SOLS is committed to fostering an inclusive and barrier-free environment for its employees and clients.
Accessible Customer Service
SOLS is committed to providing its services accesibly to all its clients in a manner that respects individual rights, autonomy, and human dignity at all times.
SOLS services are provided to public library staff and board members, and not to the general public. Services for the most part consist of on-site consulting at client locations, by telephone, and e-mail, and do not consist of the provision of services at the SOLS office, with the exception of the occasional meeting, which could be held on client premises or another accessible off-site location.
In the event that clients attend meetings at the SOLS office, assistive devices and service animals are welcome and can be accommodated. Support persons are similarly welcome, and there is no admission cost to attend any SOLS meeting. Since SOLS does not maintain a drop-in facility for clients, in case of temporary disruption, meetings would simply be scheduled in fully accessible locations elsewhere.
In order to meet legislated requirements, SOLS:
- Maintains this written policy
- Keeps staff trained on how to provide accessible customer service
- Reports to the Ontario Government annually
Accessible Formats and Communication Supports
SOLS maintains an accessible website to the best of its ability and welcomes comments and suggestions on access improvements. Each year, the Technology and E-resources Manager conducts an audit to determine necessary improvements for the SOLS website.
As indicated on the SOLS website, clients who require course materials, PDFs or word documents in accessible formats, may contact SOLS to discuss their needs and SOLS will attempt to convert material as needed. There is no charge for this service. If SOLS finds that information or communications are unconvertible, an explanation along with a summary of the information or communications is provided.
Training is provided to all staff members, with periodic refreshers as staff turns over, or as legislation and best practices change. When customized training is provided, the emphasis is on understanding disabilities and providing accessible customer service within the context of the work that SOLS does, for example delivering interlibrary loan material to library locations, or consulting with library boards and staff. Records of those trained, the dates and locations on which training was provided, and the extent and overview of the content of the training, are maintained.
SOLS maintains this policy on its web site so that users of its services can view it. The feedback mechanisms for users to communicate with SOLS about accessible customer service, and any other issue, are by telephone, online feedback form, e-mail or by letter. There is no feedback mechanism in-person without an appointment, for as earlier stated, SOLS does not operate a drop-in facility. If any person requires the provision of accessible formats or communications supports in order to provide feedback, s/he may request them.
Concerns should be addressed to Karen Reid.
All suggestions for improvement will be carefully considered. Documents related to this policy will be made available in the most appropriately accessible format, depending on the nature of the inquirer’s disability.
SOLS is committed to incorporating the Integrated Standards into SOLS business. General criteria from the Integrated Standards section, and concepts such as Accommodation, are outlined here.
SOLS will make accommodation for employees and prospective employees for needs related to the Ontario Human Rights Code, unless to do so would cause undue hardship as defined by the Ontario Human Rights Commission′s Policy on Disability and the Duty to Accommodate. Requests should be made in writing to the Operations Director.
The Operations Director will maintain information related to:
- The accommodation request.
- Any documentation provided by the accommodation seeker or by experts.
- Notes from any meetings.
- Any accommodation alternatives explored.
- Any accommodations provided.
The information will be kept in confidence, in a secure location. It will be disclosed only with the employee’s permission.
Accommodations will be made on a case by case basis.
Examples of accommodation include but are not limited to:
- Communications Services: including captioning, conversion of print to Braille, audiotapes, or enlarged print.
- Technical Aids and Devices: including environmental control units for the deaf, infrared systems, FM broadcast systems, Braille computer printers, optical character recognition systems, keyboard adaptations and the training and technical support required to use technical aids and devices.
- Position Redesign: refers to the modification of duties and/or the hours of work on either a short or long term basis.
- Employment Policy and Practice Modifications: refers to the practice of waiving or modifying a particular working condition to provide accommodation, e.g., by providing flexible work hours.
- Workplace Modifications: refers to physical or technological alterations of the workplace and includes specialized or adjustable furniture, modified lighting, handrails, and door access.