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Serving People with Disabilities – At Home or Over the Phone

The following are good practices that can apply to all customers;

Tips for providing at-home service:

  • Don’t arrive unexpectedly. Confirm your arrival time in advance.
  • Respect requests made by a customer with a disability to accommodate their needs. For example, a person with an environmental sensitivity may require that you refrain from wearing scented products in their home.
  • Be patient. You may need to wait a few moments for your customer to open the door.
  • Introduce yourself. Some customers may not be able to read identification cards and may want you to use a password. Check before you visit.
  • Keep your customer informed of what you’re doing.
  • Make sure that you leave the home exactly as it was when you arrived. For example, someone with vision loss will expect that their furniture is in the same place and could trip if you’ve moved the sofa.

Tips for providing over-the-phone service:

  • Speak naturally, clearly and directly.
  • Focus on what the customer is saying. Don’t interrupt or finish your customer’s sentences. Give your customer time to explain or respond.
  • If you’re not sure what is being said to you, politely ask the customer to repeat what they said, or repeat or rephrase what you heard them say and ask if you have understood correctly.
  • If the customer is using an interpreter or a telephone relay service, speak naturally to the customer, not to the interpreter.
  • If you encounter a situation where, after numerous attempts, you and your customer cannot communicate with each other, consider making alternate arrangements that may work best for them.