Accessible Customer Service Plan

Providing Goods and Services to People with Disabilities

Second Harvest is committed to providing excellent service to all customers including people with disabilities.  Second Harvest’s goal is to focus on identifying, removing and preventing barriers for persons with disabilities.  This Policy complies with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (AODA).
“Disability” means,
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,
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.
Procedures and Responsibilities
Second Harvest is committed to using reasonable efforts in providing goods and services to all customers including people with disabilities and will carry out our functions and responsibilities in the following areas:
Assistive devices
We will ensure that our staff is trained and familiar with various assistive devices that may be used by customers with disabilities while accessing our goods or services.
We will communicate with people with disabilities in ways that take into account their disability.
Service animals
We welcome people with disabilities and their service animals. Service animals are allowed on the parts of our premises that are open to the public, with the exception of the warehouse which stores food and would be in violation of Toronto Public Health regulations
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.
Notice of temporary disruption
In the event of a planned or unexpected disruption to services or facilities for customers with disabilities:
  • Food delivery/pick up
  • Office and warehouse closing
  • Event facility cancellation
Second Harvest will notify customers promptly. This clearly posted 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.  A notice will be sent via email to all active agencies and regular food donors. The information will also be posted on the Second Harvest website,, and will be posted on the front entrance door.
Training for staff
Second Harvest will provide training to all employees, volunteers and others who deal with the public or other third parties on their behalf.  This training will be provided to staff within the first month of employment.
Training will include:
  • An overview of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 and the requirements of the customer service standard 
  • Second Harvest’s accessible customer service plan
  • 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 
  • What to do if a person with a disability is having difficulty in accessing Second Harvest’s goods and services 
Staff will also be trained when changes are made to our accessible customer service plan. 
Feedback process
Customers who wish to provide feedback on the way Second Harvest provides goods and services to people with disabilities can submit comments online, via email, telephone, mail or in personAll feedback will be forwarded to the Director of Communications. Customers can expect to hear back within 48 hours. Complaints will be addressed according to our organization’s regular complaint management procedures. 
Availability of Policy
In accordance with the AODA, this policy will be made available to any person upon request.