In adopting a policy that will include practices and procedures setting out how goods and services will be provided to people with disabilities (a requirement under the Act), reviewing and adopting the elements set out in the Ontario government regulation enacted pursuant to the Act, Ontario Regulation 429/07 – Accessibility Standards for Customer Service is a means to help craft the policy.
The regulation covers a wide range of matters that should be included in the policy:
- Persons with disabilities who require the use of a guide dog or other animal or support,
- Giving notice to users of facilities or services of any temporary disruption, including the reasons for disruption, the length of time and where alternate facilities may be located,
- Training programs for staff who are providing services to persons with disabilities,
- Establishing a process for obtaining feedback from the users of goods and services so as to enable timely and effective improvements to be implemented by the organization,
- Ensuring that documentation in support of the Act and the organization’s policy are readily available to end users.It is recommended that a committee of lay and professional leaders be established to adopt the policy and periodically review the policy and update it as required. This committee could also serve as the body to which complaints are filed from end users, thereby receiving first hand how the policy is being implemented and where revisions are needed.The policy should be adopted by the Board of Directors and the Board should require a report, at least annually, from the staff reporting on implementation, required revisions and how resources are being deployed to meet the policy and the objectives of the Act.The Executive Director should remain accountable to the Board although a designated staff person may be responsible for the ongoing oversight and implementation of the policy.
For further information on the Act and its requirements and what it means for your organization or for referral to professional consultants to assist with completing the requirements or filing the reports to the government, please contact Mark S. Anshan firstname.lastname@example.org 416-900-5572 x15 or any member of our firm.