Accessible customer service is about understanding that people with disabilities may have different needs and finding the best way to help them access goods and services. It can be as easy as asking “How can I help?” and making small changes to how you serve customers with disabilities.
The Accessibility Standard for Customer Service applies to all organizations (public, private and non-profit) that provide goods or services either directly to the public or to other organizations in Ontario and that have one or more employees in Ontario.
This includes consultants, manufacturers and wholesalers as well as other businesses and professional services.
Requirements for organizations pertain to topics such as:
What you need to do depends on how many employees you have.
Count all full-time, part-time, seasonal and contract employees.
Do not include volunteers or independent contractors in your count.
For organizations that persist in not meeting their obligations, the government has the power to conduct inspections, assign monetary penalties and prosecute through the courts.
The Licence Appeal Tribunal will hear appeals from organizations on compliance matters. The tribunal will not hear complaints from individuals. A person who feels that their human rights have not been met will still need to direct their complaints to the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario.
Our first goal is always to help organizations meet their accessibility requirements. We are here to help you meet your commitments with educational tools and templates that will make it easier for you to understand what you need to do and how to do it.
Visit the Government of Ontario e-Laws website to read:
Watch our ASL video:
Part 1 talks about the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act and what it means to provide accessible customer service.
Part 2 talks about the Accessible Customer Service Standard and the steps you need to take to meet requirements.
You can also watch it by downloading the whole video: Windows Media (387 MB)
Please note: Many individuals and companies are now offering consulting services on accessibility matters including compliance with the requirements of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act and the standards.
The Accessibility Directorate of Ontario, the Ministry of Economic Development, Employment and Infrastructure, and the Government of Ontario do not endorse any accessibility consultant, including their advice, opinions or recommendations.