It ensures that persons with disabilities receive services whether or not buildings, print, media, etc. are accessible
The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act was passed in 2005 with a goal to make Ontario accessible for people with disabilities by 2025
1. Accessible Customer Service (Regulation 429/07) Addresses business practices and training needed to provide better customer service to people with disabilities As of January 1 st, 2012 all public and private sector organizations were required to comply (all employees must have Accessible Customer Service Training)
2. Accessible Information and Communications Addresses the removal of barriers in access to information (e.g. print, websites, etc.) 3. Accessible Employment Addresses paid employment practices (e.g. recruitment, hiring and retention policies) to promote equal employment opportunities for persons with disabilities 4. Accessible Transportation Addresses aspects of accessible public transportation including bus and taxicabs
5. Accessible Built Environment Standard Addresses access into and within buildings and outdoor spaces and is expected to build on Ontarios Building Code. Not yet law Could include things like counter height, aisle and door width, parking and signs
The standards are mandatory when they become regulation They ensure that people with disabilities have equal access to each of these areas and they apply to private and public sector organizations across Ontario Who is impacted? Everyone in Ontario
We expect our employees and contractors who do business on our behalf to: 1. Communicate in a way that considers the persons disability 2. Allow service animals in our buildings and facilities except when prohibited by law (food preparation locations only) 3. Allow support persons to attend with people with disabilities who are accessing our goods or services and notify them of costs (if any)
4. Know what assistive devices are on the work premises and if you must operate the device know how to do so (e.g. Accessible interactive kiosks adjustable desks, automatic door opener, lift) 5. When facilities or services are not available know what the alternative services are and Let the supervisor know immediately if you see a service disruption happening Be prepared to provide alternative services to a person with a disability if requested 6. Accept feedback and advise your supervisor
Every employer must maintain accessible customer service policies regarding: Communications with a person with a disability Assistive Devices Support Persons Service Animals Alternative Services and Feedback Ask your supervisor for your companies policies
Its an offence to fail to take all reasonable care to prevent the corporation from committing an offence Just like Health and Safety, we are all responsible to ensure that we comply with the Accessible Customer Service Regulation Failure to do so could result in severe personal penalties: o Fine of up to $50,000 for persons or organizations for each day or part of a day that an offence occurs or continues o Corporations - $100,000 per day
We must make certain that our policies, practices and procedures ensure that persons with disabilities are able to access our goods and services with: Independence Dignity Integration Equal Opportunity
We all have individual needs- accessibility is about removing barriers so that everyone has access to the same services, in the same way and in the same place.
Result from the way people think or behave Some people form certain ideas about persons with disabilities because of stereotypes or a lack of understanding about different types of disabilities
The following can make it difficult for people to receive or convey information: small print size low colour contrast between text and background confusing design of printed materials use of language that is not clear or easy to understand
These are any practices or rules that restrict people with disabilities – for example, denying access to a person with a service animal.
A lack of technology can prevent people from accessing information Everyday tools like computers, telephones and other aids can all present barriers
May result from the design of a building such as stairs, doorways, the width of hallways and even room layout
Accessibility is about social inclusion. For Ontario to be accessible, everybody has to be able to participate. In order for everyone to be able to participate, we must eliminate all barriers Greatest barrier to accessibility: our attitude and perception of people with disabilities
Today, 15.5% of Ontarios population has a disability 47% of Ontarians over the age of 65 have a disability For every 10 customers you serve, 1 or 2 may have a disability
Vision Loss Hearing Loss Mental health disabilities Physical disabilities Learning disabilities Intellectual disabilities Speech/language disabilities
MythReality People with disabilities are inferior to "normal" people and their lives are very different. What is "normal"? We all have different abilities, talents, interests and personalities you name it! People with disabilities are us! We need to feel sorry for people with disabilities. That's patronizing. People with disabilities don't need pity. They need access to opportunities. People with disabilities are brave and courageous. Adjusting to a disability requires adapting to a lifestyle, not bravery and courage. It's not a good idea to hire people with disabilities. They have a higher turnover rate and they take sick days more often. When a business hires people with disabilities: The pool of potential employees becomes larger Staff retention rates increase Absenteeism decreases People with disabilities are easily offended and it is difficult to serve them. You just need to be as polite and respectful as you would when speaking to anyone. Customers with disabilities are looking for the same quality of products and services.
Often we are afraid to ask persons with disabilities whether they need help because we think we will offend them We should not treat customers with disabilities any different than other customers The best way to provide accessible customer service to a person with a disability is to ask them: How can I help you?
Patience and a willingness to find a way to communicate are your best tools Speak normally and clearly, and directly to the person Take some time people with some kinds of learning disabilities may take a little longer to understand and respond Try to find ways to provide information in a way that works best for them (e.g. have a paper and pen handy)
Speak normally and directly to your customer People with physical disabilities often have their own ways of doing things - ask before you help Be patient Don't touch assistive devices, including wheelchairs, unless it's an emergency Tell the person about accessible features in surrounding area (automatic doors, accessible washrooms, etc.) Remove obstacles and rearrange furniture so they have clear passage
Identify yourself when you approach the person and speak directly to them Speak normally and clearly Never touch the person or service animal without their permission If you offer assistance, wait until you receive permission Offer your arm to guide the person and walk slowly Dont just assume the person cant see you
Always ask how you can help – dont shout Look at and speak directly to the person - address them, not their interpreter If necessary, ask if another method of communicating would be easier (e.g. example a pen and paper) Be clear and precise when giving directions, and repeat or rephrase if necessary If the person uses a hearing aid, try to speak in a quiet area - background noise can be distracting
If you don't understand, ask the person to repeat the information If possible, ask questions that can be answered yes or no Be patient and polite Give the person whatever time they need to get their point across Patience, respect and a willingness to find a way to communicate are your best tools
Treat a person with a mental health disability with the same respect and consideration you have for everyone else Be confident and reassuring Listen carefully and work with the person to meet their needs If someone appears to be in a crisis, ask them to tell you the best way to help
Dont SaySay crazy insane lunatic psycho mental mental patient maniac neurotic psychotic unsound mind Schizophrenic It is important to recognize the PERSON first. a person with a mental illness a person with a mental disorder a person with a mood disorder (for example, a person with bipolar disorder) a person with a personality disorder (for example, a person with an antisocial personality disorder) a person with an anxiety disorder (for example, a person with obsessive-compulsive disorder) a person with schizophrenia
Don't assume what a person can or cannot do Use plain language and speak in short sentences Make sure the person understands what you've said If you can't understand what's being said, don't pretend Provide one piece of information at a time Speak directly to the person, not to their companion or attendant
Dont SaySay mentally retarded idiot simple retarded feeble-minded imbecile mongoloid mongolism Downs a person with an intellectual disability a person with a developmental disability a person with Down Syndrome It is important to recognize the PERSON first.
A Support person may be a: Personal support worker Volunteer Family Member Friend Support persons may help with communication, personal care and/or medical needs Support persons must always be allowed to accompany persons with a disabilities Speak directly to customer with disability and not to support worker
Some people with disabilities use assistive devices to help with mobility or communication. Some examples include: Wheelchairs Walkers Canes Hearing aids TTY (Sends typed messages across phone lines) Assistive devices are part of peoples personal space This is why it is inappropriate to touch, hold or lean on a persons assistive device without permission
We want to provide our services in a way that promotes: Independence Dignity Integration Equal Opportunity
1. Ask each customer: How may I help you? 2. Smile, relax and focus on the customer 3. Be patient, optimistic, and willing to find a way to communicate Never assume that a customer needs your help if they seem unable to find something!