AODA Customer Service Standard

Policy and Procedure Manual


In accordance with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA), ONFC is committed to improving access and opportunity for individuals with disabilities by identifying, removing, and preventing barriers that may interfere with their ability to make full use of our facility.


The policy applies to all employees, members, volunteers, and others who deal with the public or other third parties on behalf of ONFC.


3.1 Our Commitment

ONFC’s vision is “We proactively bring to market natural, organic and local foods and products within a co-operative network”. Together, we can maintain an environment of openness, mutual respect, trust and flexibility. ONFC is a value driven company, committed to high ethical standards, humanistic values, and a strong and living ONFC culture. Our culture promotes valuing differences as well as similarities of all people.

Diversity at ONFC is actualized when people treat each other respectfully regardless of their differences, when members of different groups feel comfortable and confident to apply their various perspectives and approaches.

At ONFC, we embrace and value the uniqueness of all individuals. We are committed to eliminating barriers.

In addition, we strive to provide service to our customers in a manner that reflects the principles of independence, dignity, integration, and equality of opportunity. Our goal is to provide all customers, including those with disabilities, the same opportunity to benefit from our goods and services.

3.2. Providing Goods and Services to People with Disabilities
ONFC is committed to serving all customers, including individuals with disabilities, by removing barriers that may arise in the course of doing business as follows:

3.2.1. Communication
We will communicate with customers with disabilities in ways that take their disability into account. We will train our staff on how to interact and communicate with people with various types of disabilities. This will include training staff to communicate over the telephone in clear and plain language and to speak clearly and slowly.

3.2.2. Assistive Devices
ONFC welcomes customers with disabilities and allows them to use their own personal assistive devices. We ensure that our staff is trained and familiar with various assistive devices that may be used by customers with disabilities while accessing our goods and services.

3.2.3 Documentation
All published documents can be made available in hard copy, large print, and email if required.

3.2.4. Support Persons
ONFC welcomes customers with disabilities and their support person. If a customer and their support person come to our establishment, the staff will do their best to find a location where they can be seated together. The ability to do this will be based on availability and cannot be guaranteed. If they cannot be seated together, we will ensure that the customer can access their support person while in our venue.

Staff will be properly trained to identify support persons who may be a paid professional, volunteer, family member or friend that may accompany a customer in order to help with communication, mobility, personal care, or medical needs or with access to goods and services.

3.2.5. Service Animals
ONFC welcomes customers with disabilities and their service animals. Service animals may accompany the customer in any areas open to the general public. To ensure the safety of our customers and their service animals, we require that they be seated in an accessible seating area.

Should a service animal be excluded from the premises (by law), then ONFC will ensure that other measures are available to enable the person with the disability to obtain, use, or benefit from the good and/or service.

Section 4(9) of the Accessibility on Customer Service indicates that an animal is a service animal if (1) it is readily apparent that the animal is being used for reasons related to a person’s disability; or (2) if the person provides a letter from the doctor or nurse confirming that the animal is required for reasons relating to the disability.

3.2.6. Notice of Temporary Disruption
ONFC will provide notice to the public when there is a temporary disruption of facilities or services usually used by customers with disabilities to access our goods and services. This notice will include information about the reason for the disruption, its anticipated duration and a description of alternative facilities or services that may be available. We will post this notice in reasonable places including the front entrance, the customer service entrance, and where possible, at the point of disruption.

When the disruption is planned, advanced notice will be provided. The notice shall also be posted appropriately on the ONFC website, when appropriate. These facilities or services may include passenger elevators, family washrooms, accessible stalls in all men's and women's washrooms.

3.2.7. Parking
At Mississauga’s ONFC location, there are accessible parking spaces available for customers with disabilities. There are curb cuts to allow a barrier free pathway from the parking lot to the entrance.  ONFC will provide notice to the public when there is a temporary disruption of facilities.


4.1 Employee Training
ONFC will provide training to all employees and others who deal with our customers, as well as those who are involved in the development of policies, practices, and procedures. Individuals in the following positions will be trained:

Staff Members – all individuals who work for ONFC and receive wages or salaries:

  1. Full-time workers – workers whose terms and conditions of his/her employment guarantees a minimum of 40 scheduled hours/week.
  2. Part-time workers – workers whose terms and conditions of his/her employment, do not require them to work more than 40 hours/week on a regular basis.
  3. Seasonal/Temporary workers – workers whose service is intended to be of a limited length of duration, which should not exceed 120 worked days, and specific duration (this includes summer students, co-op students, seasonal, contract, other temporary).

This includes workers in the Distribution Centre, both ONFC offices, all outside sales members and the loading zones. ONFC will also ensure that third parties that interact with the public on behalf of ONFC complete the necessary training. A signed form is required in order for ONFC to continue doing business with anyone governed by the AODA legislation.  Training will include the core principles of customer service as set out by ONFC which include: dignity, equity, inclusion, independence, integration, sensitivity, and equality.

Training will cover the following:

  1. The purposes of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005, and the requirements of the customer service standard
  2. How to interact and communicate with customers with various types of disabilities
  3. How to interact with customers with disabilities that use an assistive device or require the assistance of a service animal or support person
  4. The location of our assistive devices and the persons who know how to use them, if applicable
  5. What to do if a customer with a disability is having difficulty accessing our goods and services
  6. ONFC’s policies, practices, and procedures relating to the customer service standard
  7. Those involved in policy development will receive additional training about providing goods or services to the public or third parties

This training will be completed for all staff members, and will be provided within the new hire training protocol. Ongoing training will be provided with respect to any changes to ONFC’s policies, practices, and procedures.

Training programs of varying modules will be implemented which will ensure compliance and meet the needs of staff. Records are kept indicating the date and training provided, and the number of individuals to whom it was provided.

4.2 Feedback
ONFC is committed to providing exceptional customer service. We appreciate feedback from our customers on all issues, especially related to the way we provide goods and services to people with disabilities. All feedback should be directed to our management team in the method most preferred by the customer.

In person, customers may ask to speak with a manager. To reach us by mail, please send mail to:

Ontario Natural Food Company
5800 Keaton Crescent,  Mississauga, ON L5R 3K2

To send us an email, customers should go to Customers should include the date of their visit. If they wish to be contacted about their feedback, customers should provide their name and contact information. We strive to respond to all feedback within 3 business days of receipt.

Notices in customer service areas notify customers that their feedback is welcomed and valued to the continual improvement of services. So as to avoid inadvertently excluding people with disabilities from activities or services, an accessible system of providing feedback and complaints will be made available through a range of service channels. Staff will accept feedback given in person, verbally or in writing, online, by telephone, TTY, or any other means.

Feedback forms are available upon request.

ONFC will consult with an Accessibility Consultant regarding feedback and complaints and on improvements to customer service.

4.3 Communications and Availability of Documents
All documents required under the Accessibility Standards for Customer Service, including the policy/procedure manual, training materials, training records, notices, and feedback records, shall be made available to members of the public upon written request.

Contact us ONFC

4.4 Emergency Situations
Staff will be familiar with emergency procedures and how to assist customers or staff who may require help during an emergency.

Public emergency and safety information is accessible to the public, including individuals with disabilities, upon request.

4.5 Modifications to this or other policies
Any policy of ONFC that does not respect and promote the dignity and independence of people with disabilities will be modified or removed.