Accessibility Policy And Program

PURPOSE

DEMAND POWER GROUP INC. (“the Company”) is committed to excellence in serving all our customers, and we always strive to meet the accessibility needs of persons with disabilities in a timely manner, and to provide our goods and services in a way that respects the dignity and independence of people with disabilities.
In addition, DEMAND POWER GROUP INC. is committed to equal treatment with respect to employment.
This policy is intended to meet the requirement of Ontario Regulation 429/07 under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005.

This policy applies to employees, volunteers, agents and/or contractors who deal with the public or other third parties that act on behalf of DEMAND POWER GROUP INC.

It is the responsibility of all employees of DEMAND POWER GROUP INC. to comply with this Accessibility Policy, to treat all people with dignity and respect, and to provide additional assistance where and when necessary to assist those requiring accommodation.

Upon request, this policy will be made available in accessible formats.

DEFINITION

Disability – 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 a 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.

Today about 15.5 % of Ontario’s population or 1.8 million people are reported as having a disability and that number is expected to grow significantly.

PROVIDING GOODS AND SERVICES TO CUSTOMERS WITH DISABILITIES

DEMAND POWER GROUP INC. will make every reasonable effort to ensure that our 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 way, at their own pace when accessing DEMAND POWER GROUP INC.’s goods and/or services as long as this does not present a safety risk;
  • Using alternative methods when necessary to ensure that customers with disabilities have access to the same services, in the same place and in a similar manner;
  • Ensuring the provision of goods or services to persons with disabilities and others are integrated unless an alternate measure is necessary, whether temporarily or on a permanent basis, to enable a person with a disability to obtain, use or benefit from the goods or services.
  • Taking into account individual needs when providing goods and/or services; and
  • Communicating in a manner that takes into account a person’s disability.

INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION STANDARD

DEMAND POWER GROUP INC. will communicate to those with disabilities in ways that considers their disability. We will train our employees on how to effectively interact and communicate with our diverse community and people with various types of disabilities.

FEEDBACK

DEMAND POWER GROUP INC. has established a process to ensure customers with disabilities are able to provide us with feedback on our products/services and how we deliver them to those with disabilities.
Feedback is always welcome and appreciated and can be submitted in the following formats:

  • in person,
  • by telephone,
  • by mail, or
  • by email

DEMAND POWER GROUP INC. will continue to ensure that all customers are able to provide feedback and if the stated methods of feedback do not for some reason accommodate a person who would like to provide feedback, we are willing to arrange for other methods based on request (i.e., accessible formats, communication supports etc.)
If a complaint is received, we will work with the person making the complaint to determine a way that we can improve our procedures to better accommodate them in the future. We will welcome their suggestions and take them into consideration when updating our policies and procedures as related to disability accommodation.

If a complaint is received, we will work with the person making the complaint to determine a way that we can improve our procedures to better accommodate them in the future. We will welcome their suggestions and take them into consideration when updating our policies and procedures as related to disability accommodation.

ACCESSIBLE FORMATS AND COMMUNICATION SUPPORTS

Upon request, DEMAND POWER GROUP INC. will provide, or will arrange to provide information in an accessible format and with communication supports in a timely manner that considers a person’s accessibility needs due to his or her disability.

DEMAND POWER GROUP INC. will consult with the person making the request in determining the suitability of an accessible format or communication support. Some examples of accessible formats and communication supports that DEMAND POWER GROUP INC. is willing to provide to best accommodate a person with a disability, include:

  • accessible electronic formats such as HTML and MS Word
  • Braille
  • large print
  • reading the written information aloud to the person directly
  • exchanging hand-written notes
  • drawing pictures and showing photographs
  • repeating, clarifying, or restating information

DEMAND POWER GROUP INC. will provide formats and supports in a timely manner and will notify the public of the availability of this accommodation.

TELEPHONE SERVICES

DEMAND POWER GROUP INC. is committed to providing fully accessible telephone service to all persons. We will train employees to communicate with persons over the telephone in plain language while speaking clearly and slowly. We will offer to communicate with customers by email or letter if telephone communication is not suitable to their communication needs or is unavailable.

The Company will communicate with customers by TTY (the special device that allows people who are deaf, hard of hearing, or speech-impaired to use the telephone to communicate, by allowing them to type messages back and forth) if telephone communication is not suitable to their communication needs or is not available.

