Accessibility Policy

FIESTA FARMS INC.
MULTI-YEAR ACCESSIBILITY POLICY

Fiesta Farms is committed to ensuring equal access and participation for people with disabilities. We are committed to treating people with disabilities in a way that allows them to maintain their dignity and independence. We believe in integration and we are committed to meeting the needs of people with disabilities in a timely manner. We will do so by removing and preventing barriers to accessibility and meeting our accessibility requirements under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act and Ontario’s accessibility laws.

SECTION 1 – PAST ACHIEVEMENTS TO REMOVE AND PREVENT BARRIERS

Customer Service Accessibility & Communication

We have taken steps to reasonably accommodate the needs of customers with disabilities to ensure that they receive accessible goods and services of the same quality that others receive.

  • Physical barriers have been identified and automatic doors have been installed.  In addition, we have ensured that aisles in our store are wide enough to accommodate assistive devices equipment and are free from clutter.
  • Front end staff have been trained in recognizing and helping with carrying groceries and parcels etc.  We have also taken steps to deliver groceries to clients in need in the immediate area.
  • Personal assistive devices are permitted and unrestricted in all areas of the store to which customers, suppliers and the public have access, except when subject to food and/or health and safety concerns.
  • All interactions between customers and staff with regard to the application of this policy will be done in a respectful and discreet manner.

Support Persons and Service Animals

  • We welcome people with disabilities who are accompanied by a support person onto parts of the premises that are open to the public.
  • Likewise, we also welcome people with disabilities who are accompanied by a service animal. Service animals shall be under the care and control of the individual at all times and will only be permitted where food is normally served or sold. However, if it is not readily apparent that an animal is a service animal, management may ask for verification of the animal’s duty.

Notice of Interruption

  • Fiesta will provide customers with notice in the event of a planned or unexpected disruption in the facilities or services used by people with disabilities. This notice will include the following information:
    • Reason for disruption
    • Anticipated duration
    • Description of alternate services or facilities if available
  • Notifications will include but not limited to:
    • Website
    • Temporary signage at public entrances and affected areas or point of disruption

Hiring Practices & Employment

  • Fiesta is committed to being an inclusive workplace, fully supporting and accepting applications from persons with disabilities. 
    • Advertising for positions will outline that accommodations will be made for persons requiring them.
    • All job postings, whether posted in store or on our website, will include the following statement – “Accessible recruitment is available upon request”.
  • Fiesta is committed to providing equal employment opportunities, including to persons with disabilities.
    • We will accommodate employees to ensure that they do not face barriers to working or continuing to work because of disabilities.
    • We will consider the accessibility of individual employees with regards to performance management.

Training Employees with Work Related Accessibility

Fiesta is committed to training its staff on the following:

  • Areas of the Accessibility Standards that are relevant to their work responsibilities
    • Employment
    • Information and communications
    • Transportation
  • The Ontario Human Rights Code (where it relates to people with disabilities)
  • When you make any changes to your accessibility policies

Training Employees to Assist Customers with Disabilities

  • The following persons will be trained on how to support, communicate and interact with persons with disabilities in ways that take the person’s disabilities into consideration.
    • all employees and volunteers (paid and unpaid, full-time, part-time and contract positions)
    • anyone involved in developing our policies such as managers and owners
  • The training will include, but not limited to the following:
    • The purpose of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act
    • An overview of the requirements of the customer service standard
    • Your organization’s policy on providing accessible customer service
    • Tips on how to interact with people with various types of disabilities
    • Tips on how to interact with people who use an assistive device or require the assistance of a service animal or support person
    • Tips on what to do if a person with a disability is having difficulty accessing your organization’s goods, services or facilities
  • Training will occur on an ongoing basis in connection to the accessibility policies, practices and procedures.
  • A written training record will be maintained and will include:
    • Name of employee etc. and date of training
  • Training will be provided as soon as practical.

Communication & Information 

Fiesta is committed to making sure that all persons can access information on our website. Our website is compliant with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 Level AA.

SECTION 2 – STRATEGIES AND ACTIONS

Customer Service Accessibility & Communication

  • Continue to remove obstacles for staff and customers
    • Implement monthly walk about to identify barriers, such as lowering produce bag holders to within reach
    • Widening all cash register lanes to accommodate persons with assistive devices
    • There will always be a person on staff to assist any customers with accessing product
  • Upload exterior and interior Store plans to website so customers can familiarize themselves with store layout before visiting; this will assist in navigating the store and helping all customers access products they want and need in a timely manner
  • Continue to implement better communication practices for staff when dealing with customers with disabilities
    • Put into action more comprehensive training manual and revisit with each employee as required.  The manual should include but are not limited to the following important points:
      • Do not rush the conversation, be flexible and do not raise your voice
      • Ask the person what will help with communication and do not pretend to understand if you do not
      • Offer assistance but respect their wishes if they do not accept your offer
      • Avoid saying anything that implies the person is superhuman or special and do no refer to the persons disability unless relevant

Support Persons and Service Animals

  • Continue to implement better communication practices for staff when dealing with customers with disabilities that have support persons or service animals with them
    • Put into action more comprehensive training manual and revisit with each employee as required.  The manual should include but are not limited to the following important points:
      • Speak directly to the person with disability first, not to the support person. Avoid engaging in ‘side’ conversations with the support person unless it is specifically warranted under certain circumstances.
      • If with a service animal, keep in mind that the animal is working and is not a pet. Do not give commands or talk to the animal unless given permission first.

Hiring Practices & Employment

  • Fiesta is committed to considering and interviewing all qualified candidates including persons with disabilities. Applications will be accepted in electronic or written format. 
    • Advertising for employment positions will include but is not limited to:
      • Using large print posters in store.
      • Exploring new accessible website options.
    • Considered candidates called for an interview, regardless of ability, will have their interview conducted in an accessible area.  The candidate may be accompanied by a support person and will be given more time if necessary.
  • Fiesta is committed to ensuring that each successful candidate will receive an offer employment that will include the following statement either by letter or by separate email:
    • “Fiesta Farms has an accommodation process in place that provides accommodations for employees with disabilities. If you require a specific accommodation because of a disability or a medical need, please contact Kendra Sozinho, Front End Manager at 416-537-1235 by e-mail at frontendmanager@fiestafarms.ca. This ensures that the appropriate accommodations are in place before you begin your employment.”
  • Fiesta is committed to hiring persons with disabilities and will provide successful candidates with appropriate accommodations.
    • Commitment to employees with disabilities include but are not limited to:
      • Confidentiality – any information of a person’s disability will only be shared with management
      • A positive work environment
      • Health and safe work environment
      • Materials and equipment required to do their job properly
      • Continuous audit of store and property to remove barriers
      • Communication from employer in other formats including electronic formats
      • Training conducted with accommodations in mind, and possibly with more time if required

Communication & Information 

Fiesta Farms’ website is compliant with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.2 Level AA.

Feedback

  • Fiesta Farms welcomes and appreciates any feedback. We are committed to meeting and surpassing customer expectations and will ensure that our feedback process is accessible to all people with disabilities. Follow up will be provided within 30 days of receipt.

Accessible formats of this document are available upon request.

We will communicate with people with disabilities in respectful ways that take into account their disability, thereby ensuring they have the best customer service experience possible.

At Fiesta Farms your satisfaction is important to us. If you feel that these standards have not been met in your situation please contact us.

Fiesta Farms Inc.

Fiesta Farms is committed to reviewing our Multi-Year Accessibility Plan once every 5 years.

Written October 2014, Reviewed December 2017