Ace Courier Services, A division of All Can-Express LTD, is a courier and logistics company that provides shipping solutions for packages, skids, and general freight. We have a team of over 400 team members and serve a wide range of shippers who engage us for shipping and receiving of their packages. In this Accessibility Plan we will outline our intentions over the next three years to help us improve accessibility for people with disabilities. We recognize that accessibility is an ongoing and central element of being an inclusive organization. That’s why the plan we’ve developed to continue improving our accessibility builds on our inclusive mindset and practices.
After speaking to people with disabilities and our employees, we have assessed some of the barriers at Ace Courier Services Ltd. and how we could fix them. In this plan we will talk about the actions we will take to remove those barriers.
To write this plan, we talked to persons with disabilities and our employees. We looked for barriers in the following areas:
• Built environment (buildings)
• Buying goods, services, and facilities (spaces for doing work)
• Programs and services
The world around us is complex, and identifying and removing the barriers that individuals with disabilities face, requires:
• open and honest conversations and reflection
• ongoing dialogue with key partners
• authentic and concrete commitments
Change takes time, and this plan will guide us in our efforts to improve accessibility over the next three years.
02. OUR ACCESSIBILITY VISION STATEMENT
Ace Courier Services is accessible to all employees and Canadians, including people with disabilities. We value the contributions individuals with disabilities bring to our culture, workplace and communities. Our commitment to accessibility is a core value that drives us to deliver exceptional experiences for everyone. We recognize that identifying and removing barriers is an ongoing process, which is why we are committed to addressing obstacles as we become aware of them, whether they are identified in our Accessibility Plan. Our goal is to have a positive impact on the community by continually improving accessibility and providing the necessary resources and support for our customers, employees, and suppliers to meet their specific accessibility needs.
03. OUR PLAN
While this is Ace Courier Services first formal accessibility plan, it builds on previous investments and successes.
In the next three years we will:
• Make sure that the language we use in all job postings is clear, specific and offers accommodations.
• Make sure our hiring practices don’t create barriers to employment
• Review our job postings to ensure they do not contain language that would exclude people with disabilities from applying for the job.
• Ensure that all our employees understand the accommodation process.
• Ensure all information on our website is up to date and includes important information about accessibility.
• Create and adopt a social media policy that has guidelines for accessible social media posts.
• Create standardized procedures for incorporating accessibility in our procurement processes when acquiring goods and services.
04. REPORTING ON OUR PLAN
As required by the Accessible Canada Act, we will publish a status report every year that shows our progress against our commitments. We will review and update our accessibility plan every three years. We will also measure our overall progress and how the plan influences the culture and experiences of our organization.
The Accessible Canada Act includes seven principles:
• Everyone must be treated with dignity.
• Everyone must have the same opportunity to make for themselves the life they are able and wish to have.
• Everyone must be able to participate fully and equally in society.
• Everyone must have meaningful options and be free to make their own choices, with support if they desire.
• Laws, policies, programs, services, and structures must take into account the ways that different kinds of barriers and discrimination intersect.
• Persons with disabilities must be involved in the development and design of laws, policies, programs, services and structures.
• Accessibility standards and regulations must be made with the goal of achieving the highest level of accessibility.
Our commitment to inclusion and accessibility incorporates a feedback process so that employees and members of the public can share their ideas and input with us. To provide feedback on accessibility, use one of the contact methods below. If you require support while providing feedback, let us know, and we will do our best to meet your needs. If you provide your contact information, we are committed to responding to your feedback in a timely manner and in the format that we receive it. You may also choose to provide feedback anonymously.
We want to hear your feedback about this plan and about accessibility at Ace Courier Services. You can give us your feedback by contacting:
Director, Diversity Equity & Inclusion
Telephone number: 250-475-2022
Address: 524 Culduthel rd. Victoria, BC
06. ADDRESSING AREAS IDENTIFIED IN THE ACCESSIBLE CANADA ACT
Ace Courier Services has identified barriers in six of the seven areas identified in the Act, as well as actions to address them.
