Staples Accessibility Statement of Commitment and Multi-Year Accessibility Plan

Introduction
The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) was adopted in 2005 with a goal of making Ontario completely accessible for individuals with disabilities by 2025. To reach this goal, businesses and organizations that provide goods and services to people in Ontario, are required to meet certain accessibility standards in 5 areas: (1) Customer Service; (2) Information and Communications; (3) Employment; (4) Transportation; and (5) Build Environment

Staples Statement of Commitment
Staples is committed to treating all people in a way that allows them to maintain their dignity and independence. We believe in integration and equal opportunity. We are committed to meeting the needs of people with disabilities in a timely manner, and will do so by preventing and removing barriers to accessibility and meeting accessibility requirements under the Accessibility for Ontarians Disability Act.

Customer Service Commitment:
Since January 2012 Staples has been in compliance with the AODA Customer Service Standard and will continue to meet the requirements. Although this policy is only required in Ontario, Staples has extended it to be a national policy, applicable to all associates, with the exception of the completion of the province specific training. Staples will ensure that persons with disabilities have equal access to goods and services and that the service they receive is respectful of their dignity and independence.

Customer Service Taken to Date:

  • Created an AODA Customer Service Policy and process which is posted on our website.
  • Ensure required associates complete the AODA Customer Service training and that completion of training is tracked and recorded.
  • Ensure associates understand the requirement to review a bill of sale (receipt) upon request at the time of sale and/or answer any questions a person with a disability may have.
  • Ensure support persons and/or service animals are welcomed and accommodated.
  • Provide notice to customers about any planned or unexpected disruption in the facilities or services used by people with disabilities. All notices meet the requirements of the AODA Customer Service Standard.
  • Welcome feedback on how Staples is meeting the needs of customers with disabilities through multiple mediums.
  • Reported compliance with the Customer Service Standard on the Accessibility Compliance reporting tool of Service Ontario’s website.


The Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation ("IASR") under AODA, which incorporates the remaining accessibility standards, requires us to establish, implement, maintain and document a multi-year accessibility plan which outlines our strategy to prevent and remove barriers for persons with disabilities through the requirements under the IASR. In addition to Customer Service, the following accessibility standards are applicable to Staples under the IASR:

  • Information and Communications;
  • Employment;
  • Design of Public Spaces (Build Environment)


The General Requirements apply across all standards.

General Requirements

Accessibility Policies


Staples will integrate accessibility requirements within existing policy documents by the required compliance dates as outlined in the IASR. Where required, Staples will develop and implement new policies. All policies with accessibility components will be reviewed regularly. Staples will provide a copy of related policies to any person who requests one. Copies of policies will be provided in an accessible format, if required.

Multi-Year Plan
Purpose
By January 1, 2014, Staples will outline the strategy and the actions to prevent and remove barriers to accessibility as set out in the IASR.

In accordance with the IASR, Staples will:

  • Establish, review and update a Multi-Year Accessibility Plan outlining what has been done to date and what is planned.
  • Post the Accessibility Plan on the Staples public website at www.Staples.ca and report on the progress of the implementation.
  • Provide this Accessibility Plan in an accessible format, upon request.
  • Review and update this Accessibility Plan at least once every 5 years.

Self-service Kiosks


Self-Service Kiosks Commitment:
We are committed to training all associates, volunteers, third party contractors who provide goods, services and facilities on behalf of Staples, and persons participating in the development and approval of Staples policies, on the requirements of the IASR and on the Ontario Human Rights Code as it pertains to persons with disabilities. Training will be appropriate to the duties of our associates.


Self-Service Kiosks Planned Action by January 1, 2014:


Should Staples design, procure or acquire any self-service kiosks we will have regard to the accessibility for persons with disabilities. We will ensure that any associates involved in the procurement or acquisition are apprised of the need to consider accessibility features in choosing the appropriate self-service kiosk.


Training

Training Commitment:

We are committed to training all associates, volunteers, third party contractors who provide goods, services and facilities on behalf of Staples, and persons participating in the development and approval of Staples policies, on the requirements of the IASR and on the Ontario Human Rights Code as it pertains to persons with disabilities. Training will be appropriate to the duties of our associates.


Training Planned Action by January 1, 2015:

  • Training on the IASR will be developed and implemented by the deadline date.
  • Training on the IASR will be provided on an on-going basis, such as when new associates join the organization or when our accessibility policies change.
  • A record of training will be kept, including the number of individuals trained and the dates training was completed.

Information and Communication Standard

Commitment:

We are committed to creating, providing and receiving information and communications that we directly control in ways that are accessible for people with disabilities.

Feedback Commitment:
 Staples is committed to ensuring it has processes for receiving and responding to feedback in an accessible manner for persons with disabilities by providing or arranging for accessible formats and communication supports upon request.

Planned Feedback Action by January 1, 2015 Commitment:

  • Identify and review all feedback processes from customers and associates across the organization with the goal of ensuring they are accessible.
  • Accessible feedback processes to be made available upon request.
  • Related feedback policies and process documents updated as required.


Accessible Formats and Communication Supports Commitment:

 Staples is committed to ensuring we will provide information and will communicate in an accessible manner, upon request, to people with disabilities regarding our goods, services and facilities. Staples will provide or arrange for the provision of accessible formats and communication supports for persons with disabilities.


Planned Accessible Formats and Communication Supports Action by January 1, 2016

  • Upon request, Staples will provide or arrange for the provision of accessible formats and communication supports for persons with disabilities.
  • Staples will provide accessible formats and communication supports in a timely manner that that takes into account the person's accessibility needs
  • Staples will provide accessible formats and communication supports at a cost no more than the regular cost charged to other persons.
  • Staples will create a notification process to advise our customers about the availability of accessible formats and communication supports.

