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Accessibility standards for customer service training
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Accessibility standards for customer service training


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  • 1. Mennonite Foundation of Canada
  • 2. Index• Ontario’s new law• the purpose of the law• Accessibility standards• What does disability mean?• new expectations• Who must comply?• policies, practices and procedures• principles• time lines for compliance• enforcement• new customer service requirements• serving people with disabilities 2
  • 3. Ontario’s AODA• Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005• charity compliance in 2012• first law of its kind in Canada. 3
  • 4. The purpose of the law• The purpose of this AODA is to develop, implement, and enforce Accessibility Standards in order to achieve accessibility by 2025. 4
  • 5. Accessibility standardsThere are five standards (requirements): • customer service (the first for implementation) • transportation • accessible information & communication • accessible built environment • employment accessibility 5
  • 6. What does disability mean?Disability means: (a) any degree of physical disability, infirmity, malformation or disfigurement. (i.e. a brain injury, amputation, blindness, speech impediment; (b) a condition of mental impairment or a developmental disability; (c) a learning disability, or a dysfunction; (d) a mental disorder, or (e) an injury or disability for which benefits were claimed or received as defined by the insurance plan established under the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act, 1997. 6
  • 7. New expectations in service:• People with disabilities should have the same kind of opportunities as everyone else.• They should be able to do the things that most of us take for granted (i.e. shopping, eating out, going to a movie)• By learning how to serve people with disabilities, you can attract more visitors and improve your service to everyone.• “Reasonable accommodation” means doing whatever is reasonably possible to accommodate that.• Accessibility will help prepare Ontario for the future. As our population ages, the number of people with disabilities will increase. 7
  • 8. Who must comply?• The customer service standard applies to all organizations, both public and private.• That includes us! 8
  • 9. Policies, practices and procedures• Every provider of goods or services shall establish policies, practices and procedures governing the provision of its goods or services to persons with disabilities. 9
  • 10. Principles Providers must use reasonable efforts to ensure that policies, practices and procedures are consistent with the core principles of: • dignity • independence • inclusion • integration • responsiveness • equality of opportunity. 10
  • 11. Time lines for compliance• Ontario’s first accessibility standard, the Customer Service Standard, came into effect on January 1, 2008.• Charitable organizations must comply with the customer service standard by January 1, 2012. 11
  • 12. Enforcement under the AODAPenalties for offences:• We can expect to be audited for compliance.• Enforcement (via orders and fines) will be levied similar to the Ministry of Labour.• There are greater fines for corporations (i.e., up to $100,000 per day). 12
  • 13. Our commitment• Mennonite Foundation of Canada is committed to meeting the requirements of the Act.• We welcome persons with disabilities and want to accommodate their accessibility needs. 13
  • 14. Customer serviceTreating all visitors with individualrespect and courtesy is at theheart of… Excellent customer service! 14
  • 15. CommunicationPatience, respect and a willingnessto find a way are our best tools.
  • 16. General principles to welcome people with disabilities• Listen carefully. Be patient, polite and respectful.• Look at your visitor, without staring.• Speak normally, clearly and directly to a person with a disability.• Service animals should not be touched – they are working and need to pay attention at all times. 16
  • 17. General Principles (cont’d)• Concentrate on what’s being said, rather than how their voice sounds.• Be patient, try not to interrupt or finish their sentences. Give them time to explain him/herself.• If you’re not certain what was said, repeat or rephrase what you’ve heard.• Ask permission before touching a wheelchair or a piece of equipment. 17
  • 18. General Principles (cont’d)• Give them the impression that you are comfortable and not anxious when helping.• Relax and smile! People with disabilities are just people.• Don’t be afraid to ask someone to repeat something you didn’t understand.• If you are not sure what to do…. Ask, “How may I help you?” 18
  • 19. General Principles (cont’d)• Visitors may identify their needs to you.• Treat a person with a disability the same as a person without a disability, as much as possible.• Address everyone directly, not just the support person or companion. 19
  • 20. General Principles (cont’d)• A support person is always welcome to attend an MFC function in order to assist a person with a disability.• If admission is being charged for an MFC event, the support person would be free of charge. 20
  • 21. General Principles (cont’d)• In addition to the “General Principles”, there are things to keep in mind in dealing with persons with specific disabilities… 21
  • 22. Serving Customers who have… Vision Disabilities• Identify yourself when you approach.• Speak normally and clearly.• Never touch anyone without asking permission, unless it’s an emergency.• If you offer assistance, wait until you receive permission.• Offer your arm (the elbow) to guide the person and walk slowly. 22
  • 23. Serving Customers who have… Vision Disabilities• Service animals should not be distracted.• Although a person may have a vision disability, they still may be able to see.• Ensure they are in a comfortable location before leaving them.• Always say, “Good-bye” before walking away.• Realize that things may take a little longer. 23
  • 24. Serving Customers who are… Deaf or Hard of Hearing• Always ask how you can help. You need not shout.• One way may be a gentle wave of your hand.• Make sure you are in a well-lighted area where they can see your face. They need to have a clear view of your face in order to read your lips. Their eyes are their ears.• Look at and speak directly to them, rather than their interpreter. 24
  • 25. Serving Customers who are… Deaf or Hard of Hearing• If necessary, ask if another method of communicating would be easier, for example a pen and paper.• Communication for people who are deaf may be different because their first language may not be English. It may be American Sign Language (ASL).• If the person uses a hearing aid, try to speak in a quiet area, if possible. 25
  • 26. Serving Customers who have… Physical Disabilities• People with physical disabilities often have their own ways of doing things. Ask before you help.• Assistive devices, including wheelchairs, should not be touched, unless it’s an emergency.• Provide the attender/visitor information about accessible features (i.e. accessible washrooms, etc.)• Where possible, remove obstacles (i.e. chair) to ensure clear passage. 26
  • 27. Serving Customers who have…Speech or Language Impairments• If you don’t understand, ask them to repeat the information.• If possible, ask questions that can be answered yes or no.• Allow them time to finish their sentences, uninterrupted. It may take them a bit longer to express themselves. 27
  • 28. Serving Customers who have a … Developmental Disability• Assumptions should not be made regarding what they can or cannot do.• Use plain language and speak in short sentences.• Make sure the attender/visitor understands what you’ve said.• If you can’t understand what’s being said, respectfully ask again. 28
  • 29. Words• Words can influence and reinforce the public’s perception of people with disabilities.• People with disabilities are people first. They expect to be treated with respect – the same way as persons without disabilities would be treated. 29
  • 30. Preferred Words and Phrases It is proper to say person first with a disability, rather than disabled person; do not use the word “handicapped” Instead of…. Please use Cripple, crippled or A person with a physical disability. Lame; physically challenged A person with a mobility impairment. A person who uses a walker. Wheelchair bound A person who uses a wheelchair Midget/ Dwarf A person of short stature. A little person Mongloid A person with Down’s Syndrome or a person with a developmental disability Crazy, insane, lunatic, psycho, A person with a mental health disability mental, neurotic etc. 30
  • 31. Remember to put People First!Instead of…. Please useDeaf or hearing impaired A person who is deaf (person with profound hearing loss who communicates using sign language.)Visually impaired A person with a visual impairment. A person with low vision. A person with vision loss. A person with a vision disability. 31
  • 32. Disability does not mean invisibility! 32
  • 33. 33