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The Accessibility Standards for Customer Service (Ontario Regulation 429/07) came into force on January 1st, 2008. If you are a provider of goods or services, and have one or more employees in Ontario, you will be required to comply with the regulation.
* If you are a public sector organization designated in the standard, you must
comply by January 1st, 2010
* If you are a private business, non-profit organization, or any other service provider
with atleast one employee in Ontario, you must comply by January 1st, 2012
Below outlines what you must do to ensure you are providing accessible customer service to people with various kinds of disabilities. The following is a summary of requirements:
1. Establish policies,practices and procedures on providing goods or services to people with disabilities.
2. 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.
3. 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.
4. Communicate with a person with a disability in a manner that takes into account his or her disability.
5. 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 law. If a service animal is excluded by law, use other measures to provide services to the person with a disability.
6. 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.
7. 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 disabilities.
8. Provide notice when facilities or services that people with disabilities rely on to access or use your goods or services are temporarily disrupted.
9. Train staff, volunteers, contractors and any other people who interact with the public or other third parties on your behalf on a number of topics as outlined in the customer service standard.
10. 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 a number of topics as outlined in the customer service standard.
11. 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.
The following publications are available to assist you:
~ Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities act, 2005
~ Complaince Manual - Accessibility Standards for Customer Service
~ Compliance Manual for Small Businesses and Organizations
~ Training Resource: Accessibility Standrads for Customer Service, ON Reg 429/07
~ Training Resource for Small Businesses and Organizations
~ Choose the right word