The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) Customer Service Standard has been updated, and the new changes take effect JULY 1, 2016.
“Please note [the] changes to the requirements as of July 1, 2016:
- All employees and volunteers must be trained on accessible customer service.
- You do not need to train members of your organization who have already been trained on accessible customer service.
- However, you must let them know about the changes and train them on your updated accessible customer service policy.
- More types of regulated health professionals who 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 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 not-for-profit organizations with 20-49 employees no longer need to document their accessible customer service policies (does not remove compliance and reporting requirements).
- Certain terms and definitions have also been updated and do not affect your existing requirements.”
The Government is preparing an updated training module and it is expected to be available in August 2016.