The goal of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (the “Act” or “AODA”) is to create a more accessible Ontario, by identifying, and to the extent possible, preventing, and eliminating barriers experienced by persons with a disability. The Customer Service Standards (the “Standards”) in the Integrated Accessibility Standards has been established under the Act to ensure goods and services are, where possible, equally accessible to every member of the public.
Commitment to Accessibility
Wealthsimple is on a mission to help everyone achieve financial freedom by providing products and advice that are accessible and affordable. We take financial services that are often confusing, opaque, and expensive and make them simple, transparent, and low-cost. We are committed to providing a barrier-free and integrated environment so that everyone has equal access to Wealthsimple’s products and services. By providing a barrier-free environment, we treat all people in a way that allows them to maintain their dignity and independence. We’re committed to meeting the needs of people with disabilities, and will ensure that we comply with the standards under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) in a timely fashion.
This Policy applies to all Wealthsimple services that are provided to the public and our staff, who are accountable for providing accessible services to persons with disabilities.
Definitions – For the purposes of this policy
(a) 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,
(b) a condition of mental impairment or a developmental disability,
(c) a learning disability, or a dysfunction in one or more of the processes involved in understanding or using symbols or spoken language,
(d) a mental disorder, or
(e) an injury or disability for which benefits were claimed or received under the insurance plan established under the
Workplace Safety and Insurance Act, 1997.
"Service Animal" means:
An animal accompanying a person with disabilities where it is readily apparent that the animal is used by the person for reasons relating to his or her disability or where the person provides a letter from a physician or nurse confirming that he or she requires the animal for reasons relating to the disability. This definition includes guide dogs used by the blind or visually impaired.
“Support Person” means:
In relation a person with disabilities, another person who accompanies him or her in order to help with communication, mobility, personal care or medical needs or with access to goods and services
Core Principles of this Policy
We endeavour to ensure that the Policy and related practices and procedures are consistent with the following four principles:
Persons with a disability must be treated as valued customers as deserving of service as any other customer.
Equality of Opportunity –
Persons with a disability should be given an opportunity equal to that given to others to obtain, use and benefit from our goods and services.
Wherever possible, persons with a disability should benefit from our goods and services in the same or similar place and in the same or similar manner as any other customer. In circumstances where integration does not serve the needs of the person with a disability, goods and services will, to the extent possible, be provided in another way that takes into account the person’s individual needs.
Goods and services must be provided in a way that respects the independence of persons with a disability. To this end, we will always be willing to assist a person with a disability but will not do so without the express permission of the person.
Wealthsimple is committed to excellence in serving all customers including people with disabilities and we will carry out our functions and responsibilities as follows:
We will communicate with people with disabilities in ways that take into account their needs. This includes providing info on how to access our facility. We will work with the person with a disability to determine what method of communication works best for them.
We are committed to providing fully accessible telephone service to our customers. We will train staff to communicate with customers over the telephone in clear and plain language and to speak clearly and slowly. We will offer to communicate with customers by email if telephone communication is not suitable to their communication needs or is not available.
People with disabilities may use their personal assistive devices when accessing our facilities. In cases where the assistive device presents a significant and unavoidable health or safety concern or may not be permitted for other reasons, other measures will be used to ensure the person with a disability can access our goods, services or facilities.
We are committed to welcoming people with disabilities who are accompanied by a Service Animal on the parts of our premises that are open to the public and other third parties. We will also ensure that staff are properly trained in how to interact with people with disabilities who are accompanied by a Service Animal.
We are committed to welcoming people with disabilities who are accompanied by a Support Person. Any person with a disability who is accompanied by a Support Person will be allowed to enter Wealthsimple’s premises with his or her Support Person. At no time will a person with a disability who is accompanied by a Support Person be prevented from having access to his or her Support Person while on our premises.
Notice of temporary disruption
In the event of a planned or unexpected disruption to services or facilities for people with disabilities, Wealthsimple will notify those affected promptly. This notice 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
Wealthsimple will provide training to all staff, every person who provides goods, services or facilities on behalf of Wealthsimple, and every person who is involved in the development of customer service, policies and procedures. Training will include the following:
The purposes of the AODA and the requirements of the Standards, and Wealthsimple’s policies, practices and procedures relating to the Standards;
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;
How to use the assistive devices available on our premises; and
What to do if a person with a disability is having difficulty in accessing Wealthsimple’s goods and services.
Training will be provided as soon as practicable after a person is hired or assigned to applicable duties and on an ongoing basis when changes are made to this Policy. Records of the training provided, including the training protocol, the dates on which the training is provided and the number of individuals to whom the training is provided shall be maintained in accordance with the requirements of the Standards. Wealthsimple is committed to providing training to store staff on serving customers with disabilities, and will document and report such training in compliance with the Act.
Wealthsimple welcomes feedback on how we provide accessibility. Feedback will help us identify barriers and respond to concerns. Those who wish to provide feedback on the way Wealthsimple services or facilities to people with disabilities can provide feedback directly to email@example.com. All feedback, including complaints, will be handled promptly. Wealthsimple will make sure our feedback process is accessible to people with disabilities by providing or arranging for accessible formats and communication supports, on request.
Modifications to this or other policies
We are committed to developing customer service policies that respect and promote the principles of dignity, independence, integration and equal opportunity for people with disabilities. Therefore, no changes will be made to this Policy before considering the impact on people with disabilities. Any Wealthsimple policy that does not promote the dignity and independence of persons with disabilities will be modified or removed.
Questions about this Policy
This policy exists to achieve service excellence to customers with disabilities. If anyone has a question about the policy, or if the purpose of a policy is not understood, questions may be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org. This policy is available in alternate formats, upon request.