07, this policy addresses the following:
- The Provision of Goods and Services to Persons with Disabilities;
- The Use of Assistive Devices
- The Use of Guide Dogs, Service Animals and Service Dogs
- The Use of Support Persons
- Notice of Service Disruptions
- Customer Feedback
- Notice of Availability and Format of Required Documents
A. The Provision of Goods and Services to Persons with Disabilities
Fidem will make every reasonable effort to ensure that its policies, practices and procedures are consistent with the principles of dignity, independence, integration and equal opportunity by:
- ensuring that all customers receive the same value and quality;
- allowing customers with disabilities to do things in their own ways, at their own pace when accessing goods and services as long as this does not present a safety risk;
- using alternative methods when possible to ensure that customers with disabilities have access to the same services, in the same place and in a similar manner;
- taking into account individual needs when providing goods and services; and
- communicating in a manner that takes into account the customer’s disability.
B. Assistive Devices
Customer’s own assistive device(s):
Persons with disabilities may use their own assistive devices as required when accessing goods or services provided by Fidem.
In cases where the assistive device presents a safety concern or where accessibility might be an issue, other reasonable measures will be used to ensure the access of goods and services. For example, open flames and oxygen tanks cannot be near one another. Therefore, the accommodation of a customer with an oxygen tank may involve ensuring the customer is in a location that would be considered safe for both the customer and business. Or, where elevators are not present and where an individual requires assistive devices for the purposes of mobility, service will be provided in a location that meets the needs of the customer.
C. Guide Dogs, Service Animals and Service Dogs
A customer with a disability that is accompanied by guide dog, service animal or service dog will be allowed access to premises that are open to the public unless otherwise excluded by law. “No pet” policies do not apply to guide dogs, service animals and/or service dogs.
If a guide dog, service animal or service dog is excluded by law (see applicable laws below) Fidem will offer alternative methods to enable the person with a disability to access goods and services, when possible (for example, securing the animal in a safe location and offering the guidance of an employee).
Dog Owners’ Liability Act, Ontario: If there is a conflict between a provision of this Act or of a regulation under this or any other Act relating to banned breeds (such as pitbulls) and a provision of a by-law passed by a municipality relating to these breeds, the provision that is more restrictive in relation to controls or bans on these breeds prevails.
Care and Control of the Animal:
The customer that is accompanied by a guide dog, service dog and/or service animal is responsible for maintaining care and control of the animal at all time.
If a health and safety concern presents itself for example in the form of a severe allergy to the animal, Fidem will make all reasonable efforts to meet the needs of all individuals.
D. Support Persons
If a customer with a disability is accompanied by a support person, Fidem will ensure that both persons are allowed to enter the premises together and that the customer is not prevented from having access to the support person.
In situations where confidential information might be discussed, consent will be obtained from the customer, prior to any conversation where confidential information might be discussed.
E. Notice of Disruptions in Service
Service disruptions may occur due to reasons that may or may not be within the control or knowledge of Fidem. In the event of any temporary disruptions to facilities or services that customer’s with disabilities rely on to access or use Fidem goods or services, reasonable efforts will be made to provide advance notice. In some circumstances such as in the situation of unplanned temporary disruptions, advance notice may not be possible.
Customers who wish to provide feedback on the way Fidem provides goods and services to people with disabilities are encouraged to contact our Compliance Department in any of the following methods:
Phone: (519) 266-4045
Mail: Fidem Finance Inc.
Attention: Corporate Compliance
Station ‘B’ P.O Box 53
London, ON N6A 4V3
As reflected in Ontario Regulation 429/07, regardless of the format, training will cover the following:
- A review of the purpose of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005.
- A review of the requirements of the Accessibility Standards for Customer Service, Ontario Regulation 429/07.
- Instructions on how to interact and communicate with people with various types of disabilities.
- Instructions on how to interact with people with disabilities who: <l/i>
- use assistive devices;
- require the assistance of a guide dog, service dog or other service animal; or
- require the use of a support person
- Fidem’s policies, procedures and practices pertaining to providing accessible customer service to customers with disabilities.
Fidem will keep a record of training that includes the dates training was provided, the date the training was completed and the certificate of completion awarded after successful completion (defined as a grade of 70% or higher) of the training.
H. Notice of Availability and Format of Documents
Documents related to the Accessibility Standard for Customer Service are available upon request and in a format that takes into account the customer’s disability. Fidem encourages customers to contact us via preferred method outlined within the Click Feedback Process.
Is a technical aid, communication device or other instrument that is used to maintain or improve the functional abilities of people with disabilities. Personal assistive devices are typically devices that customers bring with them such as a wheelchair, walker or a personal oxygen tank that might assist in hearing, seeing, communicating, moving, breathing, remembering and/or reading.
The term disability as defined by the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005, and the Ontario Human Rights Code, refers to:
- 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 co-ordination, 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 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.
Is a highly-trained working dog that has been trained at one of the facilities listed in Ontario Regulation 58 under the Blind Persons’ Rights Act, to provide mobility, safety and increased independence for people who are blind.
As reflected in Ontario Regulation 429/07, an animal is a service animal for a person with a disability if:
- it is readily apparent that the animal is used by the person for reasons relating to his or her disability; or
- if the person provides a letter from a physician or nurse confirming that the person requires the animal for reasons relating to the disability.
As reflected in Health Protection and Promotion Act, Ontario Regulation 562 a dog other than a guide dog for the blind is a service dog if:
- it is readily apparent to an average person that the dog functions as a service dog for a person with a medical disability;
- or the person who requires the dog can provide on request a letter from a physician or nurse confirming that the person requires a service dog.
As reflected in Ontario Regulation 429/07, 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, medical needs or access to goods and services.
Fidem Finance has established a multi-year plan outlining our strategy to prevent and remove barriers. In doing so, we are committed to providing a website that is accessible to the widest possible audience, which will include confirming to the standards of Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (“WCAG”) 2.0 AA Standard by 2018.