USE OF ASSISTIVE DEVICES

An assistive device is one or more devices used by a person with a disability to help him/her independently complete everyday tasks. Accessibility devices include mobility aids (e.g. wheelchairs and walkers), portable communication devices, head-wands, hearing aids, white canes used by people who are blind or who have low vision, note-taking devices and personal oxygen tanks to assist breathing, etc.

DEMAND POWER GROUP INC. welcomes the use of assistive devices by our customers and third parties to access our goods and/or services. We will ensure our employees are trained on how to interact with individuals using various assistive devices and how employees can provide alternative or supplemental service methods to those requesting them, such as reaching items on high shelves and passing them to customers, pushing or directing wheelchairs, reading labels aloud, etc.

BILLING/INVOICES

We are committed to providing accessible billing/invoices to all our customers and third-party business partners. DEMAND POWER GROUP INC. will answer any questions customers may have about the content of the billing and will be responsible for ensuring that the alternative formats are available upon request.

USE OF SERVICE ANIMALS AND SUPPORT PERSONS

SERVICE ANIMALS– as reflected in Ontario Regulation 429/07, an animal is a service animal for a person with disability if:

(a) it is readily apparent that the animal is used by the person for reasons relating to his or her disability; or (b) the person provides a letter from a physician or nurse confirming that the person requires the animal for reasons relating to the disability.

Service Dog – 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.

Guide Dog – 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.

DEMAND POWER GROUP INC. welcomes guide dogs, service dogs or service animals to our premises, and all DEMAND POWER GROUP INC. employees will be made aware that guide dogs, service dogs or service animals are permitted in the premises that are open to the public unless otherwise excluded by law. For the purpose of this policy, service dogs will include service dogs-in-training. “No pet” policies do not apply to guide dogs, service dogs and/or service animals.
In the rare situation where another person’s health and safety could be seriously impacted by the presence of a service dog, the Company will review all options for safely allowing the service animal, by working with both affected parties to meet their individual needs.

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.

SUPPORT PERSONS – as reflected in Ontario Regulation 429/07,

A support person is an individual who accompanies a customer (or third-party doing business with DEMAND POWER GROUP INC.) with a disability to help the customer meet their communication, mobility, personal care, or medical needs or to assist the customer in accessing goods and/or services. A customer or third-party with a disability who is accompanied by a support person will be allowed to enter DEMAND POWER GROUP INC.’s premises together with the support person and will not be prevented from having access to the support person while on the premises.

All support persons are welcome at all DEMAND POWER GROUP INC. properties.

NOTICE OF DISRUPTION OF SERVICES

In the event of a planned or unexpected temporary disruption to accessing our premises or services, DEMAND POWER GROUP INC. is committed to providing timely notice to our customers and visitors. Temporary service disruptions may result due to many different situations. The following is a list of some common circumstances that may result in a temporary service disruption. This list is not exhaustive:

  • Automatic Door Malfunction
  • Power Failure
  • Phone Lines Down
  • Internet Down

Notice of a temporary service disruption shall be posted at a conspicuous place on the premises as soon as practicable. The notice will include:

  • Reason for the disruption
  • Which goods/services are disrupted
  • Expected duration
  • Alternative service strategies

Every effort will be made to provide customers information as quickly as possible.

In the event of a snowstorm or city-wide power outages, it is also encouraged that prior to visiting our premises, customers and visitors requiring assistance call to ensure DEMAND POWER GROUP INC. is best prepared to accommodate them.

DEMAND POWER GROUP INC. is located at:
10 King St. E., Suite 1100
Toronto, ON, M5C 1C3

EMPLOYMENT STANDARDS

RECRUITMENT

DEMAND POWER GROUP INC. notifies our employees and the public about the availability of accommodation for applicants with disabilities in our recruitment process.

RECRUITMENT, ASSESSMENT OR SELECTION PROCESS

The Company is an equal opportunity employer committed to hiring a diverse workforce and sustaining an inclusive culture. As part of our accessibility commitment, there are alternative ways to interview with us in order that we may accommodate people of all abilities.

The Company notifies potential job applicants of the ability to accommodate in writing as part of all job postings on external websites.

