As representatives for Brantford Volkswagen we:
Will make every effort to treat our customers who have disabilities, of any kind, with the utmost in dignity & compassion & respect for the level of independence for each individual person.
We will go above and beyond in order to accommodate the needs of guests or customers with disabilities in order to assist in delivering our goods and services we offer.
We will adjust our method of communication with our customer, based on their needs, taking into account their disability.
We will welcome feedback, in person, phone, email, website, from customers regarding our procedures in doing business with disabled customers & will document & respond in a format taking into account their disability.
We will make available our company policies & procedures regarding doing business with disabled peoples, & provide information taking into account their disability.
What to do if a person with a disability is having difficulty accessing our goods or services:
-a good starting point is to politely ask how you can best help them. Remember, your customer is your best source for information about their needs. The solution can be simple & they will appreciate your consideration.
Interacting & Communicating with Customers with Disabilities
Being patient and flexible is the first step to being able to communicate with a person with a disability. If you realize upon your first interaction that a person has a communication disability, which could be deaf-blind, vision loss, hearing loss, speech impairments, the most compassionate thing you can do is ask them how you can best communicate with them. Depending on the disability, the person may be accompanied by an intervenor or a support person who helps them; when you are speaking to the person with the disability, speak directly to them & not the support person.
When dealing with persons and the below disabilities;
-be aware that there are many degrees of hearing loss
-make sure you have their eye contact before speaking, in case they can read lips, a gentle touch on the shoulder will assist this.
-if they have a hearing aid, moving to a quieter office in the dealership for less background noise may assist
-if necessary, ask if another method of communication is better, they may wish for a pen & paper.
-be aware there are many degrees & types of physical disabilities without permission, do not touch assistance equipment (canes, wheelchairs etc.)
-in the case of a person in a walking position, perhaps using an assistance device (cane, crutches, etc.) ask if they would prefer to be seated to communicate
-in the case of a walker, ask if they would prefer to be seated to communicate, & assist in making room for walker
-in the case of a wheelchair, or scooter, for anything other than brief conversation, make an effort to pull up a chair to be at the same level for eye contact. Make room for them to maneuver around your work area, or office.
-be aware there are many degrees of vision loss; some have guide dogs, white canes, some do not
-do not assume someone cannot see you
-identify yourself when you approach the person, looking directly at them
-offer to read any information to them pertaining to the good or service they are inquiring about
-offer your elbow to guide them
-be aware this effects the way in which a person takes in or retains information, therefore, it may not be immediately apparent
-be patient they may take longer to respond or understand
Speech or Language Impairments
-be aware that several different conditions can cause slurring & difficulty pronouncing words
-do not assume they have another disability
-whenever possible ask questions that can be answered in “yes or no”
-be patient. Do not interrupt or finish your customers sentences
-be aware there is a broad variety of disorders, ranging in severity.
-it will effect a persons ability to think clearly, concentrate or remember things & may cause erratic behavior
-be calm and reassuring, treat them with respect
-if they appear to be in panic or crisis, calmly ask them the best way you can help
-be aware there are many degrees & you may not initially know a person has this, unless you are told
-it can limit a person’s ability to learn, communicate, do everyday physical activities & live independently
-don’t make assumptions about what a person can or cannot do
-use plain language and be patient
-provide one piece of information at a time
This can be, wheelchairs, canes, hearing aids, speech amplification devices, etc.
-without permission, do not touch, handle or move assistive devices; they are very personal
-let customers know who have a wheelchair that we do have a wheelchair accessible washroom, they may need assistance with the door.
-always assist in making room for larger items, such as walkers, wheelchairs etc.
-we will allow service animals in all areas of our dealership
-remember they are not a pet, and without permission you should not address or touch the animal.
-as a courtesy ask if the animal has any special needs while in our facility (water, etc.)
-this can be a family member, volunteer, personal support worker, or a friend who is required to accompany a person with a disability
- this can be a for a variety needs from communication, mobility, personal care, etc.
-you may not be sure at first who is the customer, you can either take the lead from the person who is requesting information, or simply ask. Make sure you speak directly to your customer & not the support person in such a case.
-all such communication from a customer must be documented as follows & promptly forwarded to Jeannette Leigh
-take details of concern from customer, plus their preferred contact (phone #, email etc.) for Jeannette to reply back with any actions to be taken.
-forward to Jeannette
-forward to Jeannette
-forward to Jeannette
-we will have a handicapped logo on our website, which will go to a page of information & an option to leave feedback via click thru.
-should we encounter any changes (temporary or permanent) within our business or facility which will create difficulty for disabled persons who want to do business with us, we will post in a conspicuous location & on our website the nature of the disruption, duration & alternatives available.