Province’s New Accessibility Customer Service Standards Now in Effect
Starting on January 1, 2012, the Accessibility Standard for Customer Service came into effect for all businesses and organizations in the province with one or more employees. This includes all Massage Therapy practice settings with one or more employees. It does not apply to sole proprietorships.
Remember, this is not about ramps and elevators. It’s about training employees to serve clients accessibly, looking to make practices and formal procedures more accessible, allowing clients to bring a service animal, support person and/or assistive device like a walker, cane, scooter, or oxygen tank to an office setting, encouraging clients to provide feedback about how accessible services are and posting a temporary disruption of services.
There are free tools and resources at the government’s accessibility website www.accessON.ca. Additional free tools tailored to the health care sector including a health care compliance guide with questions and answers, a checklist of requirements and compliance templates can be found at the Excellence Canada accessibility site: www.peopleaccess.ca. This site also offers low cost tools including kits with an e-learning course, step by step compliance guide, a tips tool tailored to the health care sector, as well as ways to help clients know that the practice is committed to accessibility.
What’s in Scope for Colleges:
The primary role for colleges in supporting their registrants’ compliance is as information conduits. We can support our registrants by providing:
- Information about the Act and the regulations to raise awareness
- Connections to existing free and low-cost resources
- Links to relevant websites
- Links to continuing education
What’s Not in Scope:
- Health Regulatory Colleges are not the educators and trainers, although we will provide links to training for our registrants
- Colleges are not the regulators and don’t have to ensure that registrants are compliant
- Colleges do not monitor or carry out enforcement of standards under the AODA