Ontario retailers need to be aware there are changes to the accessible customer service standard and Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation effective July 1, 2016.

What are the main changes?

  • All employees and volunteers must now be trained on accessible customer service.
  • More types of regulated health professionals 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 is determined that a support person is required, the fee or fare (if applicable) for the support person must be waived.
  • All accessibility standards — including the accessible customer service standard — are now part of one Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation. The requirements are now better aligned to make it easier for organizations to understand their obligations.
  • Retailers with 20-49 employees no longer need to document policies (this does not remove compliance or reporting requirements).

An information sheet with more detail about the changes can be found here.

What is the deadline to report compliance with these changes?

Retailers with 20 or more employees must submit their 2017 accessibility compliance report by December 31, 2017.

The 2017 report will include questions relating to compliance with the updated customer service standard.

Background:

These changes were made as accessibility standards must be reviewed within five years after becoming law to ensure they are working as intended.

Changes are based on recommendations from the Standards Development Committee in which Retail Council of Canada was an active participant.

If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact: Gary Rygus, Director, Government Relations (Ontario) at: grygus@retailcouncil.org or 416-467-3744