Ontario businesses provide accessible customer service to persons with disabilities

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Customer Service Toolkits for creating an accessible customer service plan are available at the
Ontario Ministry of community and Social Services website.
Designated public sector organizations, of any size, and businesses with 20 or more
employees must comply with additional requirements, including documentation of
all policies, practices & procedures, notifying customers that required documentation
is available on request, and filing accessibility compliance reports.
The Accessibility Standard for Customer Service is also referred to as the
Customer Service Standard or Accessible Customer Service Standard. 
This standard is a set of rules and requirements developed under the
Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (AODA)  in order that
the province of Ontario may be fully accessible to people with disabilities
by the year 2025.  The Accessible Customer Service Standard is now law.
As stated by AODA, "Recognizing the history of discrimination against persons with
disabilities in Ontario, the purpose of this Act is to benefit all Ontarians by, a) developing,
implementing and enforcing accessibility standards in order to achieve accessibility for
Ontarians with disabilities with respect to goods, services, facilities, accommodation,
employment, buildings, structures and premises on or before Jan 1, 2025;
and b) providing for the involvement of persons with disabilities, of the Government of
Ontario and of representatives of industries and of various sectors of the economy in the
development of the accessibility standards."
The Customer Service Standard outlines requirements such as development
of policies & procedures, how to communicate with people with disabilities,
provision of training for staff, service animals, support persons, and the feedback process.
Accessibility Standard for Customer Service (Ontario Regulation, 429/07)
became law on January 1, 2008, and was phased in as follows: 
designated public sector organizations by January 1, 2010;
private and non-profit sectors by January 1, 2012.
See the Ontario Ministry of Community and Social Services website - Making Ontario Accessible.
This standard applies to all businesses and organizations operating in Ontario
that provide goods or services and have one or more employees. 
Examples include stores, restaurants, hospitals, schools, malls, parks,
libraries, manufacturers, etc.
The Accessible Customer Service Standard ensures that businesses in Ontario
identify and remove barriers to access, and provide accessible customer service to
persons with disabilities, in order to allow equal access and full participation in society.
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