Accessibility Policies

AODA Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation Multi-Year Accessibility Plan

Statement of Commitment

The Descartes Systems Group Inc., inclusive of any of its Canadian subsidiaries (“Descartes”), strives to be an inclusive community, focused on service excellence and treating all people in a way that respects their dignity and independence. Descartes is committed to meeting the needs of people with disabilities, in a timely manner, by working to prevent and remove barriers to accessibility and by meeting accessibility requirements under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disability Act, 2005 (AODA).

The plan and policies set out or contemplated in this document apply to the offices and operations of Descartes which are located in Canada. In other jurisdictions other requirements or policies may apply.

Multi-Year Accessibility Plan

Descartes’ multi-year accessibility plan outlines strategies to prevent and remove barriers to accessibility and to provide inclusive and accessible service, to all stakeholders in the areas of Customer Service, Training, Information and Communications, and Employment.

Accessible Customer Service

Descartes is committed to ensuring that people with disabilities receive accessible goods and services in a timely manner. Descartes will continue to ensure compliance with the Accessible Customer Service Standard.

Descartes has put in place an accessibility plan that is available on its website and offered in an accessible format by request. The accessibility plan states that Descartes will consider a person’s disability when communicating with them, allow assistive devices, services animals, and support persons in its workplaces, provide notice of temporary disruption, and welcome feedback from customers.


Descartes will provide training to employees regarding the Accessible Customer Service Standard, the Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation, and on the Human Rights Code as it relates to persons with disabilities. Training will be provided in a way that best suits the duties of employees and other staff members.

All employees of Descartes and contractors that work for Descartes, will undergo the required training by January 1, 2015. New employees receive training within the first month of employment.

Descartes will use the following training modules developed by HRDownloads Inc. effective July 1, 2014:

  1. 1. AODA Express Customer Service Standard
    • AODA Customer Service Standard Legislation
    • Interacting and communicating with individuals with various disabilities
    • Understanding service disruptions and feedback
  2. Integrated Accessibility Standards — Information/Communication and Employment Standards
    • Integrated Accessibility Standards - Introduction and Overview of General Requirements
    • Integrated Accessibility Standards - Information & Communication Standard
    • Integrated Accessibility Standards - Employment Standard
  3. Understanding Human Rights Training - AODA Edition
    • Review the Ontario Human Rights Code
    • Explain key components of Human Rights in Ontario
    • Explain how these important pieces of legislation apply to the requirements outlined under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA)

Accessible Information and communications

Descartes is committed to meeting the communication needs of persons with disabilities. Descartes will consult with customers and employees with disabilities to determine their needs to better provide accessible information and communication needs.


Descartes will ensure that the process for receiving and responding to feedback is accessible to persons with disabilities. The following steps will be taken to ensure existing feedback processes are accessible to people with disabilities upon request by January 1, 2015.

  • Feedback will be accepted in person at any Descartes office location, by telephone, in writing, by email, and through the Descartes website.
  • Accessibility related inquiries will be forwarded to the V.P. of Human Resources for review and resolution.

Accessible Formats and Communication Supports

Descartes will provide, or arrange to provide, upon request, accessible formats and communication supports in a timely manner and at no additional cost to a person with a disability. Descartes will consult with the person requesting an accessible format or communication support to determine accessibility needs.

Descartes will take the following steps to make sure all publicly available information is made accessible upon request by January 1, 2016.

  • Documents can be made available in large print.
  • Visual and audio information can be made available by text transcript.
  • Written information can be read aloud to the person directly.

Emergency Procedures, Plans and Public Safety Information

Descartes is committed to providing customers and clients with publicly available emergency information in an accessible format or with appropriate communication supports, upon request.

Accessible Websites and Web Content

Descartes will ensure its internet website,, and its web content conform with the World Wide Web Consortium Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0. WCAG 2.0 is an international standard for making websites and web content accessible to a broader range of users with disabilities.

