If you have a disability and buy a new home, you may ask your builder to install devices or features that will make your home more accessible. But what if your disability creates challenges in communicating with your builder or in completing the forms to make a warranty claim?
Under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 or AODA, businesses are required to comply with the Accessible Customer Service Standard. At Tarion, this means we are committed to ensuring that we deliver services that are integrated, accessible, and respect the dignity and independence of each individual.
What this looks like on a day-to-day basis depends upon the needs of our customers.
I’ve heard numerous stories of how our staff have put our commitment to accessibility into action. For instance, by bringing a sign language interpreter to a conciliation for someone who was hearing impaired or by offering assistance with filling out warranty forms for someone with vision loss.
When it comes to making our services accessible, there is no ‘one size fits all’ approach.
It all starts with getting to know our customers and not making assumptions about what they can or cannot do or what they do or do not need. Disabilities and accessibility issues can present themselves in many different forms and we rely on our customers to let us know what their needs are, so we can work together to determine how best to accommodate them.
We understand that not all disabilities will be visible and that helping our customers can mean ensuring they feel comfortable in particular situations. In one case, for example, we had a homeowner that wanted a warranty services representative doing an inspection at their home to wear gloves in order to avoid physical contact with their possessions.
If you are a homeowner with a disability, you have the same warranty rights as any other homeowner and are entitled to whatever assistance you require to understand and activate those rights. At Tarion, we not only hold ourselves to a high standard when it comes to accessibility, but we expect the same from our contractors. So, if a contractor is acting on our behalf, you should expect the same level of accommodation. To that end, we provide training materials for our contractors and require them to sign a form confirming their compliance with our accessibility policy.
We believe the first step toward customer satisfaction is accessibility. To learn more about our accessibility policy or to request accommodation, please visit Tarion.com.