The Accessibility Standards for Customer Service require employers to provide accessible customer service to persons with disabilities. In order to comply with the legislation, all businesses and organizations providing goods or services to the public with at least one employee in Ontario must meet several requirements by January 1, 2012. What we gathered at our most recent AODA seminar is that employers are very concerned about the training aspect of the customer service obligations.
The Accessibility Standards for Customer Service require employers with 20 or more employees to document policies. The Integrated Accessibility Standards require employers to document policies and multi-year accessibility plans if they have 50 or more employees. So smaller organizations might breathe a sigh of relief knowing that they don’t have to document and keep track of their accessibility policies and plans under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA).
Generally, disruptions to all of your services, such as during a power outage or during a labour dispute, do not require this special notice. However, if the disruption has a significant impact on people with disabilities, you should provide notice of the disruption of service. In Ontario, under the Accessibility Standards for Customer Service, as of January 1, 2012, organizations are required to publicly notify customers of temporary disruptions of services or facilities or if they are expected to be temporarily unavailable in the near future, including the steps to take to access alternative methods.