Descartes’ website,, currently conforms with WCAG 2.0 Level A.

Descartes will take the following steps to make all websites and content conform to WCAG 2.0 in accordance with the schedule below.

  • Effective January 1, 2014, any new internet websites and web content (including documents such as Word and PDFs) will conform with WCAG 2.0 Level A.
  • By January 1, 2021, all internet websites and web content will conform with WCAG 2.0 Level AA, other than: (i) success criteria 1.2.4 Captions (Live), and (ii) success criteria 1.2.5 Audio Descriptions (Pre-recorded).

Accessible Employment

Descartes is committed to providing accessibility across all stages of the employment life cycle. By proactively removing barriers across the employment life cycle, Descartes will create a workplace that is accessible and allows employees to reach their full potential.

Recruitment, Assessment, and Selection

Descartes will notify internal and external job applicants that, where needed, accommodation for disabilities will be provided, on request, to support their participation in all aspects of the recruitment and selection process. 

Descartes will take the following steps effective January 1, 2016:

  • Descartes will notify employees and the public of the availability of accommodation for applicants with disabilities in the recruitment process on job postings.
  • During the recruitment and assessment process, Descartes will notify job applicants that accommodations are available upon request by including an availability of accommodation notice as part of the script in the scheduling of an interview and/or assessment.
  • If a selected applicant requests an accommodation, Descartes will consult with the applicant and provide or arrange for the provision of a suitable accommodation in a manner that takes into account the applicant‘s accessibility needs due to disability.
  • When making offers of employment Descartes will notify the successful applicant of its policies for accommodating employees with disabilities and include notification of Descartes’ policies on accommodating employees with disabilities in offer of employment letters.

Informing Employees of Supports

Descartes will inform new and existing employees of their policies for supporting employees with disabilities, including providing employment-related accommodations for disabilities. Information will be provided by email, staff-memos, and Descartes’ intranet.

Descartes will take the following steps effective January 1, 2016:

  • Descartes will inform all employees of its policies for supporting employees with disabilities. This includes policies on providing employment-related accommodations that take into account the accessibility needs of employees with disabilities.
  • Descartes will provide new employees information of its policies for supporting employees with disabilities as soon as practicable after they begin their employment.
  • Descartes will provide updated information to its employees whenever there is a change to existing policies on the provision of job accommodations that take into account an employee‘s accessibility needs due to disability.

Accessible Formats and Communication Supports

Descartes will consult with employees who have disabilities in order to provide them with the accessible formats and communications supports they require to do their jobs effectively and to be informed of information that is generally available to all employees in the workplace.

Descartes will take the following steps effective January 1, 2016:

  • On request, Descartes will consult with employees with disabilities to determine which accessible formats or communications supports they require in order to perform his or her job effectively.
  • On request, Descartes will provide information that is generally available to employees in the workplace (newsletters, policies, general training...etc.) in the accessible format and/or communication supports as required by employees with disabilities.

Workplace Emergency Response Information

Descartes will prepare for the specific needs that employees with disabilities may have in emergency situations by providing individualized workplace emergency response information for such potential events as fire, power outages, severe weather, natural disasters, and security incidents. The following steps are currently being taken:

  • Descartes will provide individualized workplace emergency response information to employees who have a disability, if the disability is such that the individualized information is necessary and Descartes is aware of the need for accommodation due to the employee‘s disability.
  • Descartes will consult with employees who have disabilities, so that the individualized workplace emergency response information meets the employees’ needs.
  • With the employees’ consent, Descartes will provide the workplace emergency response information to the person designated by the employer to provide assistance to the employee if an employee with disabilities requires assistance when evacuating the workplace in emergencies.
  • Descartes will provide the information required under this section as soon as practicable after becoming aware of the need for accommodation due to an employee‘s disability.
  • Descartes will review the individualized workplace emergency response information, (a) when the employee moves to a different location in the organization; (b) when the employee‘s overall accommodations needs or plans are reviewed; and (c) when Descartes reviews its general emergency response policies.
  • Individualized workplace emergency response information provided to the employee will be included in the employee’s individual accommodation plan if applicable.

