Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA)

Customer Service Policy

Berlitz Canada strives at all times to provide our services in a way that respects the dignity and independence of persons with disabilities. In compliance with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (AODA), Berlitz Canada wishes to make available our customer service policy.

Policy Statement

In accordance with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (AODA), Berlitz Canada, herein referred to as “Berlitz” is committed to providing working and learning environments that are barrier-free, accessible and inclusive to all persons who work, learn, or visit our Language Centres.

General Principles

1) The Provision of Goods and Services to Persons with Disabilities

We endeavour to ensure that the policy and related practices and procedures are consistent with the core principles of AODA by providing our services to persons with disabilities in a manner that respects their dignity, independence, assuring equality of opportunity and integration, and ensuring they receive the same high standard of service excellence that we endeavour to provide to all clients.

  • Dignity - Services are provided in a manner that is respectful to persons with disabilities and does not diminish the person’s importance.
  • Independence – Goods and services are provided in a way that respects the independence of persons with disabilities, including their right to do for themselves and to choose the way they wish to receive our services.
  • Equality of Opportunity – Persons with disabilities should be given an opportunity equal to that given to others to obtain, use and benefit from our services.
  • Integration - Wherever possible, persons with disabilities should benefit from our services in the same place and in the same or similar manner as any other client. In circumstances where integration does not serve the needs of persons with disabilities, alternative formats and flexible approaches may be required and services will, to the extent possible, be provided in another way that takes into account the client’s individual needs.

2) Communicating with Persons with Disabilities

When communicating with persons with disabilities, Berlitz will do so in a manner that takes into account both the disability and the client’s preferred method of communication. Berlitz recognizes that not all clients will wish to communicate in the same manner and that communication can be made with clients in writing, via telephone, email, or meetings, either in person or teleconferencing.

3) Notice of Disruption in Services

Berlitz will make reasonable efforts to provide customers with notice in the event of a disruption in the facilities or services usually used by persons with disabilities.  Service disruptions may occur due to reasons that may or may not be within Berlitz’s control or knowledge.  In the event of any temporary disruptions to facilities or services in which clients with disabilities rely on to access or use, reasonable efforts will be made to provide advance notice.

Notifications will include:

In the event that a notification needs to be posted the following information will be included unless it is not readily available or known:

  • The service or facility that are disrupted or unavailable
  • The reason for the disruption
  • The anticipated duration
  • A description of alternative services or options, if available

Notifications Options:

When disruptions occur, Berlitz will provide notice by:

  • If feasible, posting notices at the point of disruption, at the main entrance and the nearest accessible entrance to the service or facility disruption
  • Contacting customers with scheduled lessons
  • Verbally notifying customers when they are scheduling lessons, or
  • By any other method that may be reasonable under the circumstances

In the event of an unexpected disruption, notice will be provided as soon as possible.

4) The Use of Service Animals 

Persons with disabilities may be accompanied by a service animal and keep the service animal with them on Berlitz premises, if the public has access to such premises and the service animal is not otherwise excluded by law.  It is the responsibility of the client using the service animal to maintain care and control of the service animal at all times.

Service Animals:

If it is not readily apparent that the animal is being used by the client for reasons relating to his or her disability, Berlitz may request verification from the client.  Verification may include a letter from a physician or nurse confirming that the person requires the animal for reasons related to the disability, a valid identification card, or a certificate of training from a recognized guide dog or service animal training school. If a health and safety concern presents itself, for example in the form of a severe allergy to the service animal, Berlitz will make all reasonable efforts to meet the needs of all individuals.

5) Support Persons

Persons with disabilities may be accompanied by a support person and have access to the support person on Berlitz premises.  Prior consent from the person with a disability is required when communicating private issues related to the person with a disability, in the presence of a support person.   Berlitz may require a person with a disability to be accompanied by a support person where it is necessary to protect the health or safety of the person with a disability or the health or safety of others on the premises.  Fees may apply to the support person and will be discussed and agreed upon prior to program enrollment.

6) Assistive Devices/Technology

Persons with disabilities are permitted, where possible, to use their own assistive device when on Berlitz premises for the purposes of obtaining, using or benefiting from services. If there is a physical, technological or other type of barrier that prevents the use of an assistive device on our premises we will first endeavour to remove that barrier. If we are not able to remove the barrier, we will ask the client how he/she can be accommodated and what alternative methods of service would be more accessible to him/her. We will make best efforts to provide an alternative means of assistance to the person with a disability.  The provision, use and safety of personal assistive devices are the responsibility of the person with a disability.

7) Training

Berlitz will ensure that all persons to whom this policy applies shall receive training as required by Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (AODA).  The training provided shall be appropriate to the duties of the employee.  In addition, training will be provided to all newly hired employees as part of the onboarding process.  Documentation of the training of employees shall be maintained by the relevant departments.  Training will cover the following:

  • A review of the purpose of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (AODA)and the  requirements of the Accessibility Standards for Customer Service
  • How to interact and communicate with people with various types of disabilities
  • How to interact with people with disabilities who use assistive devices, require the assistance of a service animal, or require the use of a support person
  • How to use  available equipment or devices that may assist with the provision of services to persons with disabilities
  • What to do if a person with a disability is having difficulty accessing Berlitz services
  • Berlitz’s policies and procedures pertaining to providing accessible customer service to persons with disabilities

8) Feedback

Berlitz offers the opportunity to provide feedback on the service provided to persons with disabilities. Feedback may be provided through the following channels:

  • By preferred method of contact, i.e.,  in person, by telephone, in writing, or by email anytime during the program to a Customer Service Representative,  Instructional Supervisor or Language Centre Director at location where services were provided
  • At mid-course counselling/progress meeting
  • Via end of course feedback form
  • Via email by visiting our website at www.berlitz.ca .  Please click on the “Contact Us” option for the location where services were provided

Privacy will be respected and all clients that provide feedback will receive acknowledgement of their feedback, along with any resulting actions based on concerns or complaints that were submitted.

9) Notice of Availability of Documents

Berlitz’s AODA Customer Service Standard Policy and Procedures will be made available to the public and clients upon request.  

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