Accessible Customer Service Plan

Providing Goods and Services to People with Disabilities

Camp Tamakwa is committed to excellence in serving all customers including those with disabilities and our policy is in accordance with Ontario Regulation 429/07.

Assistive Devices

During our pre-camp training week, we will ensure that our staff are trained and familiar with various assistive devices we have on site that may be used by customers with disabilities while visiting or staying at Camp Tamakwa.

Communication

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 and service animals are allowed at Tamakwa.  Owners of service animals should note that Tamakwa is surrounded by water, is accessible only by boat and at times is home to various wildlife such as squirrels, raccoons, bears, dear, moose, bats and other species.  Tamakwa’s grounds can be open and vast and we recommend keeping service animals nearby at all times.

If a person with a disability is accompanied by a guide dog or other service animal, Camp Tamakwa  will ensure that the person is permitted to enter the camp  with the animal and to keep the animal with him or her.  Where a service animal is excluded by law, Camp Tamakwa will ensure that other measures are taken to enable the person with a disability to obtain , use and benefit from the Camp’s goods and services. The service animal must be under the care and control of the individual at all times.

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.  There are no fees applied to friends and family visiting camp with a support person however any camper that wishes to attend a 2, 4 or 8 week session with a support person should contact our office as early as possible to discuss whether a fee will be applied to that support person.

In fact, Camp Tamakwa may require a person with a disability to be accompanied by a support person  when in a camp facility if it is necessary to protect the health and safety of the person with the disability or of others in the facility.

For safety reasons or physical limitations some of our facilities or services or programs may not be accessible  to all people.  Clients may communicate with us to find out which programs or facilities are or are not accessible to people with specific disabilities.  We will also communicate with people with disabilities  in ways that take into account their specific disability.

Notice of Temporary Disruption

In the event of a planned or unexpected disruption to services or facilities for customers with disabilities Camp Tamakwa 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. The notice will be placed at our camp offices, listed on our website and announced on our company voice mails.

Training

Camp Tamakwa will provide training to employees, volunteers and others who deal with the public or other third parties on our behalf.  Such training will be provided to each person according to his or her needs and duties and as soon as practicable on an ongoing basis in connection with changes to policies, practices and procedures governing the provision of goods and services to persons with disabilities.

Training might include:

  • An overview of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 and the requirements of the customer service standard
  • Camp Tamakwa’s plan 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
  • How to use the oxygen tanks, epi-pens, defibrillators and watercrafts available on-site or otherwise that may help with providing goods or services to people with disabilities
  • What to do if a person with a disability is having difficulty in accessing Camp Tamakwa’s goods and services

Training might also include the following details:

  • If you need to have a lengthy conversation with someone who uses a wheelchair or scooter consider sitting so you can make eye contact at the same level.
  • Do not touch other people’s equipment such as canes or wheelchairs without permission  and don’t leave such items in an awkward or dangerous or even undignified position.
  • If someone has vision loss don’t assume they are completely blind.  Make sure you identify yourself  when you approach the person and speak directly to the customer.  Offer if they would like any material read or printed out loud for them. Offer your elbow to guide them if they require it.
  • If someone has hearing loss, make sure you are in a well lit area where they can see your face and read your lips.  If someone uses a hearing made try to reduce background noise or move to a quieter area. If necessary, ask the best way to communicate with them, for example using a pen and paper.
  • If someone has a speech impairment, don’t assume they have any other disability. Use simple questions so they can answer in a yes or no fashion.  Don’t finish the person’s sentences and just be patient. Remember that people with certain learning disabilities take longer to process information.
  • If someone has mental health disabilities, be sure to treat that person with the same respect and consideration as anyone else.  Be confident, calm and reassuring and if a customer appears to be in crisis, then clearly ask them to tell you the best way you can help them.
  • With respect to specific assistive devices remember  not to handle another person’s without their permission  and never move them out of their reach.  Let your customer know about any  accessible features that are closely by  such as phones, accessible washrooms, etc.
  • When dealing with a service animal  remember this is not a pet, so avoid touching or addressing them. If you are not sure if this is a pet or service animal, ask the customer.
  • Likely the greatest training is common sense – that is always ask the customer how can I help you?

Potential Barriers

Camp Tamakwa is a water access only camp and may provide some barriers for those that rely on assistive devices such as wheelchairs, walkers etc.  In addition, our wilderness setting does pose other obstacles such as roots, tree stumps, rocky paths etc.  Camp Tamakwa will work with any individual with said disability to find ways to transport them into camp as well as in and around our camp grounds as best as possible.  Some examples include providing additional staff at our transportation docks to help lift and lower an individual along with any assistive devices in and out of boats.   We will also try in advance of any visit to outline the safest and easiest path to navigate while at Tamakwa.

Camp Forms

If a parent or customer requires information in  a bigger font or another language, we will provide this if requested. We will also train our staff to read out information in person and  help fill out any applications if the customer is unable to do so.  One of the reasons we try to do home visits to many families is also to make sure we learn as much information as possible about the camper and doing this in person is often the best way if a person has a disability that may limit their ability to communicate in writing.  If Camp Tamakwa is required to give a copy of document to a person with a disability the camp will take in to account the person’s ability  to access the information and will provide the document or information contained in the document in a format that meets those needs as agreed upon with the person.

Feedback process

Camp Tamakwa  accepts feedback from the public in a variety of methods including by phone, in person, by fax,  and email .  All feedback is reviewed by the Directors and any complaints will be investigated and follow up will be provided to the customer, if requested.

Modifications to this or other policies

Any policy of Camp Tamakwa’s that does not respect and promote the dignity and independence of people with disabilities can be modified.