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We're Accessible

Accessibility

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

1. Our Mission

The Mission of The Owen Sound Transportation Company Limited (OSTC) is to ensure all OSTC ferry services are accessible to all customers in accordance with Ontario Regulation 429/07 Accessibility Standards for Customer Service.

2. Our commitment

In fulfilling our mission, The Owen Sound Transportation Company Limited strives at all times to provide its goods and services in a way that respects the dignity and independence of people with disabilities. We are also committed to giving people with disabilities the same opportunity to access our goods and services and allowing them to benefit from the same services, in the same place and in a similar way as other customers.

3. Providing goods and service to people with disabilities

The Owen Sound Transportation Company Limited 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:

3.1 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.
 After identifying yourself as someone with specific accessibility needs you will asked to follow this procedure and you will be provided a Passenger Briefing Card. You will also be provided with a pamphlet summarizing the accommodations offered by OSTC to those requiring assistance. Copies of this pamphlet will also be available on-board the ferry in the information center.

3.2 Telephone services

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 mail, email or in person at the Terminals and reservation office if telephone communication is not suitable to their communication needs or is not available.

3.3 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.

Also ensuring that our staff knows how to use the following assistive devices available on our premises for customers:

Shipboard and shore-based elevators and
 manual wheelchairs located at the Terminals and aboard ship.

4. 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 OSTC’s 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.

Fares will not be charged for support persons for admission to Owen Sound Transportation Company’s premises.  We will notify customers of this through a notice posted on our premises, and our website, www.ontarioferries.com.

5. Notice of temporary disruption

In the event of a planned or unexpected disruption to services or facilities for customers with disabilities, specifically the elevating devices, Owen Sound Transportation Company 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.

The notice will be placed at all terminal locations and on the doors of the elevating devices, whether they are on the ship or on shore.

6. Training for staff

The Owen Sound Transportation Company Limited will provide training to all employees and volunteers who deal with the public, and all those who are involved in the development and approvals of customer service policies, practices and procedures. Individuals in the following positions will be trained:

Reservation Agents

Terminal Supervisors

Ticket Agents

Dockmen/Stockmen

Ship Officers including Chief Stewards

Ordinary Seamen

Able Bodied Seamen

Mechanical Assistants

Service Aides

Owen Sound Administrative office personnel

This training will be provided to staff within 1 months of employment for full time personnel and seasonal shore side personnel, and within 6 months of employment for ship’s crews in coordination with Transport Canada required Passenger Safety Management Training.

 

Training will include the following:

An overview of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 and the requirements of the customer service standard.

Owen Sound Transportation Company’s accessible customer service plan.

Methods 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.

Using the wheelchairs and wheelchair lifts available on-site or otherwise that may help with providing goods or services to people with disabilities.

What to do if a person with a disability is having difficulty in accessing Owen Sound Transportation Company’s goods and services.

How the AODA is built into the Company Safety Management System, and Emergency Response Plans.

Applicable staff will be trained on policies, practices and procedures that affect the way 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.

7. Feedback process

Customers who wish to provide feedback on the way Owen Sound Transportation Company provides goods and services to people with disabilities can send an email to info@ontarioferries.com, call OSTC at 519-376-8740, or write to us as Owen Sound Transportation Company, 717875 Hwy 6N, Owen Sound, ON, N4K 5N7.

All feedback, including complaints, will be directed to the President and CEO who may delegate the response to a specific department head, if deemed appropriate.

Customers can expect to hear back in 3 – 5 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

8. 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 The Owen Sound Transportation Company Limited that does not respect and promote the dignity and independence of people with disabilities will be modified or removed.