Author: Suzanne Cohen Share
If your organization has 20 or more employees, you are obligated to report under the Accessibility Standards for Customer Service, by December 31, 2012. If you have one to nineteen employees you are obligated to comply with the standard, but you need not report or maintain documentation.
Some organizations are just learning about their obligations now. If you are late, there are resources—accessibility experts, e-learning courses, the Accessibility Directorate website and webinars—ready to be of service.
Let us quickly recap the obligatory actions to complete. If you need to report, you will want to say yes to these questions:
- 1. Does your organization have policies, practices and procedures on providing goods or services to people with disabilities?
- 2. Does your organization use reasonable efforts to ensure that these policies are consistent with the principles of independence, dignity, integration and equality of opportunity?
- 3. Do your organization’s policies address the use of assistive devices by people with disabilities to access your organization’s goods or services, or any available alternative measures that enable them to do so?
- 4. Do your organization’s policies, practices and procedures require your organization to take a person’s disability into account when communicating with the person?
- 5. Do members of the public or other third parties have access to premises that your organization owns or operates? If your answer is No, skip to question 9 below. (Do not answer questions 6, 7, and 8.)
- 6. Does your organization permit people with disabilities to keep their service animals with them on the parts of your premises that are open to the public or other third parties, except where the animal is excluded by law, and is this included in your policies, practices and procedures?
- 7. If a service animal is excluded by law from your premises, does your organization ensure that alternate measures are available to enable the person to access your goods and services?
- 8. Does your organization permit people with disabilities to enter the parts of your premises that are open to the public or other third parties with their support person, and provide notice of any fee charged for the support person, and is this included in your policies, practices and procedures?
- 9. Does your organization post a notice at a conspicuous place on your premises, on your website, or by another reasonable method, of any temporary disruption in facilities or services that people with disabilities usually use to access your organization’s goods or services, including the reason, duration and any alternatives available?
- 10. Has your organization established and documented a process to receive and respond to feedback on how its goods or services are provided to people with disabilities, including actions that your organization will take when a complaint is received?
- 11. Does your organization make information about its feedback process readily available to the public, including how feedback may be provided (e.g., in person, by telephone, in writing, by email, on diskette or otherwise)?
- 12. Does your organization ensure that the following people receive training about providing your goods and services to people with disabilities: every person who deals with the public or other third parties on behalf of your organization, and every person who participates in developing your organization’s policies, practices and procedures on providing goods or services?
- 13. Does this training include your organization’s current policies, practices and procedures under the Customer Service Standard and all the topics listed in section 6(2) of the standard?
- 14. Does your organization have a written training policy that includes a summary of the contents of the training (per question 11 above) and details of when the training is to be provided, and does your organization keep records of the dates that training was provided and how many people were trained?
- 15. Does your organization post a notice at a conspicuous place on your premises, on your website, or by another reasonable method, that the documents required by the Customer Service Standard are available upon request, and do you provide those documents in a format that takes a person’s disability into account?
Go to ServiceOntario’s ONe-Source for Business to sign up to complete the report (https://www.appmybizaccount.gov.on.ca/wps/portal/mba_pub/!ut/p/c4/04_SB8K8xLLM9MSSzPy8xBz9CP3IgsT01JzMvGyr_OIkvYL8opLEHL2C0qSczGS9jPzcVP2CbEdFANyVxZk!/). You create your own account before clicking on the accessibility compliance tab to answer these questions. If you have to report no, respond with a good explanation and that the situation will be resolved by a reasonable date.
If you have any questions, you know how to find me.
Suzanne Cohen Share, M.A., CEO
Access (SCS) Consulting Services