Accessible Websites and Web Content Commitment:

Should we launch a new internet website or significantly refresh an existing internet website on or after January 1, 2014, we will ensure that the website and all content on that website that has been posted since January 1, 2014, conforms to the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0, Level A. By January 1, 2021 we will ensure that all internet websites and web content conforms with WCAG 2.0 Level AA other than Success criteria 1.2.4 Captions (Live) and success criteria 1.2.5 Audio Descriptions (Pre-recorded).


Accessible Websites and Web Content Commitment Planned Action:

  • Audit all websites and content for Level AA compliance.
  • Implement the necessary changes to bring the websites and web content into conformance with applicable Level AA requirements by the required dates.
  • Continue to offer Essential Accessibility software on our websites.

Employment Standards

Employment Standards Commitment:
Staples is committed to fair and accessible employment practices that attract and retain associates with disabilities. This includes providing accessibility in all stages of the employment cycle.

Employment Standards Planned Actions by January 1, 2016:

Recruitment General
We will notify associates and the public of the availability of accommodation for applicants with disabilities in our recruitment process. This will include:

  • A review and, as necessary, modification of existing recruitment policies, procedures and processes.
  • Specifying that accommodation is available upon request for applicants with disabilities on job postings.


Recruitment, Assessment and Selection

We will notify job applicants, when they are individually selected to participate in an assessment or selection process that accommodations are available upon request in relation to the materials and processes to be used in the assessment/selection process. This will include:

  • A review and, as necessary, modification of existing recruitment policies, procedures and processes.
  • If a selected applicant requests an accommodation, consult with the applicant and arrange for provision of suitable accommodations in a manner that takes into account the applicant's accessibility needs.


Notice to Successful Applicants

When making offers of employment, Staples will notify the successful applicant of our policies for accommodating associates with disabilities. This will include:

  • A review and, as necessary, modification of existing recruitment policies, procedures and processes.
  • Inclusion of notification of Staples's policy on accommodating associates with disabilities in offer of employment letters.


Informing Associates of Supports

We will inform all associates of policies that support associates with disabilities, including, but not limited to, policies on the provision of job accommodations that take into account an associate's accessibility needs due to a disability. This will include:

  • Informing current associates and new hires of Staples's policies supporting associates with disabilities.
  • Providing information on accommodation as soon as practicable after the new associate begins employment.
  • Advising associates on any changes to existing policies on job accommodations with respect to disability.


Accessible Formats and Communication Supports for Associates

Where an associate with a disability so requests it, we will provide or arrange for provision of suitable accessible formats and communication supports for:

  • Information that is needed in order to perform the associate's job.
  • Information that is generally available to associates in the workplace.

In order to meet this obligation, we will consult with the requesting associate to determine the suitability of an accessible format or communication support.

Workplace Emergency Response Information
Staples will provide individualized workplace emergency response information to associates who have a disability, if the disability is such that the individualized information is necessary and Staples is aware of the need for accommodation due to the associate’s disability. This will include:

  • With the associate’s consent, Staples will provide the individual workplace emergency response information to a designate if required.
  • Staples will provide information on workplace emergency response information as soon as practicable after we become aware of the need for accommodation due to the disability.
  • Staples will review the individual workplace emergency response information if the associate moves to a different location within the company, if the associate’s needs change or when Staples reviews its general emergency response policies.


Documented Individual Accommodation Plans

By January 1, 2016, Staples will develop and have a policy for the development of documented individual accommodation plans for associates with disabilities. Staples will ensure the process for the development of documented individual accommodation plan includes the following elements, in accordance with the provisions of the IASR:

  • The manner in which the associate requesting accommodation can participate in the development of the plan.
  • The means by which the associate is assessed on an individual basis.
  • The manner in which we can request an evaluation by an outside medical or other licensed expert if required, at Staples’s expense, to assist us in determining if and how accommodation can be achieved.
  • The steps taken to protect the privacy of the associate’s personal medical information.
  • The frequency in which individual accommodation plans will be reviewed and updated and the manner in which this will be done.
  • If an individual accommodation plan is denied, the manner in which the reasons for the denial will be provided to the associate.
  • The means of providing the individual accommodation plan in a format that takes into account the associate’s accessibility needs due to disability.

If individual accommodation plans are established, Staples will ensure the plans include:

  • Includes any information regarding accessible formats and communications supports provided
  • Any individualized workplace emergency response information
  • Any other accommodation that is to be provided


Return to Work Process

We will utilize our existing policy, titled ‘Early and Safe Return to Work’ for associates who return to work from a leave of absence with a disability that requires accommodation. This policy documents our return to work process for associates requiring accommodation and those returning from leave with a disability that requires accommodation.

Performance Management, Career Development and Redeployment
By January 1, 2016, Staples will take into account the accessibility needs of associates with disabilities, as well as individual accommodation plans:

  • When using our performance management process in respect of associates with disabilities;
  • When providing career development and advancement to our associates with disabilities;
  • When redeploying associates with disabilities.

In order to meet this obligation, we will review, assess and, as necessary, modify existing policies, procedures and practices to ensure compliance with the IASR.

Design of Public Spaces (Build Environment)
We will meet the Accessibility Standards for the Design of Public Spaces when building or making significant modifications to public spaces. Staples will meet these standards by January 1, 2017.

For more information

For more information or to provide feedback – Please contact us

By calling our Customer Care Group at 877-360-8500.

By emailing our Customer Care Group at Customer_service@staples.ca.

By speaking with a member of the store management team. Feedback can be offered in person or by calling the store directly. Click here to find a store.

By mailing written feedback to: 6 Staples Avenue, Richmond Hill, Ontario, L4B 4W3.

Attention: Senior Manager, Corporate Human Resources.