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Accessibility Policy

This Accessibility Plan (2014 – 2021) outlines policies and actions that West 49 (2015) Inc. (hereafter referred to as the Company), will put in place to improve opportunities for people with disabilities. This Plan will be reviewed at minimum every 5 years.

STATEMENT OF COMMITMENT

The Company is committed to treating all individuals in a manner that allows them to maintain their dignity and independence. We are committed to meeting the needs of individuals with disabilities in an efficient and timely manner by preventing and removing barriers and meeting the requirements under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act.

ACCESSIBLE EMERGENCY INFORMATION

The Company is committed to ensuring the safety of our customers and employees. Emergency procedures will be made available in an accessible format upon request and provided in a timely manner.

ACCESSIBILITY PLAN

TRAINING

The Company will provide training to employees, volunteers, and third parties on Ontario’s accessibility laws and on the Human Rights Code as it relates to people with disabilities.

The Company will take the following steps to ensure that employees are provided with adequate training to meet Ontario’s accessible laws by January 1, 2015.

-Establish and ensure that appropriate training on the requirements of Integrated Accessibility Standard Regulation and the Ontario Human Rights Code is provided to all employees, volunteers, and third parties.
-File and maintain a record of the training provided per store and banner.
-Ensure training is provided on any changes made to the policies and/or regulations.

INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION STANDARD

The Company is committed to providing information and communication accessible to persons with disabilities. We will ensure that communication and information are accessible and are in accessible formats that meet the needs of persons with disabilities.

The Company will take the following steps to ensure that all new websites and content conform to WCAG 2.0, Level A by January 1, 2014 and WCAG 2.0, Level AA by January 1, 2021.

-Ensure development of all new websites and content meet Information and Communication Standards under the regulation and that partnering individuals have expertise with such technology.
-Provide guidelines to all employees to ensure public documents and media are readily available upon request in accessible formats.

The Company will take the following steps to ensure existing feedback processes are accessible to people with disabilities upon request by January 1, 2015 and that all publicly available information is made accessible upon request by January 1, 2016.

-Ensure that existing and new processes of providing feedback are accessible to persons with disabilities by providing or arranging accessible formats upon request and within a timely manner.
-When requested by persons with disabilities, we will consult with the person making the request to determine the suitability of the accessible format or communication support, provide or arrange the accessible format or communication support within a timely manner that takes into account the person’s accessibility needs and notify the public about the availability of accessible formats and communication supports.

EMPLOYMENT STANDARD

The Company is committed to fair and accessible employment practices. This includes providing accessibility across all stages of the employment cycle.

The Company will take the following steps to notify the public and staff that, upon request, we will accommodate people with disabilities during the recruitment process by January 1, 2016.

-Review and if necessary, create modification to our current recruitment process.
-Specify that accommodation for persons with disabilities can be made available on our job postings and websites.
-Include that accommodation is available when scheduling an interview with persons with disabilities.
-If a selected candidate requests accommodation, consult with the applicant and arrange suitable accommodation in a manner that takes into account their accessibility needs.

The Company will take the following steps to develop and implement a process for developing individual accommodation plans and return-to-work policies for employees that have been absent due to a disability by January 1, 2016.

-The employee may participate in the development of the plan and will be assessed on an individual basis.
-The Company reserves the right to request an evaluation to be completed by an outside medical expert, at the Company’s expense, to assist in determining if and how accommodation can be achieved.
-Outline the frequency in which the accommodation will be reviewed and provide reasons if accommodation is denied.
-Provide individual accommodation in a format that takes into consideration the employee’s accessible needs.

We will take the following steps to ensure the accessibility needs of employees with disabilities are taken into account when using the performance management process, career development and redeploying employees with disabilities by January 1, 2016.

-Review, assess, and if necessary, make modifications to current procedures and policies.
-Take the needs of employees with disabilities and if applicable, their individualized accommodation plans into account when reviewing performance, managing career development, and when redeployment is required.

DESIGN OF PUBLIC SPACES STANDARDS

The Company will meet the Accessibility Standards for the Design of Public Spaces when building or making modifications to public spaces which include service counters, fixed queuing lines and waiting areas.

