The PeopleAccess AccessPATH Compliance Guide
People Access is working closely with the Ontario Government to help Ontarians with disabilities and the business community better understand each other’s needs. People Access is ready to help you on your compliance journey with a free guide.
The AccessPATH is an easy-to-follow tool that takes you step-by-step through the process that will help your business achieve full compliance. It features fill-in-the-blank templates as well as completed sample templates to guide you.
Providing accessible customer service will improve your overall customer service and help your business reach a large and growing market of people with disabilities as well as their families and friends. In 2000, the Royal Bank estimated that people with disabilities have discretionary spending power of about $25 billion per year in Canada.
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The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (AODA) is law in Ontario. The essence of the Act directs all organizations to make every reasonable effort to reduce barriers at each point of Customer interaction (face-to-face, voice, digital) for each disability type.
All private and non-profit sector organizations in Ontario, regardless of size, must be compliant with the first standard of the AODA by January 2012. Public sector organizations were obliged to be in compliance by January 2010. Organizations with 20 or more employees are required to file a report on their compliance status.
The AODA is comprised of five standards with implementation schedules from now until 2025. This first standard is focused on Customer Service. The Accessibility Standards for Customer Service is largely about attitudes and behaviours. The enforcement arm of the Accessibility Directorate of Ontario can impose stiff penalties for non-compliance. This Standard will need to be implemented through clear policies, training, monitoring, and reinforcement through performance management systems.
The Good News!
This is great for society. We’re stepping up to a critical issue in social responsibility.
- This is great for businesses. People with disabilities represent a large and growing slice of the consumer pie, in large part due to the aging population. Make it easy for them to do business with you. Those who serve this sector of the populace well and are proactive about it will likely gain market share and terrific goodwill. There are some financial and support incentives for early adopters.
- This is great for you as a person. We all know or love someone with a disability. We all want to help them receive barrier-free access to goods, services, and jobs.
- Most importantly, this is great for people with disabilities.