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Tips for compliance with customer service accessibility standard

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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.
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About the Author

Shelley White is a freelance writer, editor, video producer and mother of twins. Before taking the plunge into the wild world of freelance work, she produced educational programming at TVO, explored digital culture at the late lamented Shift magazine and entertained young minds at MuchMusic. More

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