ACCESSIBILITY STANDARDS FOR CUSTOMER
The Accessibility Standard for Customer Service is a regulation under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disability Act, 2005 (AODA).
It applies to all organizations (public, private and non-profit) that provide goods or services either directly to the public or to other organizations in Ontario and that have one or more employees in Ontario.
By definition, a customer is any person including a person with disability who can come into contact or require your goods and /or services. This will virtually affect all Ontario business.
By January 1, 2012, organizations will be obligated to:
1. Develop and put in place, a plan that outlines how you will provide goods or services to people with disabilities. This means developing policies and procedures outlining the provisions of goods and services to individuals with disabilities.
Create and put in place an accessibility plan that:
2. Provide training to all employees who interact with the public on the provision of goods or services.
In addition, organizations with 20 or more employees will also be required to:
3. Inform customers that Customer Service Standard Policy is available on request and;
4. Report compliance to the Ministry of Community and Social Services by December 31st, 2012.
For non-compliant organizations, fines are imposed under section 37 (5) of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disability Act, 2005. Fines range from $200.00 as an administrative penalty to as much as $50,000 to $100,000 per day for non-compliance.
In addition to the Customer Service Standards the new Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation sets out further requirements in the area of Transportation, Employment, Information and Communications establishes for organizations operating with 50 or more employees with compliance dates starting in January 1, 2012 and ending in 2021.
If you are interested in attending a seminar on complying with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act please reply to this email. We will email you a registration form outlining the particulars with date(s) and location(s).