Please click here for a PDF version of this document.
Accessible Customer Service Plan for Great Lakes Schooner Company
Our company is committed to excellence in serving all individuals including those with disabilities. We work to create and promote equality for people with disabilities through awareness and open communication. In doing so, we take the following measures into consideration.
Our services are accessible to disabled individuals. Assisted devices such as wheelchairs, walkers, scooters and oxygen tanks are accommodated in our workplace. Our locations are accessible with some limitations:
Our staff is trained not to touch or handle any assistive device without permission. We take caution not to move the assistive device or equipment such as canes, walkers out of the customers reach. We make our customers aware of any accessibility features in the area that are appropriate to their needs.
Our staff suggests parking options more suitable for those individuals with disabilities. They are also listed on our website.
We communicate with individuals with disabilities in ways that take into account their disability.
We allow individuals to reschedule their sailing for any reason to another date or time as long as they communicate with our office by phone, in person or over email before their scheduled sailing time. This is stated on our website and when making a booking.
We communicate to everyone on board when we will fire our cannon. For those with a disability that we are aware of, we communicate one on one to be sure they are prepared. If they are not comfortable with having the cannon fired we will refrain and inform everyone on board.
For the Hearing Impaired we speak directly to the individual so they can read our lips if they are able. Use a microphone on the ships for louder volume. Offer pen and paper for written communication if they are unable to read lips.
For the Visually Impaired we Offer to read out loud to individuals. Post emergency signage in large, plain format. Post on our website in simple formatting which is easy to read.
For Deafblind we communicate with an accompanied intervener or support person. We would take care to speak with the customer who is deafblind and not to the intervener.
For People with Speech or Language Impairments we speak slowly and clearly, communicate by pen and paper, or their choice of communication method. We are patient while allowing the individual to finish their sentences. When possible we ask questions that may be answered with a "yes" or "no".
For People who have Learning Disabilities we take our time and are patient when communicating with someone with a learning disability. We take into account the customer's disability when communicating with them.
For those who have Mental Health Disabilities we demonstrate the same respect and consideration we show everyone else. When communicating, we are confident, calm and reassuring, and if in a crisis situation ask the individual to tell us the best way we can help.
For any disabled persons attempting to access our services, we individualize accommodation as required. As technology continues to change and improve, we will try to provide the best solution available at that time.
We welcome people with disabilities and their service animals. Service animals are allowed on all premises. We are aware that a service animal is not a pet and will refrain from touching or addressing the animal. If we are unaware as to whether or not the animal is a pet or a service animal, we ask the individual.
We welcome any person who may support our customer by means of communication, assisting with mobility, personal care or medical needs. A person with a disability who is accompanied by a support person is welcome to have that person accompany them anywhere on our premise. In our office or on our ships, we ensure there is a chair beside the candidate who requires assistance. On our ships there will be a charge for the support person at the same posted rate for public events. For private events the rate for support persons depends on the organization who is chartering the ship. We will be sure to provide all information needed to the support persons in advance of the event as requested.
Notice of temporary disruption to accessibility:
Should a temporary disruption occur we will notify individuals promptly. This notice will be clearly posted on our ticket booth or/and on board the ship. It will include information about the reason for the disruption, its anticipated length of time, and a description of alternative facilities or services if available.
Training for staff:
We train all staff on our accessibility policies including office, Captain's, Mate's, Deckhands, Dock/ticket booth, Bartenders and Servers. Our plan will be provided to new staff members during their initial training period which could span up to 2 months from their start date. A training log of who was trained when will be maintained.
Training will include:
Putting our plan in writing:
Our written Accessible Customer Service Plan has been added to:
Customers who wish to provide feedback on the way we provide staffing services to people with disabilities can:
Those offering feedback can expect to hear back from our company within 7 business days. Complaints will be addressed according to our company's regular complaint procedures.
Modifications to this or other polices
Any policy of ours that does not respect and promote the dignity and independence of people with disabilities will be modified or removed.
Emergency preparedness for employees with disabilities
An individualized plan for emergency preparedness for employees with disabilities will be made if a disability is brought to our attention.
Accessibility Plan and Policies for our company
This accessibility plan outlines the policies and actions that our company will put in place to improve opportunities for people with disabilities.
Statement of Commitment
We are committed to treating all people in a way that allows them to maintain their dignity and independence. We believe in integration and equal opportunity. We are committed to meeting the needs of people with disabilities in a timely manner and will do so by preventing and removing barriers to accessibility and meeting accessibility requirements under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act.
We will continue to provide training to employees and staff members on Ontario's accessibility laws and on the Human Rights Code as it relates to people with disabilities. Training has been integrated into the company's existing training schedule.
Information and Communications
Our company is committed to meeting the communication needs of people with disabilities. We will consult with people with disabilities to determine their information and communication requirements. We will take the following steps to make all new websites and content conform:
Our company is committed to fair and accessible employment practices. We will continue to take the following steps to notify candidates and staff, when requested the company will accommodate people with disabilities during the recruitment and assessment processes and when people are hired.
The company's Accessible Customer Service Plan welcoming Assistive Devices, Service Animals, and Support Persons is posted on our website and will be printed upon request at our office. During the recruitment and assessment process we communicate with candidates with disabilities in ways that take into account their disability and request that our clients make accommodations accordingly.
Our company will take the following steps to develop and put in place a process for developing individual accommodation plans and return to work policies for employees that have been absent due to a disability.
Design of Public Spaces
Our company will take into account the Accessibility Standards for the Design of Public Spaces as well as Transport Canada Standards when building or making major modifications to public spaces.
For more information on this accessibility plan, please contact our office at: