ACCESSIBILITY PLAN AND POLICIES (APPLICABLE IN ONTARIO)
Statement of Commitment:
Weight Watchers Canada Ltd. (“Weight Watchers”) is committed to treating all people in a way that allows them to maintain their dignity and independence. We believe in diversity and integration, and in ensuring equal access and participation for people with disabilities. We will do so by removing and preventing barriers to accessibility and by meeting our accessibility requirements under Ontario’s accessibility laws.
This policy applies to all Weight Watchers employees in Ontario and is intended to address our obligations under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (“AODA”), and other legislative requirements regarding persons with disabilities.
Weight Watchers will strive to ensure that any third parties who act on our behalf and who interact with the public or third parties in the provision of service will comply with the requirements under Ontario’s accessibility laws. Third parties are responsible for ensuring that all contractors and sub-contractors they retain comply with this policy and their own requirements under applicable accessibility laws.
The term accessibility means giving people of all abilities opportunities to participate fully in everyday life. It is used to describe how widely a service, product, device, or environment is available to as many people as possible. Accessibility can be seen as the ability to access and benefit from a system, service, product or environment.
Any device that is designed, made or adapted to assist a person perform a particular task, including physical or technical aids, such as communication devices, canes, crutches, hearing aids and wheel chairs.
May include, but not limited to large print, recorded audio and electronic formats, braille and other formats usable by persons with disabilities.
Anything that prevents a person with a disability from fully participating in all aspects of society because of his or her disability, including a physical barrier, an architectural barrier, an information or communications barrier, an attitudinal barrier, a technological barrier, a policy or a practice.
The interaction between two or more persons or entities, or any combination of them, where information is provided, sent or received.
May include, but are not limited to, captioning, alternative and augmentative communication supports, plain language, sign language and other supports that facilitate effective communication.
Disability (as defined by the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 and the Ontario Human Rights Code, and includes both visible and non-visible disabilities):
• 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, • a condition of mental impairment or a developmental disability,
• a learning disability, or a dysfunction in one or more of the processes involved in understanding or using symbols or spoken language,
• a mental disorder, or
• an injury or disability for which benefits were claimed or received under the insurance plan established under the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act, 1997
An animal is a service animal for a person with a disability. It may be readily apparent that the animal is used by the person for the reasons relating to his or her disability; or the person provides a letter from a physician or nurse confirming that the person requires the animal for reasons relating to the disability.
Another person who accompanies a person(s) with a disability to help with communication, mobility, personal care or medical needs or with access to goods or services.
Weight Watchers is committed to improving accessibility for our employees and our customers. This 2014-2020 Accessibility Plan outlines the policies, standards and actions that Weight Watchers will put in place to remove and prevent barriers and increase accessibility for persons with disabilities.
1. Accessibility Plan
Weight Watchers has established and maintains a multi-year Accessibility Plan (2014 to 2020), outlining our phased strategy to identify, remove and prevent barriers and increase accessibility for persons with disabilities, in accordance with Ontario’s accessibility laws. This multi-year plan will be reviewed and updated at least once every five years to ensure ongoing compliance with applicable legislation. This plan is available to the public and can be found on the Weight Watchers website and internal website. It will also be provided in alternative formats upon request.
Weight Watchers will provide training on the requirements of the accessibility standards referred to in the Integrated Accessibility Standards referred to in the AODA and in the Human Rights Code as it pertains to persons with disabilities to:
• All staff as required under the AODA
• All persons who participate in developing Weight Watchers policies, and
• All other persons who provide goods, services or facilities on behalf of Weight Watchers
This training will be appropriate to the duties of the employees, volunteers and other such persons. Training will be provided on an ongoing basis with respect to any changes to this policy or the requirements, and as soon as practical with new employees and such other persons. Weight Watchers will maintain a record of the dates when training is provided and the number of individuals to whom it was provided.
Accessibility Plan Implementation Timeline for General Standards:
By January 1, 2014:
Weight Watchers will develop and implement an accessibility plan and policies, which will be posted on our website. The plan will be amended as required, and will be reviewed fully by January 1, 2019, and every five years thereafter. Requests for accessible formats of the plan and policies will be provided upon request.
By January 1, 2015: (and ongoing)
Weight Watchers will take the following steps to ensure employees, volunteers and other applicable persons are provided with the required training:
a. Provide access to online training on Ontario’s accessibility laws and Human Rights Code to all existing employees and new hires. b. Maintain records of all employees who are trained and when.
Information and Communications Standards:
1. Accessible formats and communication supports
Upon request, Weight Watchers will provide, or arrange for the provision of, accessible formats and communication supports for persons with disabilities, in a timely manner, taking into account the person’s accessibility needs due to disability. Weight Watchers will consult the person making the request in determining the suitability of an accessible format or communication support.
2. Accessible Emergency Information
Weight Watchers will ensure that its emergency response procedures, plan or public safety information is in place as required by law, and that these plans consider the needs of persons with disabilities and are available in an accessible format or with appropriate communication supports as soon as is practicable upon request.
3. Accessible Websites and Web Content:
Weight Watchers will ensure that its websites and content on those sites continue to conform to the required Web Content Accessibility Guidelines.
Weight Watchers will continue to ensure that its processes for receiving and responding to feedback are accessible and will provide, or arrange for the provision of, accessible formats and communications supports upon request.
Accessibility Plan Implementation Timeline for Information and Communication Standards:
By January 1, 2014:
Weight Watchers will ensure that all new websites and the content on those sites conform with WCAG 2.0, Level A.
By January 1, 2015:
Weight Watchers will make available different channels for customers and the public to provide feedback including email, phone, fax and personal visits to one of our offices/locations.
By January 1, 2016:
Weight Watchers will provide, or arrange to provide, customers and the public with information in an accessible format as soon as practicable upon request.
By January 1, 2018:
Weight Watchers will ensure that its websites and the content on those sites conform with WCAG 2.0, Level AA.
1. Recruitment, Assessment and Selection Process:
Weight Watchers will notify its employees and the public about the availability of accommodation for applicants with disabilities in the recruitment process. In addition, Weight Watchers will notify job applicants, when they are individually selected to participate in an assessment or selection process, that accommodations are available upon request for the interview process and other candidate selection methods.
If a request for accommodation is made, Weight Watchers will consult with the applicant and will provide, or arrange for the provision of a suitable accommodation in a manner that takes into account the applicant’s accessibility needs due to disability.
When making offers of employment, Weight Watchers will notify the successful applicant of its policies for accommodating employees with disabilities.
2. Informing Employees of Support:
Weight Watchers will continue to inform its employees of its policies (and any updates to those policies) used to support employees with disabilities, including policies on the provision of job accommodations that take into account an employee’s accessibility needs due to disability. This information will be provided to new employees as soon as practicable after commencing employment.
3. Accessible format and Communication Support:
If an employee with a disability requests it, Weight Watchers will consult with the employee and will make every reasonable effort to provide, or arrange for the provision of accessible formats and communication supports for the following:
1. Information needed in order to perform their job; and
2. Information that is generally available to all employees in the workplace.
4. Documented Individual Accommodation Plans:
Weight Watchers will develop and have in place written processes for documenting individual accommodation plans for employees with disabilities. The process for the development of these accommodation plans includes:
• How the employee can participate in the process
• How the employer can seek outside expert advice to help determine an employee’s accommodation needs
• How the privacy of personal information will be protected
• How often the plan will be reviewed
• The means of providing the accommodation plan in an accessible format, based on the employee’s accessibility needs.
5. Individualized Workplace Emergency Response Information:
Weight Watchers will provide individualized workplace emergency response information to employees with disabilities if:
• The disability makes it necessary, and
• The employer is aware of the need. With the employee's consent, Weight Watchers will ensure the information is shared with anyone designated to help them in an emergency.
6. Performance management, Career Development and Redeployment:
Weight Watchers will respect the accessibility needs of employees with disabilities when developing performance management, career development and redeployment.
7. Return to Work Processes:
Weight Watchers will have return to work processes in place for employees who are absent from work due to a disability and require disability-related accommodations in order to return to work. Weight Watchers will document these processes and include an outline of the steps Weight Watchers will take to facilitate the employee’s return to work and use documented individual accommodation plans.
Accessibility Plan Implementation Timeline for Employment Standards:
By January 1, 2016:
Weight Watchers will continue to accommodate people with disabilities during the recruitment, assessment and selection process by notifying candidates that reasonable accommodation will be made upon request on our website, in job postings, in all notifications for interviews and assessment, and in offers of employment.
By January 1, 2016:
Weight Watchers will continue to ensure that processes are put in place to develop individual accommodation plans, emergency response plans, and return-to-work polices for employees that have been absent due to disability. On an going basis we will:
• Involve employees in the development of their plans
• Assess the accommodation and emergency response needs of our employees
• Protect the privacy of our employees’ personal information
• Explain to employees why we would deny a request for an accommodation plan
• Provide plans in accessible formats
• Regularly review and update plans with employees
By January 1, 2016:
Weight Watchers will continue to ensure the accessibility needs of employees with disabilities are taken into account in our performance management, career development and redeployment processes. On an ongoing basis we will:
• Review accommodation plans to understand their needs and see whether adjustments need to be made to help them succeed
• Make performance management documents available in accessible formats when requested
• Provide feedback and coach employees in a way that is accessible to them
• Consider what accommodations employees with disabilities may need to learn new skills or take on more responsibility
Customer Service Standards:
We will communicate with people with disabilities in a respectful manner that takes their disability into account. All Weight Watchers employees are expected to deliver high quality customer service to internal and external customers, which includes communicating with clarity, courtesy and patience. All communications should be directed to the disabled person unless they have requested that a support person communicate on their behalf. We encourage employees to come up with customized solutions when trying to assist people with disabilities. This begins by asking the customer how we can best communicate with them and ensure a positive customer service experience.
Weight Watchers can communicate with customers in writing, via telephone, e-mail and meetings. Weight Watchers recognizes that not all customers wish to communicate in the same manner. When asked, we will provide information and communications materials in accessible formats or with communication supports. This includes publicly available information about our goods, services and facilities, as well as publicly available emergency information.
2. Assistive Devices:
Weight Watchers strives to ensure that all premises in which we operate are accessible and welcoming to persons with disabilities who wish to use their own assistive device. If there is a physical, technological or other type of barrier that prevents the use of an assistive device on our premises we will first endeavour to remove that barrier. If we are not able to remove the barrier, we will ask the customer how he/she can be accommodated and what alternative methods of services would be more accessible to him/her. We will make our best efforts to provide an alternative means of assistance to the customer with a disability. We will ensure that our employees are trained and familiar with various assistive devices that may be used by Customers with disabilities while accessing our goods and services.
3. 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 unless otherwise excluded by law. If a service animal must be excluded, we will explain to them why this is the case and explore alternative ways to meet the customer’s needs. It is the responsibility of the customer using the service animal to ensure that the service animal is kept in control at all times.
4. Support Persons:
Persons with disabilities may enter our premises accompanied by a support person and may have access to that support person at all times. Weight Watchers may require a person with a disability to be accompanied by a support person while on our premises in situations where it is necessary to protect the health and safety of the person with a disability, or the health and safety of others on the premises. Fees will not be charged for support persons.
5. Notice of temporary disruptions:
Weight Watchers will make every reasonable effort to provide customers with notice in the event of a disruption in the facilities or services usually used by individuals with disabilities. Customers will be notified by posting a sign at all public entrances, or by e-mail, telephone or in person, where possible. This notice will include information about the reason for the disruption, its anticipated duration, and a description of alternative facilities or services, if available. We may not be able to give advance notice in case of an emergency disruption.
6. Training for Staff:
Weight Watchers will provide training to all applicable employees who interact with the public or third parties in the provision of our services and to persons who participate in developing related policies, practices and procedures. New employees will participate in training as part of their onboarding process. Training will be provided on an ongoing basis relating to any material changes to our accessibility policies or our practices and procedures related to the provision of services to persons with disabilities. Training will include:
• An overview of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 and the requirements of the Accessibility Standards for Customer Service, Ont. Reg. 429/07 (“Customer Service Standards”)
• Weight Watchers policies, practices and procedures relating to customer service standards
• Methods of interaction and communication with persons who have 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
• Procedures to undertake when a person with a disability is having difficulty in accessing Weight Watchers’ goods and services Employees will also be notified and trained when changes are made to these policies, practices and procedures. Records of training will be kept with Human Resources and shall be maintained in accordance with the requirements of the AODA.
7. Changes to existing policies
Weight Watchers is committed to ensuring that all customer service policies and processes respect and promote the dignity and independence of all customers, including those with varying abilities. This plan and policy will be reviewed on an ongoing basis to ensure that our commitment to accessibility is met and modifications to this and other related practices/policies may result.
8. Feedback Process:
Weight Watchers is committed to providing excellent customer service and welcomes customer input to improve the accessibility of our services, which may include comments, questions, and/or complaints. Customers who wish to provide feedback on the way Weight Watchers provides goods and services to people with disabilities can contact our call centre at 1-800-651-6000. Feedback can also be provided by e-mail to HRCanada@weightwatchers.ca, or in person to our Service Providers. If a Weight Watchers employee is provided with feedback concerning an accessibility issue, that employee will pass that information on to his/her manager and/or to our Human Resources Manager. Where possible, immediate action will be taken to address any concerns or complaints. Otherwise, upon request, an individual can expect to receive a response as soon as is practicable.
Accessibility Plan Implementation Timeline for Customer Service Standards:
By January 1, 2012 All standards met and maintained
Design of Public Spaces Standards
Weight Watchers will meet accessibility standards for the design of public spaces when building or making major modifications.
Accessibility Plan Implementation Timeline for Design of Public Spaces Standards:
By January 1, 2017:
Continue ongoing facilities evaluation and when building or making major modifications to public spaces, Weight Watchers will ensure compliance with the Accessibility Standards for the Design of Public spaces.
Questions and Additional Information:
For questions or to obtain more information on this accessibility plan and policy, please contact our Human Resources Manager at:
By telephone: 905-491-2560
By email: HRCanada@WeightWatchers.ca
By regular Mail: Attention: Human Resources Manager 200 – 2295 Bristol Circle Oakville, ON L6H 6P8