Customer Service Standard
The first Standards to be enacted into law were the Accessibility Standards for Customer Service, Ontario Regulation 429/07 which explains the requirements for the public sector organizations, volunteer and third parties who do business with public sector organizations and specific Boards and Commissions listed in the attached Schedules. Business and not-for-profit organizations must abide by the same requirements only at a later date, January 2012, unless they have fewer than 20 employees. Ontario Regulation 430/07 exempts organizations with fewer than 20 employees (not designated public sector organizations) from certain documentation requirements of the standards.
Public sector organizations had to comply with the standard by January 1, 2010, and file their first accessibility report by March 31, 2010.
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 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 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 law. If a service animal is excluded by law, use other measures to provide services to the person witha 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.
12. Document in writing your accessible customer service policies, practices and procedures.
13. Notify your customers that these documents are available upon request, and
14. 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.
Legal/Policy FrameworkThe regulations and resources listed below will help you develop your training and policies, procedures and practices and learn how to comply with the Accessibility Standards for Customer Service.
- Getting to "Yes" - Criteria to assist OPS Ministries to Comply with the Accessible Customer Service Regulation (429/07) June 2009
- Accessibility Standards for Customer Service - Regulation 429/07
- Accessibility Standards for Customer Service - Exemption from Reporting - Regulation 430/07
- Accessibility Directorate Resources on Customer Service Standard
- Complying with the Accessibility Standards for Customer Service, Compliance Tools - Includes Questions and Answers for Municipalities
- Accessibility Standards for Customer Service - Guide
- Clarification re Local Boards
- Clarification re Animal Control By-Laws
- ADO's Compliance Improvement & Compliance Assistance Strategy
Resources and Examples of What Ontario Municipalities and Other Organizations are Doing to Implement the Accessible Customer Service Standard
Here are examples of actual municipal and Ontario broader public sector documents (reports, policies, procedures, etc.) implementing OR 429/07 as they adopt them. The objective is to help avoid "reinventing the wheel." It is, of course, incumbent on each organization to assess whether another's document, whether obtained through our website or otherwise, fits local circumstances and meets legal requirements.
Please send any new examples to Lynda Staples, Project Manager, Enabling Change Project.
- Norfolk County - Accessible Customer Service Policy
- Niagara Region - Request for Accommodations and Alternate Formats
- Halton's Booklet on Accessibility Guidelines
- Halton's Accessible Customer Service Policy
- City of Cornwall - Accessible Customer Service Policy and Training Program
- Cramahe Township - Accessible Customer Service Policy
- Essex County - Accessible Customer Service Policy
- Municipality of Highlands East - Accessibility Standards for Customer Service Policy & Manual
- City of London - Accessible Customer Service Policy & Training Video
- Loyalist Township - Policies & Procedures
- Town of Milton - Accessibility Policy
- Town of Marathon - Support Person Policy for Recreational Facilities
- City of Mississauga - Training Participant Guide
- Regional Municipality of Niagara - Policies
- Niagara Regional Housing Presentation
- Peel Region - Accessible Customer Service Policy
- City of Thunder Bay - Accessibility Policy
- City of Vaughan - Policy
- Regional Municipality of Waterloo - Accessibility Survey Tool
- County of Haliburton - Sensitivity Awareness Brochure
- County of Haliburton - Barrier Awareness Programme Brochure
- Ontario Public Service Accessible Customer Service PolicyOntario Public Service Multi-Year Accessiblity Plan 2009-2016 See page 16 for customer service section
Assistive Devices & Technologies
- Creating Accessible Documents
- Canadian Hearing Society - On-Line Store
- Technical Glossary, Inclusive Design Research Centre, OCAD University
- How to Welcome Customers with Disabilities, Ministry of Community and Social Services, ON
- Training Webinar, Human Resources Professionals Association of Ontario, Accessibility Standards for Customer Service
- Steps to help you be ready for January 2012
Municipal Resources for Businesses
Policies from Other Jurisdictions
- Policy and Procedures Resource Manual
- Communities of Accessibility and Inclusion -City of Vancouver, BC
- A Way with Words and Images
- Assistive Devices and Services
- Communicating with Persons with Disabilities
- Availability of Accessible Customer Service Documents