Integrated Accessibility Standards and Customer Service Standards of the AODA

Posted under: Accessibility

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I’ve been doing a lot of training on the Customer Service Standards, and just getting into the Integrated Standards. They don’t impact on too many of my clients, yet, but I mention them when I train, just so people will know there’s more coming.

I’m surprised at how many organizations are only now doing the training for the Customer Service, but of course, I don’t mind. I’m happy to be doing it! I love training – it’s really fun to help people reach that ‘a ha!’ moment, when they finally understand something that has always been a puzzle, and they’ve never had anyone to ask.

The Integrated Standards are reasonably good, but of course, they don’t go far enough to suit those of us who live with disabilities! I was very annoyed that one, critical piece was left out of the Employment Standards. There is no requirement that employers will provide suitable accommodations during termination meetings. All the standards say is that the employer has to do for the disabled employee, whatever he might do for non-disabled employees. Well, by the time an employer-employee relationship has broken down, I don’t think anything but a direct order is going to get an employer to hire a Sign Language interpreter (for example) if he doesn’t absolutely have to.

The Information and Communications Standards are going to be the biggest job to implement, because they’ll take a bit of work for many companies. I see so many websites that are completely inaccessible, I can’t imagine how all those companies are going to get barrier-free sites. Ah well, I guess it will be more work for me! :-}

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