Along with the AODA Customer Service Standard that came into effect on January 1, 2012 two new safety requirements were implemented as well. One of them is if you provide public emergency information, you are required to make it accessible upon request.
This means that upon request you would be required to make your emergency and public safety information accessible to people with disabilities and work with the person requesting the information to figure out how you can meet their needs as soon as possible. Examples of public safety information include emergency plans and procedures, maps, warning signs, evacuation routes or information about how emergency alerts are conducted.
Does this apply to my organization?
This applies if you answer "yes" to both of these questions:
Source: The Ministry of Community and Social Services of Ontario
How do I get started?
The first thing you should to is take inventory of what information you provide to the public, and from there focus on whether any of your materials would present a challenge for someone with a disability to read, see, hear or understand. There is no specific law on what formats you are required to use--just that you work with the public, figure out what they need and do so upon request as soon as possible. In some cases you may be able to communicate the information right away by reading aloud, providing the doucment in large print or a transcript (for the hearing imparied) however in some cases it may take longer based on the individual's needs.
If you have questions about the AODA Customer Service Standard, or requirements for providing emergency information please contact Anna Aceto-Guerin directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone (519) 624-0800. Clear Path is also hosting an Introduction to AODA learning session on Wednesday January 25 2012 at the Cambridge Chamber of Commerce. Click here to register.
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