Accessibility for Ontarians With Disabilities AODA

AODA – Accessible Client Service Policy

Accessibility Plan and Policies for Lackner McLennan Insurance Ltd.

AODA – Accessible Client Service Policy

  1. Our mission

We are dedicated to identifying, and to understanding, the needs and concerns of our clients, and to providing excellent advice and service in a timely fashion. As intermediaries in the arranging and placing of insurance and financial products, we must balance the needs of our clients with the interests, strengths and underwriting goals of our various markets. Our aim is to achieve a “win ⁄ win” result for both insured and insurer in each transaction.

  1. Our commitment

In fulfilling our mission, Lackner McLennan Insurance Ltd. strives at all times to provide its 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 services and allowing them to benefit from the same services, in the same place and in a similar way as other clients.

  1. Definitions
    1. Disability
  • 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 coordination, 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.
  1. Barrier
  • A barrier is anything that keeps someone with a disability from fully participating in all aspects of society because of their disability.
  1. Providing services to people with disabilities

Lackner McLennan Insurance Ltd. is committed to excellence in serving all clients including people with disabilities and we will carry out our functions and responsibilities in the following areas:

  1. Communication

We will ensure when communicating with a client with a disability to take into account their disability. If we are unsure of the best method of communication, we will ask the client for their preference.

  1. Telephone services

We are committed to providing fully accessible telephone service to our clients. We will offer to communicate with clients by email, telecommunications device for the deaf or relay services if telephone communication is not suitable to their communication needs or is not available.

  1. Billing

We are committed to providing accessible invoices to all of our clients. For this reason, invoices will be provided in the following formats upon request: hard copy, large print, e-mail.

We will answer any questions clients may have about the content of the invoice in person, by telephone, written or via email.

  1. Assistive devices

We are committed to serving people with disabilities who use assistive devices to obtain, use or benefit from our services. We will allow people to use their own assistive devices when accessing our services. Assistive devices may include a cane, wheelchair, oxygen tank, hearing aids, or speech amplification devices, etc.

  1. Use of service animals and support persons

We are committed to welcoming people with disabilities who are accompanied by a service animal when visiting our locations.

We are also committed to welcoming people with disabilities who are accompanied by a 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-site. However, employees are to ensure that express client consent is obtained prior to disclosing any confidential information to the support person.

  1. Notice of temporary disruption

Lackner McLennan Insurance Ltd. will provide clients with notice in the event of a planned or unexpected disruption in the facilities or services usually used by people with disabilities. This notice will include information about the reason for the disruption, its anticipated duration, and a description of alternative facilities or services, if available. The notice will be placed at all public entrances and service counters on our premises.

Should any employee become aware of a temporary disruption that affects access to our services by disabled persons, please notify Human Resources immediately.

  1. Overcoming Barriers

It is important for all employees to be alert to both visible and invisible barriers within our workplace that may prevent people with disabilities from receiving optimal client service. Each and every employee is responsible for identifying potential barriers, and communicating issues to management. Potential areas include:

  • Architectural or structural barriers may result from the design of a building such as stairs, doorways, the width of hallways and even room layout.
  • Information and communications barriers can make it difficult for people to receive or convey information. Things like small print size, low colour contrast between text and background, confusing design of printed materials and the use of language that is not clear or plain can all cause difficulty.
  • Technology, or lack of it, can prevent people from accessing information. Everyday tools like computers, telephones and other aids can all present barriers.
  • Systemic barriers can occur through policies and procedures. These are any practices or rules that restrict people with disabilities – for example, denying access to a person with a service animal.
  • Attitude is perhaps the most difficult barrier to overcome. Some people don’t know how to communicate with those who have visible or non-visible disabilities. Or they simply discriminate against them because of stereotypes. They may feel that they could offend the individual with a disability by offering help or they ignore or avoid people with disabilities altogether.
  1. Training for staff

Lackner McLennan Insurance Ltd. will provide training to all employees and all those who are involved in the development and approvals of client service policies, practices and procedures. This training will be provided within 4 weeks after staff commence their duties.

Training will include the following:

  • The purposes of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 and the requirements of the client 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 the provision of goods or services to people with disabilities
  • What to do if a person with a disability is having difficulty in accessing Lackner McLennan Insurance Ltd. goods and services
  • Lackner McLennan Insurance Ltd. policies, practices and procedures relating to the client service standard.

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 when changes are made to these policies, practices and procedures.

  1. Feedback process

The ultimate goal of Lackner McLennan Insurance Ltd.  is to meet and surpass client expectations while serving clients with disabilities. Comments on our services regarding how well those expectations are being met are welcome and appreciated.

Feedback regarding the way Lackner McLennan Insurance Ltd. provides services to people with disabilities can be made by e-mail, in person, by telephone or in writing. All feedback will be directed to the Human Resources Department. Clients can expect to hear back within 5-10 business days.

  1. Modifications to this or other policies

We are committed to developing client 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 Lackner McLennan Insurance Ltd. that does not respect and promote the dignity and independence of people with disabilities will be modified or removed.