07. DESIGN AND DELIVERY OF PROGRAMS AND SERVICES
How Ace Courier Services designs and delivers its internal and external programs and services matters in fostering accessibility. This includes the programs and information for current employees and the public. Beginning with the planning stage for its key activities and functions, Ace courier services should incorporate accessibility considerations. After our internal audits we found that the lack of a comprehensive and documented approach to setting the accessibility standards for Ace Courier Services programs and processes results in inconsistent experiences for employees. To address these issues, we will take the following actions:
• Develop internal accessibility best practices and review the accessibility levels at key points of interaction with the public to ensure they meet these standards.
• Develop best practices and promote guidelines for accessible client services.
08. THE BUILT ENVIRONMENT
Ace Courier owns/leases, operates and manages many different types of facilities. Predominantly our sorting and cross dock facilities are where skids and packages are sorted and shipped out to customers. We also maintain office spaces where our administrative and executive teams work. Our sorting facilities and office spaces are only used by Ace Courier Services employees.
We have taken steps to make sure that our built environment is accessible to as many people as possible. We are aware that there are some accessibility barriers that are inherent in warehouse type spaces (like our sorting and cross dock facilities) but do our best to reduce those barriers where possible. We have retrofitted our office spaces to include more accessible and gender-neutral washrooms, as well as added wellness rooms where employees can take breaks and destress.
While we are committed to making sure our built environments are as accessible as possible, we are aware that there are still barriers. We also are aware that our emergency evacuations plans could benefit from more specificity on how to help people with disabilities in an emergency. Moving forward, we are also committed to making sure that any new building or property that we rent or buy will be accessible for a wide range of people. In addition, any time we take on a major renovation project, we consider ways to improve accessibility through that project. In addition to these commitments, we have the following goals:
• we will conduct an audit of our sorting facilities. The purpose of this audit will be to identify accessibility barriers and improvements that need to be made. We will make small changes to these facilities as they are discovered, and we will create a plan to address larger and more costly renovations during this audit.
• we will update our emergency evacuation plans to make specific mention of how people with disabilities should evacuate and be assisted in the event of an emergency
• Put greater emphasis on staff to Ensure spaces are clutter free and aisles are clear
Ace Courier Services has approximately 400 team members across our various work sites. By improving accessibility here at Ace Courier Services, it is our hope that we can better support employees with disabilities. We also hope to welcome more persons with disabilities into our organization moving forward.
At Ace Courier Services we highly value the diversity of our workforce. We prioritize the hiring of people with disabilities and people from other marginalized groups through creating partnerships and outreach with community organizations. We have partnered with organizations that specialize in hiring people who are neurodiverse and people who have spinal cord injuries to help us increase the number of people with disabilities who are employed by Ace Courier Services.
Although we have taken steps to increase the number of employees with disabilities, we know we can take additional steps to reduce barriers for our employees or potential employees in the future. We hope to do this through the following commitments:
• We will make sure that information about our accommodations policy and process are provided to candidates during the onboarding process.
• We will conduct a review of our job postings. The purpose of this review will be to make sure that there is nothing in our job postings which might inadvertently exclude a candidate with a disability. For example, we will make sure that all the required skills listed in the posting are true to the job itself, and we will also check to make sure we are not using ableist or exclusionary language in our job postings.
• Monitor data on applicant identities and retention to identify other contributors to low workforce representation for people with disabilities.
10. INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGIES
Ace Courier Services uses a variety of digital tools and technologies. This includes its public website and social media channels. Customers use the Ace Courier Services website to track freight and arrange for shipment of packages. Internally, we have different web platforms and sites that employees use to do their work and communicate with each other. Our digital service systems are still in the very early stages of development. We are monitoring and making changes as we receive feedback.
We regularly engage in communication with our customers, our employees, and the general public. We communicate in many ways, including through our social media channels, through the phone (our call centre), and when drivers interact with customers at their place of business or residence.
