Changes to Accessible Customer Service Standard Take Effect July 1, 2016
What you need to know
There are changes to the accessible customer service standard and Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation that will affect you and your members. Please share this information with your members. A toolkit is attached to help you.
What are the main changes?
All employees and volunteers must now be trained on accessible customer service.
More types of regulated health professionals can provide documentation of a need for a service animal.
More specific information is provided to clarify that an organization can only require a support person to accompany someone with a disability for the purposes of health or safety and in consultation with the person. If it’s determined a support person is required, the fee or fare (if applicable) for the support person must be waived.
All accessibility standards — including the accessible customer service standard — are now part of one Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation. This means that the requirements are now better aligned to make it easier for organizations to understand their obligations.
Private sector and non-profit organizations with 20-49 employees no longer need to document policies (does not remove compliance or reporting requirements).
Certain terms and definitions have also been updated and do not affect your existing requirements.
An information sheet with more detail about the changes is attached to this email.
When do these changes come into effect?
The changes to the standard will come into effect on July 1, 2016.
What is the deadline to comply with these changes?
All organizations in Ontario with one or more employees must comply with the changes effective July 1, 2016.
What is the deadline to report compliance with these changes?
All public sector organizations, and businesses and non-profits with 20 or more employees must submit their 2017 accessibility compliance report by December 31, 2017.
The 2017 report will include questions relating to compliance with the updated customer service standard.
Why were these changes made?
Accessibility standards must be reviewed within five years after becoming law to ensure they are working as intended.
Changes are based on recommendations from the Standards Development Committee. The public and stakeholders were invited to provide their feedback during an extensive public review process.
Updating the accessible customer service standard is part of Ontario’s Accessibility Action Plan and our commitment to building an accessible Ontario by 2025.
Sign up for our free online session Accessible Customer Service Standard: What You Need to Know.
Contact the AODA Contact Centre (ServiceOntario) at:
Phone: 416-849-8276 or Toll-free 1-866-515-2025
TTY: 416-325-3408 or Toll-free 1-800-268-7095
Learn more at ontario.ca/accessibility