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ACCESSIBILITY WORKS LOUIE DIPALMA. Purpose of this Session Part 1: Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act explained Part 2: Customer service.

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Presentation on theme: "ACCESSIBILITY WORKS LOUIE DIPALMA. Purpose of this Session Part 1: Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act explained Part 2: Customer service."— Presentation transcript:

1 ACCESSIBILITY WORKS LOUIE DIPALMA

2 Purpose of this Session Part 1: Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act explained Part 2: Customer service standard and compliance/reporting obligations Part 3: Resources available to assist business

3 Part 1: Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) Ontario passed the Act in 2005 GOAL: an accessible Ontario by 2025 Accessibility standards: rules businesses and organizations must follow to identify, prevent and remove barriers for customers with disabilities

4 Question True/False Ontario is the first jurisdiction in the world to move from complaints-based legislation to a modern regulatory regime in the area of mandated accessibility. Correct Answer - True

5 Disabilities Defined AODA definition is the same as Ontario Human Rights Code (www.ohrc.on.ca)www.ohrc.on.ca Includes visible and invisible disabilities: Broad range of physical disabilities Developmental disabilities Learning disabilities Mental health disabilities Injury or disability (where benefits are claimed or received under Workplace Safety and Insurance Act) Covers short-term, long-term and permanent disabilities

6 What are the Barriers? Architectural/Structural Information and communication Attitudinal Policy and procedure

7 Accessibility Standards Ontario is developing accessibility standards in the following areas: customer service transportation information and communications employment built environment

8 Customer Service Standard First standard to be developed under AODA Sets out what organizations must do to provide goods and services to people with disabilities Requires the establishment of policies, practices and procedures; staff training; and effective communications

9 Who is Required to Comply? ALL people, businesses and organizations that: provide goods or services directly to the public to other businesses or organizations have 1+ employees in Ontario

10 Compliance Date Organizations in the private sector, including non-profit must comply by January 1, 2012: 20 or more employees must submit an accessibility report through Service Ontario employees are exempted from reporting Determining the number of employees

11 Part 2: Requirements of the Customer Service Standard The requirements of the customer service standard include: Policies, practices and procedures Assistive Devices Communication Notice of temporary disruption of service Service Animals Support Persons Feedback process Training Businesses with 20 or more employees must also: Document policies, practices and procedures Provide documents upon request and in a acceptable format File an accessibility report with the Government of Ontario

12 Policies, Practices and Procedures Policies Practices Procedures Ensure consistency with these principles: Independence, dignity, integration and equal opportunity

13 Assistive Devices Set a policy on how your business or organization deals with the use of: personal assistive devices; and availability of other assistive measures

14 Communication Take into account the persons disability and be prepared to communicate in different ways: In writing Use of pictures In person By telephone Online Train all staff about different disabilities

15 Question True or False A customer who is deaf enters your organization/business. If they do not have a sign language interpreter with them, you can ask the customer in writing to use a pen and paper to communicate. Correct Answer – False

16 Question True or False If you notice a customer enters your place of work with a hearing aid, you should speak very loudly and close to their ear so they can hear you clearly. Correct Answer - False

17 Disruption of Services Provide notice if facilities or services are temporarily unavailable Clearly state: The reason for disruption; anticipated duration; and alternative facilities or service, if available

18 Service Animals Allow Service animals in areas open to the public, unless excluded by law When excluded: Bring goods or services to the person Offer a safe location where the service animal can wait Offer assistance to person with a disability while they are separated from the service animal

19 Question Alex enters a local restaurant accompanied by his service animal. Should the waiter restrict him from eating at the restaurant because animals are not permitted by law in areas where food is prepared? Correct Answer - NO

20 Support Person Allow support person to accompany the person with a disability If not permitted (e.g. change rooms), provide alternative ways to access your goods or services Clearly state if admission fees apply

21 Feedback Determine a feedback process Develop action steps to respond to a complaint Make sure it is readily available such as having it near the cash register or on the website

22 Training Decide on a format that meets your needs Who needs to be trained? 20+ employees maintain training records Provide training on an ongoing basis when: policies change a new person is hired an employee is assigned duties where training is required under the standard

23 Documentation 20+ employees must develop written policies for: General policies, practices and procedures Assistive Devices Service Animal and Support Persons Admission Fees for Support Persons Disruption in services Feedback Process Training Documentations must be accessible File an accessibility report with the government of Ontario in 2012

24 Report Back Process Companies with 20+ employees must report by December 31, 2012 Report can be filled in online by visiting: Click on Customer Service Standard Click on Organizations with 20 or more employees Scroll to Step 4 and click Heres how

25 Customer Service Accessibility Report Questions 1. Does your organization have policies, practices and procedures on providing goods or services to people with disabilities? 2. Does your organization use reasonable efforts to ensure that these policies are consistent with the principles of independence, dignity, integration and equality of opportunity? 3. Do your organization's policies address the use of assistive devices by people with disabilities to access your organization's goods or services, or any available alternative measures that enable them to do so? 4. Do your organization's policies, practices and procedures require your organization to take a person's disability into account when communicating with the person? 5. Do members of the public or other third parties have access to premises that your organization owns or operates? *If your answer is No, skip to question 9 below. (Do not answer questions 6, 7 and 8.)

26 Report Questions Contd 6. Does your organization permit people with disabilities to keep their service animals with them on the parts of your premises that are open to the public or other third parties, except where the animal is excluded by law, and is this included in your policies, practices and procedures? 7. If a service animal is excluded by law from your premises, does your organization ensure that alternate measures are available to enable the person to access your goods or services? 8. Does your organization permit people with disabilities to enter the parts of your premises that are open to the public or other third parties with their support person, and provide notice of any fee charged for the support person, and is this included in your policies, practices and procedures? 9. Does your organization post a notice at a conspicuous place on your premises, on your website, or by another reasonable method, of any temporary disruption in facilities or services that people with disabilities usually use to access your organization's goods or services, including the reason, duration and any alternatives available? 10. Has your organization established and documented a process to receive and respond to feedback on how its goods or services are provided to people with disabilities, including actions that your organization will take when a complaint is received?

27 Report Questions Contd 10. Has your organization established and documented a process to receive and respond to feedback on how its goods or services are provided to people with disabilities, including actions that your organization will take when a complaint is received? 11. Does your organization make information about its feedback process readily available to the public, including how feedback may be provided (e.g. in person, by telephone, in writing, by , on diskette or otherwise)? 12. Does your organization ensure that the following people receive training about providing your goods or services to people with disabilities: every person who deals with the public or other third parties on behalf of your organization, and every person who participates in developing your organization's policies, practices and procedures on providing goods or services? 13. Does this training include your organization's current policies, practices and procedures required under the Customer Service Standard and all the topics listed in section 6(2) of the standard? 14. Does your organization have a written training policy that includes a summary of the contents of the training (per question 11 above) and details of when the training is to be provided, and does your organization keep records of the dates that training was provided and how many people were trained? 15. Does your organization post a notice at a conspicuous place on your premises, on your website, or by another reasonable method, that the documents required by the Customer Service Standard are available upon request, and do you provide those documents in a format that takes a person's disability into account?

28 Compliance Toolkit Designed to help Ontario business become more aware of and comply with the standard Comprised of 2 sections: Information about customer service standard and its requirements Self assessment tool

29 For more information, contact: Service Ontario Toll-free: TTY: / Toll-free: Fax: Website: Ontario Chamber of Commerce Louie DiPalma (416) ext.227 Website:

30 Useful Links Accessibility Works For more information about the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act visit:

31 An initiative of:


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