In addition, job applicants selected to participate in an assessment or selection process (interview) are advised verbally over the telephone that accommodations are available upon request relating to the materials or processes to be used.
If a successful candidate requires accommodation and they advise DEMAND POWER GROUP INC., we will consult with them one-on-one to best assist them in considering their accessibility needs as related to their disability.

NOTICE TO SUCCESSFUL APPLICANTS

When making offers of employment, DEMAND POWER GROUP INC. notifies successful applicants of our policies for accommodating employees with disabilities.

TRAINING AND JOB INFORMATION

As reflected in Ontario Regulation 429/07, regardless of the format, DEMAND POWER GROUP INC. will provide training for all employees and third parties that engage with DEMAND POWER GROUP INC.’s customers on behalf of the Company, on how to effectively interact with persons with disabilities. In addition, everyone who is involved with and/or influences customer service policies and procedures will receive this training. Training records will be logged, and training will be provided on an ongoing basis as changes to the policies, practices, or procedures surrounding accessibility for persons with disabilities are made. Initial training will be provided within the first week of employment, and will include:

  • Purposes of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act and requirements of the customer service standard
  • All information outlined in this policy
  • How to interact and communicate with persons with disabilities in a manner that takes into account his or her disability
  • 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 use equipment or devices available that may help with the provisions of goods and/or services
  • What to do if a person with a particular type of disability is having difficulty accessing goods and/or services
  • Workplace emergency response information
  • Return to work process
  • Recruitment, including how to accommodate the candidates and employees with disabilities during the hiring process and employment

DEMAND POWER GROUP INC. will keep a record of training that includes the dates training was provided and the names of who was trained.

DEMAND POWER GROUP INC. will provide accessible workplace information when an employee with a disability asks for it. This includes:

  • any information that employees need to perform their jobs
  • performance management related information
  • training materials
  • general information that is available to all employees at work (e.g., company newsletters, bulletins about company policies and health and safety information)
  • information about emergency procedures

INFORMING EMPLOYEES OF SUPPORT

DEMAND POWER GROUP INC. will continue to inform its employees of its policies (and any updates to those policies) written to support employees with disabilities, including policies on the provision of job accommodations that consider an employee’s accessibility needs due to disability. This information will be provided to new employees as soon as practicable after commencing employment.

WORKPLACE EMERGENCY RESPONSE

DEMAND POWER GROUP INC. will provide individualized workplace emergency response information to any employee who has a disability, if the disability is such that the individualized information is necessary, and if the Company is aware of the need for accommodation due to the employee’s disability. We will provide this information as soon as practicable after becoming aware of the need for accommodation.

DEMAND POWER GROUP INC. recognizes how an individual’s disability, as well as the physical nature of the workplace, may create unique challenges in emergency situations.

For example:
An employee who has a hearing disability may not hear an alarm and may need to be notified by other means, such as flashing lights or another employee physically notifying them. Or,

An employee with a vision disability may be unable to identify the escape routes, or obstructions to the escape routes.
DEMAND POWER GROUP INC. will consult with employees who have disabilities so that the individualized workplace emergency response information meets the employee’s specific needs.

A wide range of potential emergencies will be considered, including but not limited to, the following:

• fire
• power outages
• severe weather
• natural disasters
• security incidents

Where the employee requires assistance, the Company will, with the consent of the employee, provide the workplace emergency response information to the person designated by DEMAND POWER GROUP INC. to aid the employee.
DEMAND POWER GROUP INC. will review the individualized workplace emergency response information if the employee’s overall accommodation needs change, if their job changes, or when DEMAND POWER GROUP INC. reviews its general emergency response policies.

DOCUMENTED INDIVIDUAL ACCOMODATION PLANS

DEMAND POWER GROUP INC. has a program in place for the creation of individual custom accommodation plans for employees who may need accommodation due to a disability.
The following is the outline of the process for creating accommodation plans:

