As of January 1, 2010, Ontario’s hospitals, schools, municipalities and other public organizations are now required to provide service that is accessible to everyone. The private sector and non-profit organizations will follow in 2012.
The Accessible Customer Service Standard requires that all businesses and organizations in Ontario:
- train staff about meeting the needs of customers with a variety of disabilities
- communicate with a person in a manner that takes into account their disability
- permit customers to bring their service animals, such as guide dogs, onto their premises.
“Accessible customer service is about learning how to communicate with someone who has a disability and, most importantly, it is about being willing to help,” says Community and Social Services Minister Madeleine Meilleur.
The Accessible Customer Service Standard is part of the province’s plan to make Ontario accessible by 2025. More accessibility standards will soon be finalized to tackle barriers in other key areas of every day life.