Another area of focus for us has been trying to use plain language, especially when we write communications that are meant to be shared with the general public. Our communications team has received training on how to write plainly and effectively and we do our best to create communications in a way that a wide variety of people will be able to understand us.
Moving forward, our goals are mostly related to standardizing our accessible communications practices and ensuring that these good practices are always in place. We will accomplish this through the following commitments:
• We will train employees on creating accessible documents to all employees who contribute to our internal website.
• We will create and adopt a formal standard for accessibility that will be applied to all communications that are shared externally. This standard will include minimum accessibility practices for all communications, as well as procedures to ensure that communications are accessible.
• Complete a full and detailed audit of the website, with special attention paid to any persisting or additional barriers to accessibility.
• we will create and adopt a standard for social media posts. This standard will include various accessibility features that we want to maintain when posting on social media (including alt text for pictures, use of captions for videos, and the use of more accessible hashtags). Once we create this standard, we will make sure to train all our employees who create social media posts on the new standard.
11. PROCUREMENT OF GOODS, SERVICES AND FACILITIES
We do not transport people or passengers, only freight, as this does not apply to us, no changes in this area or goals are to be made.
Ace Courier Services often buys external goods to help us deliver our services. This is known as “procurement”. Currently, we do not have accessibility considerations in our procurement process. This is something we will address so we can make sure we take accessibility into consideration when we contract for goods and services with external parties.
This goal will help us to do that:
• we will create a checklist and training for Sourcing Specialists to consider accessibility in the Request for Proposal process.
We prepared this plan in consultation with people who have disabilities. We sent a survey to all our employees who have an Ace Courier Services e-mail address. In that survey we asked employees who identify as having a disability what their experience has been like working for Ace Courier Services. We also asked them if they had encountered any barriers as an employee with a disability and if they have any advice for how we could improve accessibility at Ace Courier Services. Some employees reported that they were not familiar with the accommodations process, or how to request and receive accommodations. This feedback helped to inform some of the commitments we have made Employment sections of this plan.
Ace Courier Services is fully committed to representing the voices of people with disabilities. To ensure that this commitment is upheld, Ace Courier Services intends to continue consulting with people who have disabilities in all aspects of implementing and reviewing this accessibility plan, as well as in implementing other major projects undertaken by the organization. However, Ace Courier Services recognizes that consultations need to be ongoing, and we are dedicated to building relationships of trust with people who have disabilities to engage in effective consultations going forward.
At Ace Courier Services, we want to make sure that employment, and our services, are equitable to all people. We are committed to finding accessibility barriers in our operations and removing them. Through this Accessibility Plan, we have made commitments that will improve accessibility at Ace Courier Services over the next three years. We are committed to always doing better, and so if we discover new barriers that we were not aware of, we will take steps to remove them.
We are committed to continue learning from individuals, especially persons with disabilities, because they are the experts when it comes to accessibility. We will use this accessibility plan, as well as the feedback we get from people with disabilities to continue improving accessibility at Ace Courier Services over the next several years.
15 APPENDIX: DEFINITIONS
Accessibility: The degree of ease that something (e.g., device, service, physical environment and information) can be accessed, used and enjoyed by persons with disabilities. The term implies conscious planning, design or effort to make sure something is barrier-free to persons with disabilities. Accessibility also benefits the general population by making things more usable and practical for everyone, including older people and families with small children.
Barrier: The Accessible Canada Act defines a barrier as “anything—including anything physical, architectural, technological or attitudinal, anything that is based on information or communications or anything that is the result of a policy or a practice—that hinders the full and equal participation in society of persons with an impairment, including a physical, mental, intellectual, cognitive, learning, communication or sensory impairment or a functional limitation.”
Disability: The Accessible Canada Act defines a disability as “any impairment, including a physical, mental, intellectual, cognitive, learning, communication or sensory impairment—or a functional limitation—whether permanent, temporary or episodic in nature, or evident or not, that, interaction with a barrier, hinders a person’s full and equal participation in society.”
Logistics: Figuring out how to ship items across BC and Alberta and making sure they arrive safely.