Multi-Year Accessibility Plan 2023 - 2025
Chit Chats' mission is to help Canadian entrepreneurs live their dreams. Our low-cost, fully-tracked postage and our easy-to-use platform outfitted with integrations and time-saving features makes shipping delightful.
Our core values guide and shape our behaviors and help us achieve our goals. Our core values include the following:
We lead with care. Our aim is to help each other and strive to do the best as a team for our higher purpose.
We approach with curiosity. We push boundaries and challenge the status quo.
We celebrate positive energy. Our goal is to create a great experience for our clients and ourselves.
Commitment to Accessibility
Chit Chats Express Inc. is committed to ensuring that its products, services and locations are accessible to all Canadians, including those with disabilities. To support this commitment, the company has developed an Accessibility Policy and plans to implement or has already implemented several measures to identify and remove barriers to accessibility. This report outlines the steps taken and planned to be taken by Chit Chats Express Inc. to comply with the Accessible Canada Regulations. Our goal is to have all of our locations accessible by the fiscal year of 2040 (or before).
Chit Chats is committed to developing employee accommodation guidelines that respect and promote the dignity and independence of people with disabilities. Therefore, impact on people with disabilities will be considered before considering the plan. Any Chit Chats’ policy or plan that does not respect and promote the dignity of people with disabilities will be modified. Accommodations will be made if the policy or plan cannot be implemented due to undue hardship on the business.
Chit Chats has made all reasonable efforts towards consulting our employees and partners in our efforts to design and develop this plan
We have consulted our employees by means of internal surveys on building the:
- Accessibility Plan
- Accessibility in the Workplace policy draft
Chit Chats will continue to go above and beyond in providing client satisfaction. In addition to providing its services and to continue to be more accessible to its clients, Chit Chats will include accessibility surveys in its Monthly Newsletter for June 2023 and gather feedback on how to be more effective in providing accessibility
The results of these surveys both internal and external are to be monitored by the People Team (Human Resources) for feedback and implementation.
Chit Chats will ensure that its workplace is designed and maintained in a way that is accessible to all employees. Chit Chats will make all reasonable efforts and work with our landlord and premise owners to remove any barriers that limit participation, including but not limited to, barriers to accessing the building, navigating within the building, as well as accessing workstations, washrooms and other areas in the workplace.
Chit Chats will continue to be accessible and aim to achieve complete accessibility by following and adhering to the guidelines as stated in the categories below:
a. Physical Environment
Chit Chats will focus on creating a more accessible workplace by ensuring the following:
- Where possible, partner with our landlords to install wheelchair ramps, accessible doors and improve accessible washrooms (by means of installing steel bars for support).
- Ensure that doorways, hallways and workspaces are wide enough to accommodate mobility devices, where applicable.
- Chit Chats will install visual and auditory signals for people with visual or hearing impairments where feasible, and train staff in accommodating and assisting clients with visual or auditory impairments.
- In places where such barriers cannot be removed, Chit Chats will provide necessary accommodations and assistance to ensure accessibility is not compromised.
b. Assistive Technology
Chit Chats will provide assistive technology devices and software, such as screen readers, voice recognition software, or specialized keyboards, upon request. Chit Chats will ensure that all technology used in the workplace is compatible with assistive technology.
Chit Chats will continue to provide accessible formats for all of its communication, including emails, documents and presentations. Chit Chats will aim to provide its communication in other formats such as braille, upon request.
Chit Chats will provide training, including interactive modules, to its employees (especially Branch Leads) on how to communicate effectively with people with disabilities, including using plain language and avoiding jargon, assisting with audio/visual impairments and providing accommodations where necessary.
Chit Chats will ensure that all emergency communication for all of its locations is accessible to people with disabilities
d. Policies and Procedures
Chit Chats will ensure that its policies, plans and practices are communicated to its employees in accessible formats. Chit Chats has created a policy for Accessibility in the Workplace and posted it in our employee handbook to create awareness and set guidelines on a more inclusive workplace and environment.
