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Accessible Customer Service Policy

 

PRA Group Canada Inc. (PRA Group Canada) is committed to excellence in servicing all customers including people with disabilities. Our Accessible Customer Service Policy is designed to meet the requirements of Accessibility Standards for Customer Service, Ontario Regulation 429/07 under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005. It applies to the provision of goods and services to the public or other third parties, not to the goods themselves.

All goods and services provided by PRA Group Canada will follow the principles of dignity, independence, integration and equal opportunity.

General

In accordance with the Accessibility Standards for Customer Service, Ontario Regulation 429/07, this policy addresses the following:

  1. The Use of Assistive Devices
  2. The Use of Guide Dogs, Service Animals and Service Dogs
  3. The Use of Support Persons
  4. Communication
  5. Notice of Service Disruptions
  6. Customer Feedback
  7. Training
  8. Review

1.     Assistive Devices

We will ensure our staff is trained and familiar with various assistive devices that may be used by customers with disabilities while accessing our goods or services.  Persons with disabilities may use their own assistive devices as required when accessing goods or services provided by PRA.  In cases where the assistive device presents a safety concern or where accessibility might be an issue, other reasonable measures will be used to ensure the access of PRA services. 

It is the responsibility of the individual with a disability to ensure that his or her assistive device is in working order and is operated in a safe and controlled manner at all times.

2.     Service Animals

PRA welcomes people with disabilities and their service animals.  A customer with a disability who is accompanied by a guide dog, service animal or service dog will have access to premises that are open to the public; the exception being a dog that is excluded by law.  ‘No pet’ policies do not apply to guide dogs, service animals and/or service dogs.

If PRA cannot easily identify that an animal is a service animal, our staff may ask a person to provide documentation from a regulated health professional that confirms the person needs the service animal for reasons relating to their disability.

Applicable Laws

Dog Owners' Liability Act, Ontario: If there is a conflict between a provision of this Act or of a regulation under this or any other Act relating to banned breeds (such as pit bulls) and a provision of a by-law passed by a municipality relating to these breeds, the provision that is more restrictive in relation to controls or bans on these breeds prevails.

If a health and safety concern presents itself, for example, in the form of a severe allergy to the animal, PRA will make all reasonable efforts to meet the needs of all individuals.  The customer that is accompanied by a guide dog, service dog and/or service animal is responsible for maintaining care and control of the animal at all times.

3.     Support Persons

A person with a disability who is accompanied by a support person will be allowed to have that person accompany them on our premises.  If a customer with a disability is accompanied by a support person, PRA will ensure that both persons are able to enter the premises together and that the customer is not prevented from having access to the support person.

In certain cases, PRA might require a person with a disability to be accompanied by a support person for the health and safety reasons of:

  • the person with a disability
  • others on the premises

 

Before making a decision, PRA will:

  • consult with the person with a disability to understand their needs
  • consider health or safety reasons based on available evidence
  • determine if there is no other reasonable way to protect the health or safety of the person or others on the premises

In situations where confidential information might be discussed, we will obtain verbal and/or written consent from the customer to discuss their personal information in front of the support person.    

4.     Communication

We will communicate with people with disabilities in ways that take into account their disability. This may include fully accessible:

  • phone calls
  • emails
  • Skype and video conference
  • face to face communications

5.     Notice of Service Disruption

Service disruptions may occur due to reasons that may or may not be within the control or knowledge of PRA.  In the event of any temporary disruptions to facilities or services that customers with disabilities rely on to access or use PRA's goods or services, notice will be provided.

This notice will include information about the reason for the disruption, its anticipated length of time, and a description of alternatives for services if available.

In the event of a planned or unexpected disruption to services or facilities for customers with disabilities, we will notify our customers through a notice posted on our website, voicemail and on our premises. 

6.     Feedback

PRA welcomes feedback on how we provide accessible customer service. Customer feedback will help PRA identify barriers and respond to concerns.

Customers who wish to provide feedback on the way PRA provides services to people with disabilities are encouraged to submit their feedback to our Compliance Department via email at:  compliance@pra-group.ca; phone at (519)432-0075, ext. 2356; or through our website www.pra-group.ca

If a complaint is made about PRA’s customer service, PRA will investigate the complaint and make sure that all customer service is in compliance with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005. PRA will provide accessible feedback upon request.

7.     Training

PRA will provide training to all employees, volunteers, agents and contractors and/or other third parties that act on behalf of PRA.

Training will include:

  • the purpose of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 and the requirements of the customer service standard  
  • PRA’s policies related to the customer 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

Staff will also be trained when changes are made to our accessible customer service policies.

8.     Review

PRA is committed to reviewing this policy on a regular basis and ensuring that it remains compliant with AODA standards. 

Any policies of PRA that do not respect and promote the principles of dignity, integration and equal opportunity for people with disabilities will be modified or removed. 

Definitions

Assistive Device – is a technical aid, communication device or other instrument that is used to maintain or improve the functional abilities of people with disabilities. Personal assistive devices are typically devices that customers bring with them such as a wheelchair, walker or a personal oxygen tank that might assist in hearing, seeing, communicating, moving, breathing, remembering and/or reading.

Disability – the term disability as defined by the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005, and the Ontario Human Rights Code, refers to:

  • 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;
  • a condition of mental impairment or a developmental disability;
  • a learning disability, or 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 

Guide Dog – is a highly-trained working dog that has been trained at one of the facilities listed in Ontario Regulation 58 under the Blind Persons’ Rights Act, to provide mobility, safety and increased independence for people who are blind.

Service Animal – as reflected in Ontario Regulation 429/07, an animal is a service animal for a person with a disability if:

  • it is readily apparent that the animal is used by the person for reasons relating to his or her disability; or
  • if the person provides a letter from a physician or nurse confirming that the person requires the animal for reasons relating to the disability.

Service Dog – as reflected in Health Protection and Promotion Act, Ontario Regulation 562 a dog other than a guide dog for the blind is a service dog if:

  • it is readily apparent to an average person that the dog functions as a service dog for a person with a medical disability;  
  • or the person who requires the dog can provide on request a letter from a regulated health professional.

Support Person – as reflected in Ontario Regulation 429/07, a support person means, in relation to a person with a disability, another person who accompanies him or her in order to help with communication, mobility, personal care, medical needs or access to goods and services.

The company reserves the right to change, amend, delete or alter this policy/program upon reasonable notice.

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