Customer Service AODA Style - Now It's Law! October 03 2013

Customer Service (AODA)

The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA), 2005 is legislation that mandates how businesses and organizations provide accessible services to community members with disabilities. The goal of the AODA is for Ontario to be fully accessible by 2025. To fulfill this goal, a series of standards will be enacted and organizations will be required to meet accessibility standards as outlined in the AODA.

As of January 2012, all organizations with one or more employees that provide a good or service to the public must have the Customer Service Standard in place. Compliance with this standard involves a written policy as well as employee training.

For organizations with 20 or more employees, there are certain requirements:

  • On-line reporting on the Service Canada (check this) website
  • Documentation of policies and procedures
  • Policy has to be posted
  • Notify customers that documentation is available upon request (i.e. posted, or on website) that takes into account the person’s disability

There are four basic points or issues for employers to address in order to comply with the regulations.

  1. Establish policies, practices, and procedures
  2. Establish a training program and train staff
  3. Establish a feedback process
  4. Prepare and complete documentation

Organizations need to make sure they have the ability to receive feedback from the public.  The process for providing feedback needs to be made available in a variety of methods, for example, prepared forms in large print, email, etc. Any complaints received must be addressed in a timely manner. All feedback must be recorded and filed and be available for the ministry, if requested.