Accessibility

Customer Service Policy Statement:
Providing Goods and services to People with Disabilities

The Owen Sound Transportation Company Limited (OSTC) is committed to meeting its current and ongoing obligations under the Ontario Human Rights Code respecting non-discrimination.

OSTC understands that obligations under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (AODA) and its accessibility standards do not substitute or limit its obligations under the Ontario Human Rights Code or obligations to people with disabilities under any other law.

OSTC is committed to complying with both the Ontario Human Rights Code and the AODA.

OSTC is committed to excellence in serving all customers including people with disabilities.

Our accessible customer service policies are consistent with the principles of independence, dignity, integration and equality of opportunity for people with disabilities.

 

Assistive devices

People with disabilities may use their personal assistive devices when accessing our goods, services or facilities.

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 to ensure the person with a disability can access our goods, services or facilities.

We will ensure that our staff are trained and familiar with various assistive devices we have on site or that we provide that may be used by customers with disabilities while accessing our goods, services or facilities.

The following assistive devices are available both shipboard and shore-based terminals.

Elevators: Vehicle parking deck and shore-based elevators to assist passengers with boarding and deboarding the ship.

Manual Wheelchairs: Located at the terminals and aboard the ship

Electric Carts: Available for transporting passengers between facilities and vessels.

Briefing cards: A guide to on-board services and information stations locations where the Steward or a designate is available for assistance or questions.

Designated Seating: Available at the dining room tables and in lounges.

Designated Signage: Accessible parking spaces, washrooms and entry ways are prominently displayed.

 

Communication

We will communicate with people with disabilities in ways that consider their disability. This may include the following:

  • Telephone
  • Email
  • Mail
  • fax
  • or in person.

We will work with the person with a disability to determine what method of communication works for them.

Service animals

We welcome people with disabilities and their service animals. Service animals are allowed on the parts of our premises that are open to the public.

When we cannot easily identify that an animal is a service animal, our staff may ask a person to provide documentation (template, letter or form) from a regulated health professional that confirms the person needs the service animal for reasons relating to their disability.

A service animal can be easily identified through visual indicators, such as when it wears a harness or a vest, or when it helps the person perform certain tasks.

A regulated health professional is defined as a member of one of the following colleges:

  • College of Audiologists and Speech-Language Pathologists of Ontario
  • College of Chiropractors of Ontario
  • College of Nurses of Ontario
  • College of Occupational Therapists of Ontario
  • College of Optometrists of Ontario
  • College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario
  • College of Physiotherapists of Ontario
  • College of Psychologists of Ontario
  • College of Registered Psychotherapists and Registered Mental Health Therapists of Ontario

If service animals are prohibited by another law, we will do the following to ensure people with disabilities can access our goods, services or facilities:

  • explain why the animal is excluded
  • discuss with the customer another way of providing goods, services or facilities

Service dogs are permitted to travel freely with their owner/ handler including areas where food is normally served, sold or offered for sale. Any service animal, other than a dog, is permitted to travel free with their owner, except where food is normally served, sold or offered for sale.

 

Support persons

A person with a disability who is accompanied by a support person will be allowed to have that person accompany them on our premises.

Passenger fare will not be charged for support persons.

We will notify customers of this by posting a notice in the following location(s):

  • Website
  • Verbally communicated over the phone or in-person at time of making the reservation

In certain cases, OSTC might require a person with a disability to be accompanied by a support person for the health or safety reasons of:

  • the person with a disability
  • others on the premises

Before deciding, OSTC will:

  • consult with the person with a disability to understand their needs
  • consider health or safety reasons based on available evidence
  • determine if there is no other reasonable way to protect the health or safety of the person or others on the premises

If OSTC determines that a support person is required, we will waive the admission fee or fare for the support person

Notice of temporary disruption

In the event of a planned or unexpected disruption to services or facilities for customers with disabilities OSTC will notify customers promptly. This clearly posted notice will include information about the reason for the disruption, its anticipated length of time, and a description of alternative facilities or services, if available.

Services/Facilities include:

  • On-board Elevator

The notice will be made publicly available in the following ways:

  • By telephone
  • Posted in the all the terminal building and elevator doors
  • Public Notice on website

Training

OSTC will provide accessible customer service training to:

  • all employees
  • anyone involved in developing our policies

Staff will be trained on accessible customer service 7 days after being hired.

Training will include:

  • purpose of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 and the requirements of the customer service standard
  • OSTC’s policies related to the customer service standard
  • 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 the equipment or devices available on-site or otherwise that may help with providing goods, services or facilities to people with disabilities. These include:

Elevators, Manual Wheelchairs, Electric Carts, Briefing Cards

  • what to do if a person with a disability is having difficulty in accessing OSTC’s goods, services or facilities

Staff will also be trained when changes are made to our accessible customer service policies.

Feedback process

OSTC welcomes feedback on how we provide accessible customer service. Customer feedback will help us identify barriers and respond to concerns.

Customers will be notified of how to provide feedback in the following ways:

  • Email to info@ontarioferries.com
  • By phone at 519-376-8740
  • Customer Survey or;
  • Write to us at Owen Sound Transportation Company, 717875 Highway 6N Owen Sound, ON N4K 5N7

All feedback, including complaints, will be handled in the following manner:

Feedback will be directed to the Manager of Customer & Media Relations

Customers can expect to hear back in 3-5 business days, depending on the nature of the complaint or comment, and if an investigation is required. Complaints will be addressed according to complaint categories already established in our company’s complaint management procedures.

OSTC will make sure our feedback process is accessible to people with disabilities by providing or arranging for accessible formats and communication supports, on request.

 

Notice of availability of documents

OSTC will notify the public that documents related to accessible customer service, are available upon request by posting a notice in the following location(s)/way(s):

  • Website
  • Terminal buildings
  • Onboard
  • Springmount Office

OSTC will provide this document in an accessible format or with communication support, on request. We will consult with the person making the request to determine the suitability of the format or communication support. We will provide the accessible format in a timely manner and, at no additional cost. 

Modifications to this or other policies

At OSTC we are committed to developing customer service policies that respect and promote the dignity and independence of people with disabilities. Therefore, no change will be made to this policy before considering the impact on people with disabilities. Any policies of the Owen Sound Transportation Company that do not respect and promote theses principles of dignity, independence, integration and equal opportunity for people with disabilities will be modified or removed.

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