Chit Chats will ensure that accommodations are available for employees and applicants with disabilities who require job descriptions and application processes in an accessible format on request.
Chit Chats will provide training and education to all employees on accessibility in the workplace and the Accessible Canada Act. This will include, but is not limited to:
- Guidelines for providing accommodations to employees and clients with disabilities.
- Information on the Accessible Canada Act and other relevant legislation.
- Provide training on how to use assistive technology and accessible communication formats for employees who need accommodations.
- Best practices for communication and information accessibility.
Materials related to training and education will be designed to ensure employees understand their obligations under the Accessible Canada Act and this policy and are able to contribute to a barrier-free workplace.
Increasing Accessibility in the Workplace (Training)
Chit Chats aims to provide training to its employees as per the guidelines of Accessible Canada Act and of its Accessibility policy, plan and procedures. This will include:
- Train all employees on disability awareness.
- Train employees who interact with customers on accessible customer service.
- Train employees who use assistive technology on how to use it effectively.
- Train managers and supervisors on how to create an inclusive workplace culture that values diversity, including people with disabilities.
- Train all employees on how to communicate in an accessible manner.
Chit Chats will continue to ensure that all job postings are communicated in accessible formats for employees, providing alternative formats for application forms and other recruitment material, upon request.
Chit Chats will continue to ask candidates to identify accommodation requests during internal and external job interviews and make reasonable arrangements, where required, to the point of undue hardship.
g. Promote a Culture of Inclusion
Chit Chats will continue to promote and tie a culture of inclusion as part of its core value – Caring – that values diversity and actively seeks to include and engage all employees. Chit Chats will continue to achieve this by:
- Providing training to managers and supervisors on how to create an inclusive workplace culture that values diversity, including people with disabilities.
- Continue to promote disability representation in the workplace, including hiring people with disabilities and including disability as a component of diversity and inclusion initiatives.
- Chit Chats will continue to go above and beyond to provide accommodation (upon request, to the point of undue hardship) and to recognize and remove barriers in the workplace through consultation from its employees and clients.
Conclusion and Feedback
Chit Chats has taken an early initiative to be as accessible as possible, by means of:
- Recruitment: Making sure accommodation requests are addressed and provided well before interviews and the first day on the job.
- Communication: Ensuring policies and all internal communications are available in different formats and are provided upon request.
- Chit Chats core values: Training and educating new hires and existing staff on our values, how to promote an inclusive work environment and to recognize any barriers our staff may face in the workplace.
Chit Chats will continue to make improvements to be as accessible as possible, not only to our employees, but to our clients as well (where possible, as indicated in a. Physical Environment category above). Chit Chats will continue to build on this plan by listening to our employees and our clients (via surveys, interviews etc.).
Chit Chats has also made its webpage accessible, taking into consideration the following:
- Alignment of texts, images, colors and font size.
- Easy to use navigation process; main features such as shipping, pricing, package tracking and support resources are categorized and clearly outlined in the main navigation tools of the website.
- An explanation video (with closed captions and audio; accompanying text and image formats also included) on how our services work is included on our website.
- Use of all means of communication (i.e. use of video with closed caption and audio), easy to use postage price estimate calculator for shipping services is included for our clients so they can get as much information as possible online in the comfort of their home.
- Our website can be accessed at the following link: https://chitchats.com/
Chit Chats will continue to build on this plan to be as accessible as possible, ensuring we become a barrier-free and fully accessible workplace by 2040. Chit Chats will continue to build on its training plan and deliver its contents as outlined in the plan in section e.
Chit Chats welcomes all feedback from employees, partners and clients regarding this plan, policy and implementation strategy to become a barrier-free workplace.
If you identify as a person with disability and would like to participate in the development of our accessibility initiatives please reach out to us directly on email@example.com.
You can also fill in this confidential survey and share your opinion with us.
Additionally, any feedback and inquiries regarding improvements and creating a barrier-free workplace can be sent to Chit Chats’ Health and Safety Committee at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Feedback and comments regarding Chit Chats’ accessibility plan, please contact Chit Chats’ People Team by using one of the following options: