Are you compliant? Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act

The Customer Service Standard applies to all organizations, both public and private, that provide goods or services either directly to the public or to other organizations in Ontario (third parties) and that have one or more employees in Ontario.

Employer Requirements to Comply:

Policies, Practices & Procedures

  • Establish policies, practices and procedures on providing goods or services to people with disabilities.
  • Use reasonable efforts to ensure that your policies, practices and procedures are consistent with the core principles of independence, dignity, integration and equality of opportunity.

Accessibility Practices

  • Set a policy on allowing people to use their own personal assistive devices to access your goods and use your services and about any other measures your organization offers (assistive devices, services, or methods) to enable them to access your goods and use your services.
  • Communicate with a person with a disability in a manner that takes into account her or her disability.
  • Allow people with disabilities to be accompanied by their guide dog or service animal in those areas of the premises you own or operate that are open to the public, unless the animal is excluded by another laws.  If a service animal is excluded by law, use other measures to provide services to the person with a disability.
  • Permit people with disabilities who use a support person to bring that person with them while accessing goods or services in premises open to the public or third parties.
  • Where admission fees are charged, provide notice ahead of time on what admission, if any, would be charged for a support person of a person with a disability.

Disruptions in Service

  • Provide notice when facilities or services that people with disabilities rely on to access or use your goods or services are temporarily disrupted.

Training

  • Train staff, volunteers, contractors and any other people who interact with the public or other third parties on your behalf on the customer service standard and your customer service policies, accessibility practices and procedures.
  • Train staff, volunteers, contractors and any other people who are involved in developing your policies, practices and procedures on the provision of goods or services on the customer service standard regulations.

Feedback Process

  • Establish a process for people to provide feedback on how you provide goods or services to people with disabilities and how you will respond to any feedback and take action on any complaints.  Make the information about your feedback process readily available to the public.

Additional Employer Requirements to Comply – for Employers with 20 or more Employees:

  • All policies, practices and procedures for providing accessible customer service must be documented in writing.  Maintain a training log to include who was trained, on what, and when.
  • Notify customers that your customer service policy, practice and procedure documents are available upon request.
  • Offer documents in accessible formats, if requested.
  • Report your progress on-line by December 31, 2012.

Contact Faye Wales for assistance in implementing the accessibility standards for customer service in your organization.

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