As of July 1, 2016, the Accessibility Standards for Customer Service (Ontario Regulation 429/07) and all other accessibility standards are now consolidated into one Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation (Ontario Regulation 191/11).
For 4SafeCom system subscribers, the online training module has been amended with the new requirements related to training, service animals, support persons, feedback, policies, procedures and notice requirements.
In order for companies to comply with the training requirements of the accessibility standard, employees must receive training on the integrated standard and human rights code as it applies to AODA. The employees who have already been trained on the previous integrated accessibility standard should be informed of these updates as it applies to your organization.
As an employer, you should question yourself:
- Has my accessible customer service policy been updated with the new changes?
- Have all new members of the organization been trained on accessible customer service?
- Are all employees aware of the new changes?
- If there are at least 50 employees in the organization, is there a document summarizing policy compliance and is it made publically available?
- Am I aware of the requirement to submit accessibility compliance report by December 31, 2017?
Summary of changes:
New Training Requirements: All members of an organization are now required to be trained on
accessible customer service and on interacting with people with
Requirements: Organizations were previously required to provide
training on interacting with people with disabilities to members of an
organization who create policies and procedures or work with customers
New Service Animals Requirements: A person with a disability may provide documentation from a regulated health professional confirming that they require the animal for reasons relating to the disability. A regulated health professional includes the following:
A member of the College of:
- Audiologists and Speech-Language Pathologists of Ontario.
- Chiropractors of Ontario.
- Nurses of Ontario.
- Occupational Therapists of Ontario.
- Optometrists of Ontario.
- Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario.
- Physiotherapists of Ontario.
- Psychologists of Ontario.
- Registered Psychotherapists and Registered Mental Health Therapists of Ontario.
Previous Requirements: An organization may ask a person with a disability to provide a letter from a physician or nurse confirming that a service animal is required because of his or her disability.
New Support Person(s) Requirements: Organizations must first consult the person with the disability to understand their needs, evaluate any health and safety issues that may arise, and determine if there are any other reasonable ways to protect the person. If there are no such ways, the required support person must be waived of fees or fares where applicable. Previous Requirements: Organizations may require those with disabilities to be accompanied by a support person for health and safety reasons.
New Feedback Requirements: Organizations must now ensure that the process for providing feedback is accessible to all persons. They must also be able to arrange for accessible formats and communication supports, on request. Previous Requirements: Organizations must provide a way for customers with disabilities to comment on how accessible customer service may be provided.
Documenting Policies, Practices and Procedures: Businesses or not-for- profit organizations with 50 or more employees must put their accessible customer service policy in writing and make it available on request. The policy may be posted publicly or online, and must be provided in accessible format or with communication support, on request. Previous Requirements: Businesses or not-for- profit organizations with 20 or more employees must put their accessible customer service policy in writing and make it available on request. The policy must be provided in a format that takes into account the person’s disability.
Policy Summary and Notice Requirements: Organizations with 50 or more employees must create a document describing the policies under the Customer Service Standards section of the new Integrated Accessibility Standards. Under the new regulation, organizations will also need to draft a notice informing the public of the availability of the document describing
Customer Service Standards policies. Previous Requirements: None.
Please contact our compliance advisors at (905) 532-1488 for more information on how to maintain compliance to Ontario’s Accessibility Standards.