The new Accessibility Standard for Customer Service comes into effect across Ontario on January 1, 2012. If you have any employees, you will be required to establish policies, practices and procedures on providing goods or services to people with disabilities. You will also be asked to train your employees on:
- how to communicate with people with various types of disabilities;
- how to interact with people with disabilities who use assistive devices or require the assistance of a guide dog, other service animal or a support person;
- how to use equipment or devices available at your premises, that may help people with disabilities access your services, such as TTY telephones, elevators, lifts, accessible interactive kiosks or other technology;
- what to do if a person with a disability is having difficulty accessing your services;
- protocol to take if service normally available to the disabled is temporarily not available
Here is what you need to do:
2. For the procedures, practices and policies to put in place, please read:
- Summary of Requirements (The 11 requirements you need to know).
- Business Checklist: Compliance Manual for Small Business
- Accessibility Standard for Customer Service explained
- Training Resources for Small Business
3. Train your employees - refer to video or DVD links below for detailed overview of how to provide training. Keep a record of the date your employees are trained or retrained.
- Servability Service Video - having your staff view this video fulfills your employee training requirements.
- You can also order a FREE- DVD - "Serve-Ability: Transforming Ontario's Customer Service", publication #017394 from ServiceOntario Publications. Phone:1-800-668-9938.
- Understanding Accessibility Videos - more videos to understand disabilities and accomodation.
- Customer Service - tools to help you comply:
*for companies with 20+ employees an Accessibility Report filing will be mandatory as of March 2012; information to follow.
- Detailed Employer Accessibility Standard for Customer Service handbook, FAQ`s, etc.
- Understanding the Standard (PDF)
- About the Accessibility for Ontarions with Disabilities Act, 2005 (AODA) - outlines the government plan from 2005 to 2025, the different stages being rolled out like the Customer Service Standard implemented January 1, 2012.