  1. An employee requiring an accommodation plan must advise his or her manager of the need for a plan as soon as possible.
  2. The employee will provide an Abilities and Restrictions Form as completed by their medical practitioner, outlining where there are restrictions, and what their capabilities for work are.
  3. The employee and their manager meet to go through the A&R Form to ensure they both understand the nature of the accommodation required.
  4. The employee advises their manager verbally if they would like assistance of another employee, or the Health and Safety Representative in the creation of the plan.
  5. The manager advises the employee verbally if they believe they need assistance from an outside person to help with creating the plan. (e.g. if a specialist paid for by the Company or an external Human Resources representative will need to be involved.)
  6. The parties work together to put draft an accommodation plan.
  7. The manager will ask the employee whether or not they would like to keep the details of their accommodation plan private/confidential, or whether they would like other employees to be made aware.
  8. The manager will explain where other employees may be required to have some information (e.g. in the case where the employee needing the accommodation plan has difficulty hearing, and they may need assistance in knowing when an emergency alarm is sounding.) Or, if the cost associated with implementing the plan exceeds the allowable budget or will change the nature of how the business must operate.
  9. The manager will respect the privacy of the employee and comply with their request for a particular level of privacy. Only those parties who absolutely must, for the safety of the employee, their own safety, or due to company benefit program, policy, budget or operational reasons be made aware, will be advised of the accommodation plan, but only in as much detail as is absolutely necessary.
  10. The plan will be finalized by the manager and presented to the employee no later than one (1) week after it was first drafted by the participating parties.
  11. In addition to providing the finalized plan to the employee, the manager will provide a schedule for when and how the plan will be reviewed and updated. This will be determined based on the nature of the disability and the necessity for updated abilities and restriction information.
  12. If an employee requests an accommodation plan and there is no medical evidence (via an A&R Form) to support the need, or if a plan has been rejected because of undue hardship to the Company or for other reasons deemed serious enough, the manager will immediately advise the employee. They will meet and come to a mutually agreeable alternative plan.
  13. If the employee requires the plan to be available in an accessible format, the manager will work with the employee to determine the most appropriate format, and ensure the employee receives a copy in that format.
  14. All individual accommodation plans will include:
    a. A section that outlines how workplace information will be made available in an accessible format if requested
    b. A section that outlines how emergency information will be provided in an accessible format if needed
    c. Any additional accommodation that is to be provided to the employee.

RETURN TO WORK PROCESS

DEMAND POWER GROUP INC. has an Early and Safe Return to Work Process for employees who have been absent from work due to a disability and who require disability related accommodations to return to work.

The return-to-work process outlines the steps DEMAND POWER GROUP INC. will take to facilitate the return to work and will include documented individual accommodation plans/modified duties schedule as part of that process.

This return to work process is consistent with the process followed for employees who have experience workplace injuries or illnesses, as outlined in the Workplace Safety Insurance Act, 1997.

PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT

When the Company has been made aware of an employee’s disability, everyone’s needs will be considered when determining how to best accommodate them in any performance management related process.

DEMAND POWER GROUP INC. will provide performance management related documentation in accessible formats to employees who request them due to a disability.

Managers will also provide informal and formal coaching and feedback in a manner that takes into account their disability, such as using plain language for an individual with a learning disability.

CAREER DEVELOPMENT AND ADVANCEMENT

When providing career development and advancement opportunities, DEMAND POWER GROUP INC. will consider what accommodating employees with disabilities may need to succeed elsewhere in the organizations or to take on new responsibilities in their current position. Employees are protected from discrimination based on the prohibited grounds outlined in the Ontario Human Rights Code.

An employee may receive a promotion which includes new responsibilities. In this case, DEMAND POWER GROUP INC. and the employee may review the individual accommodation plan to learn what adjustments may be needed for the new responsibilities.

REDEPLOYMENT

Should DEMAND POWER GROUP INC. decide to use redeployment processes, the Company will consider the accessibility needs of employees with disabilities when moving them to other positions so that those employees can continue to have their accommodation needs met.

MODIFICATIONS TO THIS AND OTHER POLICIES

DEMAND POWER GROUP INC. is committed to developing accessibility policies that respect and promote the dignity and independence of persons with disabilities. Therefore, no changes will be made to this policy before considering the impact on persons with disabilities. Any policy of DEMAND POWER GROUP INC. that does not respect and promote the dignity and independence of persons with disabilities will be modified or removed. This policy and its related procedures will be reviewed as required in the event of legislative changes.

QUESTIONS ABOUT THIS POLICY

If you have a question about the policy, please contact us using any of the following methods:
In Person or by Mail:

DEMAND POWER GROUP INC.
10 King St. E., Suite 1100
Toronto, ON, M5C 1C3

By Telephone:
(855) 336-2638

By E-mail:
info@demandpower.ca

REVISION CONTROL

DATECOMMENTS
March 2021Policy Issued