Have you kept up to date with AODA requirements? Statistics show that one in seven citizens of Ontario has some sort of disability; not only is it essential for businesses to become accessible - it's now law! The Customer Service Standard came into effect in 2005 in the public sector as of January 2012 private sector organizations needed to be compliant with the Customer Service Standard, You may ask - does this standard apply to me? The answer is YES! ALL organizations in Ontario are required to be compliant with the Customer Service Standard (including consultants, manufacturers and wholesalers). Not complying with this standard can trigger government investigations and financial penalties.
The Ministry of Community and Social Services is encouraging a more collaborative approach to get this standard implemented as compared to the more forceful penality driven introduction of recent Bill 168 Workplace Violence and Harassment legislation.
As of December 31, 2012 all organizations are expected to have reported their progress in implementing the AODA Customer Service Standard. Depending on the size of your business the Ministry of Community require employers to submit reports regarding their progress on AODA standards. The exemption borderline of this requirement is under 20 employees (including part time, full time, and sub contractors). If your business currently holds under 20 employees, there are two simple steps to follow: create a plan and train your employees! Find out more about creating a plan by clicking here.
According to the Ministry, businesses with over 20 employees should following these steps to ensure they are in compliance:
Filling out this report isn't difficult! Click here to find the type of questions you will be asked, walk through the application process. It is recommended you schedule 1-2 hours to complete this report.
You filled out your report? Now what? Here is a checklist to make sure you completed the required steps!
We also suggest that you stay on top of your new plan! Keep updating your policies and procedures on a regular basis to accommodate for new trends. Schedule an hour of your time each month to update your books. Remember to keep your employees informed with changes and ask for their feedback on complying with accessibility. Keep the Ministry of Community and Social Services updated with your results and ask questions if you are unclear. Improved accessibility can help Ontario generate up to 9.6 Billion in new retail spending and 1.6 billion in new tourism spending!
Check out the links before for more information about the AODA and Ministry of Community and Social Services:
Ministry of Community and Social Services Home Page
Accessibility Standards for Customer Service (Ontario Regulation 429/07)
Accessibility Standards for Customer Service - Exemption from Reporting Requirements
Not sure where to start? Join us as we discuss the new AODA Customer Service Standard and upcoming additions to the AODA legislation in our next workshop!
Intro to AODA Legislation
October 16th 2012
Kitchener Holiday Inn 1:00pm-3:00pm
Investment: $99+HST (Register two weeks prior only $75+HST)
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