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What you need to do to be in compliance with the AODA – Customer Service Legislation

The customer service standard is the first standard to be developed under the AODA [Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act]. Other standards are transportation, information and communications, employment and the built environment. All standards except the built standard have been passed. Organizations have less than 6 months left to comply by meeting the legislated steps and guidelines provided to them by the Ontario Government for the Customer Service Standard. The Integrated Standards are - transportation, information and communications and employment. These were passed on June 3rd, 2011.

The first of the five Standards, Customer Service has an extended compliance deadline of January 1, 2012. This may seem like a long ways off, but really it is not. We have provided you with the following checklist of things to do to compliance to assist you in getting started. That said, the integrated standards overlap this standard in the compliance deadline times. It is therefore our recommendation that you get started on this as soon as possible to alleviate the burden of having to comply with several standards at once.

Under the Accessibility Standards for Customer Service, you must do the following things to make sure you are providing accessible customer service to people with various forms of disabilities (physically visible and non-visible disabilities)

You must complete the following 11 steps to compliance:

  1. Establish policies, practices and procedures on providing goods or services to people with disabilities.
  2. Set a policy on allowing people to use their own personal assistive devices to access your goods and use your services and about any other measures your organization offers (assistive devices, services or methods) to enable them to access your goods and use your services
  3. Use reasonable efforts to ensure that your policies, practices and procedures are consistent with the core principles of independence, dignity, integration and equality of opportunity.
  4. Communicate with a person with a disability in a manner that takes into account his or her disability.
  5. Train staff, volunteers, contractors and any other people who interact with the public or other third parties on your behalf on a number of topics as outlined in the customer service standard.
  6. Train staff, volunteers, contractors and any other people who are involved in developing your policies, practices and procedures on the provision of goods or services on a number of topics as outlined in the customer service standard.
  7. Allow people with disabilities to be accompanied by their guide dog or service animal in those areas of the premises you own or operate that are open to the public, unless the animal is excluded by another law. If a service animal is excluded by law, use other measures to provide services to the person with a disability.
  8. Permit people with disabilities who use a support person to bring that person with them while accessing goods or services in premises open to the public or third parties.
  9. Where admission fees are charged, provide notice ahead of time on what admission, if any, would be charged for a support person of a person with a disability.
  10. Provide notice when facilities or services that people with disabilities rely on to access or use your goods or services are temporarily disrupted.
  11. Establish a process for people to provide feedback on how you provide goods or services to people with disabilities and how you will respond to any feedback and take action on any complaints. Make the information about your feedback process readily available to the public.

If you meet the following criteria, you have additional responsibilities:

  1. are a designated public sector organization, or
  2. have 20 or more employees

If you checked off one or all of the above, you must also:

  1. document in writing your accessible customer service policies, practices and procedures
  2. notify your customers that these documents are available upon request, and
  3. provide information in the required document(s), when providing them to a person with a disability, in a format that takes into account their disability.

Learn more about the steps to compliance

Beyond Rewards spends many hours researching in order to bring you tools to assist you in meeting and exceeding legislative requirements in Ontario and across Canada. We have developed toolkits to assist you with your AODA requirements:

  1. The AODA- Customer Service [AODA-CS] D.I.Y.
  2. The AODA – Integrated Standards [AODA-IS] D.I.Y.

Each of these Toolkits includes:

  1. Guide Book and instructions
  2. Step by Step Checklists
  3. Gap Analysis Process
  4. Sample forms
  5. Policies, Procedures & Program Templates
  6. Recommended Links and other Resources
  7. Customizable Training Material for you to train your staff, subcontractors and volunteers.
  8. 1 hours of phone support
  9. Reduced Rate for Ongoing Support and Human Resource Assistance relating to the AODA.

You can purchase the AODA - Customer Service D.I.Y. Toolkit Online or fax the order form.

You can purchase the AODA – Integrated Standards D.I.Y. Toolkit Online

Courses and Workshops are provided to you our clients through different Mediums to assist you with compliance of the AODA:

  1. Webinars:
  2. Face-to-Face Workshops:
  3. Online Training Courses:
  4. CD for in-House Training (not for resale or use outside of your organization):

Register for upcoming AODA Workshops, Webinars and Online Courses to assist you in the development of your compliance standards under the AODA.