How to comply with Ontario’s accessibility standard for customer service, part of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act?
Here are tips from People Access, a non-profit organization helping Ontario's Ministry of Community and Social Services bring awareness:
- Determine how your business will provide services to people with disabilities and incorporate that into your company's policies, practices and procedures.
- Allow customers who might need the aid of personal assistive devices like wheelchairs, walkers or oxygen tanks to access your services.
- Communicate with a person with a disability in a manner that takes into account his or her disability.
- Train all staff to provide accessible customer service, including management, volunteers or anyone who will be acting on your behalf with customers.
- Allow people with disabilities to bring a guide or service animal with them to your place of business, unless it is prohibited by law.
- Allow people with disabilities who require a support person to bring that person with them. If you charge a fee, you can decide whether to waive or lower the fee for the support person.
- Provide notice when facilities or services that people with disabilities rely on are temporarily disrupted (such as accessible washrooms or ramps on your property).
- Establish a process so that people can provide feedback on how you provide services to people with disabilities.
- If you’re a business with 20 or more employees, you’ll need to file regular compliance reports with the Ministry of Community and Social Services and keep a written record of your policies, practices and procedures related to accessibility.
- While smaller businesses need to develop these policies, practices and procedures and make sure they are communicated to all employees, they don’t have to keep a written record or file reports.