  1. Questions about this policy

This policy exists to achieve service excellence to clients with disabilities. If anyone has a question about the policy, or if the purpose of this policy is not understood, an explanation should be provided by, or referred to the Human Resources Department.

Accessibility Plan and Policies for Lackner McLennan Insurance Ltd.

This 2014-21 accessibility plan outlines the policies and actions that Lackner McLennan Insurance Ltd. will put in place to improve opportunities for people with disabilities.

Statement of Commitment

Lackner McLennan Insurance Ltd. is committed to treating all people in a way that allows them to maintain their dignity and independence. We believe in integration and equal opportunity. We are committed to meeting the needs of people with disabilities in a timely manner, and will do so by preventing and removing barriers to accessibility and meeting accessibility requirements under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act.

Accessible Emergency Information

Lackner McLennan Insurance Ltd. is committed to providing the customers and clients with publicly available emergency information in an accessible way upon request. We will also provide employees with disabilities with individualized emergency response information when necessary.

Training

Lackner McLennan Insurance Ltd. will provide training to employees, volunteers and other staff members on Ontario’s accessibility laws and on the Human Rights Code as it relates to people with disabilities. Training will be provided in a way that best suits the duties of employees, volunteers and other staff members.

Lackner McLennan Insurance Ltd. will take the following steps to ensure employees are provided with the training needed to meet Ontario’s accessible laws by January 1, 2015:

  • Provide companywide training completed in 2012
  • Train new staff as they join the organization
  • Provide updates at team meetings and via email

Information and communications

Lackner McLennan Insurance Ltd. is committed to meeting the communication needs of people with disabilities. We will consult with people with disabilities to determine their information and communication needs.

Lackner McLennan Insurance Ltd. will take the following steps to make all new websites and content on those sites conform with WCAG 2.0, Level A by January 1, 2014:

  •  Consulted and confirmed with providers that website is WCAG 2.0, Level A compatible

Lackner McLennan Insurance Ltd. will take the following steps to make ensure existing feedback processes are accessible to people with disabilities upon request by January 1, 2015:

  • Have resources readily available to make information accessible when requested
  • Identify on website that all information can be made available in an accessible format upon request
  • Ensure staff are aware that clients can provide feedback about our processes if a client makes an inquiry

Lackner McLennan Insurance Ltd. will take the following steps to make sure all publicly available information is made accessible upon request by January 1, 2016:

  • Have resources readily available to make information accessible when requested
  • Identify on website that all information that is not currently accessible can be made available in an accessible format upon request

Lackner McLennan Insurance Ltd. will take the following steps to make all websites and content conform with WCAG 2.0, Level AA by January 1, 2021:

  •  Consult and confirm with providers that website is WCAG 2.0, Level AA compatible

Employment

Lackner McLennan Insurance Ltd. is committed to fair and accessible employment practices.

We will take the following steps to notify the public and staff that, when requested, Lackner McLennan Insurance Ltd. will accommodate people with disabilities during the recruitment and assessment processes and when people are hired:

  • Ensure applicants are aware they can request accommodations (for people with disabilities) by including a note in communications (ex. Email, phone or in person).
  • Ensure successful applicants are aware that they can request accommodations (for people with disabilities).
  • Advise new employees that as an employee they can request accommodations (for people with disabilities).

Lackner McLennan Insurance Ltd. will take the following steps to develop and put in place a process for developing individual accommodation plans and return-to-work policies for employees that have been absent due to a disability:

  • Ensure employees are aware that accommodations can be made at the request of the employee or identified by their Manager or HR
  • Erb and Erb will follow its Accommodations for People with Disabilities process when an accommodation request is made

We will take the following steps to ensure the accessibility needs of employees with disabilities needs are taken into account if Lackner McLennan Insurance Ltd. is using performance management, career development and redeployment processes:

  • Communicate and make employees aware that should accommodations be required that they need to notify their Manager and HR

Erb and Erb will take the following steps to prevent and remove other accessibility barriers identified:

  • Address all concerns brought forth by employees and/or clients

Design of Public Spaces

Lackner McLennan Insurance Ltd. will meet the Accessibility Standards for the Design of Public Spaces when building or making major modifications to public spaces. Public spaces include:

  • Recreational trails/beach access routes
  • Outdoor public eating areas like rest stops or picnic areas
  • Outdoor play spaces, like playgrounds in provincial parks and local communities
  • Outdoor paths of travel, like sidewalks, ramps, stairs, curb ramps, rest areas and accessible pedestrian signals
  • Accessible off street parking
  • Service-related elements like service counters, fixed queuing lines and waiting areas

Lackner McLennan Insurance Ltd. will put the following procedures in place to prevent service disruptions to its accessible parts of its public spaces.

  • Review items during the health and safety monthly inspections to be proactive on potential concerns
  • Advise building management company of concerns

In the event of a service disruption, we will notify the public of the service disruption and alternatives available.

For more information

For more information on this accessibility plan, please contact Shawna Bourke-Heimpel at:

  • Phone: 519-579-4270 x1111
  • Email: sbourke@erb-erb.com

Accessible formats of this document are available free upon request from:

Shawna Bourke-Heimpel