The Company will put procedures in place to prevent service disruptions. In the event of a service disruption, we will notify the public of the service disruptions and alternatives available.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

For more information on this accessibility plan, please contact Human Resources at:

Phone: 416-789-9092 x3069 or 3005
Email: okalwar@west49.com or alast@blnts.com
Website: www.west49.com

Document Management

Effective Date: January 2014
Revision Date: January 2016

Sincerely,
Michael Roden
Chief Executive Officer
West 49(2015) Inc.

 

ACCESSIBILITY FOR ONTARIANS WITH DISABILITIES TRAINING GUIDE FOR EMPLOYEES OF WEST 49

The Company is committed to providing all employees with the required training to ensure compliance with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (“AODA”) and Regulation 429/07 “Accessibility Standards for Customer Service”.

All employees are responsible for reading the attached Training Guide covering the following material:

1. The purposes of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 and the requirements of the customer service standard.
2. How to interact and communicate with customers/employees with various types of disabilities.
3. How to interact with customers/employees with disabilities who use an assistive device or require the assistance of a service animal or support person.
4. What to do if a customer/employee with a disability is having difficulty accessing our goods or services.
5. Providing information to employees with a disability.

ACCESSIBILITY FOR ONTARIANS WITH DISABILITIES

PURPOSE & SCOPE

1. To provide access to goods and services for individuals with disabilities, as defined under the Ontario Human Rights Code. The Human Rights Code definition of “disability” is:

i. 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
ii. a condition of mental impairment or a developmental disability
iii. a learning disability, or a dysfunction in one or more of the processes involved in understanding or using symbols or spoken language
iv. a mental disorder, or
v. an injury or disability for which benefits were claimed or received under the insurance plan established under the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act, 1997 (“handicap”).

2. To communicate and respond to the needs of customers with disabilities and to provide excellent customer service

3. To comply with AODA (Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities) as required. This policy applies to all employees, agents, and contractors of the Company.

PROVIDING GOODS AND SERVICES TO PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES

COMMUNICATION

Employees will professionally interact and communicate with all people including those with various types of disabilities. In the event where communication is limited, employees will take the person’s disability into account and use different communication methods (i.e., if a customer is deaf, employees can use a pen and paper to communicate vs. speaking aloud) and provide alternate communication formats upon request. Where possible and necessary, employees will ask the customer how to best communicate with him or her..

SERVICE ANIMAL

A person with a disability is able to bring a service animal on Company premises and can keep the service animal with him/her, unless such animal is otherwise excluded by law from the premises. Employees should refrain from touching or addressing the service animal without permission. The management team member on duty is to make alternate arrangements for employees in case of allergies or phobias related to the service animal. Those alternate arrangements may include removing the employee from the immediate area until such time that the service animal has left the premises.

SUPPORT PERSONS

We will welcome persons who support a person with a disability to accompany the customer anywhere on our premises where the customer would otherwise be permitted. When assisting the customer with the disability, employees will speak directly to the customer and not the support person, unless necessary to accommodate the person with the disability.

Workplace Emergency Response Information

The Company will provide workplace emergency response information to employees with disabilities and with employees’ consent, this information will be provided to a designated employee or Human Resources to assist the employee with a disability. If you are an employee requiring assistance, please contact the Human Resources Department.

ASSISTIVE DEVICES

Assistive devices used by a person with a disability will be welcome on Company premises that are open to the public. Examples of assistive devices include wheelchairs, canes, walkers etc.

FEEDBACK SYSTEM

Our Company goal is to surpass all of our customers’ expectations and create a memorable shopping experience. Feedback and comments are always welcome and appreciated. The Customer Service department will respond to all comments, inquiries and concerns, usually within 48 hours, through the following means:

Customer Service Hotline: 1.800.669.1258

Email:

info@west49.com

In writing:
West 49 Customer Service Department
1203 Caledonia Road Second Floor
Toronto, ON, M6A 2X3

Customer Access to The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Policy:
Customers requesting a copy of this policy are to be directed to our Customer Service Department either through email, phone, or in writing.

Document Management
Effective Date: January 1, 2012
Revision Date: January 1, 2016

Sincerely,
Michael Roden
Chief Executive Officer
West 49 (2015) Inc.