Individual Accommodation Plans

Descartes will develop and put in place a process for developing written individual accommodation plans and return-to-work policies for employees that have been absent due to a disability.

Descartes will take the following steps effective January 1, 2016:

  • Descartes will develop and have in place a written process for the development of documented individual accommodation plans for employees with disabilities. The process for the development of documented individual accommodation plans will include the following elements:
    • The manner in which an employee requesting accommodation can participate in the development of the individual accommodation plan.
    • The means by which the employee is assessed on an individual basis.
    • The manner in which the employer can request an evaluation by an outside medical or other expert, at the employer‘s expense, to determine if and how accommodation can be achieved.
    • The manner in which the employee can request the participation of a representative from their bargaining agent, where the employee is represented by a bargaining agent, or other representative from the workplace, where the employee is not represented by a bargaining agent, in the development of the accommodation plan.
    • The steps taken to protect the privacy of the employee‘s personal information.
    • The frequency with which the individual accommodation plan will be reviewed and updated and the manner in which it will be done.
    • If an individual accommodation plan is denied, the manner in which the reasons for the denial will be provided to the employee.
    • The means of providing the individual accommodation plan in a format that takes into account the employee‘s accessibility needs due to disability.
  • Individual accommodation plans will: (a) if requested, include any information regarding accessible formats and communications supports provided; (b) if required, include individualized workplace emergency response information; and (c) identify any other accommodation that is to be provided.

Return to Work

Descartes will have in place a documented process for supporting employees who return to work after being away for reasons related to their permanent, recurring or temporary disabilities.

Descartes will take the following steps effective January 1, 2016:

  • Descartes will develop and have in place a return to work process for its employees that documents the steps they will take to help employees return to work when an employee has been absent from work due to a disability and requires disability-related accommodations in order to return to work.
  • The return to work process will outline the steps Descartes will take to facilitate the return to work of employees who were absent because their disability required them to be away from work and will include the use of individual documented accommodation plans.

Performance Management, Career Development, and Redeployment

Descartes is committed to providing employees with disabilities opportunities for development, growth, and advancement within the organization. Descartes’ performance management, career development, and redeployment processes will take into account the accessibility needs of employees with disabilities.

Descartes will take the following steps effective January 1, 2016:

  • Descartes will take the accessibility needs of employees with disabilities and, as applicable, their individualized accommodation plans into when assessing performance, managing career development and advancement, and redeployment.
  • Descartes’ performance management process will take into account the accessibility needs of employees with disabilities, as well as individual accommodation plans, when using its performance management process in respect of employees with disabilities. This process includes any activities related to assessing and improving employee performance, productivity and effectiveness, with the goal of facilitating employee success.
  • Descartes will take into account the accessibility needs of its employees with disabilities as well as any individual accommodation plans, when providing career development and advancement to its employees with disabilities. Career development and advancement includes providing additional responsibilities within an employee’s current position and the movement of an employee from one job to another in an organization that may be higher in pay, provide greater responsibility or be at a higher level in the organization or any combination of them and, for both additional responsibilities and employee movement, is usually based on merit or seniority, or a combination of them.
  • Descartes will take into account the accessibility needs of its employees with disabilities, as well as individual accommodation plans, when redeploying or considering reassignment of employees to other departments or jobs within the organization as an alternative to layoff, when a particular job or department has been eliminated by the organization.

For More Information

Any comments and suggestions are welcome about the manner in which Descartes provides its goods and services. If you would like more information on this accessibility plan or would like to request this document in an alternate format please contact us.

Human Resources North America
Phone: (519) 746-8110
Toll Free: 1 (800) 419-8495
Fax: (519) 746-0289

Descartes Systems Group
Attn: Human Resources
120 Randall Drive
Waterloo, ON N2V 1C6

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